I'm curious to see how the Transit five-banger coming out this summer in the US compares to the model you rented (or as Europeans say, "hired") in France.
What I want to see in the US is the extra-tall "B" van, similar to the pre-Sprinter Airstream "B"s. This would allow the RV maker to either make a loft bed, or for the people too lazy to climb up, have a bed that drops down, similar to the Winnebago Trend, but when the bed is up, still have a reasonable standing height.
Of course they have been in Europe for years and are 98% of the motorhomes in Europe.
Please correct me if wrong on this, but what I've seen in Europe (when browsing the motorhome dealers there), the most common platform in use for both "B"s (campervans) and "C"s is usually the Ducato chassis. In fact, Fiat has a dedicated website (www.fiatcamper.com) for end users to check for recalls and such for their motorhome's chassis.
In Europe, the Ducato is on a manual-shifting, small turbocharged Multijet diesel engine. It isn't fancy, but it gets the job done. to boot, they sell FWD, RWD, and AWD models over there, so there are a lot more possibilities.
Sprinters are in use as upfitted campervans in Europe, but even the German RV makers like Globecar and Westfalia have Ducatos as their mainstay.
I do agree the Sprinter has helped, because the Euro-van profile gives more headroom without needing a fiberglass roof extension, and is very good when it comes to fuel economy.
However, having more van platforms to choose from can't hurt things. Especially the Ford Transit which is a complete wild card due to its complete redesign. The Transit is interesting because the turbocharged V-6 will allow for minimal power loss when at higher altitudes, and has a diesel-like torque curve while using gasoline.
Time will tell. These next 12-18 months will be one of the most active times for the "B" market since the T1N Sprinter hit the US shores about a decade ago.
I like Bastrop state park, as it has FHU, and north of that, there is Inks Lake which is pretty. Last time I went there, it was far enough away that the drunk college students from UT and TAMU tended to not be in abundance (as opposed to other places closer to Austin or College Station.)
Toolbars also give an excuse for an executable to be always running. Some newer ad stuff actually will completely peg your CPU because it uses your computer to mine BitCoins, which is a very lucrative market right now.
IE is OK, but because it is the focus of attacks, I'd use Firefox or Chrome with an ad blocking extension.
I've yet encountered a Google product that would cause pop-ups. Check your installed program list for stuff like lop.com, conduit or anything with "Free", "$ave" or other stuff. Probably software that got downloaded and installed due to a bug in the Web browser.
Ouch. I would avoid any password protection utilities other than the tried and true, such as WinRAR, TrueCrypt, WinZIP, GPG4Win, or Symantec's PGP Encryption Desktop. I've seen conduit bundled with all kinds of stuff, and it is tough to get rid of, as it inserts browser add-ons into every Web browser it hits.
Other unwanted add-ons will chew up your machine's CPU time mining bitcoins for the blokes in China.
I definitely would recommend TrueCrypt. For Android, I would look at luks manager and freeOTFE, as there is no TrueCrypt program available for Android, AFAIK. Another utility would be looking at EncFS type of apps which don't create one large encrypted file as a volume, but store stuff encrypted in a folder. Once the folder is mounted, stuff is read/written on the fly.
First rule about Facebook: Do not post anything there that you don't want your worst enemy or law enforcement to see.
A few years back, I was browsing a humidor while killing time waiting for others who were shopping. A friend snapped a pic of me there and tossed it onto Facebook. A week later, my health insurance company called and demanded I either take a physical or have status changed to a smoker.
Recently made diesels do not have the reliability of ones in the past, mainly due to emission standards. The particulate filters clog up, the DEF makes urea crystals, one is forced to use ultra-low sulfur diesel or else the engine will throw codes and go into limp home mode.
If this wasn't an issue, I'd probably go with the diesels, but with all the headaches reported with these new emissions requirements, I'd just go with a gasser. Less MPG, but fewer hassles. Plus, since a gasoline generator is smaller, quieter, and cheaper than a diesel generator, that is also a nice plus.
Not to say a diesel is great for MPG... but with all the added upkeep and things that can break added on these past few years, I get second thoughts of buying one.
If I built/bought a RV park in central Texas or on I-10, I'd probably be able to turn a profit. However, I know my limitations.
In a lot of areas, established parks got the land they were on when it was relatively cheap. They don't have to squeeze in customers, sardine style, in order to show a profit since the land was paid for long ago. Due to being grandfathered in, they usually don't have to make major expenditures to get up to code other an an occasional inspection. One big issue they face is Wi-Fi, and the cost of getting that up and running (which can be extreme if there is no useful upstream ISP.)
I've thought about combining things to help finance the RV park side. A motel comes to mind, provided there is separation between the two for security and noise reasons. Same with a storage facility (again separated from the RV park side by a high security, opaque fence for privacy reasons.)
There is a company called Nature's Head which makes RV composting toilets. Liquids go into a bottle, solids go into a bin "seeded" with peat moss. The main problem is finding a place to empty the bin, as well as the golden shower bottle.
For a dedicated boondocker, this wouldn't be a problem, as it is relatively little waste, and eventually the solids will compost. However, for someone at a CG, this can be a hassle because it requires getting one's hands dirty to empty out the bin.
Given the choice, I'd probably go for a vented cassette toilet. It carries 5-6 gallons at most, easily emptied down a toilet, and if one is boondocking where waste disposal is impossible, one can buy multiple cassettes to have on hand.
The only reason I would go for a 3000 watt model is the ease of mashing a button on a remote and having it start up. This way, you don't have to go out in the hot/cold/wet weather to start up two paired models.
Other than that, one can even pair three Honda eu2000i models with a Wise Sales kit. This will give enough energy to handle even a stubborn A/C that hits the generators with 60 or so locked rotor amps, or completely saturate a 30A connection even with starting loads.
That range, one ends up dealing with Ford two piece spark plug issues. Other than that, I don't really see any pitfalls in the drivetrain.
I'd say it depends on the individual unit. Leaks are common, so I'd check the unit (especially the cabover if it has one) with a fine tooth comb... if anything is found that looks/smells like water damage, walk.
I would personally lean towards the Winnebago or HR if all were equal, but that is mainly because of brand name.
As for the Rhino Lining, I talked with a salesperson at a nearby CW, and they find that if done right, the elastomer roofs actually live up to the hype of not needing anything other than an occasional inspection for tears or punctures from tree limbs or other things.
I just wish they offered that in my neck of the woods. It would be one of the first things I would do with a "C" after replacing the tank vents with ones with solar fans.
Malwarebytes is the only AV program I'd ever bother with other than MSE. It blocks via IP address (which helps with 0-days that other AV programs will not bother with.)
One recommendation I have is to use either a virtual machine utility (can be tough to get going if not familiar with it), or a sandbox program like sandboxie (easier to get set up, less protection.) Then do your Web browsing under that.
If you then get stung by CryptoLocker, if it is running in a VM, you are completely protected. You restore back to a known good snapshot before the infection took place, continue as before. If the Web browser is running under sandboxie, the ransomware will -think- it has encrypted everything, but in reality, every write and overwrite it has done is stored in a sandbox directory... so you have your original files untouched, and in the sandbox all the corrupted copies. Just stopping and deleting the sandbox will get rid of that mess.
I personally prefer using both a sandbox utility in a virtual machine, because it provides a pretty stiff barrier to getting infected, while not being a major inconvenience.
Of course, I always recommend backups. Mozy and an external HDD are OK, but best of all would be burning documents to a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray disk every so often. That way, they can't be tampered with.
I either use a VM and/or a sandbox program like sandboxie, with the sandbox being on another drive. This way, if a website misbehaves, it won't affect (or even worse, infect) my whole machine.
Some sites (rv.net), I leave open. Others (like some social networking sites), I close because they will cause the memory usage of the Web browser to balloon over time.
I would use what is comfortable.
For very security sensitive stuff, I like using a direct 3G/4G/LTE link. The blackhats with the equipment that can decrypt that have bigger fish to fry than my connections.
For a local Wi-fi connection, I fire up a VPN. This way if someone is listening in, they see my L2TP/PPTP/whatever packets going to and from the VPN, all encrypted, and that's it. They can kill or slow down the connection, but won't be able to use the info for anything.