American RVs - whats the attraction ?

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by iceni, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. iceni

    iceni Read Only Funster

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    This is meant as a serious question. No way intended as a knock at you ARV guys.
    I just wondered what do you see as the main thing(s) that made you decide on an american RV as opposed to the british/eurpoean built ones.

    Is it build quality.
    The extra space
    More power
    Value for money.

    How do you cope with the (percieved at least) running cost ie fuel
    Are you as restriced as one might think with camp sites or do you all have a network of American RV freindly sites

    What about servicing and parts avaialability. What happens if you break down. How often does that happen.

    I often look around you big monsters and think how lovely they are but the lack of knowledge on the above always makes me think "oooeer 12 mpg not for me."

    So whats it really like.

    Thanks for reading my post. Lots of questions but please only answer those that you want
    Phill
     
  2. zaskar

    zaskar Funster

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    Like ANY motorhome built ANYWHERE, that can depend on make and model

    Definately. Nothing comes close, especially when slideouts are included.


    For some, yes. Personally, I was always happy on the inside lane at 57-58.

    DEFINATELY! Having owned Britsh/Eueopean mopptorhomes, caravans and American RV's over the past 20 years, I'm firmly convinced that on the whole, American RV's of all classes, and including 5th wheels, offer FAR better value for money than thier european counterparts.

    There's no one size fits all on this one. It depends on YOUR budget.

    You're no where near as restricted as smoe folks like to make out. Obviously, hardstanding is preferable, especially in the winter but you'd be surprised at some of the small lanes and sites I had 34 footers down. My theory was always, "if you cant reverse at least 1/2 mile down a twisty lane, even without a reversing camera, you should be driving the thing anyway".

    Parts are FAR more accessible FAR more quickly than a lot of spares for Euro rigs.
    eg. I bought a new Suburban furnace for my last RV from the States over the phone.
    It arrived less than a week later and I saved over £300 overany price I couldfind in the
    UK (thats after shipping & import tax etc)

    eg 2 I now have an Abbey Spectrum twin axle (for now!) and I've been waiting over 3
    months for a new front window cos the double glazing is misted!!!!!!!!
    Britsh caravan/motorhome spares back up is attrocious compared to the service
    offered from the States or from UK based RV spares outlets!

    EDIT = Yes, they DO brakedown, just like eurorigs can. Generally they are stronger built but a lot of them spend a great deal of time parked up and consequently, things have a habit of siezing up! eg, all 4 brake calipers! :-( I always thought that the electrics was an RV's Achilles heel. How the yanks ever got a man on the moon was beyond me when I looked under my dashboard! I couldn' really say that my 2 RV's broke down more than my Eurorigs, it's just that when they do, 71/2 tons is a BIG lump blocking the road!

    .........and that's the rub! Fuel is getting worse and worse.LPG helps but personally, I'm convinced it's only a matter of time before that gets hammered as well, just like they did with diesel.

    FANTASTIC!.......and if wifey would let me go back to it, I'd do so tomorrow but we've changed twice now, and each time cost us 30 grand. You can't keepon doing that!:Sad:
    Well, you can if you can afford!:BigGrin:.... I (or rather WE) WOULDN'T.:Sad:we had to draw the lineunfortunately.:cry:
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  3. Chrisdy

    Chrisdy Read Only Funster

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    Well, if you actually look around some of the RVs at shows you might understand the attraction. Because they are not so weight restricted the quality and robustness of the furniture is often much better. The models with slideouts give significantly more space when on site, and (the thing that really sold them to me) they have proper showers and toilets rather than cramped little cubicles which try to do everything, but often fail to do anything well. We also would not purchase any MH that did not have a fixed double bed, because making the bed up every evening was one of the things that really made us give up caravanning.

    The bottom line is that none of the euro MHs in the price bracket I was considering could I have lived with (far too cramped). Conversely, the choice of modern RVs in my price range was huge and the occasional limitation on sites caused by the size of the RV is tiny compared to the benefits (for me). Value for money was therefore far better. It's all personel choice and weighing up what is important to you. As for running costs - at the sort of annual mileage we intend doing in the RV, the differences in fuel costs are really pretty small compared to the purchase price, depreciation and other running & maintenance costs.
     
  4. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    To be honest I was quite happy with my Kontiki and then I paid a visit into an RV wherby the owner Jumped on me and forced me to buy one:Doh:
    Seriously you cringe @ 12 mpg how do you think we feel were paying for it:Eeek:
    Yes the wow factor plays a huge part in wanting to own one, Value for money is the next big factor, followed by space, build quality, big boys toys, and because Im worth it:thumb:
    Once you own one, you quickly rationlise more and more reasons for doing so
    The driving experiance is second to none
    the Rv cost say 30K half that of a large A class european therefore I have 30 K to spend on fuel:Eeek: and thats alot of fuel
    In the real world I am only a one big holiday a year man and every other weekend if i can make it
    so 3500 miles a year I recon it costs about £6 or 7 hundred pound over a year to run an RV over a European and worth every single penny, would I go back to an Ice cream Van, you betcha I would, if that was all I could Park or afford to run:thumb:
    Geo
     
  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Phil

    Your questions

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Yes

    For full time living it can't be bettered, I couldn't live in a euro box all year.. could you ?
    For sites, see my google map.. no shortage
    Fuel costs depend on how many miles you do.. we get 14 - 15 mpg.. not a lot less than some euro vans half the size.
    When on site we run a small tow car that does 50 mpg . so it balances out.
    Parts are fairly easily sourced and comparable to European parts prices, servicing I do myself.

    However, a 'big monster' isn't every ones cup of tea, but there is NO motor home that fulfils all of our needs all of the time.. So, it all depends on your intended use.. whether you want to go exploring in a panel van.. or live in an RV , but not both..
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. Bryan

    Bryan Read Only Funster

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    We used to have a boat and decided to sell it and get a motorhome.
    We went straight for an RV.
    Why?

    Because the space inside is comparatively huge.
    Because the level of equipment is fantastic.
    Because the value for money is phenomenal.
    Because they're BIG & FANCY (aka boys toys)

    They were the reasons that our first motorhome was an RV.

    Since then we have changed bus once or twice (or is it three times :Wink: ) always into other RV's.

    The reasons for always having RV's is as above, plus:

    The build quality is usually better (Real wood cabinets etc.)
    The storage available is HUGE.
    The payload is enormous.
    The comfort factor is the business (easily seat 6 for an evening chattting)



    Downsides? of course. Ridiculously low mpg being the main one. But the extra cost is outweighed (to us) by the benefits.
    As for difficulty accessing some sites...sure, but there is always more than one site to stay on. Scotjimland lives and tours in his RV and never struggles.
    We personally tend to go away on weekends to Motorhomefun meets and they can almost always accommodate RV's.


    BUT it is horses for courses. Our usage means that an RV suits us. If we wanted to explore other places and have good fuel economy then we may consider a eurovan. (And then we'd choose another RV anyway :Rofl1: )

    Bryan
     
  7. MicknPat

    MicknPat Funster

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    Phil... I totally agree with all that my fellow American RV owners have said, I cannot add any more other than...........

    We lived in Spain for 7 months in a large Sterling Elite Eccles Searcher twin axle caravan with full sized Isabella awning AND a tall 6ft extension annex.

    Now after those 7 months the above layout started to feel a little claustrophobic, however even after 13 months in our American RV today feels like the first day we bought it.:BigGrin:
     
  8. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    You're being far too modest Bryan. While at a rally a few years ago, one of the attendees announced that they had a DVD of their trip through the Copper Caynon. My dear wife immediately jumped up and said "let's all view it in our coach". The photos speak for themselves. No prizes for guessing/counting the number of folks who turned up.

    Regrettably, we couldn't fit that many in for a chat nowadays; We replaced one of the sofas with a desk and credenza, which would eliminate 4 people.
     

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  9. Jan Pendreigh

    Jan Pendreigh Read Only Funster

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    :BigGrin:Not forgetting a 'fridge bigger than the one I had when we had bricks and mortar, a freezer roomy enough to be useful, water tank sufficient to fill the little bath with lovely hot water and then some, two televisions in case of dispute (not that there's ever two things worth watching at the same time), and you get a big pitch because you're big!

    One day we'll get too old to aim her, but hope it's not for a long time yet, wouldn't go back to a European BUT would love a RHD rv.

    Jan
     
  10. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Comfort/luxury

    Solid furniture (Great Dane proof:Laughing:)

    Full size doors so larger people like myself dont have to squeeze through.

    V8 engine (WOW what a sound)

    No weight issues do what you like payload wise.

    Queen size bed (6' 5" tall and 19 stone:Eeek:)

    Self sufficiency for a week at least.

    People I have meet through my ownership of one.

    Value for money.
     
  11. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    I know that you mean big when talking about RVs, but you can get "smaller" ones, when we feel that the 5er is too big for a trip, we leave it and take the demountable, all the gear inside is RV, and it has it all, but the outside is is quite "compact" and with 4x4 on the truck we don't have to have fancy hardstanding.
    We looked at Euro. vans but everything feels too compact, even as Roadrunner said, the doors. We have bought parts for ours , inc. an Atwood furnace which cost us $660 delivered inc. a digital t/stat.
    C & C club do breakdown ins. for any size.
    Nigel & Pamala
     
  12. olley

    olley Funster

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    I wish :cry::cry: you have been listening to one of those salesmen havn't you. :Rofl1:

    Olley
     
  13. tuscancouple

    tuscancouple Read Only Funster

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    It's easy, space and bed! We have three slide outs so we're the same width as a Euro van on the road but loads bigger when onsite. Having a full size 5' bed means sleeping is a dream :BigGrin:

    Mick
     
  14. iceni

    iceni Read Only Funster

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    Hi and a really big thanks to all for your replies.
    It has really conformed what i had suspected all along. My reason for asking was that after 20 yrs of eurovanning i had become a tad despondant at the "scene" and was thinking about an RV in the future although not yet.
    The quality of build, payload ect has all in all left be somewhat worried about what will be left after the next purchase.

    My bestest buddy fulltimes in a euro van for 6 months and to be honest i wondered how he coped. It was great for 2 but when me and the missus went in for a tea it was so cramped. I was positively uncomfortable.

    SWMBO has to be convinced yet but that was the case with a MH in the first place. She hadnt even considered one until i got interested and took her to see one.

    My sister and nieces/nephews live in california and they wonder how we get on in out little boxes too.

    Thanks again to all for your replies. It will answer questions for others as well as me.

    Good luck and a merry christmas to you all.

    Phill:Smile:
     
  15. Bryan

    Bryan Read Only Funster

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    Hi Phil,

    I suggest you both come to a Motorhomefun meet and pop in for a cup of tea to either our RV (which is a small one) or one of the bigger ones. Than you can walk away reminding your wife of how crowded it was in your friends eurovan compared to the space in the RV :Wink:
     
  16. iceni

    iceni Read Only Funster

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    Ha i might just do that one day mate.
    Thanks for the offer

    phill
     
  17. hobson

    hobson Read Only Funster

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    I had to add to this post as i'm sure most of the people on here are pretty experienced with motorhomes, but i thought i'd add something from the opposite end!
    Don't be put off! my partner and i bought our 32ft Allegro only three months ago, and knew absolutely nothing! literally! we jumped into the motorhome world both feet first!
    BUT, even though we knew nothing, (and felt very much like children!) the help and support we've had from all of the people we've met has been amazing, and we're now a bit more like toddlers!
    initailly we looked at the larger hymers and other euro motorhomes, but then looked at the american RV's and instantly knew it was for us, the extra space and facilities you get in the ARV's is so much better than the euro ones, especially with slides.
    and as far as sites, well we've only seen three, but there are plenty of resources (books and websites) that give you plenty of places to stay.
    Cost? well, like anything, you get what you pay for, but we were amazed at what we got for the money, motorhomes, like top end cars depreciate hugely, so if cost is an issue, then look at used homes.
    Fuel? well, you wouldn't buy a Ferrari and then moan about petrol costs would you?! a 7 tonne motorhome is never going to be economical, but they're not as bad as you'd think.
    in my (limited!) opinion, i'd say go for it, they're definitely worth it.
     
  18. Mark&Sue

    Mark&Sue Deleted User

    RV's

    I'd like to Echo everything that Hobson said above, we are very similar in that we jumped into it less than 3 months ago and are loving the lifestyle, takes some getting used to as we never did anything like it before but we love it. The people here and the ones we meet on sites have been a huge help and continue to be. Go for it! :Wink:
     
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