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Old 01-10-2016, 05:17 PM   #1
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Motorhome vs. Trawler

I have had motorhomes for the last 10 years and have really enjoyed seeing all parts of our country. But before I get much older I would like to sell the RV and purchase a Trawler of equal value. The thought of selling and taking the big depreciation hit concerns me. Just wondering if there are boat owners looking to get out of boating and into a RV but don't want to take the depreciation hit on their boat. And if so is there away to work out a trade for equal values. My motorhome is a 40' 2014 Newmar Dutchstar w/ 450hp Cummins.
Thought I would put this out there and see what comes up.
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:55 PM   #2
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Let me offer some thoughts about moving from a nice Class A diesel motorhome to a trawler.


I would guess that a 34-36' trawler has about as much living area as a 40' motor home because the beam (width) is much more in a trawler- 13-14' vs 8' for the motorhome, although the motorhome carries its width all of the way forward unlike a boat.


Motorhomes like yours are currently listed in the $200-300K range. For similar price listings for 34-36' trawlers you have to look at one several years older, maybe a 2010 would work. Some that would fit are the Beneteau 34 and the Nordic Tug 34. Both are nicely done mid range trawlers.


But unlike a motorhome, where everyone starts out knowing how to drive, understands the traffic rules and with a little practice can operate a motorhome, a boat is a different beast. In the abstract, operating a boat should be as easy or maybe easier than a boat. But unlike a motorhome where if something goes bad- weather, mechanical systems, etc you can just pull over to the side of the road, call Good Sams and find a motel, boats don't work that way. They can kill you.


So, if you are really keen on switching to a trawler from a motorhome (and almost all go the other way) then charter one with a captain, take some seamanship courses, charter one on your own.


If you still like it after all of that, sell your motorhome and then look for a trawler. Finding someone to swap with you will be tough.


David
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:46 PM   #3
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I've been around boats most of my life. Currently have a 25' center console which I use for fishing off NC coast so I consider myself reasonably competent, but learn something new every time I'm on the water. I understand the potential risk involved with traveling by boat but I love exploring new areas and get tired of the same scenery. As far as boats, I realize I will have to look at boats a few years older than my motorhome. As long as it has been properly maintained that doesn't bother me. And Nordic Tugs are on my wish list.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I would guess that a 34-36' trawler has about as much living area as a 40' motor home because the beam (width) is much more in a trawler- 13-14' vs 8' for the motorhome, although the motorhome carries its width all of the way forward unlike a boat.
Motor homes are 102", 8'6"

but more importantly they have slide outs...... three or four of them which bring most of it to 14'

My 45' fifth wheel (ok, not a MH but close enough) is 400 square feet when fully deployed.

The "learn how to do it and what you want" part is accurate.
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:09 PM   #5
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Steve,
We moved up to a Trawler type boat after doing the Motorhome for many years. The living space on the boat is totally different in that the berthing and engine room on lower level, galley and saloon are mid level and the pilot house and Flybridge up a few more steps. So, although the coach was 40 ft with four slides, it was for the most part all one level.
The boat has many of the same systems that we had on the coach. We didn't look into the change as a depreciating asset, just another journey in a different way. The coach depreciated just like the boat will, it is something you should sorta accept. But I will say, that if we continue to maintain the boat as we did the coach, the hit won't hurt as much.
Best of luck on your journey!
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:33 PM   #6
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They're both are cool and fun..... Boating requires different, and yes, more demanding skills, but those can be acquired.

The BEST thing about RV's vs Boats? The TRULY best thing....???????

Crap goes down.... down..... as in sweet baby Jesus gravity DOWN.... it never has to come back up. The part "Joker valve" is an unknown, never heard of, say WHAT? part that an RV'er will never have to deal with.... 'caus it all goes DOWN, and you park over a hole in the ground and hook up a hose and SWOOOOSH..... Bye bye.

Anyways, I digress.......
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:35 PM   #7
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The very very best part about owning a trawler is you never ever have to stay in a caravan park
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:39 PM   #8
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The very very best part about owning a trawler is you never ever have to stay in a caravan park
OK, we don't call them "caravan parks" over here, they are "campgrounds". And just like marinas there's uptown and downtown.

Every March we pull into the on site Disney campground and for a mere $120 US a night (OK that was last year) you pull into a full, nay oversized, spot that has just been power washed and blown dry by a "cast member" (hopefully legal) and the landscaping is PERFECT.

OK, more importantly the lovely wifey is ecstatic and all is well in the world....

The point is...... RV'ing CAN be classy, and even pleasurable.

I mean, I can travel 3000 miles without talking to anyone, or using a public rest room. What's wrong with that????
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:03 PM   #9
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Steve9506

You have an awesone coach. Your wife must love it too. You have to find a way to do both.
I do 44' trawler, twin 200 hp engines, 44000lb total weight in the summer,
44' Motorhome, single 400hp engine, 44000lb total weight in the winter.

Wouldn't have it any other way.

About campgrounds: I joined a Yacht Club to get better boating, especially like the outstations, so I bought a lot in a high end RV Resort to get better camping.
Works just the same way.

Other than capital cost, the RV life is cheaper. That is due mostly to moorage v HOA fees.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:15 PM   #10
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This is the quandary my wife and I are facing. We purchased a used 38' diesel pusher because they were available used cheaper then smaller gas coaches due to the current glut of large coaches from retirees who can no longer travel. We are fortunate that both of our careers allow us 4-5 weeks a year on the road, so we now have 7 states under our belts with the coach and will have another 4 by the end of 2016. It is fun to see the faces of the 70 somethings when the 50 somethings are moving in the space nest door.

I agree with Koliver - we want to transition to the boat before we retire, then spend summers on the boat in the Salish Sea and winters in AZ in the coach. Think of it this way - 4MPG in the summer and 8MPG in the winter :-0
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:15 PM   #11
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I agree with the do both line of thinking as the two activities compliment one another. We wouldn't trade camping for the nicest trawler on the water. If anything settle for a smaller boat and keep the coach.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:06 PM   #12
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Some of this sound familiar. We had a 2009 43' Newmar Dutch Aire. It was a lovely coach. But, I wanted to do both. Last year, we got a used 38' Carriage fifth wheel and sold the coach. Now, I'm researching more seriously into the boating angle. Being on the boat in the summer and RV in the winter sounds nice to me.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:21 AM   #13
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Any new purchase (boat or MH) will have the same losses.

The first year will loose 25% up to 40% , the builder and dealer markups.

For the smallest round trip (purchase price less selling price) a used popular item is least costly.

With many boats that are 20-30-40 years young the main consideration is CONDITION.

Although fear of some construction styles, and suitability for the task does count.

Our Bus Conversion is a 1956 , so age is no factor.

Our 90/90 is 1976 same deal The Launch/lobsrer stule boat is late 70's also. Condition is KING!

MY advice to would be MH folks would be to find a SUPERIOR brand of about 1970's ($5K to $10K) and have fun.

SUPERIOR was the best of the bunch in that era ,Dodge truck chassis , parts still at NAPA.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:22 AM   #14
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'Scuse me...but what's a fifth wheel..? Some unique American-speak for something we have a different name for obviously, but what exactly..? Nothing has just 5 wheels...is it Yank slang for a towed vehicle which we call a caravan, but you guys call a trailer...(as opposed to a motorhome or motorised caravan), which we sometimes call a campervan if of the smaller variety...or something entirely different?
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:29 AM   #15
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How about gooseneck trailer?

If you don't have those either, a fifth wheel is like a trailer of a tractor trailer rig where the trailer attachment is forward of the rear wheels (say in the bed of a pickup) instead of on or under the bumper.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:26 AM   #16
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Steve

Our neighbor has a new Dutch Star, maybe a 42. Very nice rig.

The only similarities I see to a boat are initial cost and electrical systems. Skill sets, route planning, yearly upkeep costs and required mechanical knowledge can be more intensive on a boat. Unless one stays at the dock then the similarities tend to mirror. That way anchor discussions are moot.

Can you get a Dutch Star with a Lehman 120 rather than an electronic Cummins 450?
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:18 AM   #17
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Interesting to read the parallels between RV’ing and Boating from those who do both. As a recently retired airline pilot I crossed the country many times at 35,000 ft and marveled at the deserts of the west, the mountains of Montana and the quaint villages of New England. Someday we will get an RV and get to know these places up close and personal.

However, I don’t want the responsibility and expense of owning both a boat and an RV at the same time so the RV will wait until my boating days are over. That is not too far off. We’ve spent 8 months on the boat cruising the ICW north & south including a good part of the Chesapeake. We’re not looking to go further on the boat and though the boat is not home in Tampa yet it will be soon. So the day will come when we’ve done the Bahama’s enough, Key West has gotten routine and the local anchorages become “been there done that” many times. The grand kids would rather do things with their friends than go out with grandma and grandpa on the boat again. Then it will be time to buy the RV and begin a new chapter. I do wonder however if I will miss the challenges that operating a boat offer that an RV just can’t. And the many anchorages and marina’s on the ICW and elsewhere where we docked and anchored within a short walk of town, feeling we were right in the middle of all the town’s activity, will be missed.

My good friend called the other day and suggested we rent a car and drive home for a couple of days. We’re in Velcro Beach er Vero Beach. One of the largest if not the largest RV shows in the country begins Wednesday in Tampa. He has a 38’ diesel pusher and wants me to go with him. I may just do that. But the RV is a few years off. We’re not done with the boat yet.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:52 AM   #18
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Have a family member that sold the 36' boat for a 30 something motor-home, they find it much easier to travel in, then again they never boated far either. Good luck with your quest.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:56 AM   #19
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Its interesting that a lot of folks that look for quiet secluded anchorages when in a boat, want to stay in a park when in a motorhome. My wife and I went to Alaska from Okla. 2 summers in a row in our motorhome. We may have overnited in an RV park twice in the total 6 months combined. We stayed at lots of lakes and state owned camping areas. When travelling we just pulled off the side of the road, lots of places to do that out west, and even more places in Alaska. Our travels were more about finding out of the way places and great fishing than just being tourists. Sometimes we left the motorhome and took our Tacoma and camping gear to really cool places. We spent 3 weeks on Kodiak fishing the Sockeye run on the Saltery river. That is REAL Alaska. I would love to go there in my boat.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:01 AM   #20
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We sold our 40 foot Diesel pusher to get into the boat about 5 years ago. Now we found that we miss the RV too, so we bought a small 26 foot gas RV to fill that nitch. Kept the boat and enjoy both alot.
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