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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > RV Type for large family (5 kids)?

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NE Ks

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Joined: 12/22/2012

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Posted: 12/22/12 07:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The wife and I are toying with the idea of an RV. We have four little children under 8, and the fifth will likely be born later on today. Our vacations to date have consisted of a two day drive to San Diego, Florida, or someplace with a beach for the kids to play on. The drive is stressful and renting a house for a week is expensive. This year we are going over spring break (third week of March) and are considering buying an RV or trailer to bring.

The budget is loosely $15k. The question revolves around having that many people sleeping. It's easy to get a bunkhouse model in fifth wheel or even bumper pull in our budget, but they all seem so cheap inside. Fifth wheels have the added problem of needing a second vehicle to drive for the rest of the family - we can't all fit in the truck. I'm not liking the bumper pull idea because a trip to the lake with the boat will require two vehicles with two trailers. The wife doesn't think that a class C will be big enough, and I can't find any bunkhouse class A's in our price range.

So we're looking at something along these lines:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-Winnebago-Adventurer-37-ft-/150967235141?pt=RVs_Campers&hash=item2326593245#v4-41

My biggest worry about this model is that once the kids wake up they are all up and grumpy. What kind of advice do you have?

pchartrand

Michigan

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Posted: 12/22/12 08:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To get a unit that does not look cheap inside, that also sleeps 5 children, and is in the 15k price range, think you need to look around for a good used unit. But cheap looking is totally in the eye of the beholder, so what seems cheap to you, may not be cheap to someone else.

That said, your only in the unit to sleep, so how important is it really to have a unit that's all decked out inside. And with 5 kids, anything nice today, may not be after a few years. Kids will be kids you know.

As far as advice on what to do with them in the morning when they are grumpy.....
1. Have morning snacks available for them, apples, oranges, bananas, etc...
2. I'm not a big fan of the tv being a babysitter, but sometimes mom and dad want to sleep in a little. Someone posted once aboud a DVD he purchased that was just full of all the loney tunes we all grew up with. Make it a special DVD that stays in the trailer and simply pop one in..and you get a little more Zzzzzzz. Time.

Pat


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Go Dogs

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Posted: 12/22/12 08:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A good option for families is a folding, or hybrid travel trailer. They can be pulled with a smaller vehicle, than bigger TTs. They are affordable, fun, and will give you a good idea about how you actually enjoy using an RV. It's not for everyone, and it's better to start with something affordable before taking the big $$ plunge.





downtheroad

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Posted: 12/22/12 08:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welcome to the Forum...camping/traveling with the family is a great idea and one that can build lasting memories.

5 kids and a $15 K budget is really going to limit your options mostly to a bunkhouse bumper pull. You will also have to take into account a tow vehicle that can carry your entire family AND handle a trailer big enough for everyone...taking the boat along really complicates it all.

Also, you mentioned that the vacation "drive is stressful and renting a house for a week is expensive."
Dealing with an RV may not may the drive less stressful and as most of us have found, RVing is not necessarily a less expensive way to vacation.

I realize that I have not painted a very positive picture. I am only giving you the facts from experience so that you know what you are getting into and so that you can realize that with your particular situation, you are going to have to make some COMPROMISES.
Good luck with it all.


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belairbrian

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Posted: 12/22/12 08:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No answers but a few questions to consider.
Are you planning to pull a toad or use the RV to get around?
What 7 passenger toad can you pull?
Bunkhouses give kids space to themselves on those rainy days.
Is your intent to launch a boat using the RV?

Personally I would consider a bunkhouse TT and a 3/4 ton based full size van.

As to quality, most companies have a wide range of quality from entry level to high end.

Does the 15k include purchasing a tow vehicle if needed?


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NE Ks

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Posted: 12/22/12 08:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have an excursion and F350 for tow vehicles. My plan would be to set the excursion up to be the toad. It's heavy and not ideal but it looks doable. I'm thinking that I'll convert it to a manual shift transfer case but it appears that there are multiple options there. The heavy toad seems to be another reason to do a class A - better able to handle the large vehicle.

No way is the wife going for a pop up or anything small.

My comment about driving was due to the fact that when we go we get up early and drive all day in order to get our full week use out of our vacation rental and usually only have nine days to spare. I'm thinking that a RV would allow more room, comfort, activities while driving, ability to carry food, etc. I'm sure driving would be more stressful than the excursion, but everything else seems like it would be more comfortable. Plus the mileage isn't that much worse than the excursion.

One of the problems that we have encountered making family plans is that hotels don't want to rent to people with five kids unless we get two rooms, and few hotels still do adjoining rooms. So the wife and I split up and basically have to go to bed at 8PM. The only way to get around this is to rent a house, but houses usually only rent by the week and some areas that we want to go to this really stresses the budget.

Estrogen Hostage

NE Ks

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Posted: 12/22/12 08:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oh - regarding the boat: it depends on where we go. For local places we'll probably just hook up the excursion and drive two vehicles. If we are going far away we would have to decide between the car and the boat. If we did take the boat I figure I'll hire the marina somewhere to launch the boat. Surely someone will do this for $20.

Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Posted: 12/22/12 09:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

downtheroad wrote:

Welcome to the Forum...camping/traveling with the family is a great idea and one that can build lasting memories.

5 kids and a $15 K budget is really going to limit your options mostly to a bunkhouse bumper pull. You will also have to take into account a tow vehicle that can carry your entire family AND handle a trailer big enough for everyone...taking the boat along really complicates it all.

Also, you mentioned that the vacation "drive is stressful and renting a house for a week is expensive."
Dealing with an RV may not may the drive less stressful and as most of us have found, RVing is not necessarily a less expensive way to vacation.

I realize that I have not painted a very positive picture. I am only giving you the facts from experience so that you know what you are getting into and so that you can realize that with your particular situation, you are going to have to make some COMPROMISES.
Good luck with it all.


Estrogen Hostage this post by downtheroad is the one you want to print out and tape on your bathroom mirror.

Kirk

Livingston, Texas.

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Posted: 12/22/12 10:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For the budget you have in mind, I suggest that you shop both the pop-ups and also look to the hybrid RVs. Both are pretty light and the money would get one that it fairly new.

If you buy something that is 15 years old you can expect to spend significant money in making it safe to take your family in. Tires on a motorhome should be no more than 5/7 years old and a new set of six will cost you at least $3K. The appliances at that age will be nearing the end of life as may be the air conditioners. Then you also need to think in terms of replacing all of the rubber belts, hoses, fuel & brake lines. I have owned motorhomes and find that once they get much past 10 years you begin to send a lot of time and money on maintenance and repairs.


Good travelin! ........Kirk
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URL: www.adventure.1tree.net


wintersun

Monterey

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Posted: 12/22/12 12:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With your RV considerations the primary issue is going to be sleeping space for two adults, 4 young children, and an infant. Maybe RV's should have bunk beds as an option or maybe you can modify one so that it does.

Think also about bad weather and having the 7 of you stuck inside all day. Not great in a house but awful stuck inside even a very large Class A motorhome.

Motorhome values decrease with age so you can get a 20 year old motorhome that is selling for very little. A neighbor bought a 22' Winnebago MH for $3,000 and spent another $2,000 replacing various things and now has a good rig for his needs. He and his wife will not be driving it across the country but they have no desire to go out for more than a week at a time anyway.

The few people I know with extremely large families have always tent camped. They get enough tents to allow separation for sleeping and pack everything on the roof rack for travel. With a co-worker who has 5 kids ages 5 to 17, he found his choice of a car in which they could all fit was limited to an older model of the Land Cruiser wagon or a van. With a van with an outside ladder and heavy duty roof rack and camping gear you would be able to travel economically and campsites do not usually charge per person.

Tents are also a way to expand the space for sleeping when staying at campgrounds. You could elect to put 2 or more of your children in the tent to sleep while you and your spouse and infant sleep inside the RV.

* This post was edited 01/04/13 09:04am by an administrator/moderator *

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