Author Topic: LookBeforeYouLive: RVing Across The Country  (Read 10218 times)

Offline LookBeforeYouLive

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Re: Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2015, 03:11:29 PM »
Thought I'd share answers to questions I received via PM:

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I have a couple of questions (while dreaming if this could become a reality for me) that I was hoping that you can help me out on:

1) What line of work were you and your wife in that allowed you to take 3 week RV trips in the past? I imagine that I would need to do short trips to make sure my family enjoy's them. My job though would probably allow me to do 1-2 weeks max at a time and that is assuming that I save up all my vacation.

I worked as a computer programmer.  I received 4 weeks of vacation per year, which I carefully hoarded.  We didn't get sick days, so it did mean going to work sick a few times to keep all my days off so we could do our trips.  It also meant working on Chol Hamoed, which was unfortunate, though our 2012 trip was over Sukkos so that worked out.

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2) How do you finance all the costs while RVing long term? Is it from savings, rentals, business or none of your business  ;D

Our house was legally converted into a duplex a few years ago.  Rent from the house makes up most of our income.  Since we hardly ever pay for camping (see the Camping Chart menu item on the blog), our primary costs are food and fuel.  Thanks to Obamacare, we get very cheap healthcare since our income level is considered low enough to get significant aid.

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3) How do you manage with kosher food on the trips where there isn't much available? Do you simply know where all the kosher areas are and stock up in between?

Trader Joes nationwide stock chicken and ground beef!  We call ahead to make sure they have it in stock.  We can fit 16 pounds of ground beef and 20 trays of boneless chicken in our freezer, which lasts about two months for us.  Other than Shabbos, we have meat a couple times a week. 

Kraft string cheese is now kosher, which has been amazing for us.  The reality is that we have to be in a community on a monthly basis anyway, so we can stock up then.

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4) For a newbie RV family would you recommend starting out with a newer but smaller pop-up style RV or a older more substantial RV?

If you already own a fullsize SUV or Van, I would buy something like what we started the trip with, the Wildwood XLite 26XLBH.  It was $11K new, and sleeps a lot of people.  What's your family size?  That makes a big difference.

I would avoid motorhomes, as they can't be serviced everywhere.  I like to separate my engine from my house, so each can be replaced independently.

Compared to a conventional travel trailer, Fifth-Wheels are amazingly easy to tow and much easier to hitch up and disconnect.  The limited passaenger capacity of a pickup truck won't work for those with more than 3 kids.

Offline alpicone

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Re: Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2015, 09:52:49 AM »
If you already own a fullsize SUV or Van, I would buy something like what we started the trip with, the Wildwood XLite 26XLBH.  It was $11K new, and sleeps a lot of people.  What's your family size?  That makes a big difference.

I would avoid motorhomes, as they can't be serviced everywhere.  I like to separate my engine from my house, so each can be replaced independently.

Compared to a conventional travel trailer, Fifth-Wheels are amazingly easy to tow and much easier to hitch up and disconnect.  The limited passaenger capacity of a pickup truck won't work for those with more than 3 kids.

Unfortunately we don't have either. 1 minivan and 1 car. While my car has more than enough power to pull a Wildwood trailer I don't think people recommend pulling a trailer with a manual transmission or a car for that matter  ;D

So the only vehicle I have right now that could possibly tow is a Honda Odyssey which seems to be capable of towing a TrailManor, although not ideal.

How much does a trailer like the TrailManor that you had cost? Do you recommend buying an new RV over used? I have two kids ages 7 and 3 so I wouldn't want to get something that would be too small in a couple of years.

One of our current cars could always be replaced by a capable tow vehicle so I wouldn't base my decision of which RV to get on my current cars. Also knowing that I won't be using it for more than a few weeks a year, I want to figure out which type of RV makes most sense based on cost, utility, storage, etc.

Offline LookBeforeYouLive

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Re: Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2015, 11:11:47 PM »
Unfortunately we don't have either. 1 minivan and 1 car. While my car has more than enough power to pull a Wildwood trailer I don't think people recommend pulling a trailer with a manual transmission or a car for that matter  ;D

So the only vehicle I have right now that could possibly tow is a Honda Odyssey which seems to be capable of towing a TrailManor, although not ideal.

How much does a trailer like the TrailManor that you had cost? Do you recommend buying an new RV over used? I have two kids ages 7 and 3 so I wouldn't want to get something that would be too small in a couple of years.

One of our current cars could always be replaced by a capable tow vehicle so I wouldn't base my decision of which RV to get on my current cars. Also knowing that I won't be using it for more than a few weeks a year, I want to figure out which type of RV makes most sense based on cost, utility, storage, etc.

Trail manors are crazy expensive, like $30K and up new. I modified our odyssey by adding a transmission radiator and transmission temperature gauge, and even then it was a stretch.

Buying used can be great, especially if you can find an older trailer that was hardly ever used. Unfortunately, I have a hang-up with used RV's (gross!), so we've only bought new.

We parked our RV in our driveway, would that be an option for you?

Offline alpicone

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Re: Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2015, 09:44:54 AM »
Trail manors are crazy expensive, like $30K and up new. I modified our odyssey by adding a transmission radiator and transmission temperature gauge, and even then it was a stretch.

Buying used can be great, especially if you can find an older trailer that was hardly ever used. Unfortunately, I have a hang-up with used RV's (gross!), so we've only bought new.

We parked our RV in our driveway, would that be an option for you?

Assuming that the prices for the TrailManor and the Wildwood were comparable (for a used model) do the benefits that the TM offer over a TT make up for it's limitations? If you needed to choose again and had the option of getting a used TM (from your parents) or a Wildwood (new) and assuming the prices are comparable, having had both, which one would you choose?

I don't have a large driveway to park an RV, but I do have a small area to the side of my driveway where I can pave and then park an RV but it would be in the front of my house.

Offline LookBeforeYouLive

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Re: Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2015, 11:12:18 AM »
Assuming that the prices for the TrailManor and the Wildwood were comparable (for a used model) do the benefits that the TM offer over a TT make up for it's limitations? If you needed to choose again and had the option of getting a used TM (from your parents) or a Wildwood (new) and assuming the prices are comparable, having had both, which one would you choose?

I don't have a large driveway to park an RV, but I do have a small area to the side of my driveway where I can pave and then park an RV but it would be in the front of my house.

The only advantage the TrailManor has its that it's lighter than conventional travel trailers, so it can be towed with smaller vehicles. The reason we bought the trail Manor initially was that in our old neighborhood, RVs could not be parked outside, and it was cheaper for us to buy a trail Manor and park it in our garage then to buy a conventional travel trailer and pay for storage.

The TrailManor can be a pain because a lot more stuff has to be put away for the folding mechanism to work, and if you want to pull over and use the bathroom or have a meal, you have to open the whole thing up and set it up.

Offline alpicone

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Re: LookBeforeYouLive: RVing Across The Country
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2015, 08:37:57 AM »

If you already own a fullsize SUV or Van, I would buy something like what we started the trip with, the Wildwood XLite 26XLBH.  It was $11K new, and sleeps a lot of people. 

Out of curiosity, do you recall the list or MSRP of the trailer that you bought. I was looking around and seems like MSRP is around $20k now. I saw some specials for $15k for new trailers but curious how much room there is to bring down the price.

Offline LookBeforeYouLive

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Re: LookBeforeYouLive: RVing Across The Country
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2015, 10:00:05 AM »
Out of curiosity, do you recall the list or MSRP of the trailer that you bought. I was looking around and seems like MSRP is around $20k now. I saw some specials for $15k for new trailers but curious how much room there is to bring down the price.

I don't know what MSRP was. We paid $11,800, I think. We bought it from RV Warehouse in Ohio, and I drove there to pick it up.

I think we bought it in September, maybe they're cheapest right after the summer season, or maybe that's when the new model year is about to come out so they discount the "old" units?

Offline Something Fishy

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Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

Offline LookBeforeYouLive

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Re: LookBeforeYouLive: RVing Across The Country
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2016, 03:47:40 PM »
Yes indeed, a dark day. :)

Offline alpicone

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Re: LookBeforeYouLive: RVing Across The Country
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2016, 04:08:43 PM »
I can't even imagine going back to "regular" life after something like that!


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Re: LookBeforeYouLive: RVing Across The Country
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2016, 04:14:29 PM »
I can't even imagine going back to "regular" life after something like that!

I told my wife that after our youngest is out of the house (now 12 years old), I'm hoping for motor home to nursing home. :)

Offline bem684

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Koshersherpa.com - Guided RV Tours and RV Trip Planning Services
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2017, 09:53:35 AM »
So I don't think anyone's posted about this yet - a quick search for "sherpa" didn't turn up anything.  Anyway, I thought this might belong in the trip planning forum but couldn't figure out what thread to put it in.  I'll leave that up to the experts.

A few years ago I posted in the Alaska Master Thread about a friend who was on a year-long RV trip with his family.  It ended up being 3 years. 

A friend of mine has been RVing for the past 12 months with his family all over the western US, Canada, and Alaska.  He's also a professional photographer so he has some nice shots if you are interested in seeing them.  This link takes you to the day or two before they entered Alaska, but day 1 started in Monsey and there's a "Trip Map" page with an interactive google map so you can find any day from that map.

http://lookbeforeyoulive.com/?p=4770

The reason I'm posting now is because he's opened a business running guided RV tours, and RV trip planning services for the kosher consumer.  Given the positive responses in the Alaska thread I'd guess there are some DDers who might be interested in this.  Check it out:

http://koshersherpa.com/

And here's his blog where he documented basically every RV trip he's taken in the past decade.

http://lookbeforeyoulive.com/

Offline Emkay

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