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Old 09-30-2018, 09:03 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
Welcome home, Jim! In an effort to help you keep busy and not think about your wait for the X10 to arrive I'd love to hear a little about your travel vehicle, what class (size) and make and model. My wife and I are considering going this route some day but I'm not feeling a big class A vehicle. A class C or even maybe just a highly customized big van I think would be more our speed. Something big enough to hold the Emerald and the Bose S1. And tow a trailer with our motorcycle. We're still a ways away from being able to do that so we have time to mull it over. Would love to hear some tips from a veteran of the road.
Hi Scott. Our lifestyle has involved a lot of wandering over the decades, by RV, boat, and airplanes. We have had a variety of RVs, from bus chassis motorcoaches to Class B camping vans; a toy hauler and a 5th wheel made for full-time living. Our current conveyance is our "downsize" unit, a Winnebago Aspect 27K Class C. It is on a Ford E-450 chassis with a V-10 Triton motor. We picked this one based on the size, design, and floorplan. It is 29.5' long, only 10'5" tall, so is capable of getting into National and State Parks (some have a 30' max length). That said, much of our traveling is double towing, making our overall length just under 65'. But, we can break it down into 3 units and still fit in most places. As often as not, we stay in nice RV parks as opposed to the National Parks... good to have the options.

We often tow a Featherlite cargo trailer that holds our two scoots. It also give us great storage for riding gear, tools, and other "stuff." The S1 spent most of the summer in the trailer; my X7 stays in its gig bag in a corner in the bedroom and lays on the bed when we're traveling.

Joan hooked me on motorhome traveling with the idea of "going south in the winter and hauling our motorcycles." About 30 years ago. We quickly found that if you are spending extended time traveling, you are going to need a secondary vehicle besides a motorcycle for when the weather turns to crap or you need more groceries than you can carry on a bike. So, for a while, we left the bikes behind. If you want to "take it all with you," there is going to be more work involved.

My favorite conveyance was a 40' diesel pusher (American Coach) on a Spartan bus chassis that afforded loads of storage in the bays. I could easily carry a full size PA, keyboard, guitar and all the other stuff, and still have room for much more. This current Class C has good storage, but we do try to travel lighter these days. There is room for the S1 under the dinette seats if you aren't towing a cargo trailer. And room for a season (or 3) worth of clothes, food, etc.

We have had several Class B camping vans, our favorite was a Leisure Travel. They have all the amenities of a Class A, in a very compact form. The advantage of the Class B is the compact size: you can fit almost anywhere. They are generally more expensive than a small Class A or Class C, and have less storage space. If you tow a trailer behind the Class B, you negate the "small" advantage... might as well get something a bit bigger with more storage space and elbow room.

Like guitars, there are a lot of choices for motorhomes - some are built to a price point, some are built for the long haul. There are brands that I like and some that I wouldn't choose. Yeah, like guitars.

Best thing to do is hit up some RV shows... walk through a bunch. Try to ignore "the flash," and go for the substance. Consider things like storage space for clothes and your "stuff." We've been in some that are larger than our current unit, with very little room for clothes... or units that will "sleep 6" but have no room to actually seat and feed that many; and certainly no space for "stuff" for that kind of crowd. We have always considered our RVs as a space for the 2 of us. A comfortable bed for two, with space to get around the bed and make it. A bathroom that has enough room to do your business and take a comfortable shower (and room for linens). Comfortable places to sit when you are parked. If you aren't just weekend camping, you need living space inside any RV.

We did something unusual for us this summer: went to one place and spent 3 months. The motorcycle/scoot riding in the Black Hills is wonderful and we enjoyed it a bunch. Our motorhome is a comfortable mobile domicile for us. Yes, we have used our RVs for a home base when we have had the "fun summer boat jobs" (also lived on our boat for 3 years). The RVs have also been our "escape pod" for times when we want to be somewhere else (generally due to weather), and still have the comforts of home. We have somewhere on the far side of 350,000 miles of RV travel over the years.

Another thing we've learned with all this: some people aren't cut out for RV travel. Too much togetherness doesn't work for everyone, especially when you are living compact. We enjoy this lifestyle, but it can also be some work, especially the moving-in and moving-out stuff. RVs will sometimes need maintenance... or, things will break. How you deal with it makes a big difference. We found with our diesel pushers that you had one manufacturer for the engine, another for the transmission, another for the chassis, and then the maker of "the house" that sits on top of all that. With our current unit, we have Ford for the chassis and all mechanicals, and Winnebago for the house on top of it. I can get oil changes at pretty much any Ford dealer.

Once in the "house" part of the motorthome, you are dealing with a bunch of different manufacturers of all the components: fridge, stove, microwave, water heater, air conditioner, etc, etc. Most RV dealers can handle issues; we try to be self-sufficient, do our own repairs and maintenance.

There are gig opportunities when doing extended traveling: RV parks often have entertainment... if you can schedule where you want to be and when.

Whew - that got windier than I thought. It is a big investment. Drop me a note or give me a call when you get close and we'll talk more. Hope that helps.

Best wishes,
Jim