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Old 05-24-2017, 10:14 AM   #1
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RV vs Cruising

Greetings All,

I am curious how many cruisers out there also do the RV thing part of the time. I love being on the water, but we have grand kids spread out around the country and Im thinking a used RV might be the way to see more of them and the country. The driving and RV parks don't appeal to me, but then again I have never tried it. Have any of you?

Appreciate any comments.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:29 AM   #2
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We have a fifth-wheel that we use for dry camping in the mountains and desert as well as using it as a condo when parked at an RV resort for a week or so. We were boaters for many years before we became RVers, but IMHO the experiences are vaguely similar enough to have some training benefit when moving up to a boat. Not in specifics, but in instilling the habits of proper care of complicated systems and the basics of many systems shared by both. An RV won't sink or drift away if you screwup either!

Try renting one for a week to see if it works for you.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:43 AM   #3
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Some years ago we rented a motorhome and spent a week-end at a California lake with an RV group from work. Did not care for it.
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:21 AM   #4
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Rent one about the size you want. Drive around Atlanta for a few days and let us know how it goes.
If you do decide to buy, check out retirement communities. Usually they have an RV parking yard and there's always a couple for sale. Almost new, bought by people that thought they would be comfortable driving them.
I'm not saying it can't be done but there's a lot of stress driving a large RV in traffic. I don't mind docking ships & boats, even in a crowded harbor, but driving a vehicle that barely fits in a lane, is hard to stop and difficult to maneuver is beyond me.
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:33 AM   #5
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We have a 36' DP motorhome. We used it a lot when we lived in Arizona to tow our smaller boat to the lakes and stayed in the RV at night. It is fun to drive. Take some time to get comfortable driving it and learn how it reacts. My wife does badly driving it so I have to do all the driving.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:13 PM   #6
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We currently split our time about evenly between a Mainship Pilot 34 and a small, full headroom trailer.

We like to anchor in secluded coves and camp in rustic, National Park, State Park or US Forest Service campgrounds. I never want to camp in an RV park and similarly don't hang out at marinas.

The experience is similar and the systems are also similar.

There was another thread on this topic several months ago which I suspect you can find by searching on camping (RV won't work- too short).

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Old 05-24-2017, 12:22 PM   #7
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Wifey B: They don't float.

We thought about renting one to get back to our boat on the TN River but thought about it too late. Have never spent time on one but we looked at Dolly's at Dollywood.

I would never trade water for one but I think for those who like land cruising they are great. Be careful though lumping them all together. Just like Marinas vs. Anchoring and big cities vs. the middle of nowhere on the water, you have the same on land. Among the RV'ers you have just as varied group as boaters. Chartering one.......ok renting one for a bit is a way to get an idea.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:44 PM   #8
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I've done both-love both-just in the boating stage now.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:04 PM   #9
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I had a job several years ago where I was a manager at a very large RV dealership. One of the perks of the job was that I could take an RV for a few days when I went on vacations.


RE: Driving one in city traffic? I took a 40' diesel pusher once to the Oregon coast. On the way back we went through downtown Portland, with all its busy and narrow streets--no problemo.


The kids wanted to go into Nike Town. I found two adjacent parking spots that were next to an alley entrance. Using the backup camera I was able to parallel park it without any issues. But then, I have always backed my boats into their slips so the mental part of positioning the RV was not a problem.


In a few years, after we've taken our boat up to Puget Sound and Canadian waters for a summer it will be for sale. Then we'll go RV shopping. In many respects traveling in an RV is like boating. In boating, you pull into a marina, tie up then walk the docks. In an RV park, you pull in, do the hookups, then walk the RV park.


In both setting you meet some of the nicest people.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:11 PM   #10
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Our Bambi Airstream is pretty diminutive but...
We love both!
We spent 3 months dragging our Bambi around the country this winter/spring and I have to say...it is a ton of fun! It seems to me that RV's/trailers are much simpler to use than any boat we have owned. They are certainly easier to maintain than your average boat, they cost less to purchase and use and they offer a similar yet different "cruising experience".
Too, if you do a bad job tying up your RV, it doesn't float away!
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:29 PM   #11
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Bruce I saw your Bambi in LaConner. What a cutie. I could tow it w my Jetta or the Avalon I'm going to look at today.

But they are WAY expensive kinda like the VW van campers. I was going to build one but have too many projects. I'll keep looking on CL and in time we'll find something small enough. We are more or less poor so gotta get over the initial cost .. and the fuel burn. No road burner sips fuel like Willy.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
Bruce I saw your Bambi in LaConner. What a cutie. I could tow it w my Jetta or the Avalon I'm going to look at today.

But they are WAY expensive kinda like the VW van campers. I was going to build one but have too many projects. I'll keep looking on CL and in time we'll find something small enough. We are more or less poor so gotta get over the initial cost .. and the fuel burn. No road burner sips fuel like Willy.
The Bambi is really cute, no question. It certainly isn't the only small trailer out there though. There are a bunch of "small car friendly" campers on the market today and some of them are pretty economical. The other consideration is the weight of the trailer. Our Bambi is pretty chunky at 4000 plus pounds when we have it loaded up.
Airstream is about to introduce a small lightweight fiberglass trailer too. No idea what the price point is.
I saw some posts suggesting that you were going to be in the area when we were there, sorry we missed you!
Bruce
P.S. This shot of the Bambi was taken in our driveway!
Too many deer here with no natural predators makes for some pretty tame animals...
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:06 PM   #13
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Between boats a couple of years ago we bought a 2004 Bluebird M380 DP with a 400hp Cummins. We took a few trips in it and decided that we liked boats better. I bought a year long ad in RV Trader thinking it would take forever to sell just like all my boats have. Four days after the ad came out I had money in hand for my asking price.

IMHO these are the pros and cons of a RV.

Pros of the RV
Better mileage and it can go more places
Park it anywhere you can get away with it, but Class A RV resorts are pretty nice.
Easier to sell than a boat.
Cheaper to store when you are not using it.

Cons of the RV
Fighting the 18 wheelers down the freeway on both sides of you at 70+mph when you are going 60.
Worrying about a blowout on a front tire at 60 mph. What a CF that is.
Most RV parks do not have a nice view like a marina does. But there are exceptions for sure.


There are a lot of really crappy new RV's for sale. Always buy a quality brand and it will not depreciate quite as fast. A used Prevost, Newell, Bluebird, Foretravel, Tiffin or Monco will hold it's value better than a new Thor or Winnie.

I don't want to pay storage for a boat and an RV at the same time so now we are back in boating for a few years. When we feel no longer up to it we probably will go back to another RV.

If I already owned a beefed up tow vehicle like an F250 I might even consider a big Airstream. They are pretty cool.
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:08 PM   #14
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We too RV and boat. We travel in the winter to Az & Cal. staying ~ 4 mo. We do stay in a park mostly now where we have made some friends. We have also stayed out in the boonies for a few days -week at a time over the winter.

It's a 33' fifth with P/U truck totalling ~ 50' long. I don;t have a problem driving it but you just have to learn what it takes to drive safely.

Oddly very similar that way to the boat handling and advantages/disadvantages although different from each other.

We have had the RV for 10 years now, the boating for 35 years and this boat for 31 years. When it comes time to reduce our commitment the RV will go and we will continue to boat as long as we can.
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:12 PM   #15
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Bruce B re post #12,
Wanted to connect w you too but we were so so busy working on Willy and by your posts you seemed stretched too. You'll be back I suspect.

To get an RV we should probably sell the boat.
Had no idea the little Airstream was so heavy. I'm looking for something about 1000lbs lighter. The FG Air will be pricy if it has the A name on it.

Yes deer can be a problem. Last week we saw one in the Strbucks parking lot. Long way out of the asphalt. Sure hope she made it out w/o getting hit by a car. Can't imagine how she got there.
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:05 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
Bruce B re post #12,
Wanted to connect w you too but we were so so busy working on Willy and by your posts you seemed stretched too. You'll be back I suspect.

To get an RV we should probably sell the boat.
Had no idea the little Airstream was so heavy. I'm looking for something about 1000lbs lighter. The FG Air will be pricy if it has the A name on it.

Yes deer can be a problem. Last week we saw one in the Strbucks parking lot. Long way out of the asphalt. Sure hope she made it out w/o getting hit by a car. Can't imagine how she got there.
We've been discussing the idea of when we will be back
It will be after we've done the loop and ICW but...I'm sure it is in the cards.
See you next time!
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:37 PM   #17
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I have been boating for most of my life. Bought my first RV 6 years go, a 38' DP. Liked the snowbird life, summers boating, winters in the Motorhome, in southern Cal, so much we bought a lot in Indio in 2013 and a bigger RV in 2014.

Driving it is easy, once you get used to the width. 8.5 ft. Any Motorhome and many fifth wheels are 8.5' wide, regardless of length, so driving a longer one, mine is 44', is not a lot different than one that is 15 or 20 ft shorter. We also tow, so do little backing up.

Boating, the best move ever was to join a yacht club. 30 yr members now and no regrets. Most of our best friends are club members, and the same goes for our kids.
RVing, best move ever was to buy a lot in a high end Class A Motorhome park. built in friendly neighbours, who we see every year and are now good friends. Plus, the park comes wh so many activities that we are always as busy as we can stand.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:52 PM   #18
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Been doing both for 30 - 40 yrs.
Many similarities - especially in the onboard systems.
Both have + & - and neither is for everyone.

Started small - canoe & DIY van conversion... but that van took across the US a couple of times, Canada, Mexico and to Alaska & back
Recently moved up to diesels for both.
Current boat 34 Mainship HT- MH 34 Newmar Ventana


I don't drive the MH in major cities as we tow a Honda CR-V and use it for exploring the areas we stay in. While still working we used to do more travelling & sightseeing but since retirement we tend to stay longer in one place - wks - month and explore the area.

Have to say our #1 passion is boating but the limited season in the NE provides a welcome opportunity to "snowbird" in places that are warm and we frequently find ourselves near water.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:50 PM   #19
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We split our time between both the Motor Home and our boat. There are just lots of things you cannot see from a boat and the same for an RV. We just enjoy both!
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:32 AM   #20
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I sure hope RVs require less maintenance. I am pretty sure the parts are cheaper.

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