I might take the minority view here:
If you are planning to keep the rig until the wheels fall off, buy new, and finance it. However, make -sure- to pay enough down (I paid 20%) so you are nowhere near upside down, and if something happens, you can sell the rig, pay off the note and be out from under it.
I rarely buy vehicles. When I do, I tend to keep them forever. Since a RV is a big purchase, I like buying new, dealing with the teething pains, and having something just to my liking that I will wind up keeping for a while.
Where I live, almost every campground has a 10 year rule, so might as well get every year you can from a rig.
I don't like mentioning this, but there is a downside of all this progress. The cost of a RV. Take class "B" vans, for example. In 2005, $50-60k would get you a decent van. Now, if you want the same van now, that will be $120,000, not to mention cost of other options. The mass produced Airstream units are going for almost $200k.
There are four types of truck break-ins:
1: Someone out to steal your truck. I use a Club (never lock it), and a hidden fuel pump kill switch to ensure my vehicle stays put. I also have heard good things about Ravelco products as well. A friend of mine put a switch on the RFID transponder (he has an older model without push button start), so until that is flipped, all keys will fail the Ford PATS check.
2: Tailgate thieves. It is funny how many times the tailgate of my truck was up, I've come back to it being down. I leave it unlocked so it doesn't get the "screwdriver in the tumblers" treatment. I also have a McGard lock on the hinge (which is not that secure, as it is pretty much a hose clamp with a funky bit... but secure enough), so a would-be thief will have to go at it with a Dremel tool if they want to "liberate" the tailgate. I also tend to park with the tailgate near a wall, making it more difficult. Tailgate theft is extremely common. I have been in line at the bank, with someone ahead of me mentioning they are taking out a loan to replace their tailgate. Locking a tailgate does not work, so the best thing is a hinge lock.
3: Opportunists. The "door handle flippers" are very common where I live, and woe to the person who leaves their door unlocked, even if they have nothing in the vehicle, because the would-be thieves will slash the seats and headliner out of spite. I keep my doors locked because this is the most common type of crime in my neck of the woods.
4: The meth-heads who will smash windows, use needle nose pliers on lock rods, and so on. These are the worst because leaving doors open just means they will vandalize the vehicle's interior out of spite. This isn't a cheap solution, but I recommend a Jimmi Jammer in each of the doors, Punchplugs for all doors that don't have keys, and a LockCap for the one that does. This will keep the screwdrivers out of the lock cylinders.
I also recommend secure containers in the truck. For the center console, I like a ConsoleVault. There are also strongboxes you can that bolt under the seats. That way, if a tweaker does get in, it is invariable that they will trash things, but at least valuables will be well away from them.
Other people leave stuff like broken TVs and such, so a would-be burglar has something to carry out and has less chance of trashing the rig, but the "mugging money" logic only encourages things.
In any case, it is worth keeping insurance, and perhaps a savings to cover a deductible.
Been back to the grind. Used the Tc to boondock several times in parking lot for 4 days working as a casualty role player, helping the National guard train. Going back again tomorrow for 4 days/nights with the wife. Both of us working. Staying the parking lot of a Youth correctional center. Second time there. LOL!
In some sense, that is a safe place to boondock. No juvis are going to be sticking around in the parking lot there.
I've wanted a TC trailer, just because my current F-150 doesn't have the payload capacity I want, so might as well use a trailer, and once I get a more capable truck, just move the TC from the trailer to that.
Maybe it would be good as an option, so if someone wanted to pay the extra cost for the combined furnace, they can. There has to be a balance somewhere between adding new features which are genuinely useful, versus having the price of a rig double every five years (as class "B" RVs do.)
It may be more expensive, but the space savings is well worth it, and $2300 is about $500-$700 more than a separate furnace and water heater, so the cost difference isn't too bad. It is also nice because it can run on electric, LP gas, or both.
I'm just surprised more mainstream makers have not started using it. So far, there have been relatively minor complaints, but I've yet to read about a complete horror story, much less people who would want to chuck the system and go back to two separate appliances.
Disclaimer: I am not affilated with anything mentioned here, but just objectively curious, since it would be nice to see more European/Australian RV advances make it to the US. Another item would be Seitz S4 windows, which are dual-paned, which help with insulation and noise deadening.
Out of curiosity, I wonder why TC makers don't use the Truma Combi unit which has been out for a few years in the US and been out for much longer across the pond. For what it does, it is perfect for a TC, because it supports electric and propane, as well as does either water heating, 20,000 BTU furnace, or both at the same time. The space savings by only needing one appliance is quite useful, and because the exhaust and intake are easily positioned, there is a lot of freedom of where to locate the furnace unit.
The Truma units also use less amperage for furnace fans as well.
I wouldn't be surprised if the network status was looked at if people were complaining about bandwidth.
Of course, there is always using a repeater that uses the 5GHz spectrum is arguably the best course, since you have 22 channels that do not overlap.
Check for a place that can do a Sealtech test. Essentially this is where a fan is put in, everything else is taped off, soapy water is sprayed on the outside, and it is noted where bubbles form as a potential water ingress point. This will give you definite knowledge, far better than finding out when it is raining.
As for class "B"s, I notice that very few are rendered to scrap due to leaks. I would ascribe part of it because the factory metal roof is a lot more durable than fiberglass or trash-bag thin rubber roofing materials, as well as the build quality tends to be a tad better.
My concern about Ravelco plugs is that if someone cuts a CAN wire, the vehicle can have expensive electrical issues. Especially with so many systems that are by wire these days, such as newer F-150s (where the accelerator physically does nothing other than tell the computer what to do.) . I have seen some very crappy wiring jobs and a Mercedes Sprinter pretty much ruined by a botched alarm install, so I am wary about things like that.
However, if it works, it works. There is a range of Ford trucks that really need additional ignition/ECM security, and if the Ravelco install does the job, it almost is a must have. Just make sure to have extra plugs on hand.
I'd be upgrading almost everything else. I can see lithium batteries useful for vans that cost a quarter of a mill because people are willing to pay the big bucks to have the most bang possible in that small a rig.
However, on my current rig, and even the next motorhome, there will be a lot of other electrical things that need improving before I spend the money for the lithium batteries and their special charge controllers.
Phoenix Cruiser has the option of adding the Quigley 4x4 upfit to any rig they sell. That is pretty tempting to me, because it gives one very close to what a truck/TC can do, but a lot more space.
Of course, Tiger Motorhomes has the best solution... but their rigs are just priced through the stratosphere.
I do know that there is definitely a market niche available, so if some RV upfitter took Ford F-350s and F-450s cabs that had 4WD and two alternators, added a class "C" box to it, and sold it at a reasonable price, they would be a hit.
These helped answer some questions I had as well. I love the size of the 19 footer, although until I try the bed, I can't really tell if it will be something I'd like, or if I should go with a traditional corner queen model.
I highly recommend something like this for awnings. As another option, I've seen people use the tool that one uses to pull down the awning, zip-tie that to one of the awning arms to keep the roller immobilized.
Howdy, please understand that this is only my opinion and my point of view. I would not drive anything longer then 26 feet. I have had a 21', 29, 26 and 25' class C's . The 29 had a terrible turning radius and I only felt comfortable during regular travel after I put new shocks and air bags on. Call me a wimp but the 25' is much easier to drive and deal with in more congested traffic situations.
Does anyone make a 21' class "C" these days? That sounds pretty cool, size-wise.
Thanks for the info. I didn't know that VW actually had to stop selling TDIs completely. From what I recall, all VW had to do was a ECM reflash, but apparently that changed. I still see a ton of them on the road though.
Anyone good at lost wax molding could crank out some tabs that will last a bit. A good 3D shop that uses sintered Iconel could make some metal tabs that will outlast the handle, the motorhome, and civilization as we know it.