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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:05 pm 
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I agree with them. RV's are not really worth the $$, but a good tow behind trailer isn't a bad purchase. Back around 2006 I lost my job and it took me almost 18 months to find any suitable work that paid the bills. Previous to the job loss I had acquired and restored a 1988 Fleetwood Prowler. By restore I mean installing a new bigger bed, putting in new carpet, interior paint, A/C unit, and a new fridge. It looked pretty much like this particular one shown below.

What I am getting at is this. During this 18 month span I was forced to live in this particular trailer with a wife and 2 kids under the age of 4. Was it a good prep? Yes. But however I had bought it with the intent of camping/hunting out of it. Not living out of it in the Arizona heat. I quickly learned to improvise and deal without/create something from nothing to get by because you quickly learn that the space is extremely limited and to only use what/carry what is needed.

At the time I was towing it with a 99 Dodge Durango 4x4 with a 5.9 Magnum. It was the only vehicle I had, so I used it. It pulled it just fine, and I still own it to this day. The trailer, I do not. I got tired of living out of it and working odd jobs while trying to find lasting employment, got lucky and landed the railroad job on the recommendation of a friend, moved back to Mo and never looked back.

Would I own a trailer again? Yes but never live out of one again. If I ever had to run because of TEOTWAWKI, or bad weather I would rather have a large van sized like a class B, or just sleep in the SUV.

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:23 am 
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Sounds like a solid argument in favor of it as a prep.

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:35 am 
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Brekar wrote:
Was it a good prep? Yes. But however I had bought it with the intent of camping/hunting out of it. Not living out of it in the Arizona heat.
Stercutus wrote:
Sounds like a solid argument in favor of it as a prep.


It's probably obvious for those of us who've been camping in one form or another our entire lives, but to a brand new prepper I would say take up family camping as a hobby. Do it for fun and if that means compromises to make it more appealing to other family members, so be it. Even if your outings aren't, strictly speaking, the equivalent of a hard core bug out, the skills you learn are directly transferable to the real thing. Plus you'll make a lot of good memories along the way.

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:01 am 
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majorhavoc wrote:
Brekar wrote:
Was it a good prep? Yes. But however I had bought it with the intent of camping/hunting out of it. Not living out of it in the Arizona heat.
Stercutus wrote:
Sounds like a solid argument in favor of it as a prep.


It's probably obvious for those of us who've been camping in one form or another our entire lives, but to a brand new prepper I would say take up family camping as a hobby. Do it for fun and if that means compromises to make it more appealing to other family members, so be it. Even if your outings aren't, strictly speaking, the equivalent of a hard core bug out, the skills you learn are directly transferable to the real thing. Plus you'll make a lot of good memories along the way.


Cooking eatable meals over a campfire is an acquired skill. A skill that requires on-going practice. 'Camping' out is a good way to acquire and keep that skill set sharp.

As noted, it can be real fun as well - certainly a memory maker.

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:42 pm 
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majorhavoc wrote:
It's probably obvious for those of us who've been camping in one form or another our entire lives, but to a brand new prepper I would say take up family camping as a hobby. Do it for fun and if that means compromises to make it more appealing to other family members, so be it. Even if your outings aren't, strictly speaking, the equivalent of a hard core bug out, the skills you learn are directly transferable to the real thing. Plus you'll make a lot of good memories along the way.


This.

If you enjoy camping for camping's sake, then look into getting a trailer or RV for family fun, not a bug-out vehicle. Then, if disaster strikes (earthquake, approaching hurricane, TEOTWAWKI, visiting the in-laws) you can take it along.

But in the meantime you have an enjoyable place to stay on personal get-aways...


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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:29 am 
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I wouldn't call it a prep, directly. It is definitely a *recreational* vehicle and I'd rate it as light duty at that.

That said, I have lived in mine (31' motorhome) along with my family (wife + 2 kids) for long stretches of time in the past. A year and a half was one such duration. My kids were younger then so it was easier than it would be now, for sure.

We originally bought it because the displacement from hurricane Katrina was still going on at the time. Very few rooms for rent, zero apartments, no home rentals, etc even as far as Austin, TX where we were moving to from SoCal. I had 10 days from the time I accepted the job offer to needing to be at work for my first day. So, we bought the RV. We had been considering it and had a good trial run in a similar but older one not too long before. When you don't have other options - it's an excellent choice. :) Self sufficiency being proven out right there, regardless of price.

However, essentially it is all the creature comforts of home in a flimsy box. It's not the same as a home. Imagine 4 people in a one bedroom apartment. Now restrict that to 1/3 the space you imagined. Except it's not insulated well, it's not sturdy in inclement weather other than to stay dry. They come with lots of maintenance - dumping black & grey water, refilling fresh, sanitizing the lines, propane, etc.

But, there is ONE really big upside beyond being self-sufficient on the road. A trailer or motorhome gave my wife a completely different psychological state than living out of a car or under a truck topper would have. A bed to sleep on? A non-public bathroom & shower to clean up in? A microwave? That semblance of normalcy can be a very potent thing. That's really what RV's are built for, anyway.

With all that info, do I consider my RV a prep? Yes. But the 1989 F350 crew cab long bed we have gets the same gas mileage (8-10mpg) and has more towing capacity. If I were to bug out, I'd probably take the RV with my wife driving the truck separately. We'd have a portable home until we found something more permanent.

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:39 am 
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zombieapocalypsegame wrote:
I wouldn't call it a prep, directly. It is definitely a *recreational* vehicle and I'd rate it as light duty at that.

That said, I have lived in mine (31' motorhome) along with my family (wife + 2 kids) for long stretches of time in the past. A year and a half was one such duration. My kids were younger then so it was easier than it would be now, for sure.

We originally bought it because the displacement from hurricane Katrina was still going on at the time. Very few rooms for rent, zero apartments, no home rentals, etc even as far as Austin, TX where we were moving to from SoCal. I had 10 days from the time I accepted the job offer to needing to be at work for my first day. So, we bought the RV. We had been considering it and had a good trial run in a similar but older one not too long before. When you don't have other options - it's an excellent choice. :) Self sufficiency being proven out right there, regardless of price.

However, essentially it is all the creature comforts of home in a flimsy box. It's not the same as a home. Imagine 4 people in a one bedroom apartment. Now restrict that to 1/3 the space you imagined. Except it's not insulated well, it's not sturdy in inclement weather other than to stay dry. They come with lots of maintenance - dumping black & grey water, refilling fresh, sanitizing the lines, propane, etc.

But, there is ONE really big upside beyond being self-sufficient on the road. A trailer or motorhome gave my wife a completely different psychological state than living out of a car or under a truck topper would have. A bed to sleep on? A non-public bathroom & shower to clean up in? A microwave? That semblance of normalcy can be a very potent thing. That's really what RV's are built for, anyway.

With all that info, do I consider my RV a prep? Yes. But the 1989 F350 crew cab long bed we have gets the same gas mileage (8-10mpg) and has more towing capacity. If I were to bug out, I'd probably take the RV with my wife driving the truck separately. We'd have a portable home until we found something more permanent.

Thank you for this post, ZAG.

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:12 pm 
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I lived in a highly modified 19 foot trailer for most of a year in rural NV. Very pleasant, roomy even, for a singleton.

Some live in their RV full time - the most popular sizes run betwen 16 and 19 feet.

https://rvsueandcrew.com/ retired teacher and her pups living in a 16 foot Casita. Been at it for over 5 years. Worth reading if you will be camping in the Intermountian West - she spotlights cheap, public camping spots.

http://www.livesmallridefree.com/blog a couple modified a 25 foot 5th wheel to be 'carbon free - and live in it full time. Does point out the need for a safe harbor if you need to do dome serious repair work. Lots of photos

http://www.interstellarorchard.com/ single female living full time in a ’99 17′ Casita Spirit Deluxe.

https://rvchickadee.com/ yes, another single female living full time in her RV - lots of photos, very new age

https://memorymillionaires.com/about/ a young couple, in love and on the road. He's a Navy Vet, she, a college education worker bee. See their life on the road. New agers.

http://www.jenericramblings.com/ an older couple that travel in a 29′ Holiday Rambler Traveler (Class A) - this is the high-dollar life on the road.

http://www.roaditup.com/ younger Canadian couple with 3 kiddos. They run a '84 Wanderlodge Bus (and pulling a Westy) - fun blog.

http://placesandplatypie.com/ older couple for NY living in a 29' Winnebago Outlook. Lots of pics of their travels.

How do these people live, make money? This is how:

https://wandrlymagazine.com/ they sell books on how to live full time in an RV

Most of the others above have a link to Amazon to get a piece of the action - you don't pay any more and they get a faction of the sale. Affiliate marketing. It works.

http://www.hereforthebeer.com/ These folks are 'half-timers" and have a business at home. Fun blog.

https://www.nomadicdestiny.com/ follows a single male who gets married on his road trip in life. Has some good tips on setting an RV for full timing

https://www.facebook.com/meantforadventure/?fref=ts full timing life in a big, fat 1978 Airstream.

http://malimish.com/blog/about/ a family of 5 living full time in a 2007 Airstream International 25FB

http://subaruvagabond.com/ a single guy living in his Subaru Outback. http://subaruvagabond.com/about/living-setup/ how to live in a Subaru

http://www.watsonswander.com/ another couple full timing in a big fat 25 foot Airstream - how fun.

So, everything from a guy in the back of his Subaru to some Airstreamers. All full timing.

Enjoy

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:29 pm 
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I live in a tropical country and even though I do camp and hike, and also visit the US, Canada and The UK often even in winter months, I'm not that versed with RV living in very cold climates.

Do the new 4-season rated campers really hold up well?

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:07 pm 
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BloodLust wrote:
I live in a tropical country and even though I do camp and hike, and also visit the US, Canada and The UK often even in winter months, I'm not that versed with RV living in very cold climates.

Do the new 4-season rated campers really hold up well?



Not your answer, but 4 season campers work much better in our fourth season: Summer

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:26 pm 
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BloodLust wrote:
I live in a tropical country and even though I do camp and hike, and also visit the US, Canada and The UK often even in winter months, I'm not that versed with RV living in very cold climates.

Do the new 4-season rated campers really hold up well?


Northern British Columbia here...

To answer your question is it possible? Yes. Is it fun? Nooooooooo. There are ways to make a "4 Season" trailer liveable, mostly at the expense of mobility. We have a large 4 season trailer that came with what was advertised as the "Canadian Winter Package" Their idea of "Canadian Winter" is Vancouver :)

If you have full hookups it's workable to add an electric oil filled heater to help take some of the load off the furnace and save on Propane but realistically once it gets into actual Winter, it's better than a tent, but it's not a real replacement for a house. You can mitigate some heat loss by enclosing and insulating the bottom of the trailer down to the ground and my trailer has a heater for the enclosed underbelly so the water lines don't freeze, but it's still got a crappy R Rating for the walls and roof compared to a permanent structure.

When I first moved to BC From Alberta I lived in it through a summer and fall while my wife stayed behind to get the house ready to sell, by the end of October I was very ready to be in a real house.


To touch on the original point of the thread.... As a standalone prep? Probably not a great choice. Trailers are expensive, Motorhomes/RV's even more so and do require a fair bit of maintenance. That, and they depreciate at a ridiculous rate. If you really like trailer camping, or have a lake lot or something? Go for it. They're great fun and much more comfortable than living in a tent for weeks at a time, but are a poor replacement for a real house.

That being said, the wife acceptance factor is high when you can give her a flush toilet, AC and a Microwave as well as a 'real' bed to sleep in. If I could do it all over again I would go with a way smaller/lighter unit than we did as it's prohibitively expensive to tow any significant distance with my half ton. But at the time, wife got what she wanted and the intent was to park it at the lake and leave it there basically forever. Life worked out much differently.

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:52 pm 
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MPMalloy wrote:
Thank you for this post, ZAG.


You're quite welcome. Hadn't been on the board in a bit and missed the recent replies. Catching up now...

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:58 pm 
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great to see a couple old faces on the board recently.

I still stand by what I said. If you can afford one then great, for bugging out a smallish tow behind trailer can haul more and you can keep it stocked and ready to go. If you have some time and are decently handy putting in a wood stove (with the proper care of course!), it would probably be like hot tenting. I've seen a few ideas where people placed bricks down below and up the wall a bit and then used some sheet metal to reflect the heat away from the bricks. As long as you take care of it having an actual fireplace is no more dangerous than anything else. The R rating on any of the trailers/RV except for the VERY expensive fully built land yachts, is dismal but better than say, canvas tent.

I still plan on getting one once I get a house and have some extra income.

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:33 pm 
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Halfapint wrote:
I still stand by what I said. If you can afford one then great, for bugging out a smallish tow behind trailer can haul more and you can keep it stocked and ready to go.
This is what attracts me to having a smaill travel trailer, & everything else is kind of a turn-off. It is an upgrade from the matteress in my van, not too expensive; but a big expense for something that I hope I never need. I wouldn't mind camping for when there are no zombies, but I don't know what the cat would think.

And I needs me my cat.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:37 pm 
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MPMalloy wrote:
And I needs me my cat.


Mom has pirate kitty. An all black cat that she takes on the boat with her. It's a 28'x10' boat but the living area is much much smaller. The cat likes it she's a little scared when the engine is running. but she likes to sit up and look out the window.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:09 am 
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Most full-timers travel to the weather. Tucson or Quartzite in the winter, Montana or Alaska in the summer.

Part of the allure, I'm told, is the opportunity to travel as you flee the weather....

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:15 pm 
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Halfapint wrote:
great to see a couple old faces on the board recently.

I still stand by what I said. If you can afford one then great, for bugging out a smallish tow behind trailer can haul more and you can keep it stocked and ready to go.


I hope I didn't come across as seeming like I thought it was a BAD idea... I don't think that at all.

I just don't think buying a brand new trailer/RV is a sound investment, especially as a prep unless you're going to use it frequently for camping.

I really enjoy my trailer, it's nice to be able to have heat, a real bed, and hot water to shower with. I like very rough camping as well, but especially when the weather is bad and I have the family with me, the trailer is much nicer to have.

That being said, after insurance it runs me about $500/cad a month for the thing. If you're not using it every chance you have, it's a hell of a money pit.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:34 pm 
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slannesh wrote:
If you're not using it every chance you have, it's a hell of a money pit.

That is what keeps me from getting one. I want to be like RVSue, but I also like my elbow room.

If I win the lottery, I could get an Earthroamer. Maybe I should start buying tickets?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:18 pm 
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slannesh wrote:
Halfapint wrote:
great to see a couple old faces on the board recently.

I still stand by what I said. If you can afford one then great, for bugging out a smallish tow behind trailer can haul more and you can keep it stocked and ready to go.


I hope I didn't come across as seeming like I thought it was a BAD idea... I don't think that at all.

I just don't think buying a brand new trailer/RV is a sound investment, especially as a prep unless you're going to use it frequently for camping.

I really enjoy my trailer, it's nice to be able to have heat, a real bed, and hot water to shower with. I like very rough camping as well, but especially when the weather is bad and I have the family with me, the trailer is much nicer to have.

That being said, after insurance it runs me about $500/cad a month for the thing. If you're not using it every chance you have, it's a hell of a money pit.


Oh no no, I completely agree. I would NEVER ever buy one new. I would only buy one if it was cheap and I was able to fully inspect it, knowing full well I would be dropping a couple thousand on it to get it up to my own specs. The biggest job would be fully sealing all joints in the roof, then painting over everything with that thick RV roof seal stuff. RVs are like boats, just holes in the ground (or water) you throw money into.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Halfapint wrote:
slannesh wrote:
Halfapint wrote:
great to see a couple old faces on the board recently.

I still stand by what I said. If you can afford one then great, for bugging out a smallish tow behind trailer can haul more and you can keep it stocked and ready to go.


I hope I didn't come across as seeming like I thought it was a BAD idea... I don't think that at all.

I just don't think buying a brand new trailer/RV is a sound investment, especially as a prep unless you're going to use it frequently for camping.

I really enjoy my trailer, it's nice to be able to have heat, a real bed, and hot water to shower with. I like very rough camping as well, but especially when the weather is bad and I have the family with me, the trailer is much nicer to have.

That being said, after insurance it runs me about $500/cad a month for the thing. If you're not using it every chance you have, it's a hell of a money pit.


Oh no no, I completely agree. I would NEVER ever buy one new. I would only buy one if it was cheap and I was able to fully inspect it, knowing full well I would be dropping a couple thousand on it to get it up to my own specs. The biggest job would be fully sealing all joints in the roof, then painting over everything with that thick RV roof seal stuff. RVs are like boats, just holes in the ground (or water) you throw money into.

RV's (pick you your flavor) are one of those things where the expenses never end.

I gotta start buying lottery tickets.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:53 pm 
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MPMalloy wrote:
RV's (pick you your flavor) are one of those things where the expenses never end.

I gotta start buying lottery tickets.



This is true to an extent, we did buy ours new as it has warranty and well my wife was a princess so she needed to get exactly what she wanted.

There is maintenance that needs to be done, but in the 6 years I've owned this particular RV they've been very minimal. I had to repair some rodent damage which is always a big risk when storing RV's anywhere but on a concrete or asphalt pad but thankfully that was more of a frustrating experience trying to contort my arms to fit in the spots they needed to go than any real monetary expense. I do need to get on the roof again this summer and inspect it for dicor cracks, but haven't had any issues with leaks and the roof does have a 10 year leak warranty.

My primary issue with it is the size and weight. It's a 37.5' trailer that's 7500lbs dry weight. Not exactly what they call "Half ton towable" My truck will DO it... but I get abyssmal gas mileage (25ish Litres/100km) and it is a damned big sail on the back of the truck. I'm used to towing a large trailer but there was definitely a learning curve. Here in BC many of the Rec sites and provincial parks just can't accommodate a rig that long so it gets used way less than I would like. Before my wife passed away 4 years ago, we had access to a family lake property, but I don't go anymore since there have been issues with family members not wanting my fiance on the property at all. Just easier for us to not bother at this point, hence it makes the trailer more of a money pit than I would like, but that's life I suppose.

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:10 pm 
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In my extensive background of repairing and servicing all different different classes of RVs, I think a Class C/A(fullsize) would be a fool's errand. They are prohibitively expensive, even on the low end of the price spectrum, very poor fuel economy, many have complicated wiring diagrams(all of which WILL develop an issue sooner or later), and are very difficult to service. Even if your fullsize RV of choice HAS a spare tire, special equipment is required to change them. Now think about a TEOTWAWKI scenario, a 7 ton vehicle with a flat tire isn't going anywhere fast, especially if the heavy service vehicle isn't there to help you change your spare. A Class B has enough amenities of a Class C/A while retaining a small-ish footprint of a regular vehicle. Imo, if you are dead set on an RV, I think the best option would be either a Class B or a regular conversion van. The regular conversion vans are very comfortable, and much easier to work on than a Class B by far. My dad had an old Ford Econoline conversion van, the rear seat was a sofa, but folded flat into a mattress, kind of like a futon with seatbelts. It was very reliable, got around 14mpg(not terrible for a fullsize V8 van), and had tons of power. This leaves you with enough of a compromise of space, sleeping area, and power to tow a trailer if needed. Someone else mentioned the GVW of a combined vehicle and trailer package. That is also a major factor in what the final decision is. Personally, I like the idea of a kingcab pickup with a shell and a trailer. This gives you the most flexibility. You have enough room in the cab for 4-6 people depending on the cab+gear, the bed with a shell can keep sensitive/dangerous cargo(such as fuel cans, etc.) separated from the cab, and the trailer can be disconnected if need be. My pickup is a 1998 Ford Ranger XLT with the 3.0L V6, two wheel drive :vmad: but has the factory trailering package, and it has an aluminum shell with a ladder rack. I can roll out an air mattress in the back and have the kids sleep in the bed, I can tow a decent popup, and it is much simpler to work on than even the simplest conversion van. Before I get too far off-topic, I think this is where the small Class B or conversion van shines. It may not have a seperate cargo area(I wouldn't store fuel cans inside the van), but it has the same merits as the kingcab pickup/trailer setup. Both can haul people, goods, and cargo, and tow a trailer. The pickup would obviously be better offroad, but every setup has its cons and pros. Just food for thought.


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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:17 pm 
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RollinWOT wrote:
In my extensive background of repairing and servicing all different different classes of RVs, I think a Class C/A(fullsize) would be a fool's errand. They are prohibitively expensive, even on the low end of the price spectrum, very poor fuel economy, many have complicated wiring diagrams(all of which WILL develop an issue sooner or later), and are very difficult to service. Even if your fullsize RV of choice HAS a spare tire, special equipment is required to change them. Now think about a TEOTWAWKI scenario, a 7 ton vehicle with a flat tire isn't going anywhere fast, especially if the heavy service vehicle isn't there to help you change your spare. A Class B has enough amenities of a Class C/A while retaining a small-ish footprint of a regular vehicle. Imo, if you are dead set on an RV, I think the best option would be either a Class B or a regular conversion van. The regular conversion vans are very comfortable, and much easier to work on than a Class B by far. My dad had an old Ford Econoline conversion van, the rear seat was a sofa, but folded flat into a mattress, kind of like a futon with seatbelts. It was very reliable, got around 14mpg(not terrible for a fullsize V8 van), and had tons of power. This leaves you with enough of a compromise of space, sleeping area, and power to tow a trailer if needed. Someone else mentioned the GVW of a combined vehicle and trailer package. That is also a major factor in what the final decision is. Personally, I like the idea of a kingcab pickup with a shell and a trailer. This gives you the most flexibility. You have enough room in the cab for 4-6 people depending on the cab+gear, the bed with a shell can keep sensitive/dangerous cargo(such as fuel cans, etc.) separated from the cab, and the trailer can be disconnected if need be. My pickup is a 1998 Ford Ranger XLT with the 3.0L V6, two wheel drive :vmad: but has the factory trailering package, and it has an aluminum shell with a ladder rack. I can roll out an air mattress in the back and have the kids sleep in the bed, I can tow a decent popup, and it is much simpler to work on than even the simplest conversion van. Before I get too far off-topic, I think this is where the small Class B or conversion van shines. It may not have a seperate cargo area(I wouldn't store fuel cans inside the van), but it has the same merits as the kingcab pickup/trailer setup. Both can haul people, goods, and cargo, and tow a trailer. The pickup would obviously be better offroad, but every setup has its cons and pros. Just food for thought.

What do you think of Sportsmobile? Have you ever worked on one?

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 Post subject: Re: RVs
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:26 pm 
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MPMalloy wrote:
What do you think of Sportsmobile? Have you ever worked on one?


I do like the Sportsmobiles. They are usually converted from a proven 4x4 truck chassis. The ones I have seen are Ford Econolines with front suspensions and axles from the F250 Super Duties, but IDK about any of the Dodge or Chevy 4x4 sportsmobile style vans, I assume they would also use in-house vehicle swaps by staying with manufacturer specific parts i.e. Ram 2500 swaps for a Dodge B-series van or Silverado HD swaps for a Chevy Express. Most of those are just as good as their 2wd counterparts, with added clearance and body cutting to accommodate the T-case and front solid axle. I would love to see an older Econoline done with the TTB 4x4 front suspension instead of a solid axle., but at that point, it's basically a 4x4 Explorer, just a bit larger. I mean for a while they made the Explorer with 4x4 and a 5.0L V8.


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