Wow, thanks for all the good responses -- lots of useful info there! I'll try to add a few comments/clarifications:
- Good tip about Kingman -- we've driven through and/or by there a few times, but haven't really checked it out. Will have to do that.
- We're not really interested in Yuma -- too far south and close to the border for us.
- We live in Delaware, and love it here, but our favorite places to travel are in the West. We'd like to be able to spend several months in the Southwest in the winter, as well as explore the Rockies, Pacific Northwest, etc. in the summers. Having made multiple trips west in the last few years, we're thinking in terms of establishing a "base of operations" from which we can explore, and where we can put our feet up between trips in the area. Some place like Salt Lake City would be more central, but too cold in the winter, so we've looked at places like St. George, Las Vegas, etc. We've found homes with RV garages in various places, but none that we like (or can afford) as well as the BHC area. The one development we actually have our eye on is Valley View at Sunrise Hills, in Fort Mohave. Each home there has an RV garage plus an RV pad alongside, so friends can join you.
- Interesting point about doctors. We try to keep our routine appointments at home in Delaware, but need to consider unplanned medical needs as well. I did see a newish hospital, Valley View Medical Center, in Fort Mohave.
- We stayed at Vista del Sol the first week of March. Know what you mean about the wind up on that bluff! Saw their "houses" too ... double-wides rolled into place and plastered over with stucco. Not for us.
Thanks again to all. Nutinelse2do, I'll PM you.
Not sure where to put this, so I'll try here. On a six-week swing through the Southwest, we spent a week in the Laughlin NV/Bullhead City AZ area. We really liked the area -- relatively quiet, but reasonable proximity to a lot of places we like to go (Vegas, Grand Canyon, Sedona, southern California, southern Utah, etc.). Apparently lots of snowbirds must feel the same way, since there are RV parks everywhere, mostly full.
What caught our attention was that several local builders there are marketing smallish homes (1000-2000 square feet) with good-size RV garages (50-foot-plus long, with 12x14 or larger doors). In the past, we've considered buying a slab in a nice RV resort, but by the time you add improvements, you can go well into six figures. For a little over $200k (yeah, I know that's not pocket change) we can have a real second home with room for guests and a garage where we can safely leave our coach between trips if we want. And if and when we can't use it, it looks like the rental market would be good.
So my questions are: does anyone have any knowledge of that area, good or bad, to share? And does anyone know of similar opportunities elsewhere? (We saw some in Lake Havasu City, but that's just too crowded and pricey for us.)
You've got the right idea on the first part of your route. However you leave Delaware or Assateague, you'll find your way to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Routes 50/301. On the other (west) side of the bay, you'll stay on 50 to I-97 north, to MD 32 west. As you said, that will take to to I-70 at West Friendship. (It's the easiest way in an RV, trust me, I've tried every route.)
From there, you could stay on I-70 the whole way to St. Louis if you want, though I prefer to get on I-68 at Hancock, MD, then I-79 north at Morgantown, WV, back to I-70 in PA. (Avoids the PA Turnpike.) As you say, you could do Rocky Gap in MD, or (my preference) Deep Creek Lake (stay in the state park campground). The rest of I-70 isn't very scenic, though there's the Columbus Zoo and the museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, for starters.
An alternative we've tried is to take I-79 south instead at Morgantown, then pick up I-64 west at Charleston, WV. A much prettier route, to me, though it takes a bit longer.
Good luck, and enjoy the trip!
Make sure you check the routes you plan to take ahead of time. There are a number of restrictions, mostly based on size. If I recall correctly, you can't drive a motorhome that size in D.C. at all (not that you'd want to). You also can't drive on the George Washington Parkway along the Virginia side of the Potomac (low underpasses), nor through the interstate tunnels under Baltimore Harbor if you have propane (though I heard this might have changed).
Keep in mind a lot of sellers and dealers of used DPs like to use MSRP as an original starting point. From what I've seen poking around, the actual sale price is substantially below that. It seems paying somewhat around 70% of MSRP is common for a new DP.
Yup -- I was going to say the same thing. It's easy to get 25-35% off a new RV, so any depreciation has to start from there. But as others have said, what's the point? Buying or selling, the used value is whatever the market will bear.