retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

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4nwestsaylng
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retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:02 pm

So many heavy financial threads this week, thought I would poll the experienced and Walter Mittys with regard to the area of travel, whether to consider an RV, which RV, or just fly/drive and stay at hotels/motels.

This was prompted by a brief visit from a cousin,single, who arrived with her two dogs in a new Pleasure Way Sprinter RV van. I was amazed how they engineered a bathroom, sink,microwave,stove, fridge, bed, in a short chassis Sprinter. She was traveling down to her condo in Arizona, so staying at RV parks along the way.

I can see that for a single person, or maybe a couple, a so called Class B RV has advantages of being easy to drive, economical (diesel),perhaps safer than the Class C RVs which are made of plywood with a metal fascia, certainly less expensive than the committment of a Class A bus. Yet I thought, it must be nice on the road to stay every few days at a Holiday Inn Express or similar, nice shower, bed, roaming room, etc..

And then there are the trailers. I remember years ago, when in my twenties, I was tenting at a State Park near Santa Barbara. It was November, chilly at night. Next to our campsite, a couple had a small Airstream. They enjoyed an outdoor fire, and then when it got too windy, retreated inside their cozy Airstream, where I could see them playing cards and having coffee at the kitchen table. Whereas we were in the tent, it was lights out and the wind howling. Never forgot that image. So I think of the Airstream Bambi, yes you have to tow it, but when you stop, you have some space. I have a half ton truck, I think that would be enough to tow the Bambi.

And then there is the very stable Fifth Wheel trailer. But I would have to upgrade to a big diesel truck, don't want to do that.

So all these RV choices are part of my Walter Mitty dreams, but sometimes I wonder if it is just better to hit the road and stay at motels

Hope this will stimulate some discussion and thoughts that will help more than just myself. :sharebeer

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fortfun
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by fortfun » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:13 pm

4nwestsaylng wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:02 pm
So many heavy financial threads this week, thought I would poll the experienced and Walter Mittys with regard to the area of travel, whether to consider an RV, which RV, or just fly/drive and stay at hotels/motels.

This was prompted by a brief visit from a cousin,single, who arrived with her two dogs in a new Pleasure Way Sprinter RV van. I was amazed how they engineered a bathroom, sink,microwave,stove, fridge, bed, in a short chassis Sprinter. She was traveling down to her condo in Arizona, so staying at RV parks along the way.

I can see that for a single person, or maybe a couple, a so called Class B RV has advantages of being easy to drive, economical (diesel),perhaps safer than the Class C RVs which are made of plywood with a metal fascia, certainly less expensive than the committment of a Class A bus. Yet I thought, it must be nice on the road to stay every few days at a Holiday Inn Express or similar, nice shower, bed, roaming room, etc..

And then there are the trailers. I remember years ago, when in my twenties, I was tenting at a State Park near Santa Barbara. It was November, chilly at night. Next to our campsite, a couple had a small Airstream. They enjoyed an outdoor fire, and then when it got too windy, retreated inside their cozy Airstream, where I could see them playing cards and having coffee at the kitchen table. Whereas we were in the tent, it was lights out and the wind howling. Never forgot that image. So I think of the Airstream Bambi, yes you have to tow it, but when you stop, you have some space. I have a half ton truck, I think that would be enough to tow the Bambi.

And then there is the very stable Fifth Wheel trailer. But I would have to upgrade to a big diesel truck, don't want to do that.

So all these RV choices are part of my Walter Mitty dreams, but sometimes I wonder if it is just better to hit the road and stay at motels

Hope this will stimulate some discussion and thoughts that will help more than just myself. :sharebeer
You should break even pretty quickly if you buy a used trailer for your existing truck. If you purchase new, especially the Sprinter RV, it will take you much longer to break even (plus taxes, registration, storage, gas, insurance, etc.). Hotels are expensive and you usually can't cook at them. Since food is a very expensive part of travel, I'd consider VRBOs, AirBandBs, or Booking.com apartments. You can find them for $100 a night, or less, and you can cook there. RVs/trailers are nice because you can usually stay right where you are traveling without paying $250 a night for a National Park lodge and you can prepare your meals in them too. If you can "rough it" I'd go with a nice used trailer for your truck. If money isn't a worry, you'll probably be more comfortable staying at a hotel/lodge. You might rent an RV before you invest. I'm trying to hit all of the National Parks with my family. We are at 30 so far. We've slept in a tent or under my truck topper for all of them except for one night at Mesa Verde, and VRBOs in Hawaii. There's no way we could have afforded to do this staying in hotels.

n00b
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by n00b » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:26 pm

I know one thing I appreciate about camping is that it removes the stress of having to get somewhere or endure bad conditions. If the weather gets bad or whatever I can just pitch my tarp/tent and move on when I'm ready. Presumably this also applies somewhat to RV travel in the West if you're in to boondocking.

4nwestsaylng
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:14 pm

Not into boondocking. Good for some, but I have friends who have boondocked down in the desert near the border at Yuma and had some scares. Previous poster mentioned a used trailer as a possibility, and I would consider a small Airstream for the handling and safety. A used Bambi would probably run about $30k, but resale is pretty good. I drive an Avalanche, so from the camping perspective, could even set up the inside bedliner area for sleeping,since with midgate down and rear seat down, it would be pretty secure, but I think I am beyond that now. Did a lot of tent camping years ago, but I have less confidence in the security of tenting in state parks today, there is more risk.

I can see where the Class B motorhome (converted van) does have appeal for some couples or singles, and they do depreciate fast, but even so, their original price is often well over $100k, so used still well above a trailer, and as previous poster mentioned, there is registration, maintenance, and also that becomes one of your vehicles the rest of the year.

I guess a used basic van could be minimally converted by owner, I have seen some examples online. Basically, if you are not going to cook, and if you are staying at say, a KOA with showers etc., you really only need a bed, a heater, ventilation, fridge, and some storage space. If done economically, one could do a few days at the RV parks and sometimes at a hotel.I understand that the private RV parks can be quite nice, and also with the availability of hot deli meals at grocery stores, and better frozen dinners (microwave), there really would not be a need to cook in the van.

I have heard some analysis that you could actually travel by car, stay at medium level hotels such as Holiday Express, Springhill Suites, etc and still come out well ahead on an annual basis over an RV, but that would depend on whether taking a two week vacation vs months for sure.

The idea of VRBO or Air BNB is appealing and merits some research.

quantAndHold
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:28 pm

We travel a lot in a small Class C built on a Sprinter chassis. Advantage is that it’s set up the way we like. The bed is comfortable. The shower is hot and clean. We can cook for ourselves if we want, or go out if we don’t want to cook. We bring the pets with us. We sleep in locations that we would have a much harder time getting to if we were in hotels or B&B’s. If you need to stay in a hotel occasionally, you’re probably not doing it right. We prefer the motorhome to a hotel, and see no need to “take nights off” from the motorhome.

When you’re considering cost, think about depreciation and resale. There are significant differences between brands. A cheap trailer isn’t always cheap.

Disadvantages to RV travel...it’s slow. It took us six weeks to get across the country this summer, and we felt rushed. We saw and did a lot of cool stuff during that six weeks, though. Campgrounds can be noisy, especially during school holidays. You’re limited to North America. The RV itself is expensive. I did the math once, and I think you really need to use it at least 8-10 weeks per year to break even with driving and hotels. Stuff breaks. You need to have a sense of adventure and some problem solving skills.

So there are trade offs. If you’re planning on spending extended time on the road in North America, an RV is hard to beat. If you want to do more foreign travel or you have time constraints, it’s probably not the way to go.

TravelGeek
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:57 pm

4nwestsaylng wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:02 pm
Hope this will stimulate some discussion and thoughts that will help more than just myself. :sharebeer
We have friends who are currently on their fifth retirement travel vehicle. No, they don’t crash them, they always discover that what they have isn’t quite perfect and so they up or downgrade. From smaller airstream to larger airstream to expendition vehicle 1 to expedition vehicle 2 to now expedition vehicle 3. All over the course of maybe 10 years. They claim they aren’t losing any (or much) money when trading up/down.

Me? I like staying at a Holiday Inn :)

I have been tempted by Class B Sprinter vehicles, but I am just not convinced that the expense (purchase, maintenance, operation, storage) is worth it. Then again, we have only been retired for a few weeks and won’t go on a road trip for a little while (international air travel first).

GCD
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by GCD » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:16 pm

4nwestsaylng wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:02 pm

Hope this will stimulate some discussion and thoughts that will help more than just myself. :sharebeer
So in the mode of stimulating discussion...

Have you thought about a boat? My wife and I are taking boating lessons in anticipation of doing the Great Loop. This is a trip that takes you on a full loop from Florida up the East Coast and Intercoastal Waterway to New York, then up the Hudson River to some Great Lake, across 3 Great Lakes to Chicago then through canals to the Mississippi river down to the Gulf of Mexico and then over to Florida. It's about a 6,000 mile trip and a lot of people do it over the course of a year. If you do that you avoid hurricane season in the south and avoid severe winter weather in the north.

There's all kinds of spurs too. I plan on visiting friends in Kentucky, Tennessee, South Dakota and Oklahoma.

We have talked for 17 years about doing the RV thing across America. We are still going to do some form of that, but the Great Loop lets you see urban areas like New York City and Chicago that you would never go near in a 5th wheel. There's quite a community of boaters too.

https://www.greatloop.org/content.aspx?sl=1019537446

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by curmudgeon » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:48 pm

I think you have to figure out your travel style. The seemingly "spontaneous" moving around when you like with an RV may not be quite so simple when it comes down to finding camping sites, especially in popular national parks. I'm not sure you save any money with an RV, but it does open up some options that might not be available otherwise.

My wife and I are dipping our toes in the water since we recently retired. We bought a used 28' 5th wheel this summer, relatively light so it can be safely towed by our "heavy half-ton" pickup. We didn't get a lot of use out of it this year, because we had a lot of other travel previously planned. We'll see how it goes next year; we are aiming for ~6 weeks around some of the western national and state parks. After that we'll have a better idea of whether we want to stay with it for the longer term or sell and move on. I don't think we would ever go into the full-time mode, or the big bus rigs; they just aren't our style.

RVs really force a lot of tradeoffs, especially if you stay out of the huge rigs. Beds are often short or difficult to get in/out of. Showers may be cramped (or share the toilet space). I don't find the furniture on many low-end rigs very comfortable. Parking, or even getting gas can be a challenge for space. Big rigs may not fit in a lot of the older (and nicer) state/national park campgrounds. Complex systems that are banging down the road may have a lot of maintenance/repair headaches. I've seen a lot of folks bounce around (expensively) between various sizes and types of RVs trying to find the right compromise.

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Nestegg_User
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by Nestegg_User » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:56 pm

I’ll play...

for us (year three of retirement), we found the depreciation of RV’s in general to be very high.... whether it was trailer or Class A/C , so we just couldn’t see getting new but wanted something for travel domestically (already have acreage so no storage issue)

we ended up going with NEW truck [F250, crew cab... 3/4 ton with more than enough capability] (it has other uses) which then gives some reliable transportation and a good used trailer with the setup we (couple plus dogs) wanted. The variety of trailers is larger so you’re more likely to find something that fits your needs ... (go to an RV show just to look)... but get a truck that CAN handle it, and I mean that isn’t at it’s limits when trying to take mountain passes at 8% to 10% grades (I’ve been on them). Then you can bring your pets (not cost extra for them), safely stay in areas with wildlife (out west where we are you need to be aware) and you can (usually) find something at a reasonable price point ( but not always), but availability can be limited (just as with other options), especially in “high season”.

{use a site like “ParkAdvisor” for info on commercial/state sites and also the National Parks site, which uses “www (dot) recreation (dot) gov” for campsite registration. It’ll take awhile to get a handle on all the sites you may want to use and how to plan your trips.... hint: it’s easier when retired and flexible}

edit: up thread it noted how slow RV can be... yep (partly just the safety aspect of moving that many tons down the road alongside smaller vehicles) so consider where you are and how far away most of your likely travel destinations are in both miles and days away. We consider that the max reasonable distance per day is about 400-450 miles with a longer haul being about 600 miles; more than that it really is a chore and you will start to not enjoy it, wherein it makes more sense to just use hotels/motels/airbnb.
{We won’t be hauling east of the Mississippi (for sure), likely not anywhere east of Colorado. In this our first year, have gone out about eight times for anywhere from about four days to three weeks (we were more limited in the first part of the year but hope to step up travel next year)}
Last edited by Nestegg_User on Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

4nwestsaylng
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:13 am

I appreciate some of the wisdom imparted in the above threads. For sure won't be doing a boat loop of the East, but for a boater that probably beats an RV.

I am recently retired, and I see that this question has been faced by many in the pre or early retirement situation, as the thread shows so far.
Most of my working life, I had short times for vacation, so got used to flying, renting a car for a week, seeing a lot of an area, flying home.So the RV thing is certainly different, and I probably don't fit a full time or near half time RV living style. As some of you have stated, may still want to do some flying, eg to Hawaii. And the reality is that most of the year I will stay at home, but here in the NW, there are indeed many great places for a few days of RV living, such as Vancouver Island or other areas in British Columbia. Towing a small trailer for a week wouldn't be so bad, considering the travel distance to many of these sites is less than 300 miles.

The expensive Sprinter conversion that I saw was done first class,but the reality still is that the aisle was very narrow, everything is pretty cramped in that van, and the price/depreciation is high.Space does become an issue,especially for couples. I knew people who would take an RV motorhome to the Phoenix area, to spend a few months. After a season or two of that, they would buy a "Park Model" fixed mobile home in an RV park in a place like Mesa, AZ. Pretty soon I would hear that the two of them were just too crowded in the Park Model and they either buy a full sized mobile home in one of those parks, or just rent a condo. But then, these were seniors who were not traveling. They would drive to Phoenix for a few months, and stay in one place.

Maybe the best thing to consider is to look at a part of the country you want to explore, fly there, rent a Class B or C motorhome for a tour of that region, for a couple of weeks, and then see if it is something worth pursuing. I know that one problem with many of these RVs is that they have "beds" with foam mattresses that are not really that great, to save weight. So for a good sleep, might have to consider a mattress topper or a high end foam mattress in an RV that you owned.

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Nestegg_User
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by Nestegg_User » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:31 am

OP

yep, the RV’s don’t have the best mattresses... we ended up getting a nice topper (but unable to find one for RV size queens). (with a good heavy duty truck the extra weight isn’t a problem; with a smaller one it could be. Still need to be within limits of the trailer... but that’s not an issue for shorter term haul)

the nice thing about retirement is that you can choose how long to get away...as we have dogs, we take them with us so don’t have as much need to return quickly, except to make sure we get through any passes etc to get home in winter (ours is really only a three season... don’t want to try in deep winter)

we’re south of you but have been to Yellowstone, multiple times to the coast, multiple times to the mountains... but there’s definitely some planning as “size matters”, which is why we limited our rig to 24 ft trailer or less so as to fit in smaller state/ federal campgrounds but give us room (we don’t have sliders... less to break down but also less room required for the site)

{we hope to get up to Ft Townsend area and see the Olympic Peninsula again next year. We’ve been to Victoria before but that’s before RV, and really can’t see the economics of getting a truck/trailer there via ferry as it’s very expensive. }

4nwestsaylng
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:44 am

Nestegg; if you don't want the ferry expense, there is a lot to see in interior British Columbia. I had summer jobs in college that allowed me to travel all through B.C.. I would recommend in summer, the Okanagan Valley(Kelowna, Vernon), Kamloops, Prince George, Dawson Creek. But this is from June through September. Fall on Vancouver Island is great, but to justify the ferry charge for your trailer you would probably want to stay a few weeks. You have Victoria, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach and on up the Island, which is several hundred miles long.The further north, the wetter/colder the weather.
There are actually hardy palm trees in neighborhoods of Victoria.

Thinking about it, I will keep the Avalanche for now, maybe get a small trailer, but in future I can see going to a 3/4 ton diesel truck, which I could use as my vehicle anyway, and then look for a fifth wheeler under 30 feet as you have. One slide out would be nice. I have stayed at many military bases, and most have a nice RV park area for veterans. The people in the fifth wheels with a slide out seemed to be the most comfortable.

As I see it, the fifth wheel is more stable, there is less towing sway, it is like a small semi truck, and you get to use your truck as the vehicle, which can be used the rest of the year. Also the ones I have seen at the military bases, they can go into town in their truck and leave the fifth wheel. Maybe I will just skip the trailer and look at first trading up to a bigger truck, even though I really like the Avalanche for around town. I don't think I will consider the Class B or C motorhomes, as I won't be on the road for months, and when not using it the vehicle would just sit in a storage facility- I see lots of them there already, or in driveways with a tarp over them :x

brajalle
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by brajalle » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:51 am

We've spent a ton of time debating how to travel over the years.

Flying has largely been ruled out as a preferred means - not only is it a miserable way to travel, but things like dogs & medical issues make it less desirable (and cost long-term).

RV's are a nice alternative. As another poster said, you're really limited to North America though. After much thought, we completely ruled out Class A camper's - too much of a safety issue (among other reasons). Class B's are safer, and there's many nice ones. We ultimately ruled it out due to some size concerns, but also because of a desire to avoid adding an extra motorized vehicle. Class C's - I think these are in many ways the safest motor RV out there. The truck cab's themselves are likely safer than even a Class B imo. We ended up deciding on Super C's as being the choice for us, until the cost for a well built model (see Renegade) and desire to avoid an extra motorized vehicle set in. Of note, our state is very expensive to title/register/license new vehicles in.

This left us with travel trailers. Not a huge fan of these either! Without going into that too much, one of the larger reasons is because it makes traveling much more about traveling A->B in order to drop the trailer and prevents towing anything else. That doesn't leave anything right? Actually, there's still truck campers left. A little forgotten part of the RV industry, they were actually perfect for our needs. It preserves your ability to tow, doesn't burden us with yet another motorized vehicle, has zero registration/licensing/titling costs (in our state), can be dropped at a campsite, etc. The only thing it did was bump a 4wd purchase into a more expensive HD truck category. Not the end of the world, since the price combined is still much less than a Super C. It's also dog friendly, even if it's a bit less friendly than an open Class A/B/C while driving. Always tradeoffs...

Longer-term, we're hopefully sailing on the water if life & medical permits. Also looking forward to the great loop like GCD. Airlines and hotels? No thanks! (although some hotels and airlines make it less bad)

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by The Wizard » Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:13 am

I retired in 2013 and thought I might have a travel trailer by now, but I don't.
Part of the "problem" is international travel; another part of the problem is conferences where an RV doesn't work.

This year I've had a trip to Morocco in March, to Italy in July/August, and to Bonaire next week. In recent years we've also fliown to southern California on 12/25 or 26 for 12 days or so.

Domestically this year, I've had 4-5 day trips to Holland, MI, to Kansas City, to Philly/Delaware, and to Tulsa. An RV wouldn't have worked for any of thise, especially for the rather short time involved.

Nonetheless, I'm still thinking about a 17' Casita trailer and I'll stop by the factory in Texas for a tour during planned road trip to Arizona next March. I have an F-150 so that's an easy match...
Attempted new signature...

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by Tarheel_P » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:30 am

RV travel in retirement is a lifestyle choice. Seven years ago we bought a new truck and three year old 27’ Airstream trailer. We spend about 1/3 of the year on the road and each trip ranges from a week to 2 months depending on destination. Our preference is to stay in state parks or a mountain escape campsite we purchased in a private campground.

Travel can be slow but in retirement we have the time and enjoy exploring places off the beaten path. When in motion our limit is about 300 miles driving per day. We bought lightly a used trailer from an individual whose wife didn’t like camping so we avoided the big initial depreciation buying new. Well cared for used Airstream trailers hold their value and sell quickly unlike many motorized RV’s and box trailers. The current market price of ours is within $5000 of what we paid for it. We researched the market for about a year before we decided on type of RV, make and model. As a result we are still happy with the original purchase.

Our trailer is small enough to fit in most national parks yet large enough for two people to live in comfortably for weeks or months at a time. It tows easily. Maintenance and repairs are simple and can be performed by an owner with some handyman skills. In our travels like to place it in a campground for 2 days to a week at a time while we explore an area or region. Our pickup has four wheel drive which has allowed us to experience many natural attractions most car tourists don’t see.

The best part of RV camping is something we didn’t anticipate. The traveling Airstream community is close knit. We have a wonderful social life on the road. We’ve made new friends and enjoy meeting up with them from time to time in our travels. We also attend 2-3 destination rallies per year where we connect with friends and meet new people. We actively participate in RV social media sites where we keep up with friends on the road and learn about new destinations. Recently we’ve started spending some time each year traveling on caravans with other RV owners to explore specific locations as a group.

City travel is possible with research and planning. We’ve stayed at city parks, fairgrounds and even a marina in urban areas. Even in the New York City area there is a campground in New Jersey frommwhich you can be in Manhattan in 30 minutes. In metro areas without public transport park the trailer at a campground outside the city and drive our truck to destinations in town.

After seven years of travel our bucket list of places we want to see gets longer so we don’t feel limited by the continent. In 2019 we plan to spend the month of March on a caravan in Louisiana, About 30 days on another caravan in the Canadian Rockies in the summer and two months on our own in the US northwest.

RV travel has enriched our lives in many ways we never anticipated. We’ve gone places and seen natural wonders unlikely to be reached during a fly/drive trip. We certainly wouldn’t have the friendships we’ve made across the country. We do take on average one fly/drive trip per year. We find we see and experience more with our RV.

If you are considering RV life I encourage you to rent a Class C motorhome and take a week long trip. Also there are some great YouTube videos posted by RV travelers. Search Youtube for “The Long, long honeymoon.”, “Less Junk, More Journey”, for video blogs that give a good view of RV travel.

RickBoglehead
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:00 am

GCD wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:16 pm
4nwestsaylng wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:02 pm

Hope this will stimulate some discussion and thoughts that will help more than just myself. :sharebeer
So in the mode of stimulating discussion...

Have you thought about a boat? My wife and I are taking boating lessons in anticipation of doing the Great Loop. This is a trip that takes you on a full loop from Florida up the East Coast and Intercoastal Waterway to New York, then up the Hudson River to some Great Lake, across 3 Great Lakes to Chicago then through canals to the Mississippi river down to the Gulf of Mexico and then over to Florida. It's about a 6,000 mile trip and a lot of people do it over the course of a year. If you do that you avoid hurricane season in the south and avoid severe winter weather in the north.

There's all kinds of spurs too. I plan on visiting friends in Kentucky, Tennessee, South Dakota and Oklahoma.

We have talked for 17 years about doing the RV thing across America. We are still going to do some form of that, but the Great Loop lets you see urban areas like New York City and Chicago that you would never go near in a 5th wheel. There's quite a community of boaters too.

https://www.greatloop.org/content.aspx?sl=1019537446
Never heard of the Great Loop before. Saw this, did some reading. Interesting. Grew up with 21 foot boat, also Hobie Cat. Got out of boating 22 years ago, go back into it last year but small. Thinking to retirement in 2 1/2 years, going to explore this.

Thanks!


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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by bdaniel58 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:11 am


trirod
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by trirod » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:16 am

4nwestsaylng wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:02 pm

And then there are the trailers. I remember years ago, when in my twenties, I was tenting at a State Park near Santa Barbara. It was November, chilly at night. Next to our campsite, a couple had a small Airstream. They enjoyed an outdoor fire, and then when it got too windy, retreated inside their cozy Airstream, where I could see them playing cards and having coffee at the kitchen table. Whereas we were in the tent, it was lights out and the wind howling. Never forgot that image. So I think of the Airstream Bambi, yes you have to tow it, but when you stop, you have some space. I have a half ton truck, I think that would be enough to tow the Bambi.
Gaviota State Park? I think 50mph winds are normal there. Last time we went tent camping there I’ll bet that at least half the tents were collapsed by morning.

quantAndHold
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:12 am

The Wizard wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:13 am
Domestically this year, I've had 4-5 day trips to Holland, MI, to Kansas City, to Philly/Delaware, and to Tulsa. An RV wouldn't have worked for any of thise, especially for the rather short time involved.
We’ve been to all of those places within the past two years in our motorhome. There are reasonable places to park, with hookups, in all of them. Some cities are better than others for camping, but in a pinch, there’s usually some legal place to camp that’s a lot cheaper than staying in hotels. The place in Philly was especially hilarious. It was $35/night. We were backed up to a loading dock in an industrial area. But it was right in town and we could easily bus/Lyft to everything we wanted to do.

Getting there can take some time, though, at the 300 miles or so per day that we max out at.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by The Wizard » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:09 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:12 am
The Wizard wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:13 am
Domestically this year, I've had 4-5 day trips to Holland, MI, to Kansas City, to Philly/Delaware, and to Tulsa. An RV wouldn't have worked for any of thise, especially for the rather short time involved.
We’ve been to all of those places within the past two years in our motorhome. There are reasonable places to park, with hookups, in all of them. Some cities are better than others for camping, but in a pinch, there’s usually some legal place to camp that’s a lot cheaper than staying in hotels. The place in Philly was especially hilarious. It was $35/night. We were backed up to a loading dock in an industrial area. But it was right in town and we could easily bus/Lyft to everything we wanted to do.

Getting there can take some time, though, at the 300 miles or so per day that we max out at.
Not totally disagreeing.
The central part of both the Philly trip and the Tulsa trip was conferences where one generally wants to stay in the conference hotel.

The KC trip and the Holland trip could more readily have been done in RV mode, especially with my preferred pickup and travel trailer.
But from the Boston area it's a bit of a haul, so was easier to just fly and rent a car...
Attempted new signature...

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by 1TheGame » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:17 am

DW and I had always talked about getting some type of RV when we retired (and touring around the country). In the year prior to my retirement (in early 2018) we started seriously looking at RVs. We quickly decided that a travel trailer would work best for us. Our priority is not staying in a campground, but using it as a base to tour (hike, bike, etc) the area. So drop off the trailer, and use the tow vehicle for getting around. The systems in the trailer are pretty simple and I think I can maintain it myself as well as do many of the potential repairs. By comparison, the systems in motor homes are much more complex and hard to work on. Plus repairs typically have to be done at an RV or specialized repair shop. A tow vehicle (e.g. pickup truck) can be repaired it many more places than a motor home.

We spent a year going to RV shows and dealerships to decide what trailer would work best for us. We started looking at trailers around 18 feet in length; as we thought about how we would live in the trailer, and what features we wanted, we gradually moved to longer and longer trailers. These are the features we decided were "must haves":

1. Dry bath (the smaller trailers have "wet baths" in which the toilet and sink are basically in the shower)
2. Comfortable sofa (I know from camping that it is important to have a comfortable place to sit)
3. Dinette - place to eat & use laptop
4. Separate bedroom and living area - smaller trailers have one space for everything. I like being around my DW, but not necessarily 100% of the time. In particular, she likes staying up later than me and I like getting up earlier than her. So we wanted a trailer two spaces (and a door between them). Having two separate spaces was also recommended to me by an experienced RVer I know.
5. Not sure why, but most trailers seem to use darker interior colors (dark cabinets, wall coverings). Did not like that. Some had interiors with lighter colors, much more pleasant. So we wanted a trailer with lighter/brighter interior colors.
6. Good amount of storage space.
7. Towable by 1/2 ton pickup.

The smallest trailer that met all of our requirements was a 28' Winnebago Minnie trailer. We liked the quality compared to many of the other brands we looked at. Really not that expensive - with a little bargaining about the price of a non-luxury mid size car. The expensive part was getting a good tow vehicle - an F150 pickup that was well-equipped and spec'ed (particularly payload) for towing. But pickups hold there value pretty well. Plus I found that there are advantages to having a pickup (it is useful for some of my hobbies). I'm mainly using it as a third vehicle and not as a daily driver.

The past year we only got to use the trailer for a 10 day trip, but both of us really liked it. The trailer worked out just as we hoped it would, and we are planning on several long trips next year.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by bloom2708 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:23 am

Check out the Leisure Travel Vans website. Great designs. Not cheap.

Better space as compared to the Sprinter designs. Not as nimble though.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by tibbitts » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:53 am

Nestegg_User wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:31 am
{we hope to get up to Ft Townsend area and see the Olympic Peninsula again next year. We’ve been to Victoria before but that’s before RV, and really can’t see the economics of getting a truck/trailer there via ferry as it’s very expensive. }
Yes, it's expensive to take your RV on the ferry, but not compared to everything else related to an RV. Having said that an occasional night in a hotel won't hurt, especially if you have a small and/or inexpensive RV (spending less on the RV, or at least having a tiny one, makes spending the occasional hotel night more psychologically appealing.)
Last edited by tibbitts on Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by tibbitts » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:08 am

I've owned a few difference RVs and there is no perfect solution. Small differences mean a lot - a few feet of length, 7 vs. 7.5 vs 8ft widths. Travel done right always involves a lot of u-turns and that can be challenging - sometimes challenging just with a car or truck. You don't want the RV to keep you from going places.

Pets are still a challenge if you need to leave it/them unattended to visit places where pets are not allowed.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by Watty » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:49 am

4nwestsaylng wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:02 pm
So many heavy financial threads this week, thought I would poll the experienced and Walter Mittys with regard to the area of travel, whether to consider an RV, which RV, or just fly/drive and stay at hotels/motels.
A while back I looked at the economics of getting an RV or trailer and there are a few things to keep in mind;

1) An RV campsite with hookups will not be inexpensive and could easily be good fraction of the cost of a budget hotel just outside a national park.

2) If you do not have a place to store an RV on your property then you will need to pay a significant amount to store it somewhere the rest of year.

3) If you need to buy a large vehicle to tow a trailer then you will likely drive that year round and it may be a lot more expensive to operate the rest of the year.

When you add in all the other costs it would be hard to justify it economically compared to staying at hotels and motels. That is not to say getting some sort of RV would be a bad choice, it is just that it is a lifestyle choice and not an economic choice for most people.

If you had limited means and wanted to do something like boondock for free and could not otherwise afford to travel that might be a different situation and that would be very doable but that does not sound like what you were talking about.

Some other negatives for us.

1) We live in the southeast which does have some camping possibilities but many of the places we would want to RV at it would be a very long drive there.

2) We also enjoy international travel and between our budget and time that would be hard to do in addition to having an RV.

3) After 3 or 4 weeks on the road we are usually ready to go home so the idea of being on the road for several months has limited appeal for us.

4) We have a four cylinder pickup truck that you could in theory tow a small trailer with. When I looked into the details the actual limitations were a lot more complicated and limiting so we could have only towed a very small camping trailer, like a pop-up.

Just for brainstorming another option I have toyed with that you could consider since you already have a truck would be to get a small enclosed box trailer that you could store tent camping equipment in and then do tent camping. They make these especially for camping and they have things like sides that drop down for a kitchen area. You could leave your stuff stored and ready to go in the box trailer so that when you are ready to go you can just hook it up and drive off. A large tent with cots might actually be more comfortable than a small trailer. It might take an hour to setup and take down your camp but if you stay several night in the same location that is not too bad.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by snowman9000 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:57 am

Don't get into RV-ing to save money!
We've done a lot of it and enjoyed it. But no, you don't save money when you factor the RV itself into it.
You should do it for the experience if you think you'd like that. If you have a pet, it's a great way to take the pet with you.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by Nestegg_User » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:48 pm

sorry Watty
with a four banger you can’t pull any trailer... I wouldn’t even try with my Escape with a six that I use to haul a small (trailer) box used to get rid of brush/trash or get construction supplies/rocks/soil (under 2 yards) as they don’t have the capacity. Hence, we have a three quarter ton with capacity to haul most trailers we would consider... but ours is a gas not diesel (DW didn’t like the emissions, dealing with the DEF, cost of repairs which are higher for diesel, and sometimes finding the fuel as not everyone carries it).... so no large fifth wheel.

we also have acreage, so we have a place to keep it... the economics of RV need to take that into consideration; if you have to store it remotely that may make it a nonstarter.

one of the bigger benefits is that you can take your “fur babies” and not get charged out the wazzu (even airbnb type lodging charges exorbitant fees for cleaning when you have a dog). {we’re also in the PNW where there’s more locations nearby to travel with it}

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by Bengineer » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:53 pm

Watty wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:49 am
4nwestsaylng wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:02 pm
So many heavy financial threads this week, thought I would poll the experienced and Walter Mittys with regard to the area of travel, whether to consider an RV, which RV, or just fly/drive and stay at hotels/motels.
...
Just for brainstorming another option I have toyed with that you could consider since you already have a truck would be to get a small enclosed box trailer that you could store tent camping equipment in and then do tent camping.
...
A tent trailer is another option for a light tow. Where are you on the "living outdoors" to "my house has wheels" (Southern Culture on the Skids riff on RV livin') scale?

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:52 pm

trirod wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:16 am
4nwestsaylng wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:02 pm

And then there are the trailers. I remember years ago, when in my twenties, I was tenting at a State Park near Santa Barbara. It was November, chilly at night. Next to our campsite, a couple had a small Airstream. They enjoyed an outdoor fire, and then when it got too windy, retreated inside their cozy Airstream, where I could see them playing cards and having coffee at the kitchen table. Whereas we were in the tent, it was lights out and the wind howling. Never forgot that image. So I think of the Airstream Bambi, yes you have to tow it, but when you stop, you have some space. I have a half ton truck, I think that would be enough to tow the Bambi.
Gaviota State Park? I think 50mph winds are normal there. Last time we went tent camping there I’ll bet that at least half the tents were collapsed by morning.
Close! It was Refugio State Park. Still,I really liked it in Fall. With a trailer or fifth wheel next time.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:56 pm

bdaniel58 wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:11 am
Image

Https://www.bobbystuff.com

Bobby
This is a nice rig. These are the rig setups I would see at the military RV parks.People would go into town in the truck for groceries, usually had a couple of bikes to ride around base on.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by TLC1957 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:04 pm

We have traveled extensively been to all 50 states and 10 Canadian Provinces always staying in hotels. We retired in 2015 and spend 3-4 months on the road. We entertained the travel trailer idea and can not get over the following road blocks....

1. Every trailer park we have driven past the trailers are very close to each other and offer no privacy. What happens when the folks on either side of you are up until 1am having a party?
2. Wife says she would have to still cook and clean no vacation for her.
3. The low mpg on anything you tow or drive seems very expensive to deal with.
4. The parks in the south west are gravel or blacktop very little grass or green space.

So do not see this form of travel in our future....

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:04 pm

Tarheel_P wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:30 am
RV travel in retirement is a lifestyle choice. Seven years ago we bought a new truck and three year old 27’ Airstream trailer. We spend about 1/3 of the year on the road and each trip ranges from a week to 2 months depending on destination. Our preference is to stay in state parks or a mountain escape campsite we purchased in a private campground.

Travel can be slow but in retirement we have the time and enjoy exploring places off the beaten path. When in motion our limit is about 300 miles driving per day. We bought lightly a used trailer from an individual whose wife didn’t like camping so we avoided the big initial depreciation buying new. Well cared for used Airstream trailers hold their value and sell quickly unlike many motorized RV’s and box trailers. The current market price of ours is within $5000 of what we paid for it. We researched the market for about a year before we decided on type of RV, make and model. As a result we are still happy with the original purchase.

Our trailer is small enough to fit in most national parks yet large enough for two people to live in comfortably for weeks or months at a time. It tows easily. Maintenance and repairs are simple and can be performed by an owner with some handyman skills. In our travels like to place it in a campground for 2 days to a week at a time while we explore an area or region. Our pickup has four wheel drive which has allowed us to experience many natural attractions most car tourists don’t see.

The best part of RV camping is something we didn’t anticipate. The traveling Airstream community is close knit. We have a wonderful social life on the road. We’ve made new friends and enjoy meeting up with them from time to time in our travels. We also attend 2-3 destination rallies per year where we connect with friends and meet new people. We actively participate in RV social media sites where we keep up with friends on the road and learn about new destinations. Recently we’ve started spending some time each year traveling on caravans with other RV owners to explore specific locations as a group.

City travel is possible with research and planning. We’ve stayed at city parks, fairgrounds and even a marina in urban areas. Even in the New York City area there is a campground in New Jersey frommwhich you can be in Manhattan in 30 minutes. In metro areas without public transport park the trailer at a campground outside the city and drive our truck to destinations in town.

After seven years of travel our bucket list of places we want to see gets longer so we don’t feel limited by the continent. In 2019 we plan to spend the month of March on a caravan in Louisiana, About 30 days on another caravan in the Canadian Rockies in the summer and two months on our own in the US northwest.

RV travel has enriched our lives in many ways we never anticipated. We’ve gone places and seen natural wonders unlikely to be reached during a fly/drive trip. We certainly wouldn’t have the friendships we’ve made across the country. We do take on average one fly/drive trip per year. We find we see and experience more with our RV.

If you are considering RV life I encourage you to rent a Class C motorhome and take a week long trip. Also there are some great YouTube videos posted by RV travelers. Search Youtube for “The Long, long honeymoon.”, “Less Junk, More Journey”, for video blogs that give a good view of RV travel.
Thanks for the insight. You are right, Airstream owners often do caravan travel,a nice option for some. People complain that the rounded shape of the Airstream means you lose shelf space, etc., but I don't think you can underestimate the safety and relative towing ease of a streamlined trailer. I figure that you could take a $10k or $15 K hit in depreciation over a few years on an Airstream, but still probably much less than a class motorhome.

You mentioned "the long,long honeymoon", which brings to mind that old movie with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, "The Long,Long Trailer", where they are towing an impossibly long single wide on mountain roads with a 50's sedan. I think the trailer starts pulling them backwards!

quantAndHold
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:35 pm

1TheGame wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:17 am
The systems in the trailer are pretty simple and I think I can maintain it myself as well as do many of the potential repairs. By comparison, the systems in motor homes are much more complex and hard to work on. Plus repairs typically have to be done at an RV or specialized repair shop. A tow vehicle (e.g. pickup truck) can be repaired it many more places than a motor home.
What? No. The systems in a motorhome are exactly the same as the systems in a trailer, except that the house is built on top of the truck instead of being pulled behind it. A motorhome consists of a truck and a house. When the truck needs maintenance or repairs, you take it to a repair place for that brand of truck (Ford, Mercedes, etc). If the house needs anything, it gets repaired by the same people who repair trailers. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but simplicity usually comes down in favor of the motorhome.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by GCD » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:51 pm

Nah, motorhomes are a bad maintenance deal. If your truck breaks down, any of tens of thousands of shops can fix it. If your motorhome breaks you have to take it to a shop that fixes trucks. That's just so you can get it in the door. The brother of a friend (yeah, I know) had a motorhome that he had to drive down to Florida to get serviced. While that might not be your situation, the motorhome has vastly fewer places it can be repaired.

While the electronics, plumbing, etc. may be similar in a motorhome and a 5th wheel, the chassis/engine/overall bulk is not in any way comparable between a pick up truck and a motorhome.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:25 pm

GCD wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:51 pm
Nah, motorhomes are a bad maintenance deal. If your truck breaks down, any of tens of thousands of shops can fix it. If your motorhome breaks you have to take it to a shop that fixes trucks. That's just so you can get it in the door. The brother of a friend (yeah, I know) had a motorhome that he had to drive down to Florida to get serviced. While that might not be your situation, the motorhome has vastly fewer places it can be repaired.

While the electronics, plumbing, etc. may be similar in a motorhome and a 5th wheel, the chassis/engine/overall bulk is not in any way comparable between a pick up truck and a motorhome.
Lolol. At home I take it to a Sprinter shop 5 miles from my house. On the road, well...it’s never needed truck service on the road in 40k miles, but friends with Sprinters assure me that they can be worked on without going to “Florida.” I don’t need thousands of repair places, I just need a reliable one in the right place. And yeah, it’s not going to be the same one that works on my Honda.

If you’re really comparing the size and bulk of a 5th wheel and truck to a class C motorhome and thinking that the motorhome is bigger in any dimension, then you should probably get out a tape measure and scale and look again.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by GCD » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:04 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:25 pm
GCD wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:51 pm
Nah, motorhomes are a bad maintenance deal. If your truck breaks down, any of tens of thousands of shops can fix it. If your motorhome breaks you have to take it to a shop that fixes trucks. That's just so you can get it in the door. The brother of a friend (yeah, I know) had a motorhome that he had to drive down to Florida to get serviced. While that might not be your situation, the motorhome has vastly fewer places it can be repaired.

While the electronics, plumbing, etc. may be similar in a motorhome and a 5th wheel, the chassis/engine/overall bulk is not in any way comparable between a pick up truck and a motorhome.
Lolol. At home I take it to a Sprinter shop 5 miles from my house. On the road, well...it’s never needed truck service on the road in 40k miles, but friends with Sprinters assure me that they can be worked on without going to “Florida.” I don’t need thousands of repair places, I just need a reliable one in the right place. And yeah, it’s not going to be the same one that works on my Honda.

If you’re really comparing the size and bulk of a 5th wheel and truck to a class C motorhome and thinking that the motorhome is bigger in any dimension, then you should probably get out a tape measure and scale and look again.
:oops: My bad! I was thinking Class A.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by Trism » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:19 am

We are dramatically more intrigued by the destination than the journey, and find driving monotonous.

I would take an airplane to the grocery store if there weren't so many logistical issues.

quantAndHold
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:49 am

Trism wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:19 am
We are dramatically more intrigued by the destination than the journey, and find driving monotonous.

I would take an airplane to the grocery store if there weren't so many logistical issues.
By flying, though, you miss all of the intermediate destinations. You’d be amazed at how much better the journey gets when you get off the freeway. Google Maps’ “Avoid Highways” setting is the bomb. The goal of our current trip was to go from home in California to Maine. Acadia National Park, to be precise, to see the leaves turn. Which was, indeed, awesome. But we spent six weeks getting there, and are spending six weeks getting home. Something like eight national parks, several cities, concerts, regional food and drink, and a certain amount of just allowing serendipity to happen. Right now we’re sitting next to the Mississippi River, having coffee in bed, watching barges move up and down the river in the rain. Which is also awesome, and something we would never have even thought of when planning the trip.

That said, I could gladly teleport over the corn and soybean states. Days of corn on the left side of the road, soybeans on the right. Then the monotony gets broken up...for awhile the corn is on the right, soybeans on the left. I spent the whole time obsessing over the federal farm policy that encourages such a monoculture to develop and make that 1500 miles of our drive so uninteresting.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by MarkBarb » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:36 am

Our plan is a tent, a minivan, and a mix of hotels. Tent camping gives you a lot more options (at least for the places we like to be) than RV camping. For hotels, I really mean a mix of Air BNB, VRBO, Priceline, and regular hotel stays. This is basically the way that we traveled with kids and it worked well then.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by tibbitts » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:42 am

TLC1957 wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:04 pm
We have traveled extensively been to all 50 states and 10 Canadian Provinces always staying in hotels. We retired in 2015 and spend 3-4 months on the road. We entertained the travel trailer idea and can not get over the following road blocks....

1. Every trailer park we have driven past the trailers are very close to each other and offer no privacy. What happens when the folks on either side of you are up until 1am having a party?
You can have the same problem in a motel. Generally it's less of an issue at higher-end facilities and most state/national parks, just like you run into drugs and crime at lower-end motels that you tend not to at higher-end properties. I've moved upscale somewhat to mid-range motels from lower-end ones partly for this reason, the downside being that lower-end motels are sometimes priced like campgrounds, but mid-range ones not always.
2. Wife says she would have to still cook and clean no vacation for her.
You can eat out as much as with car travel if you choose, but there are times it's more time-efficient and maybe healthier to have your own food.
3. The low mpg on anything you tow or drive seems very expensive to deal with.
That was, and would be if I RV again, hard for me to overcome - it's like tossing dollar bills out the window as you drive. You can do a little better with a small RV, but aero and weight are still limiting factors.
4. The parks in the south west are gravel or blacktop very little grass or green space.
Well, in the desert southwest, you get mostly... desert. Many motels also have landscapes designed to minimize water use. Lower-end ones may have no landscaping at all, just concrete or blacktop.

So do not see this form of travel in our future....

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:49 am

Try buying a small used inexpensive travel trailer and messing around for a year. That's how you find out what you like, don't like, etc, about the lifestyle. Very little investment, probably under ten thousand dollars, and you can resell it after a year

Think of an Rpod, Casita, etc

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by shell921 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:35 am

Trism wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:19 am
We are dramatically more intrigued by the destination than the journey, and find driving monotonous.

I would take an airplane to the grocery store if there weren't so many logistical issues.
LOL - I hate road trips. And nowadays there are so many crazy drugged, distracted drivers and speeding jackasses on the roads!
No thanks.

rixer
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by rixer » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:42 am

We've been traveling a lot since we've retired. We hate flying anymore but still do when it's necessary. We used to cruise a lot but the every minute upsells on everything and the downhill quality of dining has turned us off of cruising a lot. We are liking road trips now. Unless we're going to a remote spot especially for camping, we prefer to stay in lodging. As far as the road trips go, I hate all the trucks on the roads in many places. The thought of being in a motor home or hauling a big trailer next to them doesn't sound like fun to me. Then you have to pull a tow car behind you or you won't be able to get around very many places when you get to a destination. Then there's the cost, the insurance, the gas, the storage. Oh my!
We find staying at places like Comfort Inns and Suites are very reasonable in price, clean and comfortable, they have everything we need including a free warm breakfast. And we aren't obligated to them for years.
So, we have a pick-up for road trips and camping equipment for those few times a year we camp, but we stay in lodging for the most part. It's just more comfortable for us.

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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:53 am

rixer wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:42 am
We've been traveling a lot since we've retired. We hate flying anymore but still do when it's necessary. We used to cruise a lot but the every minute upsells on everything and the downhill quality of dining has turned us off of cruising a lot. We are liking road trips now. Unless we're going to a remote spot especially for camping, we prefer to stay in lodging. As far as the road trips go, I hate all the trucks on the roads in many places. The thought of being in a motor home or hauling a big trailer next to them doesn't sound like fun to me. Then you have to pull a tow car behind you or you won't be able to get around very many places when you get to a destination. Then there's the cost, the insurance, the gas, the storage. Oh my!
We find staying at places like Comfort Inns and Suites are very reasonable in price, clean and comfortable, they have everything we need including a free warm breakfast. And we aren't obligated to them for years.
So, we have a pick-up for road trips and camping equipment for those few times a year we camp, but we stay in lodging for the most part. It's just more comfortable for us.
The counterpoint is I like having my own bed, my own shower, my own toilet, my own kitchen with me wherever I go. I don’t have to pack or unpack.

There is a different style in RVing vs hotel stays. RVing is best for staying in one place for a longer period of time. The gas costs and slower driving don’t compare well with driving your Prius from town to town for 3 nights. If you like to eat out every meal then an RV may not be worth it. Where an RV shines is staying off the beaten path - in a national park, for example, or at a small state park on the beach - where there aren’t a ton of hotels or restaurants. We like having the option to stay anywhere we want, even off the grid, for days at a time.

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JMacDonald
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by JMacDonald » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:14 am

Some years ago, I drove with a friend to Alaska and back for about 10,000 miles. I did it in a small Toyota truck with a camper shell. The truck is my tent. We camped the whole way. Never stayed in a motel the entire trip. I consider that to be a backpacking car camping. I prefer to take road trips and keep it simple. Now I have a GMC Sierra with a camper shell that I use for my trips. It gives me the flexibility to stay in campgrounds, boomdocking if necessary, or motels. I don't envy those big RVs hauling a vehicle behind them that I see on the road, too much vehicle.

Here is one possibility for those with a sense of adventure, a mini RV: https://www.jucyusa.com/useful-travel-stuff/buy-a-jucy/
Best Wishes, | Joe

seychellois_lib
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by seychellois_lib » Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:13 pm

My wife and i believe we have come up with the perfect rig. It consisrs of a 2000 pound trailer with a luxurious bathroom/shower/tub combo and adequate storage for a tent plus misc and sundry camping gear.

All we have to do is find a vendor who sells a lux bathroom on wheels and we are good to go. :D

3504PIR
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by 3504PIR » Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:37 pm

We are thinking about getting a small RV in retirement as I’ve posted elsewhere. Essentially we would like a comfortable hotel room on wheels. Pleasure Way has some models they build that I’d very much like to see in person. The work they do is thus far the closest we have found to what we think we would like. Here are some factors that are influencing our decision:

1. We’ve lived in Europe for over 10 of the last 15 years and are probably going to go back, but not anytime soon. We currently live in Hawaii and have addressed the Pacific Rim travel bug as well. Given that, we haven’t traveled in the US for fun in a long time and are thinking an RV might be a goof way to do that.

2. I’m not concerned with the finances of the decision other than establishing a workable budget and sticking to it.

3. We’ve never RV’d so don’t know the ins and outs and if we’ll even like it. If we start to get serious, we’ll spend some time renting to ensure it’s something we’ll enjoy.

4. We have time to make this decision. We retire next May, and won’t even begin to seriously look into this for 5+ years. Our travel during those 5 years will help us make the decision.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to look at options and YouTube videos to keep up on what’s happening in the RV world.

texasdiver
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by texasdiver » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:02 pm

4nwestsaylng wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:14 pm

I have heard some analysis that you could actually travel by car, stay at medium level hotels such as Holiday Express, Springhill Suites, etc and still come out well ahead on an annual basis over an RV, but that would depend on whether taking a two week vacation vs months for sure.

The idea of VRBO or Air BNB is appealing and merits some research.
I'm not retired. But I ran these numbers and it was most definitely cheaper and more convenient for us to just do AirBnB and drive the car compared to owning a trailer and camping. In our experience:

1. Was spending $120/mo. to store the trailer in a secure RV storage so nearly $1500/year. We live in a hilly subdivision with no adequate RV parking on our sloped lot so storage is our only option.

2. Here in the Northwest, most of the prime state park campgrounds get booked up very long in advance on peak summer weekends. Some of them get snatched up nearly the same hour the reservation system goes live for that date. So unless you are very meticulous about advance vacation planning (I'm not) you end up needing to stay at much more expensive private campgrounds in prime locations such as the beach, or going mid-week which our jobs won't permit. Camping at some of the private beachfront camprounds on the Pacific Coast is almost as expensive as some AirBnB rentals.

3. Gas mileage drops in half when we are towing the trailer with the Highlander.

4. Maintenance/cleaning is a major chore if you have the RV stored offsite. Especially if power and water are not available or difficult. I couldn't push out the slide-outs when it was in the storage spot so that made things much more complicated to clean and pack.

5. We often chose to take vacations that are either (1) beyond driving distance such as to Costa Rica, or (2) outside of camping season such as fall/winter/early spring vacations to mountain resorts. So the camper didn't get as much us as we thought and kind of ties you into making trips that might not be exactly what you want.

Sold the camper last year and don't miss it one bit. When we retire I might consider something small and light like a Casita for the occasional budget vacation around here. But I don't really see us doing the 15,000 miles 9 months on the road thing. Finding a nice AirBnB or VRBO and then flying or driving depending on distance has turned out to be more our style.

mariezzz
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Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Post by mariezzz » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:58 am

If you want to keep it really simple and less expensive:

How about an SUV, remove a row of seats (or both rows). Add a nice futon, or air mattress if you want less bulk. Put up some curtains to block windows. Have a small tent if you want to use that at times. Perhaps tow a small trailer if you want more stuff. Consider some sort of compact portable potty along these lines: from REI, Cleanwaste GO Anywhere Portable Toilet Seat.

You could use camp stoves, or cook over fires, or just stop at grocery stores and not do much cooking. Some places have microwaves available these days.

Occasionally rent a hotel room. Sometimes stay at camp sites or RV sites with showers.

Overall, much less money than even purchasing a used camper to tow (assuming you have a truck that can tow it).

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