One idea you can do is use some virtualization software (VirtualBox is free, but I pay the C-notes for VMWare Workstation because it has a lot more features, and is the de facto standard), and put your older applications in a virtual machine.
The advantage of doing this is that when you upgrade hardware, you just copy the VM's files from the old box to the new box... the older application and its environment never has to be modified, and is secure from hack attempts because the VM software can be configured to "hide" the VM from the outside world using NAT (network address translation.) Another advantage is that one can use snapshots and back those up.
A small business I help out has a very creaky old version of some specialty software which will not run on anything newer than XP. Since the software never touches the Web, and only accesses a shared directory, it sits in a virtual machine configured with no network adapters, and has been moved from physical machine to machine for a number of years now. So far, so good. Periodic scans of the VM's virtual drive files have shown it to be clean of any nasties.
I'd keep on searching. There are many rigs out there for that price range without delamination, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
RVs are made for camping, not worry, and delamination is a good cause for concern... who knows what other issues are there (mold, for example.)
One caveat about skirting: Because it is a nice, sheltered spot out of the elements, the area underneath quickly becomes a convention center for snakes, mice, rats, and other critters. I'd consider some type of trap system, especially around the points of contact with the ground, and factor in if pets may wind up there. So far, my best trap system are feral farm cats, but everyone has something different.
Condensation is a problem in all climates.
What I did for a few years, was buy the large, 64 ounce, Damp-Rid containers, place them in tubs or 5 gallon buckets (as additional insurance so they don't spill, since the main ingredient is calcium chloride, which is quite corrosive), and place those in critical places. One went into the living room, another, the bathtub. All of them were put in my RV checklist, so they were secured before I moved the rig, and I also secured them, so if I did move the RV, the containers would not shift and disgorge their contents.
If I had the ability to have power to the RV, I'd do something completely different. I would avoid the Peltier-based dehumidifiers (they are next to worthless for anything bigger than the cubic footage of a kitchen cabinet, in my experience), and go for a real, compressor-based dehumidifier... one that is intended to deal with pints, not ounces of water. Then, I'd close the rig up, and call it done. As stated above, properly winterized, there isn't enough moisture in the air below freezing to cause issues.
This is a question only the OP can answer. There are a wide range of rigs, from a Roadtrek 170 Versatile, to a 45 foot "A".
As one moves up in length, one sacrifices things. At 20-22 feet, the ability to take up one parking space is lost.
Here is an odd thing: I was looking at Thor Freedom Elites (which is a Camping World house brand.) Even the 22 foot model now uses a Ford F-450 chassis and has an 8000 pound tow rating.
The Thor RUVs are reasonably priced. However, (and I don't intend this to be bashing any brand, but just pointing out you get what you pay for), the $120k spent on a View is going to net you shiny veneers, and higher end trim levels.
Here is what I did to solve this problem. I went and looked at the Thor class "A"s. I went and looked at the Views/Navions. I looked at the class "B" vans, with most Sprinter models having a 5000 pound tow rating. Try sitting on the bed, sitting on the toilet, open the fridge, sit in the driver's seat and adjust it. Visualize what you will be doing in a rig.
Motorhomes are expensive... I say do one's homework.
+1 there. I've looked at a few B+ models, and even though they tend to be more expensive (and often on the Sprinter chassis), having the cabover for storage space is hard to beat.
Some class C models can come sans bed, but with an entertainment center, and behind that, a lot of storage space (only 300-500 pounds weight limit, so it isn't a place to toss too much stuff, but is ideal for bedding and other light, bulky items.
I prefer a class "C" over a B+, for this reason. Storage is precious on a motorhome, especially a smaller one, so even though it might lose a MPG due to the less streamlined front, having the cabover space is worth it.
One idea I have seen someone do, (which is very similar to Jim Shoe's implementation) is pulling out the mattress, cutting Dri-Dek to fit (it would be held in by the lip that keeps the mattress in place), then storing light items in plastic tubs, with the webbing that was designed to keep wee ones from falling off used to keep the tubs in place. The Dri-Dek is used because it gives space for air to circulate underneath (hopefully helping mitigate moisture buildup), the plastic tubs would provide a good place to stash things that are needed, but are not often accessed.
With this setup, I definitely know where my emergency dry goods will wind up. Since Texas has ice storms, having a place to stash a week's worth of self-heating MREs is important, since those won't be accessed often, but when the need arises, it will be crucial to get at them.
Full hookups make life a lot easier.
The heat pump is (JMHO) is OK, but a space heater like the mica one mentioned above or a Vornado heater would be a more efficient choice, especially in the lower to mid 30s. It will will supplement quite well and minimize use of propane.
As for the black and gray tanks, I'd recommend buying a bottle of RV antifreeze and dumping some in the black and gray tanks. This will cause the stuff in it to wind up as a slush. It isn't as good as 100% antifreeze, but it is a layer of protection.
I don't think Ford and Cummins will be doing any projects anytime soon. Cummins tends to be a Fiat/Dodge brand first in the US.
Diesel wise, I'd probably guess the 6.7 will be the engine used. However, gasser-wise, who knows. Ford did have a decent run with their 6.2 liter engine in their F-150, and it just might be that a retuned version of that might wind up as the gasser alternative, since its power curves are very close to the V-10.
I wondered why the new class "C"s at the RV show I was at yesterday were either using the 5.4 V8 or going to the E-450 on even the short models. Now I know.
I can see why Winnebago has started making Transit rigs. For the class "C"s that don't need an E-450 chassis, a Transit isn't a bad choice.
I won't be surprised to see in the next year or two, some heavier duty (T-450/T-550) Transit models out. As for the engine? Anyone's guess. I'd like a choice between an EB V-8, a V-8 that has flex-fuel capability, and a turbo diesel V-8, since none of the existing engine choices come even near what the Ford V-10 can do, especially moving 20,000-30,000 pounds of rig.
One thing I'd consider is a Froli Travel System. This is a replacement for box springs and takes up an inch or two. The advantage of this is that it helps any mattress, and it allows air to circulate underneath, preventing/mitigating mold growth.
I wonder if part of it is due to the fact that the View/Navion has gone from a midrange model to a premium model with a price tag to boot.
How the Fuse compares to the Trend? I think both address different markets. The Trend is more Euro-style, having drop-down beds and other nifty features. The Fuse is more of a conventional style with slide-outs, more competing against the smaller Ford E-350 rigs than the Sprinters.
It is a wise move on Winnebago's part. The Econoline's as a platform, its days are numbered, and the Transit is going to replace it sooner or later.
Wonder what Coachmen is going to charge for their rig. Obviously, north of the six digit figure line, but wonder if it is aimed at competing against Winnebago at that price point or RT, PW, even Airstream.
Of course, it would be nice if they did a gasser ProMaster or Transit upfit. Those have a lot of potential.
I'm not surprised at the fact that rigs are getting more televisions. This has been a trend for at least 2-3 years now. A couple years ago, when I saw eight TVs in a toy hauler fifth wheel (one behind a hatch by the door, on in the living room, two by the bunks, one in the bedroom, one in the garage area, and one intended for the "porch" (which was created by flipping down the tailgate, adding rails.)
To me, I find it pointless. However, adding electronics like TVs is inexpensive.
What would be nice would be real changes: Truma water heaters and furnaces, for example. Daewoo's Mini-Drum washer that mounts on a wall, with a similar small dryer. Have the roof covered with solar panels, so the house batteries would be always ready to go.
Argh... fumble finger city in my previous reply. I don't mean to be redundant, but what I meant to state was that absorption fridges are common in RVs, compressor fridges are replacing them.
As time goes on, lithium batteries (well, LiFePO4 or similar) get cheaper, solar panels become standard, we will see batteries that can handle the 2-3 amp-hours a compressor fridge (the biggest Nova-Kool fridge is at around 5.5 amp-hours) uses. We also will see solar setups that can put that much electricity back into the batteries. A move to lithium batteries means they can be drawn down to 10% without damage, giving one almost double the usable battery capacity. Of course, it means a charger... but those are falling in price as well.
The only place I see absorption fridges (ones that use propane) are small RV units which either don't have the space for at least 400 amp-hours of batteries, or don't have the solar panel space, and are used mainly for boondocking. Even those, such as truck campers, as technology improves with batteries and solar, those will wind up with compressor units eventually.
There is one piece of the puzzle missing; a game changer. A few years ago, Truma made a VeGA fuel cell which give a relatively low, but steady wattage from incoming propane. We have EFOY's methanol fuel cells which last about a month, and give 80, 140, or 210 amp-hours per day (a more relevant figure is about 3, 11, and 17.5 amp-hours, respectively.) However, their cost is very expensive, about $3600, $5000, and $7000, and that is without installation. The 10 liter methanol jugs are about $80 each, and last about a month.
However, if the price on fuel cells does come down, this changes everything. If the 17.5 amp-hour model got to a $2000 price point, absorption refrigerators will be history. If someone makes a propane fuel cell that puts out 10-20 amp-hours... again, there would be no need to have an absorption fridge.
I'm crossing my fingers... fuel cell technology for RVs is where lithium batteries were in 2010, and MP3 players were back in 2000 -- relatively expensive curiosities. The technology is there, but it is going to take a well-heeled company to get it to the mass market at a price people would pay.
I see two different types of compressor fridges. The first is a residential fridge adapted to be used in a RV. The second are fridges made by companies like Nova-Kool, Dometic, and Isotherm, which are marine or RV fridges and are made to stand up to being in a vehicle.
Oddly enough, I have not come across a single complaint about someone having their compressor fridge die in their RV. Absorption fridges, there are plenty of items about that, but I don't read about many compression fridges. I would guess this is because absorption fridges are relatively rare in RVs, but definitely growing. Does this mean a cheapie will last forever? Likely not, but a compressor fridge is a lot cheaper to replace than an absorption model.
As for what is best to use? There are three scenarios:
1: If one is mainly touring and has at least electric, no doubt about it, go with a compressor fridge.
2: If one boondocks, but has a larger rig, a decent battery bank that charges from a generator, solar to offset the fridges's use, and other items, again, an absorption fridge is ideal.
3: If one has a smaller rig (class "B", small trailer, or truck camper), it may not have enough solar to compensate for the amp draw of a compressor fridge. In this case, it is wise to consider going with an absorption fridge. Lichtsinn RV recently did a video about how long the compressor fridge would last on a class "B" (Winnebago Travato 59K)... took about four days until the battery was at 1/4 charge, with clear skies. So, for longer trips, it might be wise to go with an absorption fridge with rigs that have smaller battery banks and not much space for solar setups.
Pretty much, if one has a class "B" or truck camper and boondocks often, it is better to go with an absorption fridge, preferably an absorption fridge that can work without requiring battery access, even if some fridge features (thermostat, auto ignition) are inoperable.
From what I know: It isn't about germs, it is winding up with enough germs that one's immune system cannot fight them all.
One doesn't need a full Tyvek NBC suit to empty the waste tanks, and if one is confident that the check valve and the tank not being full is fine, that is their prerogative.
It is about diminishing returns. I wear gloves, but I don't bother rinsing out the slinky, as that is what the gray water tank is for.
Because I use a macerator pump with my current rig, I have three sets of hoses. A white hose for filling up the fresh water tank and for city water hookups. A green hose for backflushing. Then, I have a black rubber hose that has clearly marked on it from the factor, "NOT FOR POTABLE WATER", which I use for the macerator pump's discharge hose. The green and the white hose can be interchanged with low risk of contamination, but are stored in different tubs. The black hose is stored in the bed of my truck, while the other hoses are in tubs inside the TT's storage compartment. Nothing is fool-proof, but this at least adds some obvious obstacles in the way of using the wrong hose, so the chance of brown water in the FW tank is low.
I also run Mobil 1 synth oil and premium, non-ethanol SeaFoam treated gas in my EU2000i and it starts first pull, every time. :B However, there is a trick I read on the forums some time ago by robert_at_honda ...
1) Open the full cap to verify the gas level
2) Close the gas cap and turn the vent lever to the closed position
3) Turn the choke on full, turn the main switch to ON, then let it sit like this for at least a minute
4) After an minute or so, open the fuel cap vent and start the engine
My understanding is this process allows fuel pressure to build so when you do start the engine it will start right away ... mine does. :B
Sounds like the same process we used to start old cars with carbs. Tap the gas a few times... wait... tap a few times... wait... then start.