If you are not talking about getting to Texas Gulf Coast, but just want to go east:
I-35 to San Marcos
TX-21 to US-190 north of Bryan
TX-30 to Huntsville
US-190 to Woodville
US-287 to get back to I=10 at Beaumont
I've used most of this route, it is all RV drivable, but a lot of it is on sections of state highway without the wide lanes and full size shoulders I've come to expect in Texas.
My preference, RV or car, is to just barrel on through Houston on I-10. Leave San Antonio at a decent hour (8-9 AM) and you will go through Houston at one of the relatively non-busy time. Traffic is usually light enough coming in as far as 610 that you wonder why they ever built all those lanes on the Interstate. It does compress into fewer lanes, but from 10 AM to about 2 PM it is not clogged.
Going through Houston on I-10 is not as bad as trying to get through Austin on I-35, and nothing like the mess you are likely to encounter at Baton Rouge.
There's a closer route using US-290 from Paige to Brenham, TX-90 to Navasota, TX-105 across through Conroe, but the northern suburbs are so far out that if you are going to go through Conroe on local roads, you might as well go through Houston on I-10.
Thank you Cloud! Off topic question. I just joined Good Sam. How do I put that on the left side like all of you have?
It may be as simple as logging off and back on again. Also, make sure you are using the same internet provider that you told Good Sam about.
Hmmmm. Good Sam didn't ask for my internet provider.
They don't need to ask. They captured that. Any website you connect with knows your address, unless you take precautions to hide it, then they still have the address you are hiding behind.
The whiteners in the Filon sheeting fade from UV exposure, the yellowing is not something that is going to wash off.
It is like an oxidized paint, you have to get back to color by abrading the surface down to wher it is not yet UV damaged. Abrasive polishing will do that. There used to be chemical agents to do the job for pre-clearcoat automotive finishes, but they don't really work for the plastic on the side of our RVs.
Covering it with wax, or a clear plastic floor finish, won't brighten the color underneath. It won't slow down the color change either, unless what you use is a UV shield (there are a couple out there) and some of the protective finishing materials meant for indoor use might also yellow with age.
You have to decide whether the work of rubbing it all down past the dingy part is worth it for you, and you'll probably want to do it without damage to the applied graphics (which have almost certainly faded) because the color under the graphics is going to be different, having been protected from exposure to light.
If you have substantial damages and can make a case, you are usually better off to opt out.
Class actions get built on one or a few cases where damages are substantial and large numbers of class members with no provable damages, or rather hypothetical damages (e.g. the market value of your purchase is less because a fault impacts product reputation, or you paid more than you should have for something that might be defective, etc). Making yourself a class member can mean you are not eligible to sue for real damages, you get only the nominal settlement that goes to all members. this exclusion varies, lawyers building class actions set various rules.
If you know you have no real damages, expect no real damages, it can be interesting to see how the seettlement comes out. I've gotten discount coupons for future purchases, checks for small amounts, implied warranties extended, but every so often it is just punative (e.g. defendant pays into some state fund supposedly benefiting the class or the general public) or agrees to desist an offeensive practice and the value of the settlement is based on the cost of doing that.
The latter is not unusual for class actions about false advertisng claims, class can be anyone who patronized xxx retailer or fast-food franchise during yyy time window. One I was in included anyone who bought B&S powered lawn equipment during the years the engines had horsepower ratings. Settlement was that they would switch to specifying torque. Nothing for me, a pile of money in penalties and legal fees.
On a given budget, I like to buy used but relatively recent, to get more for my money.
My late wife was from a family with tradition of buying new, and I let her have that on her car (though sometimes I got her into "demonstraters") but managed to convince her that new was not necessary for houses, RVs, vehicles for me or the kids.
Sometimes you have to buy new to get exactly what you want, when what you want isn't what most other buyers before you found adequate. In RVs, this will be the case when buying higher end, and the concept of value includes a lot more than utility.
1. When uncomfortably close to full, and I'm still going to be there, and the time is convenient (e.g. not busy cooking or doing something else in the RV and the dump station is not busy).
2. When leaving the campground to go into storage for an extended time.
3. When traveling day to day, and tanks less than half full, I'll usually dump on the way in, so that I'm starting camp with empty tanks. If more than half full, I'll dump on the way out, add several gallons of water to the black, so motion can help clean the tank, then I dump that on the way in at the next stop.
I treat full hookups as a conveniently located dump station, and pretty much follow this same schedule.
There are not really standard wholesale prices for used vehicles, especially for RVs. Market prices vary seasonally, regionally, even locally, and in most places the RV market is not large enough for sale price surveys to produce usable information. Thus "blue book" prices for RVs tend to be estimates using depreciation tables against MSRPs when new.
A dealer might have lees than 1/2 his asking price tied up in a used unit, or more than 80%, depending on how and why he bought it. Or what is on a dealer's lot might be a consignment, and the seller needs to get enough money to not be selling it for less than he owes, which might be a lot more than a reasonable market value.
This gets worse as RVs get older, depreciated values go way down, and condition becomes more important than prices from depreciation tables. Thus an old motorhome might be $10,000 in the book, a seller with one in excellent condition with recent upgrades or important maintenance (just put $2000 into new tires) is going to want more, but an estate just wanting to get rid of one in good condition might sell for $5000 or less. A camping buddy just recently picked up a $8000 motorhome from an estate for $500.
Your best strategy as a buyer is to not be looking for the "best deal" in terms of how much below some arbitrary asking price. Best strategy is to know pretty much what you want, know what the value of that is to you, and seek it out at that price or negotiate to that price. If you can find it for less, great, but don't be passing something up because you can't get it for some percentage less than what was asked.
Consignments particularly, that price could already be as low as the seller will go. Consignment dealers will often let sellers start high, see that the unit is not selling, then work prices down in Dutch auction style. When the asking price hits market value, a unit that has been siiting unsold will disappear quickly. I've lost the chance to purchase two RVs and a tow vehicle offered at fair prices, simply because I couldn't decide quickly enough.
How do you know when the price is right? You study the recent sales in your area of the same or similar things, just as you would for housing. For vehicles, however, you also have an option to look elsewhere, and if another market is selling lower, decide whether the lower cost is worth your trouble to buy there. I tend to put some limits on this, will not look at Dallas-Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, or Wichita, but won't be reaching out to Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, Seattle, or southern California unless seeking something really hard to find, particularly since the higher cost of living in those areas tends to inflate the price of everything.
If Forest River welded the coach frame to the chassis, those OEM shock mounts Ford supplied with the chassis may not be flexing much, maybe not even carrying the expected share of the load. If one appears to have dried out in that case, I would not mess with it.
The limitations a toad puts on my moving around are my reasons for moving from a 30 foot motorhome to converting a 18 foot van for towing. Unhooking? Even with a C, two slides, I never found that to be much of a hassle, but there is usually more work to do inside, getting stuff put away or tied down so it doesn't fly around when moving.
Keeping the space, that can be a problem in public campgrounds and open land, with no reserved sites. My camping style kind of takes care of that, because at a campground I'll have other equipment and shelters on the site. If someone comes on to my campsite while I'm gone and takes down a tent or screenhouse, they'll be having a discussion with the ranger or the sheriff.
Check with RT about tow ratings after conversion. An Express 2500/3500 will have a pretty substantial "maximum tow rating" up to something like 10,000 pounds with the right drivetrain, but that's for the empty cargo van. Cargo, passengers, weight of the conversion should cut into it. But it the weight of the van is kept under GVWR there should be enough left over to pull a compact or even midsize car, with a braking system.
Tank locations for a B depend in the chassis selected. On the Express, the biggest space for a black tank under the toilet is just forward of spring mounts for rear axle, curb side. That's somewhat rear of "mid" and not really enough room to put a 75" bed lengthwise behind it.
On extended Econoline, all the big spaces were behind the axle, with another streetside forward of the fuel filler. I know these spaces well, working on my own (unextended) conversion.
Sprinter has a lot more flexibility, spaces foward of axle on both sides for 6-10 galllons of tank, a lot more in the rear, which is why you see most "full bath" conversions on the Sprinter located at the rear of the van. More often, with bath forward of axle, toilet will be on one side, kitchen on other, to use the underfloor spaces on both sides of the chassis.
There is yet more flexibility building B+/C/small A on cutaway chassis because except for tailpipe and fuel filler pipe, all the space outside the framerails is available, and height of space can be much greater than under the van floor, because RV floor is usually at least 2" higher and is often located another 6-10 inches above the framerails. All this space to be traded utilities vs storage bins gives A/C motorhomes more layout flexibility than in van conversions.
You could proably put that bath in a 24-foot Sprinter, foward of that bunkroom configuration, but there may be less room opposite, and you would have a smaller lounge area forward.
To put that bath in a LWB Express, you could maybe flip it and move it to curb side, but to put it forward of that kind of bunkroom, you would probably need a long offset drain from the toilet to a tank located further aft. Or you could do a combined tank for toilet and shower, or maybe better, a cassette toilet.
I don't know enough about under-floor configuration of Promaster and have not yet seen the U.S. version of the Transit. I've seen enough of the Nissan to know that any sort of bathroom might best be done with a cassette toilet, keeping most of the conversion above floor level.
Many large RV dealers will order furniture you, but few stock it or offer a showroom. I've seen small displays in a few very large Camping World outlets.
Replacement furniture for RVs is a very small market. I don't think you are going to find much to browse unless you find a trade show somewhere for RV manufacturers or conversion van upfitters, If anyone is operating a major showroom it would be where RVs are manufactured, northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan, and those would be surplus stores in most cases.
I saw a suggestion for Colaw's, but the last couple of times I visited that one, they did not have a showroom for new furniture, just some takeout pieces or surplus items in the racks.
If you are far enough off level to damage the refrigerator, you will be far enough off to feel uncomfortable walikng around inside or sleeping (unless unlevel makes you head high) and you won't be able to use a griddle on the stove because grease or eggs will run over the side. Water may not all flow to the drain in the shower pan.
I know a lot of RVers have been conditioned to obsess about level, with dire warnings about the fridge, because they can't relate the requirements of the refrigerator to real life.
Most places I'm using the RV, parking sites are level enough, and if not, usually 2 iches or less of boards and blocks under one or two wheels will get me there. Automatic levelers don't necessarily do a better job achieving "level" but they make the job easier.
For most of the people who consider leveling jacks a "must have" in a motorhome, the factor driving that choice is not leveling, rather it is stability. They want the solid support of jacks under the house so that it does not bounce around when people move, or sway when strong gusty winds blow. You will get these movements in a RV that is supported on its tires and suspension. particularly when people are heavy or move heavily. On something as lightly built as a C, you may still feel people moviing heavily when sitting on jacks. Somethimes the only real solution to a big person stomping around is to get a 30,000 to 40,000 pound motorhome.
Coachmen has sold a lot of C motorhomes into the rental market, where operators have enough experience that they will avoid products that have engineering defects or consistently bad build quality. I think complaints about RV problems represent a small proportion of the examples sold and in use. If anyone was building everything badly, they would not long be in business.
What is more important to a manufacturer's reputation is how well they step in to take care of the occasional problems, which are more often with purchased components than with basic structure. That would be during the warranty period, and if price preferences have you buying out of warranty, then warranty service is no longer relevant.
There are a few brands, mostly low volume manufacturers, that are consistently better in build quality, better in service and support, and even a few that build radically different structures from mass production C's (Coachhouse, BornFree, Lazydaze). Their methods are higher cost, and for something of equivalent size, price premiums might be 30 to 100% new, and tend to increase as the RVs get older because the buyers seeking these know their value. Note that for two of these three, slideout rooms are not an option; this keeps most buyers from considering the brands, but the manufacturers believe that slideouts are a serious enough compromise of structural integrity that they will not change the way they build a RV in order to accomodate the feature.
Off that soapbox. You have to figure out your price point, what you want with respect to layout and features, and shop for the model and age that meets your price point. If what you want is mass production, it doesn't matter a whole lot whether it is Forest River, Jayco, Winnebago, Coachmen before it was Forest River, Gulfstream before they got out of the business, or one of the several Thor brands manufactured by Thor's Fourwinds company before it got reorganized as Thor Motorcoach. All of these brands have been used in the C rental market, where value for money, and durability in hard use, determine what gets bought.
It is a lot like buying cars for use as taxicabs, or pickup trucks or vans for fleet use. A number of manufacturers produce adequate products at a similar cost. Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Nissan, Toyota all build something suitable. Somebody can find something to complain about in each. But they all get the job done.
Texas publishes a guide to the public campgrounds in that state. Think it is from the highway dept, not sure, I pick it up at he welcome center.
I've not seen a guide as comprehensive, for other states. Private efforts depend on users reporting them and keeping info up to date. Our city had a RV park on the river near the edge of town, shut it dow permanently when it became meth lab central. Cost of law enforcement outweighed any possible benefit to city of giving visitors an almost free place to stay.
I know where to find two at rest areas in Kansas. US-54/400 just east of the Butler county line and US-169 between Coffeyville and Chanute.
I've not seen a dump station at rest areas on the Interstate system in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, or Texas. But that doesn't there are none, as I don't much travel the Interstates.
I find my dump stations at RV parks, campgrounds, and service stations. There is often a fee.
It looks like a four foot space, not too hard to find behind the axle of a C or a short wheelbase small A. In a B there will be a little more to finding a space for waste tanks, depending on chassis and fuel tank and filler location. I see that configuration fairly often in small TT's, only for those it is in a rear corner, and they often put fresh water tank at the other end for balance (which is kind of screwy if you think about weight distribution changing as the water gets used).
That would be the Axis 24.1, 25'6" long, 94" wide, on a stretched E-350 bare chassis. Most Cs are somewhat longer, might be 8" wider, and can carry another 2000 pounds than this thing Thor calls a RUV.
The insurance salesmen are there in Missouri. They just don't know that you are there. This time of year I encounter drive-by insurance salesmen stopping to talk when I'm working out in the yard. This surprises me because the commissions are relatively small except for advantage programs.
You should be able to find a list of all supplements, Part Ds, and advantage programs available for your location on the Medicare information site. You may not find agents selling you supplements from multiple carriers (not that the carriers differ much on prices for each plan) but rather they want to lead you into advantage programs with generous commissions for themselves.
The new "Your Medicare" book should be arriving soon, unless the health and human services has also lost track of you.
My choice is easy, since my former employer subsidizes the premiums for UHC through AARP and UHC is one of the providers that actually offers all the supplements currently legal; some other insurers offer only a subset, or limit scope geographically.
You may find fewer carriers doing business in Missouri than in Florida. That's all about connections and provider networks. Florida is just a more attractive place for companies in the 65+ medical care business, it is a huge market.
I'm with you. My late wife was a bargain hunter, collector and hoarder, and I'm still feeling too sentimental about her to throw out things that meant something to her, particularly gifts, many of which were never useful. Then there's the junk the kids left behind, don't feel that it is mine to dispose of, though I probably paid for it.
Trying to get started, a few boxes at a time, and from looking for things only she knew where to find. Tempting to pass the problem on to another generation, partly doing that anyway, hauling a van load at a time across the country when I visit: "This is now yours to keep or throw away."
1996 Coachman on 1995 Chevy van or 1996 Express? Then which chassis size?
I've seen max 5000 for G10, 6500 G20, 8000 G30 with the 5.7 but that is also dependent on axle ratios and having the factory towing package. Also in the assumption is empty van with only a driver, conversion fittings, cargo, passengers all cut into the towing capacity. E.G. 5000 pound van with 13,000 GCWR might tow 8000 empty, but only 5000 if loaded to 8000 pounds.
1996 it gets more complicated. Express got ladder frame (earlier van was unibody) and new Vortec engines about 20% more power than same sizes with TBI, raising maximums depending on GVWR options and drive train options. With Vortec 5700 and 4.10 axle, max tow for 3500 and 2500 with 8600 GVWR was 7500 pounds. That dropped to 5500 for 2500 with 7300 GVWR or extended (different trans and lighter axle). But again, axle ratios vary, 3/4 ton could be 3.42, 3.73 or 4.10, 1-ton could be 3.73 or 4.10.
If you can figure out just what equipment you have (GVWR options, axle, axle ratio, transmission) and G20/2500 vs G30/3500 the towing capacity tables in your Chevy owner's manual should have the numbers.
If your conversion van is on a G10/Express 1500, think in terms of 2000-3000 towing, because it was something under 5000 when the van was empty. That's driven by springs, tires, rear axle, rather than engine power or gearing.