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Which is better: motorhome or travel trailer?


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Poll: Motorhome or trailer? (0 member(s) have cast votes)

Motorhome or trailer?

  1. Motorhome (8 votes [18.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

  2. Trailer (30 votes [68.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 68.18%

  3. Obligatory Other (6 votes [13.64%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.64%

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#1 Skadi

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:35 AM

We want something for our long road trips. We usually visit national and state parks. If you could pick either for the sake of convenience and ease, which would you choose?

I kinda thought motorhomes were the no-brainier choice (if you could spare the cash), but a friend of mine recently told me that he felt his was nothing but trouble and he was going to sell it for a trailer instead. I'd love to hear from people who have owned one or the other (or both). :)

#2 CPSTAnne

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:50 AM

Trailer. Motorhomes aren't as safe. You may still be the biggest in an accident but you're also traveling in the same compartment with a lot of projectiles. And only the front captains chairs are equipped with proper seatbelts.

#3 Mom in High Heels

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:02 AM

Other. There's not enough tea in China to make me travel in either. No, no, no. I'm a hotel kind of girl. Not Motel, Hotel.

My mom and step-dad used to own a really nice 5th wheel that had more TV's than my house, and they loved it. They have a Honda Goldwing Trike that they could fit into a special compartment (there was a ramp in the back that led to a compartment below one of the beds) and when they got where they were going they could park the truck and 5th wheel and go off on the trike. They owned it for about 3 years and traveled, but finally decided they didn't use it enough to justify keeping it and paying insurance, so they sold it. Like I said, it was really nice, but it's just not for me.

I understand what the pp is saying re: projectiles, but if I had to choose I'd go with RV instead of a trailer. Most of my mom's friends have one or the other (everyone in their Goldwing group does!) and several of those who have had trailers traded them for RV's. They seem to like them better, but I'm not entirely certain why.

#4 SunieDawn

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:18 AM

Trailer or 5th wheel...

1. You can park the camper in a camping area and still sight see and travel during the day. A motorhome can be a nightmare in parking lots or just a trip to the store.

2. Motorhomes usually sit for longer periods of time, the engines can easily have problems if left too long. With a camper you just winterize and park it.

3. Cost of upkeep-a motorhome has an engine and all the related issues.

We have had both. I would never recommend a motorhome, unless you live and travel extensively in it, but that's just my opinion :001_smile:

#5 Thea

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:20 AM

We've only ever had a Class A RV. I lobbied for its purchase over a 5th wheel/travel trailer mostly due to the the time spent going from place to place.

We did a cross country 8600 miles trip with 3 older dc and I couldn't imagine traveling that much with them squished together in the back of a truck, no matter how large the truck may be.

If you are concerned about an accident (RV's are typically very safe, ours is a mere $27.00/month to insure) then I would go with a Winnebago. They are the only manufacturer (IIRC) that bolts the couches and benches to the frame of the RV.

In addition, go used. RV's lose sooo much of their value within the first 5 years.

#6 Skadi

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 03:50 AM

We have had both. I would never recommend a motorhome, unless you live and travel extensively in it, but that's just my opinion :001_smile:


Thanks! Could you recommend a particular trailer? :bigear:

#7 IsabelC

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:02 AM

:bigear:

#8 melissad2

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:07 AM

If I could afford it I would buy a class A diesel pusher motorhome. We own a travel trailer which is for sale right now so we can buy something bigger.

#9 Pawz4me

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:20 AM

Other, with the caveat that we have a Class A so I may be somewhat biased. There are too many individual factors that need to be considered for there to be one blanket answer that's right for everyone.

First it depends if you already have a vehicle suitable for pulling a trailer or behind a motor home. I don't find the argument that with a trailer you have a vehicle to travel in once you get to your destination to be particularly logical, because it's just as easy to pull a "toad" or "dinghy" (RV'ing terms) as it is to pull a trailer with a tow vehicle. Either way you need two things, and either way you've got a vehicle when you get to your destination. We happened to already have a perfect "toad" (Honda CRV) when we were shopping for an RV, and neither of us had the slightest desire to drive a truck as a daily driver.

It depends on how you will mainly be using it. Long stays at the same campground? A trailer would probably make sense.

Long road trips where you're going to be setting up/breaking down every day, or every couple of days? Motor homes are MUCH easier in that department (assuming you have a motor home with automatic levelers). This was how we knew we'd be traveling the most, so once again a motor home made more sense for us.

Where are you going to be camping? Many state/national parks are old and outdated and were designed for a time when campers were significantly smaller (shorter and with no slides) than they are now. That's something you'll need to take into account regardless of whether you go with a trailer or motor home.

Convenience of traveling. In a motor home you can get a snack or a drink or use the bathroom going down the road. With a trailer you have to find a place to pull over first (and that's not always so easy as it is with a car). This is, of course, more of an issue if you're planning on mainly long road trips. If you're going to the state park that's fifty miles away it's certainly not a very important consideration. But along the same lines, another thing to consider is if you get to your campground and it's pouring rain you have to go outside and set up. In a motor home with automatic levelers, you don't have to step foot outside. Many people see this as a safety factor, too. In a motor home if you pull over to get a snack or use the bathroom you don't have to step foot outside. If you become concerned about safety you just drive off. In a trailer you have to get in/out.

Trailers, and especially 5th wheels, will have the most usable living area. In a motor home you lose several feet to the "cock pit."

If money is an issue there's no denying that a trailer can be the much less expensive option.

#10 Mama Geek

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:03 AM

We have talked about getting one to live in while dh is working contract jobs. The one thing that we have noticed is that the motor homes only have 1 bedroom, not 2. There are beds, but not a second bedroom. We have a 2 yo that we want to be able to put to bed before we are ready to go to bed. We have it narrowed down to a large 5th wheel toy hauler. The toy hauler becomes the bedroom for dd. That wouldn't be nearly as important if you aren't living in it part of the time or if your kids are much older.

#11 Wabi Sabi

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:36 AM

We already own a Suburban (older but in great shape and low mileage) so for us it makes sense to go for a travel trailer. With small children I wouldn't feel comfortable with them traveling and moving about the inside of an RV while on the road anyhow. We're not mechanically inclined people so having another vehicle to maintain isn't something we're interested in having to do either. Of course, there's also the cost factor. All in all, in our situation, a used trailer seems to be the best fit. We're looking for one now!

#12 MissKNG

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:49 AM

Travel trailer cause it's smaller and probably easier to find camping spots than a huge motorhome.

#13 Martha

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:07 AM

We've only ever had a Class A RV. I lobbied for its purchase over a 5th wheel/travel trailer mostly due to the the time spent going from place to place.

We did a cross country 8600 miles trip with 3 older dc and I couldn't imagine traveling that much with them squished together in the back of a truck, no matter how large the truck may be.

If you are concerned about an accident (RV's are typically very safe, ours is a mere $27.00/month to insure) then I would go with a Winnebago. They are the only manufacturer (IIRC) that bolts the couches and benches to the frame of the RV.

In addition, go used. RV's lose sooo much of their value within the first 5 years.



This is what I'd do if I won the lottery and decided to travel. There are 12 of us though, so that's a major factor.

Another possible option is to buy into a national parks membership where you can use cabins at various places across the country.

#14 Pawz4me

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:23 AM

We already own a Suburban (older but in great shape and low mileage) so for us it makes sense to go for a travel trailer.


Just make sure that you stay within your vehicle's weight rating for towing, allowing for the weight of everything you'll add to the trailer as well as the weight of any water (fresh, gray or black) that may be in the holding tanks, propane tanks, etc. SO many people pull trailers that are much too heavy for their tow vehicle. And this is an area where you do not want to take the word of a salesman. Many of them have no clue, but in the interest of making a sale they'll tell you that your vehicle can pull whatever trailer you're interested in (or that will bring them the most profit).

#15 jelbe5

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:23 AM

We own a pop-up and would go for a trailer for reasons mentioned (less maintenance, can uncouple from tow vehicle, etc.)

One thing to consider is where you live and whether you can park your purchase on your property or if you will have to spend extra $ to store it somewhere else. Might not be an issue for you but cities around the one we live in have annoying rules/laws about no recreational vehicles in the driveway, etc. :glare: My cousin's motor home was broken into while it was parked at the storage facility they pay for.

#16 Outdoorsy Type

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:24 AM

Motorhome is better for
- loooooong road trips
- people with bad backs
- those who do not like being cooped up in the car with kids for 8 hours

Trailer is better for
- lots of camping trips within 4 hours
- wanting to have a car without towing/renting
- keeping it's value/less likely to become completely worthless. :p

DH and I have been toying with the idea of getting one of the above "some day". This is the list I have come up with.

#17 Momof3littles

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:26 AM

My parents opted for a travel trailer because they didn't want to drive a motorhome and then tow a vehicle behind it. Once you are all hooked up at your site, you don't want to have to unhook to go somewhere.

5th wheels can be nice too, depending on your needs. My parents' friends just got a new, gorgeous one, but it is so big I would not want to have to pull it often at *all*.

DH and I have had a little popup with a slideout for about 10 years now.

#18 sparrow

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:34 AM

We have never owned a trailer or a motor home, BUT we own a campground :D. In my experience, people seem to have more, and more expensive, repairs on motor homes.

#19 Dobela

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:48 AM

My parents have both - a class A motor home and a pull behind trailer. They are great for different reasons. They mostly use the motor home for non-camping road trips where they stay in RV parks and such. They also prefer it when parking in the yards of family. It has a more spacious and more comfortable feel with carpeted floors and the like. If they are traveling to an area where they want to be local tourists, they love the motor home. My dad does not like to take it to campgrounds though because some of the narrow, winding roads to get to campsites are more difficult to move thru. There are also few pull thru spots. If he is towing his car, he has to stop, unhook the car and it's trailer, before he can park if he wasn't able to get the pull thru spots. If he is in the trailer, he can back it up and manouver it much easier. They also like the trailer for camping because it is more 'wash and wear' with vinyl floors and such. It is made to be easy to clean more than it is made to be comfortable. The sleeping areas are separate, but not private. Only curtains separate them from the rest of the camper vs the doors on the motor home.

When looking for either, do lots of research. I can't remember what type frame he has now (this is his 3rd camper trailer) but some are much more light weight than others, and easier to pull. I know that this one he says is lighter than his last one even though it is nearly twice the size. Also take your time. Take time to look at many and see what would fit your family best. Layouts vary, storage varies, and so on.

There are dangers with each type as well. This week my parents had to park the motorhome because the winds coming in from Isaac were too strong and making driving of it too dangerous (they were on their way to TN). A few years ago we had a pin shear causing a trailer hitch to come out of the truck and our trailer went over a small cliff into a ravine. Thankfully it didn't hit anyone or anything but it was a complete loss.

#20 sparrow

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:57 AM

My parents have both - a class A motor home and a pull behind trailer. They are great for different reasons. They mostly use the motor home for non-camping road trips where they stay in RV parks and such. They also prefer it when parking in the yards of family. It has a more spacious and more comfortable feel with carpeted floors and the like. If they are traveling to an area where they want to be local tourists, they love the motor home. My dad does not like to take it to campgrounds though because some of the narrow, winding roads to get to campsites are more difficult to move thru. There are also few pull thru spots. If he is towing his car, he has to stop, unhook the car and it's trailer, before he can park if he wasn't able to get the pull thru spots. If he is in the trailer, he can back it up and manouver it much easier. They also like the trailer for camping because it is more 'wash and wear' with vinyl floors and such. It is made to be easy to clean more than it is made to be comfortable. The sleeping areas are separate, but not private. Only curtains separate them from the rest of the camper vs the doors on the motor home.

When looking for either, do lots of research. I can't remember what type frame he has now (this is his 3rd camper trailer) but some are much more light weight than others, and easier to pull. I know that this one he says is lighter than his last one even though it is nearly twice the size. Also take your time. Take time to look at many and see what would fit your family best. Layouts vary, storage varies, and so on.

There are dangers with each type as well. This week my parents had to park the motorhome because the winds coming in from Isaac were too strong and making driving of it too dangerous (they were on their way to TN). A few years ago we had a pin shear causing a trailer hitch to come out of the truck and our trailer went over a small cliff into a ravine. Thankfully it didn't hit anyone or anything but it was a complete loss.


:svengo:

The stories people tell us at the campground--transmissions going out while pulling a trailer through the Appalachians, pins shearing, tow vehicles on motor homes coming off. I'm simply not brave enough to do anything but tent camp :001_smile:.

#21 Dobela

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:05 AM

:svengo:

The stories people tell us at the campground--transmissions going out while pulling a trailer through the Appalachians, pins shearing, tow vehicles on motor homes coming off. I'm simply not brave enough to do anything but tent camp :001_smile:.

I know! I know! And the crazy thing is that the pin was NEW. It must have ben defective from manufacturing. My dad had heard of old pins shearing and is very careful with his. Believe me, I was in the truck with him and 2 kids. Hearing that thud as the hitch dropped and watching it drift behind us was surreal, like it was in slow motion. We were in a hilly area, with low population during a slow travel time of day or it could have been disasterous. Our guardian angels were working hard that day.

That was also the trip where he didn't dump sewage. When the trailer flipped over, most of what we lost was because the sewage leaked back out and into the trailer. Now he never leaves a camping area without dumping - motorhome and trailer!

#22 Serenade

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:37 AM

We have a small motorhome and love it! We've had it 10 years now and have no regrets.

As someone mentioned upthread, smaller can be better for some of the national and state campgrounds. We don't ever plan on hanging out in our motorhome, except for sleeping or the occasional rainstorm, so we didn't feel we needed much size. We cook, eat and live outside, and we don't watch TV when we're camping.

Motorhomes can retain their value very nicely over the long-term if they are well-kept. Before we married, my DH had a small Winnebago that he had gotten from his dad, and we sold it when we bought our new motorhome. He got an excellent price for it, even though it was quite old, because it was immaculate. It sold within a week of us trading it in, because it was in such good shape. My DH does all of our motorhome maintenance, and he is very, ah, obsessive about keeping it clean and well-repaired.

I feel very safe in our motorhome. When we had our second child, my DH bought a special kind of seatbelt thingy (from a bus supply company?) that he had anchored to the RV framework so that we could have a second car seat. My older DS still uses that seatbelt, albeit without the car seat, since he is now 12! :-) So there are things one can do in regards to the seatbelt issue in motor homes. We make sure everything is in it's proper place before we drive, so for us, flying projectiles are no more of an issue than in a car.

The only thing I don't like about the motorhome is that we don't have an extra vehicle available to use when we get to the campground, so this limits any excursions we might take. That said, we just plan around that when traveling and see stuff on our way in or out. In some ways it is nice to be "stuck" at the campground, instead of always feeling the need to get up and go do something.

If we ever upgrade, we would probably buy another motorhome.

#23 Dory

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:43 AM

I've spent a lot of time in both. With the motor home, it isn't really safe, it it's not as comfortable traveling for the kids and when we get to our stops, we can't really go anywhere as we can't drive a big motor home down most city streets.

#24 SunieDawn

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 12:38 PM

Thanks! Could you recommend a particular trailer? :bigear:



We have had a few over the years. My only recommendation is to buy used. Just proceed with caution, inspection the appliances, water storage, waste tanks, heat, and air. With patience you should be able to find the perfect trailer for your family. Our current trailer does not have heat, but we just plug in an electric heater. It works fine and was worth the savings.

There many reasons not to buy new (in my opinion). First, trailers lose their value very quickly. Second, why worry about dirty kids and new carpet? It eliminates alot of the stress for us if things are not brand new. Third, the cost difference of new vs used is huge!

Also, I'm not sure the size you are looking at, but it is harder to pull a larger trailer. A 5th wheel (vs a bumper pull) is much easier to control on the road, if the trailer is long (or so my husband says).

The important thing is to find the trailer set-up that works best for your family. It will be your temporary home, after all. How are the sleeping arrangements and storage? Is there room for everyone's things? Pantry space for food? Adaquate bathroom facilities?

Good luck, and have fun with your new adventures :001_smile:

#25 Lori D.

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:08 PM

As a trailer owner, I voted "other"...

::sigh:: Our trailer has been much more like owning a boat than I expected -- always throwing money at it, and it's a pain-in-hinder to upkeep when YOU own it.

Trailers are a gas-hog and slow you WWAAAAYYYY down to pull, unless you have a 5th wheel/diesel pusher set-up (we don't). Easily ADD 2 hours to what would have been 8 hours by car. Traveling over a mountainous area in the west, our typical gas mileage in the Suburban dropped from 16.5mpg to 6.8mpg -- way less than HALF. I am NOT making this up! So plan on spending on average about 1/3 again as much on gas as what you do with your usual vehicle.

Not all RV sites can accommodate a trailer which has side slide-outs or fold-outs. And once at the RV site, getting in/out and parking can be an edge-of-your-seat experience. And don't forget that there is a daily fee to USE the RV site -- on our big 4500-miles in 2.5 week trip in a trailer, we paid between $20 to $50 per night -- on average, about $33/night. All had bathroom/shower facilities, but many charged extra for the shower (quick! how many kids can you wash in one shower stall in 4 minutes or less!), and all charge to dump your grey water.

You have to pay for annual insurance and registration. You're always having to buy new tires or are spending money to replace/fix something.

You have to do all the cleaning and dumping. (We finally just decided to NOT use the bathroom portion to save on effort/smell/cost.) Besides, the water tank only holds 10 gallons, and takes a few hours to heat up. Doesn't really allow for a hot shower at day's end for 2 or 4 or 6 or more people using the trailer.

And then there is special extra cleaning/prep for storing it during off-season -- which also often involves more money for a place to park/store it. And then the sun, wind, dust, and pack-rats go to work on the stored trailer so when you pull it out to use it the next season, you have a ton of cleaning and fixing to do *again* before you can even use it. :eek:


Knowing what I now know, I would opt for a National Park's trip or other camping type trip just using a tent, big air mattress and a 2-burner propane stove. OR, a road trip that involved a motel that I researched and got a good deal in advance on at each day's end -- a hot shower, a comfy bed, complimentary breakfast, and a fridge and microwave to make dinner and store the lunch stuff.

The money you "save" on nightly hotels by using a trailer/RV you LOSE again all along the way on site fees, repairs, insurance/registration, and extra gas to pull the lumbering beast behind you.


Sooo.... we're thinking of selling our trailer; it's a great 10-year-old trailer with 3 fold-outs, sleeps up to 8, a full bathroom (shower AND tub), fridge, stove, microwave... Anyone takers?!! :tongue_smilie: Warmest regards, Lori D.

#26 itsheresomewhere

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:13 PM

Trailer. Motorhomes aren't as safe. You may still be the biggest in an accident but you're also traveling in the same compartment with a lot of projectiles. And only the front captains chairs are equipped with proper seatbelts.


This is not true anymore on the seatbelts. Certain new ones have shoulder belts not just in the front.

I prefer trailer for many reasons. One example- I can make a run to the store after setting it up if I need without having to find a large enough parking space. Also, anything bigger than a 30ft (if not a 5th wheel) you should get sway bars to make it safer/easier towing.

#27 Pawz4me

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:23 PM

Besides, the water tank only holds 10 gallons, and takes a few hours to heat up. Doesn't really allow for a hot shower at day's end for 2 or 4 or 6 or more people using the trailer.


Wow. I think you must've had something seriously wrong with your water heater.

The water heater on our motor home is only six gallons. It runs solely on propane. It heats the water from air temperature to scalding hot in less than thirty minutes. Because it heats the water so hot, we only need to mix in a little hot water with a lot of cold to get a very nice shower temperature. There are four of us and we can take back to back showers with plenty of hot water (within reason) for each of us. By the time one of us has gotten dressed, brushed our teeth, etc., and vacated the bathroom the water heater has had plenty of time to recover.

But to address your larger point . . . I think there's no denying that RV'ing in any form is a rather expensive hobby.

Edited by Pawz4me, 01 September 2012 - 01:28 PM.


#28 melissad2

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:32 PM

As a trailer owner, I voted "other"...

::sigh:: Our trailer has been much more like owning a boat than I expected -- always throwing money at it, and it's a pain-in-hinder to upkeep when YOU own it.

Trailers are a gas-hog and slow you WWAAAAYYYY down to pull, unless you have a 5th wheel/diesel pusher set-up (we don't). Easily ADD 2 hours to what would have been 8 hours by car. Traveling over a mountainous area in the west, our typical gas mileage in the Suburban dropped from 16.5mpg to 6.8mpg -- way less than HALF. I am NOT making this up! So plan on spending on average about 1/3 again as much on gas as what you do with your usual vehicle.

Not all RV sites can accommodate a trailer which has side slide-outs or fold-outs. And once at the RV site, getting in/out and parking can be an edge-of-your-seat experience. And don't forget that there is a daily fee to USE the RV site -- on our big 4500-miles in 2.5 week trip in a trailer, we paid between $20 to $50 per night -- on average, about $33/night. All had bathroom/shower facilities, but many charged extra for the shower (quick! how many kids can you wash in one shower stall in 4 minutes or less!), and all charge to dump your grey water.

You have to pay for annual insurance and registration. You're always having to buy new tires or are spending money to replace/fix something.

You have to do all the cleaning and dumping. (We finally just decided to NOT use the bathroom portion to save on effort/smell/cost.) Besides, the water tank only holds 10 gallons, and takes a few hours to heat up. Doesn't really allow for a hot shower at day's end for 2 or 4 or 6 or more people using the trailer.

And then there is special extra cleaning/prep for storing it during off-season -- which also often involves more money for a place to park/store it. And then the sun, wind, dust, and pack-rats go to work on the stored trailer so when you pull it out to use it the next season, you have a ton of cleaning and fixing to do *again* before you can even use it. :eek:


Knowing what I now know, I would opt for a National Park's trip or other camping type trip just using a tent, big air mattress and a 2-burner propane stove. OR, a road trip that involved a motel that I researched and got a good deal in advance on at each day's end -- a hot shower, a comfy bed, complimentary breakfast, and a fridge and microwave to make dinner and store the lunch stuff.

The money you "save" on nightly hotels by using a trailer/RV you LOSE again all along the way on site fees, repairs, insurance/registration, and extra gas to pull the lumbering beast behind you.


Sooo.... we're thinking of selling our trailer; it's a great 10-year-old trailer with 3 fold-outs, sleeps up to 8, a full bathroom (shower AND tub), fridge, stove, microwave... Anyone takers?!! :tongue_smilie: Warmest regards, Lori D.


Interesting...
We never had to pay extra to use the showers or dump grey/black water? Regional maybe? The gas mileage thing is mostly true for us but I suppose that depends where your pulling. We winterize and store ours at home so no big expense there and the insurance/taxes on ours is less than $400/yr but I know that is regional :)

#29 sparrow

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:42 PM

Interesting...
We never had to pay extra to use the showers or dump grey/black water?
Regional maybe? The gas mileage thing is mostly true for us but I suppose that depends where your pulling. We winterize and store ours at home so no big expense there and the insurance/taxes on ours is less than $400/yr but I know that is regional :)


That was my thought, too. Our nightly rate includes use of the dump station and showers :001_huh:.

#30 melissad2

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:06 PM

Wow. I think you must've had something seriously wrong with your water heater.

The water heater on our motor home is only six gallons. It runs solely on propane. It heats the water from air temperature to scalding hot in less than thirty minutes. Because it heats the water so hot, we only need to mix in a little hot water with a lot of cold to get a very nice shower temperature. There are four of us and we can take back to back showers with plenty of hot water (within reason) for each of us. By the time one of us has gotten dressed, brushed our teeth, etc., and vacated the bathroom the water heater has had plenty of time to recover.

But to address your larger point . . . I think there's no denying that RV'ing in any form is a rather expensive hobby.


:iagree:

#31 Lori D.

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:18 PM

Interesting...
We never had to pay extra to use the showers or dump grey/black water? Regional maybe?



Must be. We live (and travel) in the west -- CA, AZ, NM, UT, NV, ID, WA, OR. And, just SOME of the locations charged extra for showers and the dump station. (Usually the cheapest places to stay at.)


On the flip side, there is no problem taking a trailer or RV on any roads (other than the white-knuckle factor on a few windy-twisty roads to get to mountain campsites) -- while I understand there a number of toll roads and smaller country roads in the East of the country that entirely prohibit RVs, trailers, and large vehicles??

And, I don't want to just rag on trailers/RV -- as another poster said, it really helps to you go into realizing it is a hobby that costs money. We went into it thinking it would save us tons of money on our big west coast trip; it didn't help anything that it was 4 years ago when gas prices literally climbed by almost $1/gallon during the time we were traveling -- it started at about $3/gallon and was about $3.89/gallon by the time we got home almost 3 weeks later. Coupled with having the gas mileage in our Suburban drop from 16.5mpg to an average of below 9mpg for the whole trip (even though a lot of miles were when we were UNhooked from the trailer!) ... I felt sick at how much more frequently we had to fill up with gas, and how much extra we had to spend on gas. We had not anticipated that expense at ALL when he purchased the second-hand trailer about 5 months earlier. :(

Using an RV/travel trailer is a very specific type of "lifestyle". And we DID enjoy our big trip and the camping we've done in the trailer. I think a trailer is best if you can just drive to your one spot, set up, and then do day trips from your base camp. And the extra room and "house-like" quality is nice.

I would say, whatever you decide REALLY do some research so you know ALL that you are getting into. Be prepared for some work (more than a motel, less than tent camping). Be prepared to spend some money (less than boat owning/less than motel-stays ... more than car expenses/more than tent camping.

I would also suggest RENTING one for a 3-day trip FIRST to see what the family thinks of the experience.

And, as a previous poster suggested, buy used as your first experience because these "toys" lose their value VERY quickly. There are a lot of RVs and travel trailers out there that are only 1, 2, or 3 years old that are MUCH less expensive than new, with very little mileage and wear-and-tear because families want to move up into something bigger/better.


BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D., 01 September 2012 - 02:28 PM.


#32 Pawz4me

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 03:53 PM

A great message board for all things relating to RV'ing and camping: RV.net

#33 Patty Joanna

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:24 PM

I voted trailer.
Kind of for the same reason I get a coffee grinder separate from the coffee maker. You don't like one or the other of the appliances, or it breaks, you are not "out" of the other appliance.

We rented a motor home for a vacation, and while it was nice to be able to be in the "room" while traveling, it was a royal pain to go grocery shopping. You have to batten down the hatches just to go get a six-pack. That said, if you could trailer a car, that would be different...maybe.

#34 Thea

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:36 PM

I've spent a lot of time in both. With the motor home, it isn't really safe, it it's not as comfortable traveling for the kids and when we get to our stops, we can't really go anywhere as we can't drive a big motor home down most city streets.



We always take a car. We trailered a Corolla on our cross country trip (what a pain!) and have since bought a Jeep Wrangler that we can tow with all four wheels down. Much easier.

I agree that trying to maneuver a motorhome is a bear--we stuck to the major roads and used the car to explore/shop.


And yes, they are expensive to maintain. New tires on our smallish (31 ft) ran almost 3k.

I hate tent camping. I love having a bed and a toilet--and a microwave.

#35 Pawz4me

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:20 PM

I can't imagine why anybody would take a motor home anywhere w/o towing a car. And yes, towing four down is the way to go. And the added benefit there is that you can do all your sight seeing in a vehicle that gets good fuel mileage, not in a huge truck that sucks gas.


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