Is it time to Recycle … your life? The world is going through a recycle right now, why not you. Maybe it is time to change everything about your life and live better. Sell your home and rethink your responsibilities. Buy the RV that suits your lifestyle and travel.
If your mind cannot wrap around a long-term investment right now, here are some options for low-investment, high reward adventures:
- Used trailers: These come in several sizes from little teardrops designs to 45-foot monsters. The used market ranges in price from a few hundred dollars to around thirty thousand.
- Used Fifth Wheels are next in line by price and living space. Once again, adding slideouts always boosts the maintenance costs and lowers the travel quality. Usually, a fifth wheel is a step up in quality at any price level. The shorter versions fair the best over the long haul.
With both the trailer and the fifth wheel, parking and maneuvering this class of RV is a skill that must be mastered to be a happy camper. Without this skill, your full-timing adventure becomes a chore.
- Used Motorhomes (Class C and Class A): These fall into a whole new category. They are by far the best traveling rig but so much more complicated. As in the case of the Class C, you have joined a truck with a living space. Gas mileage is a consideration as it varies between 5 and 9 miles to the gallon.
However, the Winnebago All Electric motorhome is another option to consider. The Winnebago Industries e-RV concept vehicle is an entirely new, all electric, zero emission RV that incorporates an advanced drive train and battery package that also powers all the living area systems of the coach. More on this in future blogs.
For all you driving needs, my suggestion is to make your first stop a driving school, of which there are several to choose from these days, and online classes available too. For the fine points on driving schools, read the September issue of my blog, link below.
The weather is something few travelers new to the RV lifestyle think about or plan for. Well, maybe those full-timers that spend the year in Northern Canada weave the weather into their plans. There are “polar packages” that can be added to new motorhomes, trailers and fifth wheels to help with the cooler temps.
In the sun belt, it is the heat and moisture that creates problems for full-timers. Those in the know make sure their rig’s undercarriage is sealed either at the manufacturer or by a third party. This helps keep out critters and keeps cool air in the basement.
Before purchasing, it is smart to hire a professional vehicle inspector that specializes in RVs to take a close look at the rig you want to start this adventure. The inspectors spend hours looking for just those problems you can’t see up front and provide a written report to review later. It can add as much as $500 to the final cost depending on the size the rig BUT can save thousands of dollars on repairs if you drive away with a lemon. Make it a deal breaker if an inspector is not allowed full access, including all utilities fired up at the time.
Another issue is staying cool in 100 plus degrees. This may be a national problem in the coming years. Keeping the air conditioners and refrigerators working efficiently on a moving home is tougher that it sounds. Refrigerators appearing in brand new RVs feature 12V compressors that work with solar panels and electric-only models too. Right now, they are smaller than some of the older absorption types but guaranteed to be more efficient. It’s about time.
Air conditioning units are still an issue for full-timers spending most of the year in tropical zones or desert heat. The design dates back to the 70s with nothing new on the horizon. There are 12V models available now, but very low powered.
A few tips as you start this adventure:
- The excitement of planning this new adventure can override good sense. Patience rules here when shopping for the right entrance vehicle. Information collected by several RV clubs and manufacturers indicate that the first recreational vehicle sets the satisfaction level for the future of the lifestyle for you.
- Buying the right RV for your traveling pleasure means spending the time to research the market. Make sure that a quality inspection is done or be willing to walk away from that lemon that calls to you.
- First, buy smart, then download maintenance information that covers your RV. Never stop learning about the lifestyle including your particular RV choice. Join RV clubs and socialize with others to keep learning and have fun. Plan travel trips with like-minded folks. Enjoy life!
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