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Advise for to-be newbie.... please! britt 7-19-03  
Hello i was hoping to get some advise from some experienced people!
heres my situation:
me and my good friend (im 21 shes 24) live in indiana. we are hoping to buy a old used rv, maybe allow 8 months to save $, and take off! we think we could survive fine by living somewhere a few months, working as waitresses to pay our expenses, and then move on as we please. we are hoping to do this for a bout a year (or untill we get sick of one another!) we just need advise like: will 2 girls be able to handle all of this? are we being naive? any advise regarding ANYTHING would be awesome...we just want to have fun while we are young and not commited!
britt and corrie
Re: advise for to-be newbie.... please! Stephanie 7-23-03  
Hello Britt,
Well i'm just about to buy my first RV,a 1987 Winnebago. I have found several out there with low miles and between the 7-16K range. I don't know much but I would say look for low miles and if you can, a single owner so you can find out it's history. I will have my husband and 13 year old son with me so I don't worry much I think you could have a great time if your smart. Find out where you want to go (North, South,East or West)then check the area you want to go.(Check with the Chambers of Commerce in that area,even call the police to check the crime rate). I think you should try The Northeast along the coast,I know Maine has alot of RV parks that would be great in the summer and could walk to a job.(If you like the beach)Have a great time and make sure you have extra money for fix it jobs!I don't know what they will be, but I'm sure there will be many:)Have Fun!
Re: advise for to-be newbie.... please! ED 7-22-03  
Well, you certainly are in for a treat! This country has much to offer for the RV traveler.

Of course, wisdom is going to be your best defense. We do live in a troubled world, and the two of you would be wise to consider safety.

That being said, you should read as many articles, books, etc. about being on the road. Just because you can survive on the road doesn't mean you'll enjoy it. So, careful planning is in order.

Go to the FAQ section of this site for "newbie" information and traveling costs.

Make sure you have a cell phone. Make sure you tell people where you are each day. Make sure you have a route planned (which doesn't mean you can't revise it as you go), so that you will be missed if something were to happen.

You may want to rent an RV for a week, or borrow one, to see if you can live in close quarters with someone. The worst thing to do is spend all the money first, only to find out that you can be friends, but only if your not living in an RV!

Calculate your expenses wisely, and then double check them with someone else.

Hope this ranting helps...

Re: advise for to-be newbie.... please! Teddy 7-2-04  
Wow, you two sound exactly like me.. Im a beginner RV'er and in College ( my last year ) and I have a small popup camper and have camped all over the South West in the past year (during free time and vacations.. I was advised by many people to find a discount camping club to join.. I found a good deal, or so I hope.. I asked a question in another area, but it appears there are more people here, but is Passport America's discount club worth while??????

Their website says they have over 1,100 campgrounds and a yearly membership is only $44!!!

Can someone confirm or deny this?? I would really appreciate the help..

College Student
Newbie RV'er!
Re: advise for to-be newbie.... please! rosemarie anthony 8-7-03  

Yes. Do it! You will have the time of your life. Many times your mishaps lead to the most interesting times of your trip. That said, you must be cautious. Stay with the rules you would go by at home. No pickups in bars etc.
Now to the important stuff. Travel with others can be hard if you aren't flexible people. Your only private times will be at campgrounds.
At the rv campgrounds talk to everyone. The rvers are a wealth of knowledge and info. Stop at info centers for great maps, info on campgrounds etc.
Now the most important:you must buy a really good old rv. Pay to have it checked throughly. Problems on the road can cost alot. Join AAA for info, maps,
help on the road. You MUST have a cell phone. Get a plan with free long distance for calls home. Check in with someone every night with your location.
With planning you'll have a great adventure!
Re: advise for to-be newbie.... please! CC 10-8-03  
I had the same idea as you did. However, after really looking at the costs involved, I had to re-think just how to afford this. If you plan on working a job- you'll need to be hooked up completely. I found that to camp in good campgrounds I was looking at more money per month than I originally anticipated. I also started to calculate ALL the expenses- gas- entrance fees to either state or national parks, eating out (you cant cook everything on those little stoves),and just a host of other expenses I normally would not have spent if at home. I also started to think about safety on both on the road and in the parks. I would recommend that you do a lot of pre-planning. If your towing a trailer- I would make sure you have the right tow vehicle!
Good luck.
Re: advise for to-be newbie.... please! John D. 9-8-03  
I'd say go for it.

As for old RVs, they can be a great bargain, and if lots of them are still around -- like GMC and Winnebago motorhomes from the 1970s for example -- parts are not hard to come by. It helps LOTS, however, if you can do your own RV maintenance/work so you can save LABOR costs at a shop which often are with cars. You may have to buy a new part -- shop around though for best price -- but at least you can save on labor IF you know how to do the installation.

There are even "classic RV clubs" whose members help each other out re: parts, manuals, wiring, restoration tips and so on. Some people buy old RVs, restore them, and resell them to people who appreciate "collectibles" but they also are very usable RVs as they ever were even though dated.

Some people want to simplify their lives and so don't care for all the expensive frills/decorations on RVs nowadays that can cost hundreds of's up to you -- or your budget -- to make the call re: what you'll be getting...hopefully, it will ALSO be one you will like and is comfortable/reliable to live in/with.

Some quality brands (in my opinion): Allegro and Allegro Bay by Tiffin, Monaco, Barth, Foretravel, National RV, Newmar (pricey since there are no old ones from the 70s or early 80s), Champion, Vogue, GMC, FMC...these latter few are classics and some have clubs I mentioned earlier.

I would advise you to find out which were the top-of-the-line motorhomes/RVs from a certain period back then and look for one used in the best condition you can find...quality THEN is quality NOW...don't buy a cheap POS that wasn't even good NEW!

Be advised, NO motorhome is perfect, even the 500-grand none are without their particular flaws or whatever and just about all will have one problem or another crop then find out if the dealer is any good when you ask for things to be fixed (if you bought from a private party, you're on your own, but don't let that stop you as there are LOTS of nicely-kept/maintained used RVs for sale).

Good luck and be careful,

John D.
Re: advise for to-be newbie.... please! Gordon Jett 8-19-03  
I've bought several used RV's and have learned through painful experience that you should never buy any RV over ten years oldd, no matter what the price or mileage.
Rubber and plastic parts start to degrade from sheer age after ten years. Parts are hard to find and technology more than ten years old is stone age.
The market is flooded with used RV's less than ten years old and you will find the RV you want if you just keep looking.Happy trails !
Re: advise for to-be newbie.... please! Dave 12-6-03  
Go for it, but look before you leap. I full time in a 1983 Vogue 37' Diesel. I looked at new coaches, but couldn't afford them. Now I have everything the new coaches offer, but saved a lot of money. Are there repairs to do? You bet there are. But the longer I do this, the smarter I get and the easier it becomes.
I live in Southern California. So when the fires where really getting bad, I simply moved. If I don't like my neighbor, I move. It is very liberating, but it is also a very demanding lifestyle. When repairs need to be performed, often you can't just put it off. There are also a lot of "repair" shops out there that tend to do more damage then good.
Cell phones are a must and I would get one with a nationwide plan so you don't rack up long distance as you move. Also, no matter what type of motorhome you get, make sure you have the build sheet and as much information as you can get on how everything is put together. That way when a mouse chews through a wire some where and suddenly your hot water heater doesn't work, you'll know where to start looking.

Best of luck
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