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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > New and female. Suggestions needed.

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Chanhassen, MN/Mesa, AZ

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Posted: 09/03/11 10:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Let's leave the Pit Bull debate to some other board, should we?

hohenwald48 wrote:

I thought a B+ was simply a C with no bed over the cab. Am I missing something?

But, the comment above is correct. A "B+" is merely a small C without a bed over the cab. A B is built on a vehicle that left the factory as a commercial van, while if it came out of the factory as a "cut-away," it is a Class C. (as defined by RVIA who sets the standards)

Back to the topic of Travelquest, who is selling her house (seems that decision is already made) and contemplating life of the road as a female on her own. Like others, I hope that you plan to still have a home base to come back to and to store your things - even if it is just a small rental apartment. Full-timing is not for everyone, and a home base is useful for insurance (health and vehicles), mail, and those dang tax laws.

As a single female who purchased her first RV a few years back in her mid-50s, I am a 4-5 months of a year snowbird. I started out in a standard B, but after 3 winters of living in it came to the realization that it was just too small and lacked features that I wanted (a larger fridge, separate shower, more usable galley). So, this year I have updated to a new small C - the Leisure Travel Libero. I had them do a couple small changes on the floor plan to meet my needs/wants and I will be testing it out this winter, if my life will only let me get to Minnesota to pick it up. I went from 19 feet to 25 feet.

Ask yourself how mechanical and handy you are. RVs can be temperamental... lots of things to break down. For the fellows who have the tools and know how, it is not as big of an issue. For most of us women, there are many things that we probably won't be able to deal with. This is important in your decision on new or used - if used, how old. I chose to stick with new and have a good service back-up (Coach-net/Good Sam).

The suggestion to try renting first is a great idea. It helps you to figure out what you want and what you need... and how much you need it. Visit some dealerships and tour the different small units. Local RV shows are great for checking things out. Surf through the various model websites and do a search here to see the pros and cons of the different manufacturers. Doing the research can take a long time, but it is a significant investment.

This board was invaluable to me for help with my decisions and questions. RVers in general are helpful people. I have found little danger in traveling alone as a woman (with no dog... maybe someday) with just the use of common sense. If something doesn't feel right, you jump in the driver's seat and move on.

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Posted: 09/03/11 10:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As others have suggested, you may wish to check out a Class C or even a small class A. I think you may find them to be less costly (there are just plain more of them) to purchase and may feel a little more traditional in that they would have a very small apartment feel in the layout. Another thought, if possible, find some kind of transportation you can take with you. Towing a car is usually the preferred method, but a scooter or even a bicycle (check out those with an electric assist motor to greatly expand your range and reduce the effort) will greatly improve the quality of your experience. . It is a pain to have to completely unhook and pack up your home every time you need to go a couple of miles for something. With a C or an A, a towable car can be purchased for probably less than $3,000 and it would cost around $1,000 to get it configured to tow including wiring, tow bar and tow plates. You may even be able to find one ready to go with some internet research. It would greatly expand your range, and maybe even save a few dollars on daily costs since you would have a much greater variety of camping spots to chose from if you didn't need to be within walking distance of everything. Good luck.

joe b.


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Posted: 09/03/11 11:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To me, a lot of RV self maintenance, is knowing what you can handle and when it is time to take the RV to a professional. In our society, most boys are encouraged, at a young age, to get involved in learning about "maintenance" in general. Most girls are not. Not always true, as my 34 year old daughter is very accomplished at mechanical work.
Much of the cost of RV ownership, in my experience, is based upon how much of the work I can do myself. If a person has to pay to have minor work done, such as changing electric switches, cabinet repairs, trouble shooting electrical problems, etc. it can get very expensive. One solo female RVer that I know, took a couple of vehicle and household, general maintenance classes at her near by community college before heading out on the road. She is just as capable as most men, in fixing her own RV problems and understanding the problems if she decides to take it in to a shop.
As a former law enforcement officer, I would suspect that single women RVers are probably safer than are single men RVers. Women, in general, IMHO, are not as trusting as are many men. Men like to think they can take care of "any" problem that comes their way. Most women, tend to keep an eye out for problems better, and figure out, in advance, how to deal with the potential problem.
Many campgrounds prohibit some of the more aggressive breeds of dogs from staying on their property. And with good reasons, most of the time. A dog along as a companion and as an alarm system, is great, but a guard dog is not. I often travel with my Snoopy dog (a beagle) and he fits in very well to camping. I don't have to worry, when I am walking him on his leash, and hear a noise behind me. Often times it is a 3 year old with her arms wrapped around him giving and receiving kisses. His breed has historically been bred and raised to be social with both people and other animals. (except rabbits and foxes, LOL) The same as labradors, retrievers, etc. have been.

joe b.
Stuart Florida
Formerly of Colorado and Alaska
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Posted: 09/03/11 10:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go to a thrift shop and buy an aluminum cane. Remove the rubber tip and if you point the thing at a perp it will look like a 12 gauge shotgun and send him or her running. Actually I prefer the real thing.



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Posted: 09/04/11 12:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

joe b. wrote:

A dog along as a companion and as an alarm system, is great, but a guard dog is not. I often travel with my Snoopy dog (a beagle) and he fits in very well to camping. I don't have to worry, when I am walking him on his leash, and hear a noise behind me. Often times it is a 3 year old with her arms wrapped around him giving and receiving kisses. His breed has historically been bred and raised to be social with both people and other animals. (except rabbits and foxes, LOL) The same as labradors, retrievers, etc. have been.

This brings back memories, most good, of a pedigree Beagle I once had. He lived to chase rabbits and was good at it but he had a not too friendly disposition. He bit or tried to bite more people than our Pit even looked sideways at. I would of never let a kid hug him. As mentioned, I think it's the personality of the dog and/or it's environment rather than the breed. A relation's Cocker Spaniel tried to take a chunk out of me. I understand why some folks who never owned one doesn't like or trust Pit Bulls because of the bad press they get, but the media, other than that of rescue groups never tell about the good Pits. There is good and bad in both dogs and people....... IMO ....

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Posted: 09/04/11 09:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm thinking you want a B+ because you don't plan to sleep in an overhead bed. They MIGHT have a little better mileage due to less surface cutting into the air, and they sometimes have a seamless cap over the whole front which is a benefit for simplifying maintenance to avoid leaks in that area. So a B+ does make sense for your plans.
A small A might have much more storage space for being on the road for long periods of time. I really like those short ones that are 30' or less and these models seem to be more common in older rv's. But I would not be interested in anything longer since many parks limit the size of rigs to about 30'. I think the mileage though would be lower due to the larger front surface area.
The smaller the rig, the less you need a toad. If you are thinking the size of the Phoenix Cruiser, about 24' or less, then I don't think you would need a toad at least not until you had some experience and decided based on your own needs and preferences.
If you want to be on the road most of the time, smaller is probably better, if you want to park someplace for months at a time, bigger might be better. Priorities might change over time too. Hope you enjoy whatever you find. This is such an amazing land--traveling it long term would be grand!

We're hooked!
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Posted: 09/04/11 10:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tiger4x4RV wrote:

A couple of bits of advice:

RV life is not free of charge. You will have fuel and maintenance and registration and insurance costs on the vehicle and probably costs for places to overnight. Yes, you can read blogs and such by RVers who never pay to park, but I'm not sure that sort of life is for a beginner. You need to ease into this.

YUP! Nothing is for free! [emoticon]
I suggest you go over to the full timers forum and read the stickey's on what it $$costs$$ to full time. It is NOT cheap as many seem to dream it is and it is not meant to jump into without savings and planning. How much profit will you net from selling your house? Will you have a monthly income from SS or pension? Most full timers will tell you it costs around $3,000 per month. Sounds like a lot but that's only 36,000 a year which is considerably less than if you had a home, etc. but its still money you need to have to be on the road full time.

State Parks have a 14 day rule where you have to leave every 14 days. And I just heard that BLM now has a limited stay too. So the days of living off the land for free are long gone.[emoticon]

IMHO, JMHO my advice would be to look at your finance's available to you long term 'before' you think of what type of RV you want.
Good luck on your endeavors.[emoticon]

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.


Billings, MT

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Posted: 09/04/11 01:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"I would however, keep to the newer rigs to avoid some of the problems that come with aging systems."

I'm not so sure that is a valid comment. I see a lot of people on these forums that have "newer" (and even NEW) rigs who have many more problems than I have ever had with my older ones.
My 1995 Tioga has been fairly trouble free (well, OK, I did have to have the air conditioning clutch replaced, and then there is the on-going "hot fuel" problem that seems to be endemic to the Ford 460).
Another advantage to older rigs, at least in Montana, is the permanent registration for any vehicle over 10 years old. It is great not having to worry about renewing the registration. Not EVER!
A good used rig can be a wonderful thing. A bad rig, new OR used, is a total pain!

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Gene in NE


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Posted: 09/04/11 02:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TravelQuest - There have been many posts with great information.

Several years back, I read a gentlemen's post that discussed full-timing. His advice was to think about three things.

1. What to do when easing into full-timing.
2. What to do to stay in full-timing.
3. What to do to get back out of full-timing.

Each one of the above is important to answer. Too many jump into the first and then flounder around. Wish I could find the post because it made a lot of sense.

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Posted: 09/04/11 03:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All good advice, but one thing I didn't notice and we've done, is to buy a used rig from a reputable dealer, and buy the biggest, most expensive extended warranty they offer. They're several thousand dollars but every one we've purchased has paid for itself within a couple years, if not sooner.

One other thing--advantage to a class A is towing a vehicle. If you do break down--a rare occurrence, so don't be put off--you have a spare vehicle to use.

Best of luck. The learning curve can seem steep, but it's fairly short. Many, many people have done it, and I expect you won't regret the life.

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