You've come to a really good source of info, and can use the search feature, too, for destination/campground suggestions, or random questions that pop into your mind.
It's also good that you have lots of time for research and trying out ideas before buying. If possible go camping with a friend or rent an RV for a week to do a hands-on tryout.
I've met many singles and couples who full-timed in Class B camper vans with their bikes racked on the back. Bs are very pricey new but have good re-sale value, and there are more used ones out there now that they have gained a lot of popularity. The advantage is you can always find a place to camp, and your RV doubles as your vehicle when you want to get groceries or see the sights (with all your stuff handy). Fuel mileage is far better than other RV options. We loved our diesel class B.
You mentioned the Southwest, and that was our first long trip after getting an RV. It's still my favorite area in the US. Buy the AAA Indian Country Guide Map online - it's a great reference map for the Four Corners area. Plan to take the free tour of Crow Canyon Archeological Center near Mesa Verde NP (or better yet, do their full day class or longer) to learn about the area - it gives you insight into the whole region's ancestral puebloan sites like Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Aztec Ruins, Mesa Verde, Hovenweep, Canyons of the Ancients, etc.
And then there are Utah's fantastic National and State Parks. You'll have a great time exploring!
We also enjoyed the Downtown Riverside park owned by the city. Passport America sites were against the wall, so we paid the usual fare to have a riverfront site and it was worth it. Really interesting view, day or night.
If you stay there, use the Campground's directions, not GPS. I recall It's a little tricky getting down to the riverfront access from the highway above.
Nice! I'll have to give that a whirl. I'll admit I do fire up the generator just to use the Keurig, but I'm willing to try new things
Have you tried the funnel system using those little Keurig doo-hickeys?..just punch holes in the top and bottom and hold over the cup with tongs? Might be tricky, though.
Florida SPs vary by location - in the Keys sites can cost twice as much ($36) as those in northern areas away from the coast or attractions ($18)..
Haven't seen site prices vary within a SP or other public campground for a premium location so far, but private parks usually charge more for sites on the water and less for those noisy sites right by the highway. So it's not surprising state officials are looking at marketing their wares as if they were privately owned.
Great video! Brief and to the point.
Same procedure, a Plan B power-free adaptation of existing Plan A system (no funnel required):
1. Set up the Mister Coffee with filter as usual and leave the top open.
2. Boil the usual quantity of water in a saucepan on the RV propane cooktop.
3. Pour boiling water over the grounds gradually until all water used.
4. Drink coffee after it finishes dripping into pot. Repeat as necessary.
Generators are great for recharging electronics in the 120 house outlets, running the A/C for a while, or cooking with the microwave. And yes, for coffee, unless you wake up way before "generator hours" in some locations, and then we've successfully used Plan B (see above.)
We take I-81 north to Scranton PA, then I-84 east into New England.
I start heading north around the Hartford CT area. I don't go anywhere near Boston MA.
Same here - I go west from D.C. To I-81 and then 84. There's an outer loop around Boston which bypasses the city and then we get back on 95 N. Once in Maine, I planned our first trip on Route 1 to see as many lighthouses as possible, starting with the Nubble at Cape Neddick. We had a great couple of weeks on the Maine coast and loved every minute.
Any horseflies on the beach or is the wind keeping them away? Decades ago, we used to anchor our little boat in the bay and carry a picnic over to the beach. Often saw the wild horses and felt the bites of those monster flies which actually drew blood.
If I remember correctly, the 2500 engine T1N Sprinter could tow up to 5,000 lbs., according to Mercedes and the van converters, and I've seen some towing small cars or trailers for sports gear like kayaks. So I don't think that's a negative.
To me, towing detracts from the car-like qualities of a Class B, but it does provide the flexibility of the option, should you need to tow sometime. So that's a positive.
It's OK that my relatives don't get it - because I don't get why one of them would fly cross country to Yellowstone for a one-day tour and then leave.
These are retired people with no time, health or money constraints, who could check into the Old Faithful Inn for a week, drive all over on their own and really enjoy the place in depth. Or buy the most expensive, nicest of RVs with all the bells and whistles if they chose, and enjoy all of America's fabulous National Parks.
Or worse than that, I have friends with the same financial and time freedom who travel all over the world but have never BEEN to Yellowstone, or to Utah's NPs either. They don't know what they are missing.
But then again, neither one of my brothers or those friends can or will screw in a new lightbulb. I think if you are mechanically inclined, enjoy tinkering and know how to fix things you are more likely to enjoy owning an RV.
Last month we ttook I-10 west and, if memory serves, to 110 South which easily led to Hwy 98 south across the long bridge to Gulf Breeze. Then crossed the second shorter Pensacola Beach Road bridge to Santa Rosa island and turned right to the campground.Very straightforward.
Enjoy! When you drive toward the campground, it's amazing how flat and close to the Gulf you are. Feels like driving In the ocean. Easy to see why that road has to close during heavy rain and rising water from both sides.
We liked Creekwood Farm RV in Waynesville, NC, stayed there twice. Sites by the creek are really nice, and I liked the atmosphere. Close to entrance to the national park and to Maggie Valley. The little town of Waynesville is fun to visit, too.
For Quebec City, we stayed a few nights across the river in the town of Levis at Camping Transit last June. We were very happy with the very well-managed place.
They offer a free shuttle both ways to the nearby ferry terminal (or you can drive there and park), where you can board the frequent departures for a quick and very pleasant ride across the mighty St. Lawrence which arrives at the heart of the charming lower town of the old city. (Saves trying to navigate and park on the old, winding cobblestone streets.)
Great photo ops approaching the famous Chateau Frontenac hotel that dominates the waterfront. You can just spend hours walking all around the historic area, then take the funicular car to the upper town and do more. Lots of nice shops and restaurants, very visitor-friendly but without any overly tacky tourist junk.
It's quite a lovely place to visit and we will return.
One final thought... don't worry about being clueless because just about everybody on this forum started from that point.
I think you really learn by doing. When you buy a used one from a friendly owner or maybe a service-oriented dealer, be sure you get a thorough walk-through where you get hands-on time to turn things on and off. Learn as much as you can about how RV batteries & electrical systems work. Also the fresh water and waste water systems. Read the B manufacturer's manual (you can usually download for your model year from the website).
There will be lots of things you want to know about your model, like:
- how much do my tanks hold and how long can I go without dumping? (The gauges are notoriously unreliable.)
-How do I dump - in other words, how to open and close the holding tank valves for dumping. Does it have a macerator and/or a gravity system?
- what systems are powered by only 120 power or the generator? What runs on propane? What runs on 12-volt from the "house" battery or batteries?
-Where's the propane tank and how do I refill it?
- how tall the RV is (before going under a low bridge - more of a problem for bigger RVs, but remember that you have an air conditioner unit on top).
-What needs servicing and how often? When was it last done?
People here often suggest that before making a trip, try camping in your driveway or a nearby campground to figure out what you know or don't know.
You can also attend owners' rally groups and meet people who will be glad to share their knowledge. And there are online forums where you can ask questions.
I agree about RV Park Reviews, by the way, as a good source of campground info. You can also use the AllStays camping app.
Besides commercial RV parks or national and state park campgrounds, you may want to try camping on public lands - National Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, etc have some beautiful places, many with water and electricity. They have a mandate to include recreational facilities for projects like dams, etc. There typically will be a sanitary dump station for emptying your black and gray water holding tanks.
Another good app for RVing is Gas Buddy for finding the lowest price fuel on the road ahead.
We also owned and loved a 2007 Leisure Free Spirit 210B. (Would still be using it but a large Labrador service dog joined the family, and we needed more room for her to sleep somewhere without worrying about stepping on her in the dark.) We traded it in last year and got a much higher than expected trade-in value for it.
All the brands you mentioned made/make quality products. I don't think you'll go wrong with any of them.
One thing to know, if you don't already, when shopping used diesel models is that a T1N generation Sprinter (up until about the year 2006) on a 2500 chassis can easily get between 18 and 25 mpg. After about 50,000 miles, ours started getting 25 most of the time. We had a Freightliner badge on the grill, others had Dodge, others might have had a Mercedes badge. Regardless, they were all Mercedes products marketed in the US.
We put about 10,000 miles on it every year and really saw a lot of the U.S. And Canada, staying one to five nights in each place. The set-up and departure time was very minimal (usually just plugging in/unplugging the power cord if in a campground with electricity). That made it so easy to run around sightseeing, go somewhere to eat, buy groceries, etc. without the need for a second vehicle. And parking was easy just about anywhere except garages with low ceilings. Very easy to fit into campsites.
Another thing to look for IMHO is a three-way fridge. 120 when you are plugged into a campsite, 12 volt while driving, and gas (propane) when you stop for sightseeing or don't have hookups. Doesn't use much gas. We had a propane generator, too, which was handy.
Layout is a personal choice, but I liked the open feeling of our model, with high cabinets all around so I could be sitting in bed at the back and see straight through the windshield in the front. It had the bathroom behind the drivers' seat, and the galley on the passenger side. I've seen some Bs that had low-hanging cabinets that made me a little claustrophobic.
I'd buy another B in a heartbeat.
It's an equal opportunity crime -- there are folks of all backgrounds who are trashing our public lands....
The question is what to do about it when you see it, and the answer is easy -- contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and do not try to solve the problem yourself. Lots of these folks are armed.
Good advice, and the rangers take this seriously. Unfortunately they can't fix stupid. Seems like every year, there's another home-grown vandal caught on public lands. A guy from North Carolina paid a $10,000 fine to cover restoration costs after he scratched his own name into a rock panel of ancient art in Glen Canyon. He told the ranger he thought it would be "cool" when he was caught before he even got off the river. Then there were those ex-Scout leaders who knocked over the rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park a few years ago and videotaped themselves doing it - sentenced to probation and fined.
Not saying the poster is biased.
The linked Washington Examiner, however, is a conservative political website which runs articles like this one by the "Washington Secrets" writer in support of particular agendas. A recurring theme is the need for construction of a wall on the border with Mexico.