You should expand your shopping to more than a single dealer's inventory, to get a better idea of the variety of living arrangements. Living arrangements, how well they work (or don't work) for the buyer are more important than who makes the RV.
Folks who find the RV not livable are the ones who keep trading for something that works better, sometimes never finding exactly the right one. Folks who find an RV that they can live in might keep the same one for 10 years or more, and keep using it. When they go to RV shows to look at what is new, most often the reaction is "nothing I've seen works any better than what I have."
That's the place you want to be with the first RV. Don't rush the shopping, we took about 15 months of visiting very large RV shows and looking at the stock of many dealers to find the RV that worked for us. I have friends who are on their 4th RV in ten years and they are still shopping for something that might work better.
I have three to five synthetic fiber fill bags, different weights, different brands, acquired at different times over the past 60 years. I used to have at least five, but the kids may have taken a couple of the medium weight (four pound) adult size bags from the 1950s (or I've lost track of where they are stored). I'm using just three now, 1970s or newer.
This class of bag is relatively heavy, quite bulky in the larger sizes and winter weights, but not particularly expensive. Which bag I carry depends on the camping conditions.
My lightest bag is for warm weather and indoor use, I think it is only two pounds of fill.
The medium weight bag for nights in the 50-60 F range, four pounds of fill, tag says I bought it from Sears.
The heaviest is rated for sub-freezing (but not sub-zero) temperatures. I got that one extra long so I could totally bury myself inside of it, and I carry it for winter travel emergencies, should I find myself sleeping in a cold van because the highway is closed down. This one is six pounds of fill, and is Coleman branded.
Tent camping, any of these bags will be atop a 2-inch self-inflating sleeping pad (Cabela's house brand) which serves as extra ground insulation. We gave up on air mattresses for cold weather camping long ago, but can be OK for indoor use.
I'll sleep on cots in the summer, but in cooler conditions I want to be on an insulating pad, on the ground, no cold air circulating under my compressed bag insulation.
I don't pay much attention to prices or brands when shopping, I look for good zippers, well sewn. Zippers are the weak point for this type of bag. Even the 1950s vintage bags were still usable when I last had them out (1990s) because we regularly aired them out after use, and took care of the zippers.
How big a trike? Some modern trikes are getting up to 1200-1500 pounds, 6 1/2 feet wide, 10 to 12 feet long. That's pushing what you can fit into a pickup bed or hang on a lift on the rear of the motorhome. They will fit onto a long enough trailer, or a long enough flat-bed or tilt-bed truck.
Even H-D's Tri Glide is over 1200 pounds and almost nine feet long.
You might need to shop the trike to figure out how you might bring it along.
I liked the Vista/Sunstar in 2004-2005, I thought it was a nice size and more useful than the Rialta alternative. My wife considered it too small, so we ended up with a much larger C.
The one person I know who has the VW-based Sunstar, likes it and uses it regularly.
You might investigate where you'll take it for chassis service. Many VW dealers do not have lifts, sometimes not even shop bays, large enough for this vehicle. Chassis parts stock can also be "iffy" because VW of America only briefly imported the T4 passenger van, which turned out to be not competitive in the "large minivan" market at which it was targeted, and the commercial T4 van was crippled on the market here by a punitive import tariff.
The "house" build is at the same materials level, same construction methods, as contemporary Winnebago Chalet, Minnie or Spirit.
Not all the same. Just like S&B condos, cost, fees, and policies are all over the place. If you don't like the terms, look someplace else. You cannot judge ownership/condo living as a whole (whether RV or sticks and bricks) based on one place you've seen.
Depends on what you want/need in a mattress. Some of us need them firm (I do best with a 2-inch fiber pad on a hard surface) and others want no pressure points but don't mind sag. You need to shop mattresses by trying them, find what meets your preferences.
I lucked out, my RV came with the same hotel-grade, unpadded extra firm innerspring mattress I've always preferred. Put a two inch foam topper on that, the back pain would cripple me. My baby sister needs the foam pad.
If you don't have one, you may need to buy, beg, or borrow a "basin wrench." They aren't the easiest tools to use, but they sure are an improvement over trying to get a regular wrench in the tight space between a sink and a wall.
Not for just RV, but for working any tight, seemingly unreachable connection. The tool was cheap, not particularly easy to use, but a lot less expensive than calling a $85 an hour plumber who had the wrench in his tool bag.
Sometimes FWD cars have wheel alignment settings such that front tires wear faster in trail (towing condition) than they do when serving as drive wheels. But not always. I've not yet towed my Fit far enough to know whether this matters. Actually, at 25,000 miles with tire rotations every 5000, I've not yet figured out "normal" wear, the OEM tires still have almost as much tread as they did when new.
2012 Base Fit. The Sport has quite different tires and wheels.
I've not encountered this towing my Honda Fit, but it tows in a configuration such that the traction control and stability control computers are asleep while towing. Does the Cruze not have an ignition switch setting that unlocks the steering with ignition (and computers) off?
"Best weather" is subjective.
You later say "around 70 most of the time" and the place in the continental U.S. that comes closest is the San Diego area (ocean side) where the winter temperatures tend to be in 50-70 F range without big daily temperature swings. However, winter is the rainy season, and the reason for not so much variation night to day is the temperature stability of the Pacific Ocean, carrying over to shore as moist air masses. Ocean temperature stability is also the reason the most popular wintering places are along the shorelines of South Florida, and just as with San Diego, this popularity and demand for housing makes "rent" quite expensive.
Once you get away from the ocean, temperatures are not "around" any particular figure "most of the time" because solar heating of the surface and radiation of that heat when dark or cloudy means average temperatures swing over a wider range day to night and day to day.
Desert climates have the biggest daily swings, and more variation as weather systems come through. Yuma, for example, enjoys daily highs in the 70-80 range November through March, but average daily lows are in the 40-50 range. Tucson's average daily highs are about 10F lower each of the winter months, the average daily lows 5 F lower than Yuma. In both places, short term extremes can go another 10 F higher, another 20 F lower than daily average lows and highs.
Rio Grande Valley, you can expect average daily highs around 60-70F during the winter months, with daily lows as much as 20F lower. But the extremes here can be scary, December and January highs have been below as 40F, as high as the mid-90s. Extreme daily lows have been in the 20s, but have also been as high as 70F.
The sort of climate I think you seek is most often found in tropical Oceana, where the latitude puts the climate in a warm zone, but the ocean keeps it from getting too hot from solar heating during the day. Moderation from ocean temperature stability also means that extreme highs and lows are fairly close to average highs and lows. Hawaii comes pretty close to "best", with winter month lows 65-70 at night in Honolulu, highs not much over 80 F during winter. Hawaii is far enough from the Equator that it does have measurable seasons, but they are subtle. But Hawaii is not a place you can drive your motorhome.
Your cost concerns are probably going to keep you from finding the "best" weather, so you might have to settle for the warmest weather that you can afford. I suggest the less heavily populated areas of the desert Southwest, and to be more consistently warm, this means somewhat south of Phoenix or southwestern corner of Arizona, southeastern corner of California.
I've lived in Central Florida, have wintered on the Gulf Coasts of Florida, Mississippi and Texas, and while often pleasant in winter months, the places are not frost-free and are subject to wide variations in local conditions as the continental air masses sweep through on a almost weekly schedule.
If I had to do it, I would do it only if I had enough time to wait out bad road conditions. But I grew up in Michigan, learned to drive there, and had almost 15 years winter driving experience (much of it in heavy front-engine rear-drive cars) before moving to where winters are short but brutal, and few people know how to drive. I try not to drive in winter weather here now because too many other folks on the road with me lack the basic skills, and if they have four wheel drive they think they can drive as fast as they do on dry pavement.
I run with my refrigerator on. I shut it off for refueling; while it is on opposite side from the fuel fill, that doesn't keep the guy in the next lane over from spraying gasoline into the fridge intake vent.
I pack frozen meals because they are convenient, canned food in pantry, dry stuff in a cabinet, perishable meat and vegetables, and drinks I want to keep cool in the fridge.
Going to a 3-4 day RV club gathering, I'll plan meals and bring the ingredients for the whole campout, and this includes a lot of cooking for other people (pot luck). Out alone for a while at the lake, I'll bring stuff for a few days and shop to replenish it. On road trips with one night stops, we would pack food generally for breakfast and lunch for a few days, supper for a day or two, and replenish as we go by pulling into supermarkets with roomy parking. A lot of times this meant finding something new, particularly fresh local produce.
So it can be different going camping vs traveling.
Hard to say. The engine has been on the global market as the 3.2 Duratorq for about ten years, used in global model Transits, global Ford Rangers, and the Mazda BT-50 ute (Australia market). But the engine branded Powerstroke for the N.A. market has been substantially modified to meet our emissions specs. So we have to consider it as "new."
The basic engine is quite solid, rather heavily built for its size and power output, compared to similar sized diesels built for passenger cars in the global market. The new tech on top of this, common rail injection system, multi-spray injectors, variable geometry turbo, and emissions control add-ons have been used on other engines for a few years, but the total package is new.
The diesel engine use on the Ram Promaster by comparison, is ancient and thus fairly well proven. But it is also out of date with respect to today's performance (emissions and economy) expectations.
In considering the North American version of the Transit, I'm more curious about where Ford got the automatic transmission, than I am about the engines. In the rest of the world, it is a manual transmission truck.
What you should be looking for is an interior arrangement (floor plan) and a collection of features that your family can live with. Then you try to find it in good condition.
The collection of problems on the Minnie Winnie sound minor and easy to fix. They could be difference in age, or indicative of lax maintenance. The three year newer Fleetwood could have the same problems three years down the road without regular and proper maintenance (batteries in particular don't last much longer than that, thus the short warranties).
My experience in ten years with two local RV clubs, folks more often end up trading to different RVs because the RV didn't fit their needs, not because it had things that needed to be maintained. The first two you find don't represent everything out there that is available.
The older Minnie Winnie is likely more expensive than the newer Jamboree because the Minnie Winnie is considerably upscale (Minnie more closely competed with Jamboree). The floor is set well about the chassis frame rails to give it a basement, and most of the utilities are in this basement, which is likely heated (it was in the 2004 model year).
Depreciation from this point? Depreciation is typically a constant fraction of value per year, so for same current value, the curves should closely match. 2002-2005 you are already past the big part of depreciation.
When I was shopping, I passed on the Minnie Winnie (=Sundancer) 30V because I thought it was too heavy for the chassis and I don't like to see LPG appliances in a slide out. We found a Spirit (=Minnie) 29B which was a similar floorpan with almost as much room, but a few hundred pounds lighter. We did not expect to make use of the extended season the Minnie Winnie basement provides.
Could be low voltage, it has to be tested under conditions that represent the problem load.
I plug an AC voltmeter into one of my interior outlets, monitor readings under various loads. While it is not the same circuit as the air conditioner, it provides a good clue as to what is going on between the breaker box and the power source (measuring at the source usually just tells me no-load voltage).
I want to see at least 108 V inside when running the high loads (nominal is 120 V), no more than 132 V with no load. I also want to see only a small drop from post to inside under load, as large voltage drop suggests a high-resistance connection somewhere: socket or plug, cord connections at junction box, connections inside breaker box, too much cord too small. Problem connection can be either live or neutral. High resistance connections often don't show up with no-load voltage readings, or even light loads.