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I saw my first American R V (Recreational Vehicle)
back in the early Seventies I have had this a dream
of buying a RV of some sort and wandering from country
to country like the gypsies of old.
have purchased hundreds of magazines showing various
styles of caravans, motor homes, 5th wheels campers
and everything in between. I have studied them for
Layout livability price and every thing else.
I have been in various countries that make these various
R V's I have a when ever possible looked at as many
different models as I could and assessed them for
my dream of traveling.
The object was to eventually sell the business and then to spend the next 20 or so years wandering slowly from country to country absorbing its culture and its history.
Please be aware that in my comments, I am not criticizing the various vehicles, but simply listing my personal weakness
first attempt happened the year I sold the business
when we went to England and looked at all of the motor
homes and caravans available for sale. We sort of
decided on a caravan so it bought a four-wheel drive
Shogun and started deciding on which Caravan we'd
would. At the last minute I got cold feet so we took
up off in the Shogun and toured throughout Ireland
staying at bed and breakfast establishments.
three weeks Rose and I looked at each other and in
unison said that's enough and returned to England
and purchased an Avondale
Harrier which to my recollection was about 17
ft long. We then set up off for Europe and in retrospect
I became more and more frustrated the more we traveled.
First there was the length of the vehicles and our
ability to turn around when we found ourselves on
the wrong road which happened more times than we would
care to admit.
there was the setting up when we found a campground,
and I stress the words found a campground because
that was not always easy. We had to level the caravan
then traipse and get water set up the waste container
and on a daily basis renew the freshwater supply and
dispose of at the waste water. Every second or third
day the toilet had to be emptied. A then there was
the shower, which was designed for a slim 5 foot person
and not a 6 ft 220 pound person like myself. The refrigerator
was almost the size of our icebox at home and the
beds had to be made up each night.
did however enjoy ourselves and we still talk of the
delightful places we went on this holiday. We decided
however to sell the caravan at the end of out trip
which we did for a small loss.
next trip was again to Europe and this time we went
to Belgium and purchased a 24ft Hymer 694 motor home and decided tour through
the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary
before returning to England to place the motor home
into storage for the following year.
Again in retrospective whilst we carried our own water and
waste it was still a constant chore to make sure there
was enough water and to dump the waste tank on a regular
basis and again empty the toilet every third or 4th
day. However it was much easier to set up when we
arrived at the campground has we just drove to the
location and stopped it almost required no other work.
still had to find the campground of course which again
was not always easy and the size of the motor home
was such that parking in the small villages of Europe
was not easy so we missed a lot of sights we should
have been able to see.
played on my mind substantially so I decided to purchase
a C class motor home and
place our A class into storage. The thought was this
would be substantially easier to Park in the small
villages that we would encounter and to some degree
this was correct however what we gained in that ability
we lost totally in livability on at a day-to-day basis.
C class was eventually sold at a substantial loss
and we returned to do a major trip in our A class.
We did purchase a Peugeot 204 and A frame and toed
that through France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden to the
top of Norway through Finland, Sweden, Germany and
back to England.
trip worked extremely well except for the length of
the vehicle the double cost of registration, the extra
costs in the ferries, the in ability to stop on routes
because of our length in confined spaces along with
my frustrations in the ablutions blocks of the motor
home which I have only perceived at this time.
all of these ventures I was there not as relaxed as
I should have been partaking of my long time dream
and instead of looking at my self I looked at the
vehicles I had and decided it was the vehicles problem
and at no stage did I consider I had a problem with
A class and car were eventually sold again at a loss
and at this stage I was having problems with my knees
and was scheduled to have both of them replaced this
gave me a three year gap in my dream, but gave me
the three years to carry out my re for my next
The travel we had done the top of Norway was rather rapid
again in retrospect because of my frustration, but
it created major problems for my wife Rose which took
her two years to recover from and naturally she announced
no more traveling for her.
decided however that I still had to lots of countries
to take an R V through and this time decided that
the American R V's were much more designed for living
comfortably and they had all of the amenities that
were lacking on the European caravans and motor homes.
after the three year re it was off to the States
to buy a three-quarter ton pick up to tow a 5th wheel
through America for the next four months before placing
it into storage, returning the following year to do
the Alaska's trip finish off America and take the
rig on to Europe.
After all of the lessons I had learnt above I feel that
the operations I had on my knees must have affected
my thinking ability because how I related the length
of the rig I had bought with a the ability to travel
through the town's of America let alone Europe I have
The 47 ft
rig on the first country road that I encountered
had to be driven 20 miles before I found a spot that
I could turn around.
it was wonderful to live in with lots of space and
every amenity you had at home.
However on a traveling basis I would not be able to accomplished my objective of wandering through the country side and avoiding the city's and sticking to the minor back roads of America and Europe. It would have been perhaps possible in America, but for me impossible in Europe. I realized within four days of owning the rig again I had made a mistake and again I blamed the rig.
Are you Considering going full timing and considering selling your house and buying a R V? Stop think about it you are going to sell a house that is maintaining its value and buy a R V that will depreciate in value the moment you buy it. But you want to travel you want to see the world perhaps you should be considering the home exchange programmes.
traded the 5th wheel in on a Camper which would fit on the back of the pick up and could
be left at the campgrounds whilst I traveled the scenic areas with the pick
up. The unit still had more amenities than the Europeans
cousins that I had had, but the pick up with the
camper was not relaxing to drive like the equivalent
motor home and did sway a little, the bathroom was
tiny but the and other amenities were quite adequate.
Because of its smallness it was unable to carry
as much water nor were the waste tanks as large
as on the 5th wheel, naturally, so again I was faced
with the continual water problem.
been by my self I had no distractions and was able
to review my experiences with the other R V's that
I had owned and reviewed all of my perceived problems
and was able to decide that I was changing the wrong
I did not like camping and the activities
involved and no matter what R V I ended up with
it would not equate to staying in a simple motel
with the amenities I would find in such a place.
It would not equate to driving a normal car around
the sights, and whilst, once purchased the RV would
save considerable money on day to day living expenses
and give you the ability to cook your own food and
not have to rely on finding restaurants etc. It could not balance the conclusion that I came to
that I did not like camping.
was quite a shock after all of my a planning for
30 odd years to realize that the dreams I had of
wandering in a R V vehicle of some sort would not
take place but once this realization had occurred
I wasted no time had disposed of the current vehicle
at again a considerable loss and returned to New
Zealand to lick my wounds.
published this saga because from what I understand
there are many people every year that buy a RV of
some sort and sell at it after the first trip. They
are obviously smarter than the writer to realize
their limitations so fast, but hopefully somebody
will learn from a my experience and instead of blaming
your selection of R V's consider whether you actually
Probably if I added up what I had wasted on the above purchase
and sale of the five different R V's I have owned
I could have probably stayed in a first-class hotel
on these various trips.
So where do I go from here I guess I will start looking at the Home Exchange programmes and perhaps look at the Bus-about transportation with the budget hotels, but that is all in the future and again you can look forward to see the results of my blundering in to the unknown.
In spite of all I have said above, today, when I drove past a yard full of motor homes I still have gazed at them wishfully, when the Escapees magazine arrived I still looked at the articles and thought that could it be me, when the British Caravan Magazine arrived I still have gazed wistfully at the caravans so it appears that the love hate relationship that I have with R V's and camping in that order will remain until I discover the perfect R V and then I will be away, until then if you see somebody wishfully gazing at your RV it might be me.
summarise I found that any a R V that was comfortable
enough to live in for a three to six month period
was too large to drive through the interesting streets
to interesting locations and was certainly too large
to turn around easily when one found oneself going
in the wrong direction.
you get one there was small enough to be comfortable
driving through the above interesting streets to
interesting locations then the kitchen facilities
and bathroom facilities were so small to make things
uncomfortable for day to day living and you did
not have room to move about.
I have left all of my re of RV's on the Web because it is still basically all sound it is only the writer with the problem......so I hope someone out there benefits from these thoughts!!!!
Just had a note from a friend on my comments above...
says...We just returned from 10 days in southeast
Arizona. Some good. Some bad. We camped
by the road several times. Got snowed on one
night. In Sedona, we had to stay at a campground.
Felt we had to get there early to assure a place
to stay so there was that pressure. Found
a campground and barely, in the dark, managed to
get the Trek into the assigned spot. The next
day, we had to maneuver the Trek back out of the
spot to drive around. Got back late that night,
only to find the campground host had forgotten we
were staying 2 nights and had given our spot away.
We ended up just parked in the road. At $15/night.
Another comments.... just loved your piece - I sometimes think the same myself, but the thought of cheap B&B's or expensive motels in UK and Europe sway me back to a MH.
Another comments.... I'm afraid my idea of roughing it, is no room service.
Don't feel sorry for me, but it think of me often when....
2002.... looking at some of the prices I am paying for accomadition I am beginning again thinking of a RV of some sort.... still just thinking!
2013 Yes I have done it, have been back with motorhomes for 9 years read Tour