Folks, I apologize if this not the appropriate place to pose this question or if I'm trampling on some Blog etiquette by jumping in here. I am a newbie to this site, and better still, I haven't as yet even become a newbie RVer, since I have no wheels!
Recently, I retired, and as a widower, thought that there would be no better time than now to see a little of the country. I am not an RVer, have never camped beyond a few chilly and uncomfortable nights, was not a boy scout or in the military. If I was ever found asleep in the back of a vehicle, moving or otherwise, and had one phone call, it would be to 911, with instructions to "pay the ransom"!
After investigating the various types of RVs, from Class A's to Travel Trailers, and everything in between - in an effort to learn how I might fit into RVing and how it might suit me - I came to a number of conclusions:
I am not a weekend camper, popping down to the lake - set up stakes for a few days, grill the trout, pack up and go home;
and, I'm not a "vagabond" like Least Heat Moon, packing it in on a daily basis and moving on to the next town, as "On the Road Again" comes to life when the key is turned in the ignition;
and, yet, I'm not one of the many "Snow Birds" traveling South, with their Jeep Toad in Winter to plant daffodils and take day trips to the Canyon, then back North in the Summer, again with the Toad in pull to catch Fire Flies and visit the coolness of the Poconos.
So, after boring you with all this, I have begun to entertain another possibility and was wondering if you are aware of any folks "living" such an arrangement. I'm considering attempting to combine all of the above "lifestyles" with the purchase of a Class B, such as a Roadtrek Sprinter model and an Ultra Lite Travel Trailer. That way, I could assume the identity of a Snow Birder, moving North and South, or East and West, identifying a "home base" for an extended period (say, for 4-6 mos.) and where the trailer would offer more spacious accommodation for rest and relaxation than is normally expected of the typical Class B RV. However, having the Class B "unchained" so to speak, would then provide the necessary vehicle for running errands and at the same time provide the opportunity to take off from the "Home Base" park for a few days extended exploration, without having to disconnect the TT and "drag" it along. These explorations with the Class B would include areas within a reasonable distance radius of the Park "Home" Base, yet in all probability too far for every day returns, so I'd have my "living accommodation" with me - a feat that a regular Toad or Tow Vehicle could not perform! Plus, another benefit of having the "unfettered" Class B, would be that visits to both out of the way boon dock places as well as downtown Metropolitan areas, or the like would prove equally accessible with navigating ease, along with the even more likely viability of what I've heard called "dry camping". Kind of like a circular Least Heat Moon, following the Blue Highways, in stead of a linear one. Of course, I realize that the TT RV set up in a Park would be incurring the normal expenses, daily, weekly, monthly or whatever the park policy, whether occupied every day or not.
Have you ever heard of such a life style - or do any of you folks lead such an existence? Does it sound like a cockamamie scheme?
Any insight you may have or which experience has taught you would sure be welcome and appreciated. Thanks,
If your traveling alone, I just don't see the need for a trailer. You will have to pay for the nights you leave it in the camp ground, MPG is going to go way down, towing, you will have to keep it around 60 MPH, causing more stress from the Semi's blowing you around, then there is the added expense for the trailer, and you will probably have to pay for two camp sites.
In my opinion, a "True" Class B is plenty big enough for one traveling solo, or if you want to bring a companion along, on some of your adventures. If you want a little more space there are screen rooms, that attach to an awning, or will stand alone.
You have a good idea to a point but class b motorhomes don't have the strongest towing capabilities making your homebase on the small side.A pickup with poptop camper and of course the proper towing capacity may better suit.your needs. I have entertained the idea of a Diesel pusher pulling a smallish truck with a pop up cabover camper for side excursions. A lot of places will allow you to move to storage while you are gone for much less.
Snead44 - Reading your first post it sounds like you have given it a lot of thought. The important thing is that you have identified what you would enjoy doing. It is amazing how many do not give it a thought until after they have made a purchase. Then they realize they are nomads and constantly moving or they are settlers that only move on rare occasions.
I can see some benefit to pulling around an expanded living space. As has been said, you will be limited in trailer size or more specifically weight. But, you would have a more permanent home base when not roaming. There are a number of well built fiberglass trailers that would not tax your Class B. Here is a website that lists many brands of those.
I am not well educated on towing capabilities so I can't offer any suggestions there. I would like to suggest that check out Sportsmobile .
You can design your own and they also offer a "stealthy" pop-up top. Might make it easier for you to run errands and get away for the one or two night trips.
We purchased a gently used two year old Class B back in 2002 and we still have it. It was nicely broken in and only had 18,000 miles on it. We could not afford a new Class B then and most certainly could not now.
Please continue to read this forum and ask your questions. There are some very smart Class B people here who can provide (much more than I can) information.
Marilyn w/ Joe, 2000 Xplorer Class B van, usually pulling a Ranger bass boat.
Smudge, (in photo) a Shih Tzu/Yorkie Mix and Gizmo is waiting at the Rainbow Bridge
Thanks everyone for your insight, and for not clobbering me for my very verbose question. You all make some very good points and have even given me a few others to consider. The whole object of the trailer, of course, is because I really can't see me staying in the confines of a Class B for possibly days on end, unless on the road. I'm guessing that the Class B's limited facilities, while more than adequate when moving around from place to place, would feel cramped to me (wet bath, up/down bed and dining arrangement) if parked in one spot for possibly weeks at a time. As for the towing, I would hope to limit the need (like a Snow Birder) to only the coming and goings a couple times a year. I fully understand what one of you said of dealing with the semis going by, and what another said about the possibilities offered by a small trailer of minimal weight. Thanks very much for pointing me to the website. These are definitely priority as I realize that most Class B's only have a towing capacity of 5000 lbs. That being said, even in my ignorance, I'm supposing that the 5000# is a very "qualified" number, based on other factors. I'll keep my eyes open, and try to consider all aspects, especially safety. If anyone else has some suggestions, I'll appreciate hearing. This forum and its variety of topics looks like it will be a Godsend for someone like me.
Again, thanks to all for the input. The Sportsmobile looks interesting, and the list of small trailers quite extensive. But what I seem to be hearing (H345) says it bluntly, is that a Class B is likely not capable of towing anything which would offer greater livability than the Class B itself. Well, this is what I need to know, though this is a very rude awakening. Of course this was Stan's point above. I too am not able to afford "new', so have been looking at 5-6 year old Class Bs, paired with pre-owned trailers in the 3500 to 4000# dry weight. If those are a no-go and if I can't improve on the semi-permanent "Home Base" spatial arrangement, then there wouldn't seem to be much purpose in even having a "Home Base".
I guess my point was, a trailer you can safely tow with a Class B, won't be much bigger than the "B" itself, and you will end up with two of everything, that are about the same size. Maybe something more like the N6-Active from Roadtrek, and a TT. Of course these are new, but like was mentioned, Sportsmobile will do what ever you want. Just find a good used van, and bring it to them.
Take a look at the Evergreen, Ascend, for a fairly roomy Trailer, that could be towed by a lot of vans, with a modest camping set up.
* This post was
edited 06/20/12 09:34pm by My Roadtrek *
First, I'm sorry for your loss and congratulations on your retirement!
Nothing is carved in stone. Why not purchase a gently used "B" and try it out for a period of time? If you find it doesn't suit you, sell it and purchase something more to your liking. After 6 months or a year in a B, I'm sure you will know more specifically what will work for you and the lifestyle you want to design.
I've always had Bs.I'll be retiring in a year or so and hope to travel the country, although I have zero desire, thus far, to fulltime years on end. I enjoy having both a permanent homebase and community.
I often wonder if I should buy a larger rig in which to roam for a year or so journeying around the US. I appreciate and enjoy the spaciousness when I visit friends with larger rigs for dinners at rallies, etc., but, with due consideration, the trade off for a larger rig would be too great, in my opinion. The reality is I prefer the ease of hooking and unhooking in short order; the ease of parking in metro parking spaces and parking lots, the maneuverabilty of a B in general, and not having to backtrack in a toad in order to retrieve my RV. I did know a couple with a larger C who towed a VW Westfalia camper. It seemed to work for them.
(PS The bed thing: I sleep left to right vs back to front in my rig and leave my bed made fulltime.)
Lastly, whatever you decide I most sincerely hope you keep us informed of your journey, either on this site or on a blog, as I find the substance and style of your writing most compelling.