I've been driving the SoCal area for over 30 years in motorhomes. Only once, on Pearblosom with a 50 plus mph headwind did I really have a problem with the awning starting to pull. The general rule is just slow down. Sometimes in high winds around Riverside we have had to drop our speed to 40mph to be comfortable, but typically, just slowing down permits you to regain full, comfortable control.
If it is a leasurely trip, then right up the 101, First stop Paso Robles, Vines RV Park is lovely, then past Carmel to Moss Landing KOA, a great base camp for the penninsular, or Santa Cruz KOA which is larger and more family oriented. Keep heading north over the Golden Gate to Petaluma KOA, a great basecamp for the San Francisco area.
The whole route is less than 400 miles, guessing about 380, so you could do it in a long day. I have a few times in the MH. I prefer to make at least one stop, but there is plenty to see making it a week long drive. Wine tasting, the aquarium, shopping, if you have a tow car you can take a day trip from Paso Robles through Morro Bay and up Highway-1 through Big Sur. Don't do this in the motorhome. I have, it is shear cliff dropoffs, two lanes, very twisty, and traffic coming at you on turns so tight you can see your own tail-lights.
But some of California's most beautiful seashore, and not a long drive in the car. Also the 17 Mile Drive in Carmel is a beautiful day drive in the car.
Boring!! Two of our children graduated Sac State, and we have friends in Herrold. We make the trip a lot. Since I keep my speed between 55 and 60 traffic is not a problem, they pass me, I do not have to pass anything. I-5 has by far less merging traffic, so it is an easer drive, as you only have to set your cruise control and sit in the right lane. Harris Ranch is the 1/2 way point, with a lovely restaurant, nice grassy areas, and rather expensive, both for food and fuel. I usually fuel up at the 76 station at the Highway 12 exit. Same exit as Flying J but the 76 actually have a nicer access and egress. I-5 also has newer, more frequent rest areas. Sometimes we take the 99 just for a change in scenery, or when construction is in progress on the I-5.
If they have title they have ownership. Will they maintain insurance for fire, theft, liability in your name. Will they be offering you a contract against the company assets and their personal assets? What happens if the MH does not sell for the agreed price? If their concern is your availability to conclude the sale then arrange for an Escrow or have the title held at a bank. Come to think about it: What if you didn't have the title and the title was held by the bank, would you be expected to pay off the loan before they would accept consighment?
Sounds fishy to me.
I try not to mention that I am a Pharmacist.:B
Sometimes health issue conversations are relevant, but usually I try to keep the conversation on Nature or Rving. My parents always sayed to keep the conversation away from sex, money, and raising children.
When in a conversation, a person found out that a doctor friend was an MD, they would often try to ask medical question. His reply was often: Come step into this room and take off all your clothing for me.:B It usually ended the conversation.
Petaluma KOA is a wonderful lovely park, a real gem of a KOA. Paved roads, large shade trees, activities for the family, good base camp location for San Francisco.
That makes it a bit of a drive to Napa. We recently stayed at the Vineyard RV Park in Vacaville. I would and will stay there again when we visit friends in the are. It is gravel and dirt, shaded, quiet, very friendly, but rather rustic (nice word for older but pleasant). There is a newer section that was just being opened when we were there with fully paved roads, rocky gravel pads, lovely with less shade. The staff was pleasant, and I really have nothing negative to add. Just not a Resort. Very near UC Davis, and much closer to Napa, making it a good basecamp. Good Restraunts an Shopping about a mile away at NutTree.
I would always purchase an extended warranty. JMHO
I purchased my current warranty from www.Wholesalewarranties.net
They offer a variety of plans, and when I had a claim they acted as an agent and helped me process the claim and followed the claim through to satisfaction.
I'm surprised you could even get a site. We have tried many times over the last couple of years and there has never been anything avalable for our size. It is a lovely park but it is also a shareholders park, they get first choice, and reservations can be made years in advance. It is a problem.
I started with AAA when I was 16 and earned my drivers license. They have for years given me excellent service when needed, and with my family growing and learning to drive they were needed many times. I left AAA 2 years ago after 3 family experiences similar to yours. Tow truck taking car to a safe location, then coming back in 2 hours to take us to a repair location...now closed so repairs had to wait till Monday. Not even offering to call a truck when son had a trailer but did not have the RV upgrade on his card...he would have paid, but they would not even make the call. Messing up the reservations for our trip when we traveled to Hawaii. Gave up, joined CoachNet. Sadly they were not able to find a service person on Highway 1 in Washington near Port Angeles on a weekday in the morning. They could not send a truck until the following day. We found our own help and just paid out of pocket. I now have Good Sam. We used them once for a flat tire on our family car. Slow response but very pleasant and all ended well....it took 45 minutes to reach us in a large community just outside of Los Angeles. But they came, and changed the tire.
I truly hope I, and you, never have to call ERS for our RVs. Not that I don't think they will help...I just don't want to be in position to have to call ERS.
As mentioned it ties all the batteries together to give you an extra boost in starting the engine. It can also be used as a boost to start the Generator if the house batteries are low.
That switch saved my behind more than just a few times.
Try www.Rockler.com : I use them for my woodworking hobby. They have various piston type mechanisms used to keep toy chest lids from falling...they my be able to keep the doors open too. The phone people at Rockler are pretty helpful.
A close friend who we travel with often has a 2005 34ft Dolphin on the Workhorse frame. He is very pleased with his MH, travels with it often, and has had no significant problems. Sure, the dash air needed service, he had it detailed and the decals removed and replaced with paint, he replaced the front TV with a digital flatscreen, and he has a Banks power pack. I don't see that he gets different mileage from my MH, same engine, longer and heavier, and no Banks, but that is a totally unscientific response.
If maintained, it's a nice RV. Naturally the way an RV is treated has a great deal to do with it's longevity, regardless of the brand.
Gas motorhomes have the usual power brakes, and in my 30 years of motorhome driving I have never, to my recollection, felt I required excessive force to control the brake function. Adding a proportional braking system to the towed car, expecially a heavy van would be a must. I currently have the ReadyBrake, which actually pulls the towed vehicle brake peddle using a surge device. There are many options on the market. A minivan is a rather heavy vehicle, I am guessing over 5,000lbs, maybe by a lot. This greatly exceeds the Gross Vehicle Combined Weight capacity of many if not most Class A motorhomes. Be very careful in choosing a motorhome that can handle your anticipated towing needs. I am guessing that a Class C with a with an F450 or diesel or a Super C would be a way to go. (I am not an expert in this field at all, but there are plenty of well versed people on this website).
Can you do this: Why not. I've seen wheel chair modified motorhomes with lifts replacing the front recliner. If you can drive a van you can drive a motorhome.
Often the greatest barriers are the ones we create for ourselves.
Regular maintenance like oil changes, tires, brakes should be easy to put a number to just like any motor vehicle. Unexpected repairs are kind of impossible to predict. Buying a bumper to bumper extended warranty would be a way limit out of pocket costs to your deductible.
I realize this is not what you wanted, but without an extended warranty, one year I needed a new transmission on my Holiday Rambler 454, warranty paid about $4k, my basement a/c went out and warranty paid about $2k for the repair. This summer my jacks failed damaging the hydraulic system, warranty paid about $2k. I replace my tires every six years regardless of condition, cost last summer for 6x22.5 tires about $3k. How do you budget for this type of stuff?