We put at least 3X more miles on our Jeep than we do our coach. The advantages of having a Wrangler far outweigh any inconveniences for us. If we didn't/couldn't get a Wrangler, our second choice would definitely be the new Cherokee, though I much prefer the old ones.
Ours is located under our bedroom but not under the bed; it is under the dressers. while I occasionally lay in bed with it running, I would never sleep with it running. And typically, I am running it for the a/c, which drowns out the sound.
I used to live on the east side of the beltway and often traveled to Shenandoah - about the same trip you are contemplating. Make the trip any day except Friday - 66W on Fridays, unless it is before noon, is a nightmare. Any other day, hit 66W before 3PM.
If you cross the Bay Bridge to Annapolis around noon, you will do fine. The 'slalom,' the area of the beltway between College Park and the Mormon Temple, is a pain when busy but should be no problem before 3PM. People do drive it fast so stay aware.
It really isn't as bad as people make it out to be. The above advice of traveling between 10AM and 2PM is good.
Oh, if it is raining or snowing or a full moon, all bets are off.
If you can still return it, swap it for a Pathway X2. It has a larger dish and can pick up one of two sets of satellites (eastern arc and western arc). We have put the X2 right next to our rv roof mounted dish and found that it will pick up satellites in locations the roof mount won't.
We wanted to buy one. We were about to sign on the dotted line when I took a last minute check of the cargo capacity. It was ridiculously low. We figured we could get around the tow capacity of 3500 lbs, but we could not keep the cargo capacity that low (if I remember correctly, it was 1200-1500 lbs. before water and propane and people were added). Beautiful coach with the exact layout and length we wanted. We just couldn't put anything in it but water, propane, and people.
If you go online to the reservation site a couple of times a week beginning in April, you can pick up sites pretty easily as people cancel their plans. When we lived in MD, we went to Assateague about a dozen times a year. Rarely did we reserve a site more than a couple months in advance, just picked up the cancellations of others.
The same holds true for the keys. We were just there a few weeks ago, with someone else's 9 day cancellation I found the month before...
If in a squishy rv park, we spend more time inside when at the campground.
If in a large spacious public campground, we spend more time outside when at the campground.
The amount of time we spend outside is directly proportional to the amount of space we have outside.
Also, we fulltime. We have to spend time cleaning, paying bills etc. Since we fulltime, inevitably, it is done at a campground, typically ones with very small outside spaces like the one we are in now.
On a separate issue, the rear living room is great to have on cold and/or rainy days. You have a big picture window and, if you have a site with a great rear view, the window is worth it. We have had a rear bath and a rear living; we really preferred the rear living if just for that window.
I will note, if only from experience, that the tv position in all the lay outs you mention is awkward. But, if you don't camp often in the rain, it shouldn't be much of a problem.
We have no experience with Heartland but we did have a Jayco and would recommend their tts to anyone.
2 verizon smart phones, unlimited data: $160/mo.
Tethered to laptops for internet/movies: one time charge of $9.99 for EasyTether
Dish TV w/2 receivers: $47/mo first year, $95/mo. second year.
This covers everything we need. Our tethered cell phones are typically faster than the wifi we come across so we rarely use campground or other wifi.
We had a white trailer once. It was gawdawful to keep clean.
Our next trailer had brown on the bottom and white on the top, front and back. You could see every bug smashed into the cap and we had to clean the front a lot. The bottom wasn't so bad - the brown hid the road dirt.
Our class A is black, brown, and beige with swirls. We can go a few weeks cleaning nothing more than the windshield. It gets just as dirty, but you can't see it with all the swirl action going on.
The swirls are obnoxious, but they save a lot of cleaning time. And I rarely look at the outside anyway.
I was the one that posted about the gas MH. We needed to be able to tow our Tahoe to fit all 5 - 6 people and gear in for side trips. No gas MH can do that except a very few Class C units. But with the Class C units you have major issues with GVWR and GAWR. Our unit had ~1800# of gross CCC not including water! Add water, additional fuel, people and now you are stuck with closer to ~500# of payload. You need to be very careful not to overload any part of the unit or poor handling can result.
I'd be surprised if you could find a gas C that could tow that. We looked at Super Cs first - diesel - and they had the capacity (10K lbs.) But they were either too long or poorly constructed.
There really isn't the perfect RV out there.
If you are only taking a weekend I would go to the beach - Assateague State Park in Maryland has electric and the beach is pretty nice. It is not too far outside Ocean City for something to do if it rains. There is also Frontier Town (http://www.frontiertown.com/) a private campground in the area with full hook-ups.
We went from a diesel F250 pulling a trailer to a Bounder 33C pulling a jeep.
The road and engine noise is similar is both. When one is going uphill and the engine downshifts, either is pretty loud. The F250 had more power, but it wasn't pulling as much weight. The F250 got better mileage, but the fuel was more expensive. And, with the Jeep, we get better mileage and much easier parking once we get where we are going.
We went to a class A because it was more convenient. We can unhook the toad any time we want and go looking around an area without having to find a campground. Unless one finds a convenient place that allows one to leave an unhooked tt/5er, it can't be done. We are also a couple feet shorter when hooked up but, if necessary, we can unhook to become shorter which makes it much easier to get around. We often stay in areas where the recommendation is nothing longer than 35'. Sometimes there just isn't room to maneuver 54' but there is to maneuver 34'.
One poster mentioned not enough payload. In our 33C, we have 3500 lbs of payload. We haven't even come close to that yet and we full time.
It was also mentioned that the gas engines are noisy but we haven't really seen that - we previously had a diesel so that may be why. We looked at DPs but one of the things I found really annoying was the loud generator. They sit up front and, when one is parked and using the generator, make conversation difficult. The generator in a gas A is in the rear - we can close the bedroom door and don't hear it hardly at all.
I'm not sure how passengers in a truck would easily go to the bathroom while moving, unless you keep them in the 5er? But, even with a class A, you have to pull over if the driver has to go.
We have a little less storage inside our Class A than we did in our tt (there is no cabinet big enough to hold my crock pot and giant frying pan). But, we have about 4X the storage outside, and it is much easier to get to. Instead of 2 doors we now have 8. We also have a lot more room for batteries for our solar power system.
The front windshield is nice - we can pull into a site with a nice view in the back (such as Bahia Honda) or back into a site with a nice view in front. With a tt/5er, one doesn't have a choice. But, the front windshield does make the rig hotter when driving into the sun. The a/c and fans do an adequate job keeping up on really hot drives.
As for setting up: we can pull over in a fairly flat spot, turn on the generator to watch a little tv or use the microwave, eat, sleep, whatever, without having to level, move the slides out, hook up, or leave the rv at all. And we have done just that during huge downpours or just because we felt like it.
Class A motorhomes are more centered around moving and less around stopping. TTs/5ers are better when stopping and less when moving. It really depends on how you travel. Neither is better than the other but you will find one will be better for you.
I grew up in DC. We went to the mall for fireworks every year because we could walk home.
The metro will take hours and be unbelievably crowded.
The same happens on the water only it is more dangerous because they are also drinking.
If I were to do the mall now (I no longer have a house there), I would rent a hotel room within walking distance. I don't know though, if your six year old is up for it - a really long day with a lot of walking. And it is usually gawdawful hot.
NO place to put them.People would put them in a garbage can if there was one around.
I put them in a used grocery store bag and throw the bag in the back of the truck until I find a garbage dump.
See, there was a place to put them.
Just an FYI, prospecting in the San Gabriels is illegal. The designation of the monument doesn't change that.
Hunting is currently allowed in many National Monuments. I really think you are confusing National Monuments with National Parks. Hunting is also allowed in wilderness areas unless they are in National Parks. Again, I think you are confusing National Monuments with National Parks.
As for sidewalks, are they there now? Getting National Monument status may actually improve the chances of there being accessible facilities in the future.
If you want to blame a president on the current use of Monument status, make it Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.
And Jimmy Carter designated 56 million acres (not 50,000).
If you go a little further south you can try Wanee Lake Golf and RV Resort.
We just spent 4 nights there. Nice, quiet, PA rates, nice golf course, food if you don't feel like cooking, a clubhouse with a bar and a pool. Very nice friendly owners.
When you leave, you can stop at Carrolls Sausage and Country Store.Really good sausage and bacon.
If you stick to public parks (COE, Fed, State, County, etc.) you will rarely find permanent residents (there are exceptions). There will also be larger sites, though often without sewer and sometimes water or electric. There will often be wonderful walking areas and hiking trails, but much less often, pools and mini golf.
USCampgrounds.info is one of the most comprehensive sites listing public campgrounds. One can also check Reserveamerica.com, which will list many public sites.
RVparkreviews is a good resource but don't rely on the ratings. Many people will mark a campground down 3-5 points for not having a sewer at their site, or not having a swimming pool, or wifi, or cable tv. Read the reviews themselves to get a better feel of the campground.