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On the Road

Lara and I were talking about our up-coming visit to the US and all the money we'd burn on hotels, rental cars, and plane tickets, and I had the idea that we could buy an RV, spend the summer tooling around the US visiting family and friends, and then sell it and go directly to Spain (skipping Costa Rica altogether).

Does anyone have any info or advice on buying a good RV in the US?


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 13th, 2003 07:16 am (UTC)
You and your family are living such an exciting life. I'm envious. It sounds so wonderful.
Apr. 13th, 2003 07:59 am (UTC)
an RV will cost you at least 50k upwards (used) and 200k upwards for a new one. Apparently, they also depreciate very quickly. are you sure you want to stay in RV parks? are they safe? if you still want to go the rv way...why not just rent one?


good luck.
Apr. 13th, 2003 08:00 am (UTC)
oops..missed this one ..rental rv: http://www.cruiseamerica.com/
Apr. 13th, 2003 09:10 am (UTC)
RV dreams
an RV will cost you at least 50k upwards (used) and 200k upwards for a new one.

I was thinking of something far more modest.Something along these lines. Closer to Homer Simpson's rig than Ned Flanders'.

For what we'd spend to rent a shiny new RV for a month, we could buy a well-worn one and then just leave it at my grandparents place in Arkansas when we hit leave the country. I understand that they're quite difficult to sell.

This is all still in the highly speculative stages. It may never come to pass. We'll see.
Apr. 13th, 2003 09:17 am (UTC)
I take my grandma RV camping a couple of times a year. I've never had any trouble at RV parks, but the money we spent on gas on the big trips was about the same as we would have spent on motels. Our small RV costs $10 to $20 per hour to run (depending on gas prices), and RV parks charge $25 to $40 for a spot with hook ups.

Unless you just want the RV experience (which *is* fun), I would say rent a big car, buy a tent, and camp at KOA's. :-) Or use motel 6.
Apr. 13th, 2003 09:26 am (UTC)
Roadtrips with Logan
Part of the trouble is that Logan doesn't do well being strapped into a kiddie car seat for hours on end. His patience grows thin around the four hour mark. We thought with the RV he might have some room to move and thereby put up with longer periods on the road.
Apr. 13th, 2003 09:34 am (UTC)
Re: Roadtrips with Logan
In that case, you'll love RV travel!! :-) One of the things I like best is being able to pull over somewhere really cool and just hang out for a couple of hours. Of course, I also love having a refrigerator and a toilet right there with me, not to mention a bed! :-)
Apr. 13th, 2003 02:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Roadtrips with Logan

Having done the RV thing a bit (as a teenage boy helping with operation of the parent's RV)...

Ya still gotta be strapped in. The laws of physics continue to apply in an RV, but without the laws of modern automobiles. Remember that first and foremost when loading cargo, passengers, etc. It's possible to get up and use the loo if you're a passenger, certainly, but do so at your own risk. (It's like being in an airplane bathroom, only... much worse.)

So, remember to strap Logan in whenever the vehicle is in motion :-)

Also, with the type of RV you linked to earlier, consider air conditioning. Even if it has an overhead AC unit, it'll probably either require shoreline power or the generator (if available). Shoreline power will obviously be unavailable when you're not parked at a campsite; generator power will be noisy, and it'll suck fuel like any of a number of lewd analogies. The chassis air conditioning starts becoming extremely inadequate around 90F. Consider a more northern route, or consider the logistics of opening many windows. (There goes the toilet paper, wheee!)

For this short of a timespan, I'd seriously look at a rental. Owning an RV isn't that great, and selling it is significantly worse. It's like buying a car, maintaining a house, depreciating a computer, and selling a dead squirrel, all wrapped into one large box you can't take through the McDonalds drive-thru. -rt
Apr. 13th, 2003 04:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Roadtrips with Logan
obviously, internet is out..unless you want to the wireless thing..sounds like fun...might be fun..altho' i am not sure you'd save a lot..probably still as expensive as the other option
Apr. 13th, 2003 05:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Roadtrips with Logan
Thanks for the insight. That's just the sort of first-hand knowledge I was asking for when I posted the question.

Re: Rentals

From what I've seen from poking around on the web, rentals in the summer start at around US$1,200 a week, which adds up to ten grand pretty quickly.

Personally, I'd like to keep our stay in the US as short as possible (two weeks maximum), but I'm not the only person involved.
Apr. 13th, 2003 10:11 pm (UTC)
I'd go with VANS
Dunno, really. The "RV Culture" sounds like a milder, commercialized psuedo nomadic culture. "Wild" and "Free", but safer than "Hells Angels" or RL "gypsy" types. Wal-Mart has already embraced it.

Myself, I'd get a van. Not a new one, but a used one in good condition. (lots of local mechanics could fix one up) The weird thing about vans is that their value depriciates fantasticly, yet there are vans from the 60's and 70's still in use today. (I did a job in one a few years back, and it was super) Frankly, I can't believe anyone even buys SUV's. Vans can carry more and get better fuel efficency for the most part. Really easy to build shelves in them.
Apr. 14th, 2003 12:46 am (UTC)
Re: I'd go with VANS
I've been looking at a few van-style campers.

I don't have experience with every vehicle included in that much reviled class of contraptions sneered at under the collective lable of "SUV," but our Lexus RX300 was an absolute joy to drive, and it got better gas milage than the VW Jetta it replaced with far cleaner emissions.

Apr. 14th, 2003 08:54 am (UTC)
Well, living in a more rural part of the country, Montana, I've noticed SUV's to be very popular, even competing with pickups. Somehow, I developed a dislike of them even before it was "Enviornmentally popular" to do so.

Basicly, an SUV is a mutated child of a pickup truck, a van, and a jeep. Unfortunately, like many hybrids and crude genetic experiments, it is less than all three. Nowhere NEAR the hauling strength + ruggedness of the pickup truck, the carrying space + highway travel of the van, nor the superior offroad performance of the Jeep. It's popular however, commanding a premium price to buy one and I think their value stays high even for used ones. For the price of a new one, you could buy in used but good condition ALL THREE other vehicles, and have thousands extra.

Long and short, you will have a pain putting anything big in one (Like a Pinball Machine, from an experience of mine), and if you try to drive it like a truck or a jeep as the TV ads hint you can you'll end up stuck in the mud somewhere or rolling off a cliff.

Here's why they got popular: Engine emissions loophole. At the cost of being less fuel efficent, they are far more powerful. One person wasting money on gas for a fast car is one thing, but an entire nation liking those things....

That's where the enviornmental argument comes in.

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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