Is RV living for me? If so which one?

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Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
4
Hello everyone.

35 year old airline pilot here, based in Denver, currently live in Denver. I've got my condo on the market. Doing that for several reasons; worried about what the markets are going to do, sick of walking down shared halls, especially now with the pandemic, and sick of the HOA nonsense. I'm also sick of Denver winters.

So here is my thinking, buy an RV, live in an RV park somewhere within an hour of Denver airport, and then maybe come fall transfer into a Phoenix domicile and drive down there.

A few things that I would need or want in an RV would be one that was new enough for parks to let me in, saw one with a 15 year age limit on RVs, is this common? Another would be the ability to tow a trailer with my vehicle on it, which is a Tesla Model 3. It is a small to mid-sized sedan, but electric vehicles are relatively heavy due to the batteries (I'm also told RV spots have 220V power sources that I can charge at, confirmation helpful). This next one may be more of a long-shot, but if I could find an RV with a clothes washer that would be WONDERFUL, I'm really tired of doing the shared clothes washing thing.

I probably wouldn't be driving the RV around a whole lot, but probably would do the snowbird thing, ideally towing the Tesla, though I suppose I could make a trip for each vehicle.

My budget would ideally be under 20k (feel free to laugh if that's not realistic).

Any advice greatly appreciated, I'm in the early stages of researching this.

Thanks,

Doug
 

Jim

Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Messages
762
Location
North Carolina
RV Year
2009
RV Make
Tiffin
RV Model
Phaeton QTH
RV Length
40
TOW/TOAD
2016 Jeep Rubicon Hard Rock
A few things that I would need or want in an RV would be one that was new enough for parks to let me in, saw one with a 15 year age limit on RVs, is this common?

Another would be the ability to tow a trailer with my vehicle on it, which is a Tesla Model 3.

My budget would ideally be under 20k (feel free to laugh if that's not realistic).

Thanks,

Doug
Hi Doug, and welcome to the forum.

Your list is going to be tough. Of course, there are always gems to be found, but a motor home under $20K is going to be a challenge. Not saying it can't be done, but to find one that is in decent shape, both mechanically as well as cosmetically, will be the tough part. And then it's probably going to be a gas rig, which will limit your towing capabilities.

I bought my first Class A 2 years ago and I paid $20K for it. It was a 2004 Windsport with 54K miles and in (what I thought) was good shape. There was some delamination on the sides, which I was unaware of. Mostly because I didn't know enough about RV's to look for it. And the windows and roof leaked. And all the parts that make up a motor home were 16 years old and required continuous repair. The batteries were shot, mostly because the motor home had been sitting and nobody put a maintainer on them. And there weren't enough of them either, not for any practical use anyway. The carpet was old, stained, etc. Seats were "well broken it", etc, etc.

So at the end of the day (and a whole lot of time and money), I fixed all of that, and my $20K dollar RV turned into a 16 year old, new(er) coach. But the constant work to keep it roadworthy because a deterrent to the fun I had envisioned having with it. And to make matters worse, I leaned that I really needed the power of a diesel, and there was no way for me to fix that little problem.

So glean from that what you will. But my advise would be to spend a little more (OK, a lot more) and get yourself a late model RV that has been lightly used, garage kept, with new tires and batteries, and a diesel engine. I have no issue with gas engines, but towing will be easier with the diesel, and it sounds like you need the extra power.

As for the RV parks, a lot of them are limiting their visitors to 10-year old rigs, so keep that in mind.

Good luck!

Jim
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
35
Since you won't be driving it around much, I vote no on the Class A. I vote for something much more doable in your price range and that would be a used trailer or possibly older used fifth wheel. You will probably find a newer trailer in that price range than fifth wheel, though. However, with the fifth wheel you are more likely to find the clothes washer.

Class A's don't like to not be driven and "sit." Travel trailers and fifth wheels don't care.

True, you will need a tow vehicle for a fifth wheel or trailer, but you can get some good deals out there and that gives you a drive around vehicle. Don't think a tesla is set up to be a serious tow vehicle at present though.

$20.000 will get you a really needy and rough class A possibly. $20,000 will get you a very decent trailer and modestly decent fifth wheel.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
544
Location
No Where In Particular
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4369
RV Length
43’ 9”
TOW/TOAD
2016 Colorado
Hello everyone.

35 year old airline pilot here, based in Denver, currently live in Denver. I've got my condo on the market. Doing that for several reasons; worried about what the markets are going to do, sick of walking down shared halls, especially now with the pandemic, and sick of the HOA nonsense. I'm also sick of Denver winters.

So here is my thinking, buy an RV, live in an RV park somewhere within an hour of Denver airport, and then maybe come fall transfer into a Phoenix domicile and drive down there.

A few things that I would need or want in an RV would be one that was new enough for parks to let me in, saw one with a 15 year age limit on RVs, is this common? Another would be the ability to tow a trailer with my vehicle on it, which is a Tesla Model 3. It is a small to mid-sized sedan, but electric vehicles are relatively heavy due to the batteries (I'm also told RV spots have 220V power sources that I can charge at, confirmation helpful). This next one may be more of a long-shot, but if I could find an RV with a clothes washer that would be WONDERFUL, I'm really tired of doing the shared clothes washing thing.

I probably wouldn't be driving the RV around a whole lot, but probably would do the snowbird thing, ideally towing the Tesla, though I suppose I could make a trip for each vehicle.

My budget would ideally be under 20k (feel free to laugh if that's not realistic).

Any advice greatly appreciated, I'm in the early stages of researching this.

Thanks,

Doug
Welcome to the forum, you should gain a lot of insight here to owning an RV. @Jim has given some great advice.

I will say that some places with the age restriction of RV will allow well maintained RV exception and generally will want pictures to prove. Seeing how you are talking about transitioning the Rockies with your scenario, a diesel would help with the towing.

Good luck with your research and feel free to ask any questions
 
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
4
Thanks guys!

The 5th wheel does seem to give more bang for the buck in terms of living space, but while I wouldn't move it a lot, I would move it some. My Tesla has a fair amount of torque and some non-warenty towing capacity, but the probably means a teardrop trailer or a Hobiecat, not a 5th wheel. When the cyber truck comes out the higher end version of it may be able to do that, or of course the Simi, but nothing in the current lineup can do that I don't think. I believe the X can tow an airstream.

So anyway with the 5th wheel I'd be looking at buying something to pull it, that is unless anyone knows of a rental option that would permit me to tow a 5th wheel from CO to AZ and back. I probably wouldn't have much use for such a truck outside of towing the 5th wheel, I love my Tesla and want that to be my daily driver. I also don't think that gives me a way to bring the Tesla along on a trip. I suppose I could drive the 5th wheel down, fly back, and then drive the Tesla down, but that is more time-consuming.

Those David Bott videos are also helpful, his setup would be pretty well perfect for me, but it's probably out of my price range.

Doug
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Messages
775
Location
Prince William, VA
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4326
RV Length
43
TOW/TOAD
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
I have seen a Tesla’s charging off of a power pedestal at a couple of parks. A model 3 and an S. With the model 3, they had a bumper pull trailer and I didn’t see a tow vehcile around but I can’t imagine they pulled the trailer with the model 3. Not that the model 3 couldn’t do it, but just why? Anyway, I’ve seen Tesla’s charging at a park twice now so that’s apparently a thing.

As for your budget, I agree that a 5er is your best best and you’ll need to spend a little more to get the rig and a proper tow vehicle to do that. I would worry that unless you find the deal of a century on a Class A, you’re likely to end up regretting it all simply because your budget limited you to units that just need a ton of work.
Speaking for myself, the only fun projects are the ones I chose, not the ones that chose me - and sometimes even that doesn’t hold up.
 

Jim

Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Messages
762
Location
North Carolina
RV Year
2009
RV Make
Tiffin
RV Model
Phaeton QTH
RV Length
40
TOW/TOAD
2016 Jeep Rubicon Hard Rock
Curious if a Tesla could be charged off the alternator of the motor home while traveling? Seems like some kind of setup could be developed without too much trouble.
 
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
4
Curious if a Tesla could be charged off the alternator of the motor home while traveling? Seems like some kind of setup could be developed without too much trouble.
I don't know what the output of those alternators are, but I think they are intended to charge a 12 volt led acid battery, skeptical they would do much to add range to a Tesla. For context a 30amp, 240 volt dryer outlet adds about 25-30 miles of range per hour. But perhaps alternators on those big diesel rigs put out more than I think.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
261
Thanks guys!

The 5th wheel does seem to give more bang for the buck in terms of living space, but while I wouldn't move it a lot, I would move it some. My Tesla has a fair amount of torque and some non-warenty towing capacity, but the probably means a teardrop trailer or a Hobiecat, not a 5th wheel. When the cyber truck comes out the higher end version of it may be able to do that, or of course the Simi, but nothing in the current lineup can do that I don't think. I believe the X can tow an airstream.

So anyway with the 5th wheel I'd be looking at buying something to pull it, that is unless anyone knows of a rental option that would permit me to tow a 5th wheel from CO to AZ and back. I probably wouldn't have much use for such a truck outside of towing the 5th wheel, I love my Tesla and want that to be my daily driver. I also don't think that gives me a way to bring the Tesla along on a trip. I suppose I could drive the 5th wheel down, fly back, and then drive the Tesla down, but that is more time-consuming.

Those David Bott videos are also helpful, his setup would be pretty well perfect for me, but it's probably out of my price range.

Doug
Looking for options? some work campers use their Trucks to deliver fifths for dealers that move about to shows. If your goal is being a snowbird that goes from one place and stays put that would be the ticket. Think Drive the tesla "road trip" as the only thing to do. Happy hunting.
 
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