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From: Becky ( -75.209.53.57)
Subject: Re: "mobile" living
Date: October 8, 2008 at 11:27 am PST

In Reply to: posted by summer on October 3, 2008 at 5:56 pm:

Hi Summer! I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner, but I've had a very hectic couple of weeks, and haven't had much opportunity to visit the tent recently!

How exciting for your friend! I'll try to help you with your questions. Having lived in our 5th wheel for 3 years now, I have learned a little along the way.

My first suggestion is DON'T BUY NEW!!! More than even a car, you loose thousands of dollars buying new RV's, and you can find so many deals on used RV's if you take a little time.

I would also suggest buying from a private party, you almost always get a better deal doing that.

There are three types of trailers or RV's: A Travel Trailer which hooks on to the hitch on the BUMPER of a tow vehicle; a 5th wheel which hooks on to a hitch that sits in the bed of a truck; motorhomes which are like the buses - auto and RV all one unit (no tow vehicle). Does your friend know which one she is looking for?

I'm not able to recommend a brand per se; we travel in a Hitchhiker 5th Wheel by Nu Wa and have been very happy. The best thing to do is shop, shop, shop. Go to RV shows, to private parties who are selling, etc., and look inside to see floor plans, furniture, etc.

Slide outs definitely a plus as they enlarge your living space and I would say a necessity for us since we are full timers. However, they can be a maintenance (repair) issue. We've had ours worked on about three times already, and that isn't an inexpensive repair.

I would recommend against the built in washer and dryer; they take up space and don't really work all that well.

Important to us was a bathroom that didn't have the toilet and the shower in the same area so one could use one and leave the other available. We didn't end up with that, but something to think about. What we really didn't want was any of the bathroom fixtures in the bedroom area - you see a lot that are designed that way. It really isn't very private, if you know what I mean. We also didn't like bathroom "doors" that weren't floor to ceiling, or semi-solid. (No accordian type folding doors, again, the privacy issue.)

We like having a permanant bed set up as opposed to having to "make it" each night by converting a couch or dining room table to a bed.

Storage space is another consideration. Again, since we are full timers, we looked for something that had a lot of storage in the kitchen, bedroom (closet & dresser), and storage beneath the unit as well.

We took about a year to cusomize our unit for full time living. My husband built shelves into some of the cabinets to create more storage; we took out a recliner and turned that spot into a mini "office" for our computer and bookshelf; we added a portable plastic chest of drawers in the bedroom for our clothes; my husband built me a spice rack that hangs on the wall which saved us an entire drawer for storing other items.

One book we found very, very helpful for ideas on custominzing our unit for full time living and so much more is:

"Complete Guide to Full-Time RVing" by Bill and Jan Moeller

It was our RV bible at first, and I bet it would answer so many questions for your friend.

I hope this helps some. If your friend has any specific questions, I would be happy to try to answer them, just let me know!

What part of the country will she/he/they be traveling to?

Becky




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