Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, February 21, 2011

RV Show

I didn't make it to the Chicago RV Show this past weekend. My schedule didn't cooperate. Although I know that I am not going to buy a new RV, I wanted to look around and get a better feel for the sizes and different styles.
Does anyone know of any other Midwest Shows this spring?
It has been at least 10 years since I was inside an RV, and I have never driven one. Ooops, forgot that I did go look at one in my neighborhood that was listed on Craigs List last year, but it was very old and did not feel right when I was inside checking it out.

I have been reading and researching, I don't mind sleeping in a cabover bunk that is common in Class C's (when we traveled by Amtrak, I always slept in the upper bunk). I have been reading alot about water seeping into this area. So I think I will pass on this type.......

There is a class B+ that I have found that does not have the cabover sleeping area, I would have to use the couch for the bed, it does have a slide. Since its only me, I think that would be ok for a first time RV. I want to go take a look at this rig, but I am going to wait a few more weeks until the weather improves, it's 6 years old with low mileage.

I ordered some info from an RV Consumer Group and I am reading all about what to look at and check out when buying a used RV.

The RV is about an hour away from my house, and hopefully it will still be there when I decide take a ride, if not, then I will continue looking. It is priced a little higher than I think it's worth, so I hope they are open to negotiations.

Any thoughts or suggestions for a newbee would be most appreciated.  Thanks.


  1. Go to some RV dealers and check them all out. Take 'em for a spin. Just make your corners a little wide. Don't forget to go into the bathroom and sit on the toilet (just pretend). Do you want to make the bed back into couch/dinette all the time? Or crawl up to the overhead bed with no head room or even arm space if you toss much. Do you plan to tow a second vehicle or just be small enough to park in most places? Check your local Craig's List regularly to follow prices and then double check on the NADA site for blue book value. If you plan to borrow don't bother to look more than six years old. Have fun with this, like a kid in a candy store. ;)

  2. Those climb up into bunk beds are fine for kids but as we age the difficulty of getting into or out of those Class C beds over the cab increases significantly. We've had 2 Class C's & yes they both leaked in the bed area. We might consider a Class C again someday but not one with a window or bed over the cab!! I wouldn't recommend towing any kind of large trailer for you because that in itself can be a frustrating physical & mechanical challenge. Much easier to tow a small car than a large trailer. Been there done that,

  3. It's about an 8 hour drive, but there are 2 RV shows this year in Springfield, in March and one in September.
    I went to both of the shows this year when they went through Kansas City and really glad I did. I don't want a new one either, but it was really good to get to check out lots of different ones at once.

  4. Teri,

    This is what I learned while my wife and I were RV shopping last year. We started out looking at Calss C's and B+'s and what I found and I mean no dis-respect to anybody who owns one but they don't drive nearly as well as a Class A.

    At least, none of the ones I drove did, they all felt like vans converted to motorhomes and that's because this is what they are and the brakes and handling feels like it. I drove several and it just didn't suit me.

    Now it can be said that many gas Class A's are nothing but bigger bread trucks and such and this is true but isn't. The F-53 as designed by Ford is meant for Motorhome use, not delivery truck use so the transition to motorhome duty is easier than say the modified chassis on a Class B+ and C.

    This doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the Class C or B+ but as I said, driving them just didn't feel comfortable with me. The very first Class A I drove was like night and day and it felt right. You have easy access to the rear, no big console to get in the way. I smashed my knees in every Class C I test drove, drove me batty!

    The Class A generall has a better layout since they go above 31ft and things are spread out more. I thought I would have been happy with a 31ft Class C until I drove a 36ft Class A, now that I own a 36ft Class A I can only see going bigger next time and definately deisel pusher next time as well.

    The difference between a Class C and A is almost as big as between a gass Class A and a deisel Class A in driveability and stability. Also, deisels go for hundreds of thousands of miles, makes it worth the extra cost.

    Class B+'s, if you stay small drive fine, but you may find that you need more space when it's too late. I hope I didn't confuse you and if you'd like to discuss any time let me know ok?

    Good luck!

  5. Teri,

    One last thing, remember this and lock it in your memory. ALL RV SALESMAN/WOMEN LIE, even the good ones and they will push you towards what they need out the door and they'll try and convince you it will fit your needs. They like to get the ones that have been sitting the longest out the door first and often times they end up needing the most work.

    Do a lot of research on what suits you and don't let them try and convince you into something else. Trust your instincts! If you do get interested, save it, take A LOT of pictures of it and get as much info about it as possible. Then get it inspected top to bottom and then if it passes muster it's time to negotiate. ;)


  6. Great suggestions, Teri. I'll add mine. I think it might be OK to start small and upgrade as you become used to the RV'ing world. If you buy used and well, that shouldn't be a problem because you won't lose much money on your rig, assuming the economy doesn't get any worse. We started with our gently used Dynamax 21 and moved up to the 26 after 2 years using the 21 as a trade-in and got both a good price on the 26 and a good trade-in price on the 21. Smaller is good, but not so much if you are going full time, or if you have pets. I think we are a Big B-plus or Class C now without any overhead junk and without a console. Definitely not a vanish kind of thing.

  7. All of the above comments are really very good. There is also a forum topic on the RV Dreamers site.


Hi, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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