Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

RV/Trailer Astronomy Fact and Fiction

  • Please log in to reply
249 replies to this topic

#26 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 94,648
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 23 January 2018 - 11:19 AM

"The Valley of the Gods in Utah.."

 

Jon, I've always wanted to visit this area, so beautiful!

 

Carol:

 

It is stunning.  It is similar to Monument Valley the way it used to be.  These days, what with the 500 room resort overlooking Monument Valley, it's not the same.  

 

Near the northwestern entrance to Valley of the Gods there's a small bread and breakfast, it's the only thing out there for miles.

 

Jon


  • csa/montana likes this

#27 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,320
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona, USA

Posted 23 January 2018 - 11:22 AM

My wife and I had a 24 ft travel trailer for about six years and it made a couple of trips per year for 1-2 weeks each, but its primary purpose had been to accompany us on a year long journey across the CONUS and Alaska, a practice retirement if you will. We got pretty good at towing, but it was never comfortable if we had to get off the main roads. We enjoyed the heck out of the mobile lifestyle. We had along my TV-85 for astronomy and a good load of skydiving and backpacking gear and a kitty. Live on the road is awesome.

 

We sold the trailer about 8 years ago and now we are making new plans for traveling 3-4 months per year which will start in about 4-5 years. We have looked at a lot of RV's and we have decided that towing is not our style. We are zeroing in on one of the 24ft Mercedes Sprinter chassis models for the reliability, build quality and comfort. They can go anywhere without length restrictions and the gas mileage is as good as you can get at about 16-18 MPG. We will travel will less "stuff" than we did previously as our skydiving and backpacking days are over, except our family has grown to 4 kitties. All I plan to take for astronomy will be my EON 120ED/DSV-3 mount/Nexus DSC and a couple binos. Looking forward to the mobile lifestyle again. We've missed it.


  • csa/montana, Cajundaddy and drneilmb like this

#28 CCD-Freak

CCD-Freak

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,356
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Whitesboro,Texas

Posted 23 January 2018 - 01:45 PM

My Casita aka "Moonlight Manor" has made my astronomy trips much more comfortable.  I charge the trailer and all my astro gear batteries with solar panels so I can be off grid for a long time.  The limiting factor is the holding tanks and with careful use of warter I  have been out for as long as 12 nights in some really dark locations.  I often stay at state parks in hot weather so I can run the air conditioner.  The Moonlight Manor is small enough to go pretty much anywhere but big enough to have everything you need.  The back of the truck is used to carry all my gear.  We drove 3500 miles to eastern Oregon for the eclipse and it was a great trip. 

 

Imaging at Ft Griffin sm.JPG

 

John

CCD-Freak

WD5IKX


Edited by CCD-Freak, 24 January 2018 - 09:47 AM.

  • Jon Isaacs, csa/montana, Rollo and 9 others like this

#29 CCD-Freak

CCD-Freak

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,356
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Whitesboro,Texas

Posted 23 January 2018 - 01:47 PM

Here is a day shot with my SkyBox at TSP.   What a game changer!  (^8

 

SkyBox and Moonlight Manor at TSP.JPG

 

John

CCD-Freak

WD5IKX

 

 

 


  • csa/montana, Phil Cowell, GilATM and 5 others like this

#30 yemtig

yemtig

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 61
  • Joined: 18 Oct 2017
  • Loc: Rio Rancho, NM

Posted 23 January 2018 - 02:30 PM

This thread has gotten my attention.  Nice looking setups.  I have another 15-20 years until retirement and have been mulling over the camper idea for a year now.  Me and my family camp with a nice springbar tent most of the time and have access to a few cabins but I love the idea of taking off and seeing the US when I retire.  Along the way I'll view the sky as much as possible and hit every fly fishing hole that I have yet fished.  This year, I will be trekking to a star party or two...   Want to learn from people like yourselves on this forum...

 

Clear skies

 

Mike


  • stevenwav likes this

#31 drneilmb

drneilmb

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,023
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Decorah, IA, USA

Posted 23 January 2018 - 02:36 PM

Here is a day shot with my SkyBox at TSP.   What a game changer!  (^8

Can you say more about how the SkyBox is used? It looks fascinating, but I've never seen such a thing before!

 

-Neil



#32 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama & Gold Star Award Winner

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 111,542
  • Joined: 14 May 2005
  • Loc: montana

Posted 23 January 2018 - 03:11 PM

Beautiful setups shown here.  I really wish we had gotten an RV, rather than all the boats we had.  It would have been great to travel at our leisure!



#33 CCD-Freak

CCD-Freak

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,356
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Whitesboro,Texas

Posted 23 January 2018 - 04:04 PM

 

Here is a day shot with my SkyBox at TSP.   What a game changer!  (^8

Can you say more about how the SkyBox is used? It looks fascinating, but I've never seen such a thing before!

 

-Neil

 

The SkyBox is a portable observatory shelter which blocks the wind and stray light.  It is amazing how much warmer you feel when you are out of the wind and I have been able to image nights when the winds would otherwise have sent me to bed.  I have a roof I can put on if the weather threatens to rain.  I have built about 40 of these for my imaging buddies.   I even found a "Moonlight Manor" B&B sign which I had to buy to go with the Casita.

SkyBox_12X8-OTSP-xsm.jpg

TSP-2013-1-sm.JPG

 

John

CCD-Freak

WD5IKX


Edited by CCD-Freak, 23 January 2018 - 04:12 PM.

  • stevew, ctcables, Phil Cowell and 3 others like this

#34 dgoldb

dgoldb

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 873
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2015

Posted 23 January 2018 - 04:55 PM

Don't own an RV but the in-laws own a 36' fifth wheel.  It is, obviously, quite nice in terms of comforts.  It can fit in a surprising number of places.  The major limitation is that you cant store things in the bed of the truck, and the bottom of the RV is usually pretty full of stuff.  This means astro stuff usually ends up inside the RV - typically on the bed to absorb bumps.  This works well for smaller scopes (8" or less), but wouldnt be ideal for a larger scope.  

 

For a larger scope, a toy hauler would be ideal.  Just roll the scope out, and roll it back in.  They even have them where the ramp turns into a patio ( http://d17qgzvii7d4w...=430;quality=50 ).  You could, conceivably, roll the scope right onto your "patio" and observe from right there.  I daresay a 20" scope would fit in there without issue, especially the newer ~f/3.3 models.



#35 davidmcgo

davidmcgo

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,686
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2004
  • Loc: San Diego, CA

Posted 23 January 2018 - 06:07 PM

Great topic as I'm starting to desire more comforts and less dealing with a tent.  Problem I'm finding is I like the idea of a class B or a truck mounted slide in but these don't really have a good way to handle a 15" or larger Dob and I don't go to dark sites with my smaller scopes.

 

The new Ford F150s with the flat floor in rear of the extended cabs look interesting, if I could fit the dob rocker, mirror box, and UTA and maybe my eyepiece case in the rear seat area of the cab, then a slide in pop up camper becomes an option.  But the cost of such a setup with 4x4 truck plus camper gets pretty high and with my work schedule and no near term hopes to retire, it is hard to justify for the rare use I'd get to give it.  I can't see something like that as my only car since gas mileage is too low.  I was also looking at some of the little cargo vans (NV200, Transit Connect), but the minimal ground clearance wouldn't survive going to the places I like. The low roof full size Transit can be converted to 4x4 with a 2" lift by Quigley 4x4 for around $12K.  For something like that I'd probably just put in some insulation, a solar fan roof vent, and build some racks and a simple fold down table and bunk. 

 

My current vehicle is a 4 cyl Forester and it doesn't have enough towing capacity for anything like a travel trailer.  Shoehorning the scope and camping gear is tight if my wife comes and we're limited by food and water to a couple of nights which is all we usually get and the tent gets really hot in the daytime.  I also really dislike setting up and taking down tents even though the time doesn't seem that bad, wrestling with the things in the wind and with rocky ground sometimes makes it seem not worth it.

 

With these ideas all running in my mind, I'm really happy to gain from the experiences being posted here!

 

Dave


  • csa/montana and Knasal like this

#36 CCD-Freak

CCD-Freak

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,356
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Whitesboro,Texas

Posted 23 January 2018 - 06:28 PM

My buddy Mark carries his 18" Obsession in the back of his Ford Expedition and camps in his Casita.  We spent about a week last May off grid at the Cosmic Campground in western New Mexico and were treated to some really great dark sky.  I am working on plans for another extended trip to New Mexico for some "quality dark sky time".   Being retired and having a trailer makes every new moon a star party.

 

Casitas at Cosmic Campground-1.JPG

 

The Casita also makes a great mobile "ham shack".

 

John

CCD-Freak

WD5IKX


Edited by CCD-Freak, 23 January 2018 - 06:32 PM.

  • Phil Cowell, stubeeef, areyoukiddingme and 5 others like this

#37 starcanoe

starcanoe

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,813
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2013
  • Loc: Gulf Coast, Panhandle of Florida

Posted 23 January 2018 - 07:20 PM

Two points.

 

An RV can be a real strain on a relationship for certain folks. When I went on RV trips with my now ex....about 1/4 were okay, another 1/4 were kinda a glad to be home, another 1/4 were thank gawd I'm home and the final quarter were where I seriously considered the "never again" option.

 

Also....think of an RV as a really nice tent. Thinking of it as a small house is IMO looking at it from the wrong angle and can lead to unhappiness.



#38 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 94,648
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 23 January 2018 - 07:58 PM

Two points.

 

An RV can be a real strain on a relationship for certain folks. When I went on RV trips with my now ex....about 1/4 were okay, another 1/4 were kinda a glad to be home, another 1/4 were thank gawd I'm home and the final quarter were where I seriously considered the "never again" option.

 

Also....think of an RV as a really nice tent. Thinking of it as a small house is IMO looking at it from the wrong angle and can lead to unhappiness.

 

I guess it works for some,  not so much for others.  That's pretty much how life works. 

 

My wife and I both love camping and RVing and in the thirty some odd years we've been together,  our trips always work out. 

 

The people had our motor home before us,  they lived in it for the good part of year so a very little house on wheels seems like a good description.. 

 

One thing to think about: if you're thinking about RVing,  rent one and try it for a week or two and find out what it's all about.  I do not recommend it for the non- mechanically inclined. 

 

Jon


  • Ohmless likes this

#39 Cajundaddy

Cajundaddy

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,867
  • Joined: 27 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Cucamonga CA

Posted 23 January 2018 - 08:34 PM

We are casually gathering data for our next RV in a few years.  We like keeping things small so we can get in anywhere and prefer boondocking to RV parks.  Rigs under consideration are another class C 22-24', Class B+ with a sound chassis but more space than a van.  The other option is towing a smallish trailer with a shell on the truck for gear storage and additional sleeping space if we bring friends.  Each of them have benefits and we will almost certainly buy used and do a little custom work to make it our own. 

 

Modern battery/solar is just now to the point you could run without a generator and have enough juice to power highly efficient A/C for several hours a day.  That is a game changer for desert trips where A/C is our little friend in the afternoons.  We would still bring a portable Honda gen just in case but running an extended RV trip silently is very attractive to me.



#40 Phil Cowell

Phil Cowell

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,792
  • Joined: 24 May 2007
  • Loc: Southern Tier NY

Posted 23 January 2018 - 08:46 PM

Looking at upgrading the vehicle to and X5 or VW Atlas this year. Thinking a small camper might be fun.

The images here make it look tempting.



#41 starcanoe

starcanoe

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,813
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2013
  • Loc: Gulf Coast, Panhandle of Florida

Posted 23 January 2018 - 08:49 PM

An RV pointer. If there is any chance of rain...particularly if you won't be at the RV when it might rain.

 

Do not put your canopy nearly horizontal. It needs a pretty good slope to it.  Also do not put both out ends at the same level. Put one end at a much lower level than the other.

 

Otherwise its easy for a pond to form on the canopy...once a bit of water stays...the canopy sags in the middle...allowing room for even more water....

 

I've seen a collapsed/ruined canopy or two from that.



#42 dgoldb

dgoldb

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 873
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2015

Posted 23 January 2018 - 08:53 PM

Great topic as I'm starting to desire more comforts and less dealing with a tent. Problem I'm finding is I like the idea of a class B or a truck mounted slide in but these don't really have a good way to handle a 15" or larger Dob and I don't go to dark sites with my smaller scopes.

The new Ford F150s with the flat floor in rear of the extended cabs look interesting, if I could fit the dob rocker, mirror box, and UTA and maybe my eyepiece case in the rear seat area of the cab, then a slide in pop up camper becomes an option. But the cost of such a setup with 4x4 truck plus camper gets pretty high and with my work schedule and no near term hopes to retire, it is hard to justify for the rare use I'd get to give it. I can't see something like that as my only car since gas mileage is too low. I was also looking at some of the little cargo vans (NV200, Transit Connect), but the minimal ground clearance wouldn't survive going to the places I like. The low roof full size Transit can be converted to 4x4 with a 2" lift by Quigley 4x4 for around $12K. For something like that I'd probably just put in some insulation, a solar fan roof vent, and build some racks and a simple fold down table and bunk.

My current vehicle is a 4 cyl Forester and it doesn't have enough towing capacity for anything like a travel trailer. Shoehorning the scope and camping gear is tight if my wife comes and we're limited by food and water to a couple of nights which is all we usually get and the tent gets really hot in the daytime. I also really dislike setting up and taking down tents even though the time doesn't seem that bad, wrestling with the things in the wind and with rocky ground sometimes makes it seem not worth it.

With these ideas all running in my mind, I'm really happy to gain from the experiences being posted here!

Dave


There are some new diesel trucks that get pretty good millage that could be your every day driver. Chevy colorado is one example. Also some suvs can tow small trailers, and still get decent mileage day to day.
  • davidmcgo likes this

#43 Jim4321

Jim4321

    Skylab

  • -----
  • Posts: 4,325
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2014
  • Loc: Asheville

Posted 23 January 2018 - 09:06 PM

I've had 2 class B's and now a small C. 1st B (Roadtrek on a Dodge), I could not make drive right; it wandered, and almost changed lanes whenever a truck passed.  After a year's fight, I traded it on a Chevy Roadtrek.  Drove and rode fine, like a big GM sedan; not unsettled by wind.  But dang, it had a lot of low-down vulnerable stuff under it. Kept it 3 years.  Test drove the 4x4 '06 Tiger CX, fell in love, haven't regretted it at all in the past ~12 years.

 

My biggest 'astro' trip didn't involve a telescope.  The cat and I spent 21 days and nights going out I-40 to see Meteor Crater; bucket list item.  The Grand Canyon, Rt 66, Flagstaff, etc., were bonuses, but not the reason for the trip.  Never stayed in a campground, just rest areas and truck stops. Always ate in the RV except for one stop at Wendy's.  A small RV is just the thing for 1 or 2 people.   At 19', I can almost always find a place to park, to shop, sight-see, or overnight.  4 trips to FL for Space Shuttle launches.

 

I also did a short trip ~100 west to Andrews NC in August for the eclipse, and camped in a field right under the centerline.  Took my C8 on an Evo mount,and my C5 on a manual mount.  I let the public use the C5, while I hogged the C8.  Very successful trip, but the traffic coming back was a mess.  This is less than 1/2 the eventual crowd: nsuo5.jpg

 

I'm planning a maybe-trip down to the Cape to watch the launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy.  But It's mostly used as 'scope hauler & support for local stargazes.

 

A maybe irrelevant aside:  My 1st class B did one really good thing... because it would fit into a metered space at the curb, it re-introduced me to our city's vibrant downtown.  The two succeeding RV's have allowed me to continue my enjoyment of that.

 

Jim H.


Edited by Jim4321, 23 January 2018 - 09:07 PM.


#44 Knasal

Knasal

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,824
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2014
  • Loc: Wisconsin, USA

Posted 23 January 2018 - 09:14 PM

Great topic as I'm starting to desire more comforts and less dealing with a tent.  Problem I'm finding is I like the idea of a class B or a truck mounted slide in but these don't really have a good way to handle a 15" or larger Dob and I don't go to dark sites with my smaller scopes.

 

The new Ford F150s with the flat floor in rear of the extended cabs look interesting, if I could fit the dob rocker, mirror box, and UTA and maybe my eyepiece case in the rear seat area of the cab, then a slide in pop up camper becomes an option.  But the cost of such a setup with 4x4 truck plus camper gets pretty high and with my work schedule and no near term hopes to retire, it is hard to justify for the rare use I'd get to give it.  I can't see something like that as my only car since gas mileage is too low.  I was also looking at some of the little cargo vans (NV200, Transit Connect), but the minimal ground clearance wouldn't survive going to the places I like. The low roof full size Transit can be converted to 4x4 with a 2" lift by Quigley 4x4 for around $12K.  For something like that I'd probably just put in some insulation, a solar fan roof vent, and build some racks and a simple fold down table and bunk. 

 

My current vehicle is a 4 cyl Forester and it doesn't have enough towing capacity for anything like a travel trailer.  Shoehorning the scope and camping gear is tight if my wife comes and we're limited by food and water to a couple of nights which is all we usually get and the tent gets really hot in the daytime.  I also really dislike setting up and taking down tents even though the time doesn't seem that bad, wrestling with the things in the wind and with rocky ground sometimes makes it seem not worth it.

 

With these ideas all running in my mind, I'm really happy to gain from the experiences being posted here!

 

Dave

Dave, wow - you explained my situation exactly, as I also own an 18" scope and a Subaru Forester, and I think about RV'ing a lot. My wife and I have gone back and forth about RV ownership. 

 

I too am watching the thread to see what people are posting about... So far, I'm glad we stuck to our guns with tent camping.

 

One big factor for me: God bless her, but my wife *cannot stand* to be in a car for more than a couple hours at a time and she cannot sit still. So, as much as I love to think about RV'ing, for the above reasons and the ones you stated, I just don't think it's in the cards for us...

 

Kevin


  • davidmcgo likes this

#45 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 94,648
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 24 January 2018 - 04:13 AM

One big factor for me: God bless her, but my wife *cannot stand* to be in a car for more than a couple hours at a time and she cannot sit still. So, as much as I love to think about RV'ing, for the above reasons and the ones you stated, I just don't think it's in the cards for us...

 

Kevin

 

 

A motorhome offers a lot of opportunities for someone who cannot sit still.  One can roam around, sit in the back, eat something, use the bathroom.  Sit and read. 

 

And there is something about being higher off the road that makes everything more relaxed.  That was something I discovered when I was driving "18 wheelers",  you have a different perspective, you're further away from the road, it's not buzzing by so closely.

 

Jon


  • Knasal likes this

#46 kennyrichmond

kennyrichmond

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 797
  • Joined: 29 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Philadelphia, PA

Posted 24 January 2018 - 07:09 AM

Here's a vote to convert this thread into a permanent forum topic.  I think  astronomers have slightly different requirements than the typical RV'rs because they are more likely to boondock or use inexpensive and usually dark, typically treeless, water-related Army Core of Engineer campgrounds.  Work and Play toy hauler trailers, as one suggested above, provide the lowest entry cost, but the most volume for length and the most tankage.   Grey water tanks fill up very quickly - about three times as quick as black.  Consider 55 gal. the minimum for grey to be comfortable showering - sink washing.  The cargo trailer/RV conversions will give you the best Gross Vehicle to empty Weight ratio.  Never, ever consider a single axle trailer or exceeding the specified GVW.  If you're a flatlander, a half ton pickup with a 9500 lb. tow capacity with a 370 rear will do, but if you intend to travel in hilly territory you'll need at least a 421 and some additional torque to keep your speed and schedule on inclines.  I roll two completely set up scopes down the ramp, one a 16" Meade on a AP 1100 and the other  a WO 151 APO on a Meade 850 and I still have enough room inside an 18 footer to cook, shower, shave, etc and sleep (mostly Walmarts and highway rest stops) while underway.  The scopes travel with a single winch strap from the middle of their tripods to floor rings.  The mount clutches are loosened and bungeed.   Of course this is a dedicated setup.  I have no interest in actual camping.  On the longest excursions, the biggest problem is finding a shirt laundry.

 

Ken


Edited by kennyrichmond, 24 January 2018 - 07:26 AM.

  • FXM, eklf, ken30809 and 2 others like this

#47 Jim4321

Jim4321

    Skylab

  • -----
  • Posts: 4,325
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2014
  • Loc: Asheville

Posted 24 January 2018 - 08:24 AM

I'll add a few assorted comments here, after a decade and a half of RV ownership....

 

if you're going to keep any RV long-term, you best have either deep pockets, or a bent toward DIY tinkering.  I'd be out many thousands of dollars over the past decade and a half if I'd hired out my repairs, modifications, and upgrades over the years.  

 

Not everybody has a spot at home to park an RV.  A lot of HOA's flatly forbid them. Some will allow a de-decalled class B, but nothing more.  So there goes another $50-$150 per month, and there's some added inconvenience with loading, unloading, and DIY tinkering.  If you live in an area that allows you to keep one at home, be aware that neighbors may resent its presence.  Mine's in the back yard, largely screened by trees & terrain.

 

A lot of WalMarts and a few other big box stores allow RV's to overnight.  It's a major cost and time savings when just transiting thru an area. But some don't.  Call ahead and ask; the customer service desk will know; best not to bother the store manager. Personally, I prefer truck stops and rest areas, but I'm a crusty ol' bachelor, no kids or wife to worry about keeping happy.  In my unit, I can go from bed to driver's seat without going outside if trouble shows up; in several hundred nights on the road, it hasn't.

 

Flying J truck stops used to offer free dump facilities; no more, due to slobs making a mess and driving off.  I think they charge $10 now for a dump and water fill.  You can get the same price at many campgrounds, particularly federal and state ones.

 

Learn to take Navy showers.... wet down, water off, soap & scrub, water on to rinse.  You can shower in about 2 gallons.  Extends your water supply, and avoids filling grey water tank.

 

Generators: the factory usually does a pretty dam' minimal job on the install, resulting in a noisy monster.  I've quieted my Onan 2800 considerably by getting hold of the Onan installation manual, reading it, and doing a bit of work. Good portables are quiet, but you have to worry about security, weather protection, and carrying extra fuel. None are really reliable. Don't trust the life of a beloved pet to one unless you can check on him every half-hour or so.

 

Batteries: Almost all are lead-acid still; lithium's are still pretty pricey in big enough capacities. Search for and read a website called 'The 12 Volt Side Of Life'.

 

But boy, RVing is rewarding!

 

Enough for now....

 

Jim H.


  • edwincjones, Jon Isaacs, eklf and 5 others like this

#48 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 13,895
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 24 January 2018 - 08:39 AM

I'll add a few assorted comments here, after a decade and a half of RV ownership....

 

if you're going to keep any RV long-term, you best have either deep pockets,

 

.....................................................

 

But boy, RVing is rewarding!

 

Enough for now....

 

Jim H.

very good post

 

when I calculate the cost of my 2006 Class C bought new

the down payment, monthly payments, maintenance -   minus tax deduction for second home and probably resale value now

 

about $7,000 a year--not counting gasoline and campgrounds for use

 

question.gif question.gif

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 24 January 2018 - 08:42 AM.

  • Jeff2024 likes this

#49 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 94,648
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 24 January 2018 - 09:16 AM

 

I'll add a few assorted comments here, after a decade and a half of RV ownership....

 

if you're going to keep any RV long-term, you best have either deep pockets,

 

.....................................................

 

But boy, RVing is rewarding!

 

Enough for now....

 

Jim H.

very good post

 

when I calculate the cost of my 2006 Class C bought new

the down payment, monthly payments, maintenance -   minus tax deduction for second home and probably resale value now

 

about $7,000 a year--not counting gasoline and campgrounds for use

 

question.gif question.gif

 

edj

 

 

I agree,  Jim's post was the voice of experience. 

 

They can be expensive to own and to maintain.. 

 

We bought our 1986 Motor home in 2004 for $8000 and besides tires and a few incidental repairs,  we've been very lucky.  As Jim says,  you either need deep pockets or be a DIY type.  I rely on my experience as a truck mechanic and my helpful friends so our old buggy has cost us about $1000/year,  less fuel costs. 

 

I figure one day well be driving along and something major in the engine or transmission will let go and we'll have to rent a uhaul to drive home in and the motor home will be towed to a salvage yard but that hasn't happened..  Yet. 

 

A couple of years ago we we're at a KOA in Kingman, Az for a day of civilation and showers.  It was blowing hard,  I'd say over 40 MPH.  My wife got a phone call,  opened the door to talk outside and the wind grabbed the door and slammed it so hard against the side of the coach that the hinges bent. 

 

We couldn't fix it so rather than trying to limp home with the door roped shut,  we bit the bullet and had an RV shop fix it.  We figured we'd be lucky to get out of there for $500 but it was only $120.

 

While we were there we got to talking with a young couple from Georgia who had a nearly new 30 foot plus Class A in the shop.. They'd blown the engine and were looking a bill repair bill.  Suddenly our 30 year old Class C was looking pretty good. 

 

As Jim said,  storage is important.  We used to store it on the street in front of the house but then the city outlawed that so now it lives at our place in the high desert. Otherwise it would be costing $100s a month to store it.  One bonus is that some isolated regions of California are exempt from the every other year smog check so we avoid that hassle as well. 

 

I like Class C motor homes rather than class A because the entire chassis and cab is built by Ford,  Dodge or Chevrolet.  That means the everything that has to do with actually driving the vehicle is factory stock.  If parts are needed they're easily available,  whether it's electrical,  mechanical or whatever,  our 86 is stock Ford E-350 parts and factory designed and engineered. 

 

Jon


  • davidmcgo likes this

#50 TL2101

TL2101

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,717
  • Joined: 17 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Northern California

Posted 24 January 2018 - 06:24 PM

What I have been looking for is a small travel trailer that's around 17' with high ground clearance and 15" tires. I want A/C that can run off a 2000 watt Honda generator, a large fresh water tank and a oven. It must also have a full bath. I want beds on both ends of the trailer so if I have company other than my wife we have as much separation as possible when sleeping. I tend to snore so even though 17' won't spare any roommate from my loud noises at least I would have given them as much distance from me as possible. 

 

After owning boats for the last 40+ years I have no problems about doing my own repairs and have plenty of room to store it in my backyard. I already own a 30' travel trailer but it stays permanently parked up on property my daughter owns near Murphys Ca where we like to vacation. This new smaller trailer will be for star parties and traveling around the western united states.

 

So far the best 17' travel trailer that meets these requirements that I have found is the Northwood Nash 17K. It comes with an 2500 watt propane Onan generator that will run the roof 11K BTU A/C. This trailer was built for hunters who need a trailer that is designed for off grid camping. They build their own frame that is stronger than the standard Lippert frames most trailers use. It has two 30 lb propane tanks and holds 50 gallons of fresh water with a 10 gallon water heater. The tanks are heated and enclosed for winter camping. I would pull it with my 3/4 ton dodge Ram truck. The truck has a leer shell for holding my astro gear.

 

http://northwoodmfg....ash/nash-17k-2/

 

I am probably still a few years off from making the plunge b/c of family obligations. My wife and I are responsible for taking care of her mother and my mother that are 88 and 93 years old. Both are in assisted living but we need to be available for emergencies plus we take care of our granddaughter after school while our daughter and son in law are at work. But in the mean time we dream about visiting The Valley of the Gods and Chaco Canyon in our own RV.


Edited by TL2101, 25 January 2018 - 02:07 PM.

  • halx and Cajundaddy like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics