Friday, August 10, 2012

A Week of Thinking

It's hard to believe that cooler temps have hit the Midwest here in southern Indiana. It's 68 as I sit here writing this. Just last week it would have been in the mid to high 80s now at this same time. So, the windows are open, with no fans running.

Like this post title says, it's been a week of thinking, also getting more information about different types of boondocking and camping from people that have a lot more experience than I.

A few things are pretty consistent over these past 10 months since this "rv urge" hit me. Of course everyone has a different type of rig, different maintenance, different lifestyles and experiences. Each has a different rig set up, some have animals, toads they tow, or toys they ride ... all different circumstances.

I have come to the conclusion being on the road will cost me no more than I want it to. As living in a house, with a job and unexpected expenses, or spending money on entertainment .. my costs per month are pretty set.  I don't think it will change much living on the road. Sure, I will be able to save monthly but then that savings will be used later for routine maintenance or unexpected repairs on the rig I choose. Just like living in a house.

One thing I did decide this week, it's not the ability to afford major repairs that pop up on occasion but what I am willing to spend. After a lot or re-reading information I have saved, the Class DP is the most expensive. There are a couple of friends of mine that have these and have never had any kind of problem with them. Yet, some of the blogs I follow have them and describe some expenses they have had to pay, in amounts that I don't want to deal with.

So I think of me and wonder, which side of those stories would I be on. If I am on the expensive side is it worth it to me to have a Class A DP.

More than a few people with large Class A's have told me privately they wish they either had bought a smaller rig or will when they will buy their next one. Hearing something like that, makes me think.

The Class C from what I understand in most cases can be worked on at a service center of the type of engine. A Ford or Chevy dealership, local garge. A place easier to find than a speciality diesel shop and a little less cost. The number of slides you need are nice, sides work for some all of the time with no problems and others have had problems. So is the extra room for comfort worth it?

Do you look at the comfort level more than what it would take to be on the road with minimum cost? Could I spend less on a rig, find it dependable and get on the road without the initial expense I was planning on in making the purchase and be just as happy? I will only find this out when I do it.

Smaller rigs can get into more places boondocking.  Boondocking is what I plan on doing the most of. Free stays as much as possible, that has always been the plan. Seasonal movement more than a tourist on vacation movement.

The hounds, they can adapt to anything I will buy. Right now they are all sleeping together on their favorite Mexican blankets within an area of 5'. They do that a lot throughout the day. So does it really matter if I am sitting in a 36'-40' rig at night while on a computer, watching a movie or reading a book after thinking I needed a bigger rig for the comfort of my hounds and I?

I envy Glen over on To Simpify because he can live in such a small space (A great Chinook) has stayed full-time longer than he had originally thought he could. He travels to some great country and does so with only minor repairs over the course of a year. Yet even in that rig there are places I want to go and stay, where the Chinook could not get me there. Yet, he has some wonderful "front yards" in his travels and easy to find a place to park his home.

Then I analyze what year of rig to buy. Everyone has different experiences with the years they have now or have had in the past. Would I have good repair luck spending less to buy an older model? Or would I be the one that has a 1-3 yr old rig that has repair problems one after another. Some in this range of age have no problems at all. Just like buying a car or truck, new or used. I have/had both with different results .... so that is a moot point I guess.

The problem I have and have mentioned before .... I like them all!!  No matter what class of rig I look at ... I like them and want them. Everything from a small fiberglass trailer to the Earthroamer.

That right there makes it really hard for me to decide on what to buy.

What about a 4x4 Pickup pulling a trailer. There are a lot of people doing that for a number of years successfully. Some pulling a 16' trailer and having a blast of their life while other are boondocking with a 35' 5th wheel. Some of those 5th wheel towing rigs have been towed for repairs while others are great. Wandrin' has been traveling that way for 12 years or more.

Just like owning and living in a house.  Some are "money pits" while other are just general maintenance. In my case living in the Midwest, what you put off in routine maintenance in the summer could be costly in the winter. That is the part, the time spent in that type of preventive maintenance, where I am getting tired of and would rather be sitting in my chair in front of my rig somewhere, watching the sunrise, soaking up the rays or watching the sun go down.

So, you can see where I am at in trying to decide what to buy and when to leave.

I have absorbed a lot of information and looked at a lot of pictures of different setups, heard a lot of different stories and opinions.

I know a lot of what I have written tonight has been mentioned before. I can only guess that when it's the right time to happen, everything will fall into place and I'll sit back and think "that was easy, why did I take so long?".

The range of thought this week was wide. From a Class A DP towing a 4x4 jeep all the way down to traveling in my Mini Cooper with a rack on top with my camping equipment and the hounds in the back.

You can see that my mind is very similar to scrambled eggs right now. Tons of thoughts and not even a clue on what to do.

For those that have posted comments or emailed me their thoughts on all of these lingering questions I have all the time ... Thank You!

Now,back to your blogs, RVs for sale sites, and google images, while I hear the coyotes and crickets outside my open window.


  1. Just a comment about slides: I have had a truck camper with a single slide, and a 40' 5th wheel with 5 slides, and I can honestly say I have never, NEVER had a problem with them! The extra room IS wonderful! But, slides ARE heavy, you can actually buy stand alone supports for slides. Go to and look them up in their parts store.

    Another thing about slides: The more level you keep your rig, the less strain on your slides while they are out.And when you bring them in, do so 1 at a time....AND, buy a few cans of SLIDE OUT SPRAY LUBE, and spray the mechanisms REGULARLY!!

    Good luck with whatever you end up buying!

    1. Most likely, like cars or trucks ... those that don't do the regular scheduled maintenance have the most trouble later. Sure, there is always the unexpected or a personal mistake that causes the repair, but it cuts the odds when scheduled maintenance is done. Last week I really didn't care for the amount I paid for the schedule maintenance on my Mini Cooper but I know it will last longer doing it now.

      Good info about slides and being level and thanks for the website that is now bookmarked.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. A slide would have been handy on my last big trip out. It would give the dogs more laying about room & myself more room to manuver around them. But then, in my rig, I carry a lot of weight, so a slide would greatly hinder what I could to carry with me. So it's always a toss up. Pay attention to the cargo carrying capacity of whatever you buy. Although you may not plan on putting too many items into your rig, it's amazing how much you may eventually need. And remember that outside shower for the dogs to bathe with!

    1. TexCyn, you bring up some good points that I forget sometimes. I realize living in this small house I own now, that over time I have gathered a lot of stuff, even after downsizing. As I read comments here and other blogs I make a list of things I will need to take. I live pretty simple now and I am sure that over time on the road I could get by with less that what I use now. The outside shower is always on the list. Great suggestions and things to remember, thanks.