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Thread: have you traveled in an RV?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    North Carolina

    have you traveled in an RV?

    DH and I were talking about planning a big trip (two weeks or more) and were throwing out ideas like Europe or a West Coast tour, etc. DH mentioned wanting to rent a small RV and travel in that to "see the country". It sounds like fun - we are 27, pretty active and adventurous, etc. Has anyone ever done this before? Was it expensive? Hard to drive (it's just two of us so it wouldn't have to be one of those huge ones)? Would we bring our two cats with us? Tell me about your experience in an RV please!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Hi there!

    Lucky lucky you! You will have so much fun, I'm sure, whatever you end up doing.

    So personally, I don't have any experience with RV's (other than seeing them on the MTV show road rules ), but I know from talking with some people a few things.

    My old teacher, with whom I still remain in contact, retired with her husband, sold their house, and bought an RV. They now travel ALL over the country. I've asked her about her experiences, and she has said that it did take a bit to get used to driving it (they used to practice driving it around town before they moved out of their house officially). Other than that - they couldn't be happier. I know you aren't buying one officially, but I'm sure traveling in one could be a ton of fun.

    Also, about the cats - if your cats are primarily indoor cats, they might end up being okay. Although, I'm not entirely sure - maybe they'd get motion sickness watching out the window? Consider how they are normally when you take them in the car for a ride (if that ever happens... like on the way to the vet).

    Anyway... good luck to you, and you'll have to tell us ALL about your adventures when you get back


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    San Ramon, CA
    Given the high cost of gas these days you might want to look into the gas mileage before you decide this is what you want to do. One more thing to think about is how easily would an RV handle on a twisty road. Another thing is the cost/availability of campsites for the RV. You might find that its more economical to rent a car (or use your own) and stay in places that have kitchens if you were hoping to do your own cooking. If you weren't planning on using the kitchen motels might be the way to go.

    Whatever you decide to do...have fun.
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Good Ole USofA
    My parents have a fairly good sized diesel RV. Its like a little apartment LOL! Its got a convection oven, little holes in the counter to put a blender attachment, etc. Queen sized bed, television and vcr's built in. They live in it from January to April every year in AZ.

    One thing to remember is that not all of them are gasoline models. My dad is thanking his lucky stars that when they got to AZ this winter they fueled up before they parked it for the winter. In AZ (Yuma) diesel is about $4.00 a gallon right now. They are headed home the end of the month and he's hoping not to have to fuel up until at least Las Vegas where they will have to top it off to get through the desert.

    My dad practiced around town a lot before they took it out on the "open road". He said it really took some getting used to and he was used to driving a Suburban. He's only had one mishap and that was getting to close to the side of a narrow bridge and scraped the side.

    They also tow a Suzuki Grand Vitara behind for transportation once they park for the winter.
    "You know I was talking to my friend Desdemona the other day she
    runs this space station and bake shop down near Boomtown. She told
    me that human beings are flawed individuals. The cosmic bakers
    took us out of the oven a little too early. And that's the
    reason we're as crazy as we are and I believe it." Jimmy Buffet, Fruitcakes, 1994

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    I've driven cross-country (Michigan to California) with my family 3 times now in a motorhome! It's a wonderful experience. You can stop when you want, if you want. You can camp in a K-Mart parking lot if you need to (and we have!) But the gas mileage is horrific. On our first trip, we spent over a thousand dollars in gas alone. And that was in 1983. However, what you lose in gas money you just may make up by not having to stay in hotel rooms. But it's an awesome way to see the country. Depending on the time of year you plan to travel, you may need to reserve campsites, especially at the National Parks. I'm sure you can check the park websites for pricing information on sites. Map out a possible route, figure out the number of miles, approximate the cost for gas, and go from there. Another thing you need to think about is if you are going to tow a car or not. The downside of having your living space in your car is that you take it with you everywhere. So even if you just want to take a daytrip someplace, you may need to pack up. Let me know if you need any more info.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    It's not likely I ever will. After having lived in southwest Colorado deep in the Rockies, I remember how annoying it was to be behind one of those behemoth RV's that gets 5 miles to the gallon and only goes 35 mph. I never want to get in anyone's way that much.
    "There's no food in your food!!" Joan Cusack to John Cusack in "Say Anything."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Dedham, MA
    You can rent a small motorhome that won't break the bank on gas or travel much differently than a car. For example, there are motorhomes that are small toyota pick-up models that are easy to handle/park and gas efficent. No problem going 65-75 in these things! Sure, they'll be an overhead bed rather than a queen bedroom, and a small toilet/shower room rather than a large spacious bath- but if you can handle that you'll do fine. You'd still get a full kitchen/dinette/bed/bath, etc, and you'll have FUN!! Stop where ever and when ever, sleep when you want, enjoy the country
    If you can rent something small, go for it!

  8. #8

    Red face

    You and your husband sound a lot like my fiance and me. We're about your age and also active and quite adventurous. So I think you, like us, would enjoy this sort of travel. That being said, I'm not sure about the RV as vehicle of choice.

    To answer your question, yes, I've travelled a few times in the RV of some friends - about a week or so in total. It was a brand new, done-up-to-the-hilt thing. Very cool, to be sure (showers? video? kitchen? you name it -- it was there), but I hated driving it. It was so big and unwieldy and a pain to drive when it was windy out. Okay, it was a pain to drive all the time (IMHO). AND it was not versatile at all. You couldn't take the thing on any out-of-the-way roads (or at least we shouldn't have; that was a truly interesting experience ). I don't even want to think about how much it costs to gas it up. Anyway, when we go to New Zealand we might rent a motorhome, but it'll be something considerably smaller. That thing traumatized me!

    Makes for good party stories, anyway...And from what you said you won't need a great big one like that in any event, so you should be fine.

    Anyway, good luck, bon voyage, and please PM me if I can help you plan in any way.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    NW Indiana
    The only input I have is "DO IT"!!!!

    We have done this two different times. The first time was my DH, myself and our 3 kids, they were 18, 15, & 8. We rented a 24' RV and too went off to see the country. We are in Indiana and ended up in Yellowstone. The first few hours were a little trying, however once everyone realized these quarters were our home for the next 15 days or so, we got along much better. That was about 12 yrs ago, and I cannot remember the cost of gasoline at that time. However, we stayed in the motor home all but 2 nights (we splurged and stayed in motels those 2 nights) and bought groceries and ate in the motor home or grilled out for our meals. Taking all of that into consideration, I am sure it was a cost efficient way to travel.

    The second time, we rented a 30' motorhome, our kids were older and we camped out most of the nights. That was just a couple of summers ago and I remember that the gas was above $2.00 a gallon at that time. YIKES!!!

    We did rent and travel a 3rd time with friends, however we stayed in a motel every night. That was NOT cost efficent, but we had a great time.

    I realize that it is just the two of you, so you could eat in and camp or sleep in every night. You would need to weigh the cost of the rental, any additional insurance reqd, mileage and gas, against flight prices or just driving your own car.

    BUT...... it would make lots of lifetime memories.

    Let us know what you decide!

    P.S. I did drive the 24' and got along fine, but you must remember the wind is different in the mountains (and your gas mileage won't be as good either).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Melbourne, Florida
    My husband and I bought a much older and smaller RV last year. We went on a long trip from Florida to Texas, stopping here and there along the way there and back. We have a little Toyota Dolphin and it was a lot of fun to travel in. The gas mileage is about 14 mph, so especially right now, that can be pretty costly.
    We loved the convenience of having everything we needed right there; gas range, microwave, fridge, shower/potty combo, heater, A/C, comfy sleeping areas and table and seats. I would encourage to look into this. It is the best way to travel if you want to see and enjoy this beautiful country. There are so many wonderful state parks and the fees are very reasonable.
    Good luck!
    K. Charest
    Smiles are contagious!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Northern California
    What a timely thread!! DH and I were at an RV show a few weeeks ago. We are contemplating taking a year off from our careers and traveling through the U.S./Canada to relax, see all of the National Parks, and the other wonderful places that all of you BB friends live in! Seems like a better alternative to camping (especially since camping isn't really in my vocabulary!). Kind of like an adventure! I was especially excited to see the well equiped kitchens. About the only thing I hate about traveling is being away from the kitchen for an extended length of time. I really miss cooking!

    We think that a 19 footer, that can be towed by our Jeep or SUV would be the perfect size. We also have a cat to consider. Precious is a totally indoor cat, so we wondered if we could just keep her in the RV. One concern was temperature control and the heat factor. Somehow, I think she would probably be happier bunking with grandma and grandpa!

    Keep you thoughts and ideas coming! I will be watching this thread closely.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Lowell, MA
    I don't have any experience of RV camping, though I did plenty of the roughing it kind when I was a kid. My idea of roughing it now is a place without room service. I did have a comment about taking cats along though. I'm wondering if you wouldn't be in danger of their getting lost if they managed to get out of the RV in a strange locale. If you're only going to be away for a couple of weeks I think I'd get a sitter rather than risk a precious pet going missing.

    When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say “I used everything you gave me.”

    Erma Bombeck

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Marietta, Ga
    Just an FYI.

    My dad's motorhome is 36 feet and he gets 9 miles to the gallon.

    That begin said. It is very nice. He's got outside furniture and a grill. He's also got cable/satellite TV, a DVD, air conditioning!

    I don't think I'd take cats. I'd be too concerned with them getting lost.

    In Georgia there are tons of state parks with RV sites. Those are very inexpensive to stay in. You'll also need to know how to do all the hook ups at a site, and how to dump your sewage. I haven't driven this one, and if we borrowed it for any reason DH would be doing ALL the driving.

    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Originally posted by Peggy
    What a timely thread!! DH and I were at an RV show a few weeeks ago. We are contemplating taking a year off from our careers and traveling through the U.S./Canada to relax, see all of the National Parks, and the other wonderful places that all of you BB friends live in!
    sounds like a dream!!! I would love to be able to do that.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Bowie, MD, USA
    My husband and I rented a campervan when we went to Australia. It was a nice size - nothing lavish, but comfortable. I'd definitley do it again. I did most of the driving, and it really wasn't that bad. (I think it was a Toyota truck/cab).

    Have fun!
    Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

    --Helen Keller

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    I've never been in an RV, but here is some info from BH&G that might be helpful:

    There is even a section on travelling with pets!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Lenexa, KS

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