RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-26-2020, 06:03 PM   #1
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: los angeles
Posts: 39
Red face The Evolution of an RV Shopper, or How I Got Here

Dean from Los Angeles here.

I've been internet shopping and researching RVs for over 3 years. In the beginning, as a life-long renter looking to purchase a home, I was exploring the idea of living in a (Class A) RV instead while still holding down my job.

At that time I was renting a mobile home on the beach in Los Angeles and would see "homeless" people in their RVs parked on the coast hwy every day I drove to work, etc. I asked myself: why am I paying all this rent when I can just get a nice (class A) RV to live in, park it on the street near the office on weekdays and the coast hwy on weekends? (Overnight RV parking became legal on LA streets in industrial/retail areas but not near parks or schools)

I nixed the RV idea and ended up purchasing a large mobile home in northwest Los Angeles (it was either that or a small condo for 4x the price). Nearing retirement (I just turned 64), I haven't stopped looking at RVs but my wants and "must-haves" have changed.

I am not a camper, and until a few weeks ago I would have never considered an RV without slider(s) or a dry bath. Now I am looking at Bs with wet baths, and after reading this forum, blogs and watching youtube videos I have been able to narrow down my choices quite considerably given the following budgetary parameters: If I purchase a Class B I can use that as my primary vehicle (or am I wrong?); if I purchase a Class A it has to be inexpensive (read: old) in order to afford 2 vehicles

Among the hundreds of RV models out there, I've been able to narrow my choices within my budget to this:

Class A - mid to late 90s Safari Trek 24xx (love the floor plan. google it if not familiar)
Class B - early 2000s Pleasure-Way Excel/Platinum TS/RD (or similar)

And that's how I got here

I'm not stuck on that model B, but as a single guy I like the rear sofa/bed for lounging; and their wet bath design with vanity helps me to forget about getting a dry bath.

I mentioned above that I am not a camper -- however, I do lead hikes in the Los Angeles area for one of the largest hiking groups in US. It might be fun to add the RV to my day hikes and organize overnight hiking trips. If I like this RV stuff maybe I will take off solo for a longer period of time.

Anyway, I do have some questions I'll be asking as soon as I am permitted to start new threads in other sections. Now, back to my research!

Thanks for reading

Dean

PS: Feel free to comment!
__________________

HWDean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2020, 08:19 PM   #2
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: MI
Posts: 15
Default B as daily driver

We live on a busy street in Toronto, with no driveway nor garage. City ordinance does not allow any vehicles above 17 feet to be parked on the street. Furthermore, everything is very tight for parking at stores, entertainment venues, and the like. So we could not use it as a daily driver and will have to rent storage for it. Others, in more open parts of Canada and also in Alaska, do use the Class B as a daily driver.
__________________

DetroitRed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2020, 01:43 AM   #3
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: los angeles
Posts: 39
Default

Generally, the laws here as described above apply to sleeping in your vehicle. There are vehicle size restrictions also, sometimes just during certain hours (like overnight). It changes a lot -- its a constant battle between taxpayers/homeowners and homeless advocates.

I don't have an issue parking in or by my carport (carport works if B is not wide body). I have enough parking for 5 vehicles. My mobile home park has RV storage area but I don't know the logistics of that yet. I haven't asked yet if I can park a B+ on my space. A small class A is too wide even if it were allowed

There is an RV storage facility in the neighborhood but it runs $16/foot/mo for indoor storage, $11/foot for outdoor. That's out of the question for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitRed View Post
We live on a busy street in Toronto, with no driveway nor garage. City ordinance does not allow any vehicles above 17 feet to be parked on the street. Furthermore, everything is very tight for parking at stores, entertainment venues, and the like. So we could not use it as a daily driver and will have to rent storage for it. Others, in more open parts of Canada and also in Alaska, do use the Class B as a daily driver.
HWDean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2020, 02:30 AM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: PHX, AZ
Posts: 1,631
Default

a B is about the highest cost per sq ft- advantages are MPG, Ease of parking, ease of driving


cost of driving as daily driver adds to maint as you are dragging 8000# around and stopping and turning it. it's like driving a truck everywhere you go- the excel is a widebody- LA streets can be narrow as are CA highway lanes



parking- depends, Santa Monica has a 20' limit and 8' high or you need a permit applied by a resident. LA has it's regs...which affect us as we used to park in front of friends house when visiting...we now park in driveway and they street park


at the store- park at the edges and walk to store



a B is tight- if you are a minimalist or have lived on a sailboat- perfect


managing energy use...for an older PW or most, you'd use propane for the fridge and probably need fan kits to keep temps and have to recarge battery by driving regularly, plugging in or running genny ( noisy )- other schemes can cost thousands


go look at some units, and get a feel


we looked at about 30 before finding what worked for us
mike
mkguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2020, 03:18 AM   #5
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: los angeles
Posts: 39
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
a B is about the highest cost per sq ft- advantages are MPG, Ease of parking, ease of driving

...cost of driving as daily driver adds to maint

...we looked at about 30 before finding what worked for us
Until I retire in a few months, I drive 40/mi/day to work 3 days a week (remoting the other days). Waiting until around that time to buy when i won't be doing much non-RV driving. I have an electric bike also for short hops. Plenty of time to look -- My budget is <30K. Waiting for mine to pop up

The aisle toilet in the RT bugs me -- I don't mind the shower too much -- its the toilet part and #2 open to cabin, hence my attraction to the PW. I might have to limit the RT models to the 200s. I'm planning on asking about that in another thread, but feel free to share

Quote:
go look at some units, and get a feel
yep...its about time i get off my butt and do some field work!

Which model is that you have? [edit: I found it - 2006 PW Lexor TD on a Chev]

Thanks
HWDean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2020, 01:58 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 678
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
a B is about the highest cost per sq ft- advantages are MPG, Ease of parking, ease of driving

cost of driving as daily driver adds to maint as you are dragging 8000# around and stopping and turning it. it's like driving a truck everywhere you go- the excel is a widebody- LA streets can be narrow as are CA highway lanes

parking- depends, Santa Monica has a 20' limit and 8' high or you need a permit applied by a resident. LA has it's regs...which affect us as we used to park in front of friends house when visiting...we now park in driveway and they street park

at the store- park at the edges and walk to store

a B is tight- if you are a minimalist or have lived on a sailboat- perfect

managing energy use...for an older PW or most, you'd use propane for the fridge and probably need fan kits to keep temps and have to recarge battery by driving regularly, plugging in or running genny ( noisy )- other schemes can cost thousands

go look at some units, and get a feel

we looked at about 30 before finding what worked for us
mike
One factor that made the economics of a B work better for me was that the B replaced another vehicle as my daily driver to work. I only put about 2-3000 mile a year for driving to work, so driving the B did not put excessive additional miles on the Roadtrek. If I had anything larger I would have had to keep an additional car. The added cost of the extra vehicle (purchase cost, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc). So is having a B less overall cost than, say a cheap Class C along with another car? Probably not. But one should look at not just purchase costs but yearly operating costs and overall lifecycle costs. And don't forget about the "contentment" benefit. If the B is what is going to make you happiest, then that benefit is "priceless".
peteco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2020, 02:43 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: America's Seaplane City, FL
Posts: 716
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HWDean View Post
Until I retire in a few months, I drive 40/mi/day to work 3 days a week (remoting the other days). Waiting until around that time to buy when i won't be doing much non-RV driving. I have an electric bike also for short hops. Plenty of time to look -- My budget is <30K. Waiting for mine to pop up

The aisle toilet in the RT bugs me -- I don't mind the shower too much -- its the toilet part and #2 open to cabin, hence my attraction to the PW. I might have to limit the RT models to the 200s. I'm planning on asking about that in another thread, but feel free to share



yep...its about time i get off my butt and do some field work!

Which model is that you have? [edit: I found it - 2006 PW Lexor TD on a Chev]

Thanks
Interesting topic for me. I just sold our 2000 200 Versatile with 221k miles on it(We did 100k of those miles) after buying a '98(on a '97 chassis) Safari Trek 2480 with the magic bed.

For traveling solo I really liked the RT. Mine had the permanent bed, there was a rear lounge option. I used a 150 watt solar system for boondocking.


RT likes:

The decent size fridge, NOT on the floor. Not having to set up a bed. Aisle shower(I installed a reversing switch on the Fantastic Fan to blow the shower curtain area a bit bigger). Lots of storage. Ability to get into some pretty tight places when boondocking on BLM, USFS, or ??. Water tank storage, 35g fresh, 28 grey, 10+ black. Solo, I could go 2 weeks between dump/fills, 1 week dual. Easy, comfortable, and pleasant to drive. One piece fiberglass body. Awning type windows. Dependable, but I'm pretty good at preventative maintenance. The tank draining set up. Ten+ gallons of usable propane.


RT dislikes:

It took a while to get used to pooping in the kitchen, but we got over it. For us, just too crowded for loooonnng trips(a month or three). The Onan generator. The difficulty of sealing the rear window(final success involved Capt'n Tolley's). Trans builds up heat pretty easily when climbing grades, especially pulling a trailer, work arounds and solvable.

At this point, we've only spent one night out in the Safari, but here goes.

Likes:

Room, the magic bed really opens up the rest of the coach. More storage(duh). Quality, no press board, cabinetry. Huge bathroom(we have the 2480), 50 amp electrical, though we virtually never stay in a private RV park, and only seek electrical hookups(Army Corps, state parks or similar) in the hot and humid areas. Ducted A/C and heat, much quieter, especially the heat. Leveling jacks. An excellent forum at Trek Tracks. Decent ground clearance for back :road: boondocking though the leveling jacks in the rear are a concern. Tankage, 80 gal fresh, 40 ea on grey and black, though the bathroom sink does drain to the black, a good thing. 28 gals of usable propane. 8 cu ft Dometic fridge with 10 cu ft 12 volt fridges available for replacement in the same opening. Room for two house batteries with expansion to 4 not terribly difficult with access to a welder.

Dislikes:

Filling the gas tank, she's a bit thirsty. Looks like about 8mpg vs the 15 with the RT. We assumed that going in, so no surprise there. It's a handful to drive, even with a bunch of suspension improvements, compared to the RT. The front seats are large and look comfy, they are not. 120 volt kitchen over head light, the inverter has to be on to power it.

Still on the fence 'cuz we just got it:

With the magic bed there is no separate area if one wants to lay in bed and the other wants to lounge about, especially with the 2480 floor plan. The Onan 4000 Microlite. The overall size of it.


Major mods that were done to the Safari before we bought it:

About $3k in suspension improvements by Hellwig, Henderson, and Blue Ox, mostly done at Brazel's in Centralia, WA. These mods included eliminating the trouble prone front air bag system. Banks Power Pack.


Mods on the Safari that we intend to do or have done:

Replaced lighting with LED. PSW inverter to compliment the onboard MSW Heart 10 inverter/charger. MPPT portable solar(240 watts) wired in series/parallel. Battery monitor. Relocate water pump. 12 volt LED lighting in the kitchen.


That's long enough, off to finish the solar/inverter/monitor install.

Good luck on your decision.
__________________
2000 Roadtrek Chevy 200 Versatile(sold)
'98 Safari Trek 2480
Fun stuff:
'15 Kawasaki Versys650LT
Perfection is a fantasy, though improvement is possible(Wifey).
SteveJ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 05:41 AM   #8
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: los angeles
Posts: 39
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by peteco View Post
One factor that made the economics of a B work better for me was that the B replaced another vehicle as my daily driver to work. I only put about 2-3000 mile a year for driving to work, so driving the B did not put excessive additional miles on the Roadtrek. If I had anything larger I would have had to keep an additional car. The added cost of the extra vehicle (purchase cost, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc). So is having a B less overall cost than, say a cheap Class C along with another car? Probably not. But one should look at not just purchase costs but yearly operating costs and overall lifecycle costs. And don't forget about the "contentment" benefit. If the B is what is going to make you happiest, then that benefit is "priceless".
Hi Pete -- I plan on replacing my regular car with the Class B. Just today I called some insurance companies for quotes on a sample class B and I was told (by two companies) they won't insure the RV for daily use/commuting-- just for RVing, for example traveling to a camp site. Rates were based on make/model and number of days used per year. Did you find one that would insure it like a car?
HWDean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 05:54 PM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 678
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HWDean View Post
Hi Pete -- I plan on replacing my regular car with the Class B. Just today I called some insurance companies for quotes on a sample class B and I was told (by two companies) they won't insure the RV for daily use/commuting-- just for RVing, for example traveling to a camp site. Rates were based on make/model and number of days used per year. Did you find one that would insure it like a car?
Is the Class B going to be your only vehicle? If so then that is an issue from what I have heard, where the RV is your only vehicle. We have another car that we mainly use around town. So two vehicles on the policy. The Class B is on an RV policy. All our insurance is with State Farm. My insurance agent never has brought it up as an issue.
peteco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 07:55 PM   #10
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: los angeles
Posts: 39
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
Interesting topic for me. I just sold our 2000 200 Versatile with 221k miles on it(We did 100k of those miles) after buying a '98(on a '97 chassis) Safari Trek 2480 with the magic bed.

For traveling solo I really liked the RT. Mine had the permanent bed, there was a rear lounge option. I used a 150 watt solar system for boondocking.
Hi Steve,

I've seen you on the trektracks forum. I'm the guy that was obsessing about the trek's "24-foot" length between different years and chassis.

Thanks for the compare-and-contrast!

I will be solo but I have no plans for any outing longer than a couple to a few days. I may be entertaining guests some destinations, however.

The 2480 trek is may favorite RV (I have only seen on internet). Why no one else has done what they did with that bed perplexes me. Sorry to hear that the front seats are uncomfortable. But that floor plan is worth getting new ones. Unfortunately for me I am unable to store it on my driveway (too wide).

I am hesitant to get that aisle toilet. I think the RT 200s have it closed off. You're a better man than I!

Have fun with the 2480!




Quote:
RT likes:

The decent size fridge, NOT on the floor. Not having to set up a bed. Aisle shower(I installed a reversing switch on the Fantastic Fan to blow the shower curtain area a bit bigger). Lots of storage. Ability to get into some pretty tight places when boondocking on BLM, USFS, or ??. Water tank storage, 35g fresh, 28 grey, 10+ black. Solo, I could go 2 weeks between dump/fills, 1 week dual. Easy, comfortable, and pleasant to drive. One piece fiberglass body. Awning type windows. Dependable, but I'm pretty good at preventative maintenance. The tank draining set up. Ten+ gallons of usable propane.


RT dislikes:

It took a while to get used to pooping in the kitchen, but we got over it. For us, just too crowded for loooonnng trips(a month or three). The Onan generator. The difficulty of sealing the rear window(final success involved Capt'n Tolley's). Trans builds up heat pretty easily when climbing grades, especially pulling a trailer, work arounds and solvable.

At this point, we've only spent one night out in the Safari, but here goes.

Likes:

Room, the magic bed really opens up the rest of the coach. More storage(duh). Quality, no press board, cabinetry. Huge bathroom(we have the 2480), 50 amp electrical, though we virtually never stay in a private RV park, and only seek electrical hookups(Army Corps, state parks or similar) in the hot and humid areas. Ducted A/C and heat, much quieter, especially the heat. Leveling jacks. An excellent forum at Trek Tracks. Decent ground clearance for back :road: boondocking though the leveling jacks in the rear are a concern. Tankage, 80 gal fresh, 40 ea on grey and black, though the bathroom sink does drain to the black, a good thing. 28 gals of usable propane. 8 cu ft Dometic fridge with 10 cu ft 12 volt fridges available for replacement in the same opening. Room for two house batteries with expansion to 4 not terribly difficult with access to a welder.

Dislikes:

Filling the gas tank, she's a bit thirsty. Looks like about 8mpg vs the 15 with the RT. We assumed that going in, so no surprise there. It's a handful to drive, even with a bunch of suspension improvements, compared to the RT. The front seats are large and look comfy, they are not. 120 volt kitchen over head light, the inverter has to be on to power it.

Still on the fence 'cuz we just got it:

With the magic bed there is no separate area if one wants to lay in bed and the other wants to lounge about, especially with the 2480 floor plan. The Onan 4000 Microlite. The overall size of it.


Major mods that were done to the Safari before we bought it:

About $3k in suspension improvements by Hellwig, Henderson, and Blue Ox, mostly done at Brazel's in Centralia, WA. These mods included eliminating the trouble prone front air bag system. Banks Power Pack.


Mods on the Safari that we intend to do or have done:

Replaced lighting with LED. PSW inverter to compliment the onboard MSW Heart 10 inverter/charger. MPPT portable solar(240 watts) wired in series/parallel. Battery monitor. Relocate water pump. 12 volt LED lighting in the kitchen.


That's long enough, off to finish the solar/inverter/monitor install.

Good luck on your decision.
HWDean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2020, 12:45 PM   #11
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: League City, TX
Posts: 985
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HWDean View Post
Dean from Los Angeles here.

..... .... ended up purchasing a large mobile home in northwest Los Angeles .....
I mentioned above that I am not a camper -- however, I do lead hikes in the Los Angeles area for one of the largest hiking groups in US. ....

PS: Feel free to comment!
You did not mention your retirement plans exactly. Do you consider yourself to be tied to LA indefinitely? Because if the answer is yes, that might be the single largest factor in your decision tree.

Note that there are hybrid living options that are rarely discussed - it's not an "EITHER live in vehicle OR live in stick-and-brick" duality. I am not sure why these are not figuring into the discussion very much, other than the concept is new and plus there are multiple interpretations that IMO are just not very well executed (long discussion, might be better for a separate thread).

For example, my husband and I own a membership in a park where people are developing supplemental living spaces around their trailers and RVs. The idea is to maintain a lot of the focus and investment on the vehicle, but to also have enough spreading-out space so that it's suitable for full-time living without having the functional impositions of, say, a Class B. Best of both worlds, in other words.

It's not your grandmother's "trailer park" though. What sets these facilities apart is the volume and quality of the investment on the ground. Many of the supplemental spaces end up being essentially tiny homes. A tiny home built around a Class A, B, C or trailer is a viable long-term option at an eye-openingly lower cost than many conventional houses.

Here's a night shot of our place, which is currently undergoing renovation, so I don't have good day shots at this point - the interior is torn down to the studs. My husband is sitting on the 200 square foot screened porch. Within a few minutes of this photo, I heard him yelling at a raccoon that had wandered in, as I had left the door propped open. That's a hammock strung in front of our van, in case it isn't clear in the photo.

InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2020, 01:40 PM   #12
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 678
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
You did not mention your retirement plans exactly. Do you consider yourself to be tied to LA indefinitely? Because if the answer is yes, that might be the single largest factor in your decision tree.

Note that there are hybrid living options that are rarely discussed - it's not an "EITHER live in vehicle OR live in stick-and-brick" duality. I am not sure why these are not figuring into the discussion very much, other than the concept is new and plus there are multiple interpretations that IMO are just not very well executed (long discussion, might be better for a separate thread).

For example, my husband and I own a membership in a park where people are developing supplemental living spaces around their trailers and RVs. The idea is to maintain a lot of the focus and investment on the vehicle, but to also have enough spreading-out space so that it's suitable for full-time living without having the functional impositions of, say, a Class B. Best of both worlds, in other words.

It's not your grandmother's "trailer park" though. What sets these facilities apart is the volume and quality of the investment on the ground. Many of the supplemental spaces end up being essentially tiny homes. A tiny home built around a Class A, B, C or trailer is a viable long-term option at an eye-openingly lower cost than many conventional houses.

Here's a night shot of our place, which is currently undergoing renovation, so I don't have good day shots at this point - the interior is torn down to the studs. My husband is sitting on the 200 square foot screened porch. Within a few minutes of this photo, I heard him yelling at a raccoon that had wandered in, as I had left the door propped open. That's a hammock strung in front of our van, in case it isn't clear in the photo.

Nice setup. My cousin had a place at Great Outdoors Premier RV near Titusville Florida. This is a fancy high dollar place (Big clubhouses, golf course...). They had what was essentially a small house with screened room, kitchen, living room, full bathroom, HVAC...but NO BEDROOM. The codes did not allow that, so your bedroom was your camper. I am sure many people had a pull out sofa bed so they could sleep in the "house" if they wanted to.

We have a lot in Florida with a 5th-wheel on it. That is our home base when we go to Florida. We venture out from there in the Roadtrek for multi-day trips. Having the homebase is helpful as there are times it is difficult to get a campsite during the busy winter season there. With RV sales what they are I predict a busy Florida camping season this year, though the restrictions on Canadian campers may reduce the pressure until Covid is over. Too bad as we have made many Canadian friends.

BTW, where is your place located?
peteco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2020, 02:20 PM   #13
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 5,119
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
You did not mention your retirement plans exactly. Do you consider yourself to be tied to LA indefinitely? Because if the answer is yes, that might be the single largest factor in your decision tree.

Note that there are hybrid living options that are rarely discussed - it's not an "EITHER live in vehicle OR live in stick-and-brick" duality. I am not sure why these are not figuring into the discussion very much, other than the concept is new and plus there are multiple interpretations that IMO are just not very well executed (long discussion, might be better for a separate thread).

For example, my husband and I own a membership in a park where people are developing supplemental living spaces around their trailers and RVs. The idea is to maintain a lot of the focus and investment on the vehicle, but to also have enough spreading-out space so that it's suitable for full-time living without having the functional impositions of, say, a Class B. Best of both worlds, in other words.

It's not your grandmother's "trailer park" though. What sets these facilities apart is the volume and quality of the investment on the ground. Many of the supplemental spaces end up being essentially tiny homes. A tiny home built around a Class A, B, C or trailer is a viable long-term option at an eye-openingly lower cost than many conventional houses.

Here's a night shot of our place, which is currently undergoing renovation, so I don't have good day shots at this point - the interior is torn down to the studs. My husband is sitting on the 200 square foot screened porch. Within a few minutes of this photo, I heard him yelling at a raccoon that had wandered in, as I had left the door propped open. That's a hammock strung in front of our van, in case it isn't clear in the photo.

< photo snipped >
We took another approach. We lived on an acre and a half of old growth woods backed up to a marsh and it was costly to maintain in brushing out, downing trees, etc. as well as the house I designed and built was no longer for a young person in having 5 levels of living. So we downsized to a single level HOA that needed no exterior maintenance with a backyard of a 15 miles regional trail and a 3,500 acre regional park as our woods of course all maintained by others. But we couldn't park an RV there. So, 9 miles away we bought a heated condo garage of 18' x 45' with a 14' high door with a community wash bay, toilet room, WiFi, gated protection, and a dump station. It is my mancave, woodshop, and storage garage. If I go by our property tax valuation we have a 50% appreciation in our investment in 3.5 years because they haven't built any more condo garages in the Twin Cities, MN since we bought and they are all sold and reselling is driving up the value.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2020, 02:27 PM   #14
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: League City, TX
Posts: 985
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by peteco View Post
Nice setup. My cousin had a place at Great Outdoors Premier RV near Titusville Florida. This is a fancy high dollar place (Big clubhouses, golf course...). They had what was essentially a small house with screened room, kitchen, living room, full bathroom, HVAC...but NO BEDROOM. The codes did not allow that, so your bedroom was your camper. I am sure many people had a pull out sofa bed so they could sleep in the "house" if they wanted to.
....

BTW, where is your place located?
OK, I could not resist the image below, which I annotated from one of the listings at your cousin's place. I'm sorry - THAT is bat-poop crazy. No amount of bling could justify it, IMO.

Right now, a comparable lot in Texas Airstream Harbor (TAHI) is about $5,000 - only 6% of that cost!! (Annual assessments are $700/year and pay for water, sewer, trash disposal, clubhouse upkeep, and common area maintenance - a lot of work is done by volunteers which keeps costs low).

Of course, TAHI membership is limited to owners of Airstream-branded equipment (our van is a 2007 Airstream Interstate). It's such a deal, though, that we've had people buy modest Airstreams just so that the could get into the park, which has about 0.6 mile of frontage on the best bass fishing lake in Texas (Sam Rayburn). (BTW, TAHI is a 501(c)(7) nonprofit corporation and I am not "advertising" here, nor am I a member of its Board).

As for building codes, well, life is typically easier in jurisdictions with lower regulatory burdens, and Texas is open for business. We have an elaborate set of building restrictions, but it's not unworkable. I am not opposed to most codes. These places need some de minimis quality standards if they are to retain their values and visual appeal.

Technomadia plugs a place called the SKP Saguaro co-op in Arizona, which reports a lease purchase fee of $12,234.00. If I am understanding correctly, the time spent on the waiting list for one of its lots (PDF) can exceed 20 years!! That tells us that the market for these types of hybrid developments is wildly underserved. I don't know why more groups don't step up and develop them. But Saguaro, too, has restrictions on what is allowed to be built on each lifetime lease.

But back to the bat-poop crazy part:

InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2020, 02:34 PM   #15
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 4,174
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
course, TAHI membership is limited to owners of Airstream-branded equipment (our van is a 2007 Airstream Interstate).
Back when we owned our first-generation Interstate, there was significant controversy in the greater Airstream world about whether Interstates were "real" Airstreams. Have they gotten over it?
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2020, 02:52 PM   #16
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: League City, TX
Posts: 985
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
Back when we owned our first-generation Interstate, there was significant controversy in the greater Airstream world about whether Interstates were "real" Airstreams. Have they gotten over it?
Oh hell yes, although at TAHI, there are not many of us Interstate owners at the present time. There were two of us on my street, but the soaring Class B market enticed the other owner to sell theirs recently (they also own an Airstream trailer). They recouped both their original sales price plus every dime they had put into maintenance and repairs, which meant that they owned a new Interstate for several years for just the cost of diesel and insurance. When COVID-19 began ruling our lives, the whole "massive market value reduction as soon as you drive it off the dealer's lot" thing went flying out the window. Some of them are selling for MORE than what their owners paid for them.

We seem to have a steady flow of Interstate visitors to TAHI, though, so I expect more owners to become members in the future.

Plus Airstream has a long history of Class A production, and the park has numerous such owners - I can't even remember how many. I don't know why there would have been resistance to the Interstate given the historical emphasis on Classic and Land Yacht motorhomes (and the occasional Skydeck). The Interstate was just a smaller Airstream MH in a long line of them.
InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2020, 03:13 PM   #17
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 678
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
OK, I could not resist the image below, which I annotated from one of the listings at your cousin's place. I'm sorry - THAT is bat-poop crazy. No amount of bling could justify it, IMO.

Right now, a comparable lot in Texas Airstream Harbor (TAHI) is about $5,000 - only 6% of that cost!! (Annual assessments are $700/year and pay for water, sewer, trash disposal, clubhouse upkeep, and common area maintenance - a lot of work is done by volunteers which keeps costs low).

Of course, TAHI membership is limited to owners of Airstream-branded equipment (our van is a 2007 Airstream Interstate). It's such a deal, though, that we've had people buy modest Airstreams just so that the could get into the park, which has about 0.6 mile of frontage on the best bass fishing lake in Texas (Sam Rayburn). (BTW, TAHI is a 501(c)(7) nonprofit corporation and I am not "advertising" here, nor am I a member of its Board).

As for building codes, well, life is typically easier in jurisdictions with lower regulatory burdens, and Texas is open for business. We have an elaborate set of building restrictions, but it's not unworkable. I am not opposed to most codes. These places need some de minimis quality standards if they are to retain their values and visual appeal.

Technomadia plugs a place called the SKP Saguaro co-op in Arizona, which reports a lease purchase fee of $12,234.00. If I am understanding correctly, the time spent on the waiting list for one of its lots (PDF) can exceed 20 years!! That tells us that the market for these types of hybrid developments is wildly underserved. I don't know why more groups don't step up and develop them. But Saguaro, too, has restrictions on what is allowed to be built on each lifetime lease.
I never looked at prices there (5 years ago) but I imagined they were crazy high. I wonder what their place was worth with the "house" on it.

We purchased our RV lot in a 55+ community in 2014. About 90% have permanent units now: build-overs (start with RV, build structure around it, codes don't allow it anymore), old mobile homes, single wides, and now double wides that begin at $80k. Some have $200k in their double wide, which are beautiful, though they fill up most of the lot. Our lot is on a bend in the road and pie shaped so we have good separation from our neighbors. Would not have bought it if we were cramped in. Annual dues are high ($2200) but the place and people (very important) are very nice.
peteco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2020, 04:50 PM   #18
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: League City, TX
Posts: 985
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by peteco View Post
I never looked at prices there (5 years ago) but I imagined they were crazy high. I wonder what their place was worth with the "house" on it.....
For the benefit of everyone reading, let me recap how this kind of ownership typically works, which is sort of analogous to a condominium:

-- You buy a membership which does not involve taking individual title to any piece of land.

-- Your membership specifies which lot(s) you have the exclusive rights to.

-- Technically, you own everything you place on your lot(s), although with fixed construction, obviously you cannot move it somewhere else.

-- Therefore when you eventually transfer (sell) your membership lot to someone else, the amount of money you invested in that lot is reflected in the sum that goes back to you. In the case of TAHI, the park scrapes a transfer fee from each transaction, but price is negotiated by private parties and nobody except the parties needs to know what that price is.

So far, TAHI lots are very reasonable, compellingly reasonable in price IMO. However with COVID-19 and people re-evaluating their lifestyles, sales have been higher than normal. The park has had "sight unseen" sales recently, which I hadn't heard of previously.

To give you an example, in 2017, I purchased a different lot which had a large unfinished cabana, about 450 square feet of interior space plus several hundred more square feet of outdoor covered storage, including a covered parking space for a 35-foot trailer, which is an unusually large space. Furthermore the cabana was sitting on an enormous swath of poured concrete. I bought it for about $18,000 and then almost 3 years later, sold it for $18,000 when I bought the one I preferred instead, which is what I'm currently renovating.

I would not have been able to construct an analogous unfinished cabana for $18,000 - the concrete alone would have cost that much. Hence my conclusion that the prices are compellingly reasonable.

Now, what I just described is an UNFINISHED cabana - steel superstructure with stud walls and R-panel, a few windows and two pedestrian doors thrown in. Some people keep them unfinished and just live in their rigs, using the cabanas for storage. Other people want something more elaborate and so they build them out. That's the beauty of the model - you can put whatever level of investment is desired, as long as the codes are met.

EDIT: I should note as well that these things tend to be very attractive to DIYers. Some people end up with impressive tiny homes for very little investment because they do all the labor themselves.
InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2020, 11:17 PM   #19
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: California
Posts: 49
Default

Yep looking is definitely the best thing to do.
I researched for a couple of years. Wanted to build my own but don't have the know how for electricity, plumbing. In the end a build (of what i wanted) would have cost me about the same as buying pre-made.
I had decided for sure that i wanted a srt with the rear bed. However when i went to look at it & got inside it felt so claustrophobic! All the high cabinets, shower on the side ect.
I ended up with twin beds & rear bathroom & i'm very happy with it. So much lighter inside & despite being the exact same van size it feels much more roomier.
Macodiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 03:47 AM   #20
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: los angeles
Posts: 39
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
You did not mention your retirement plans exactly. Do you consider yourself to be tied to LA indefinitely? Because if the answer is yes, that might be the single largest factor in your decision tree.
My exact plans are open while remaining in LA. I am just looking for an RV for something to do

Quote:
Note that there are hybrid living options that are rarely discussed - it's not an "EITHER live in vehicle OR live in stick-and-brick" duality. I am not sure why these are not figuring into the discussion very much, other than the concept is new and plus there are multiple interpretations that IMO are just not very well executed (long discussion, might be better for a separate thread).
I have no plans to live in RV and never said I did.

Quote:
For example, my husband and I own a membership in a park where people are developing supplemental living spaces around their trailers and RVs. The idea is to maintain a lot of the focus and investment on the vehicle, but to also have enough spreading-out space so that it's suitable for full-time living without having the functional impositions of, say, a Class B. Best of both worlds, in other words.
Interesting concept

Quote:
Here's a night shot of our place, which is currently undergoing renovation, so I don't have good day shots at this point - the interior is torn down to the studs. My husband is sitting on the 200 square foot screened porch. Within a few minutes of this photo, I heard him yelling at a raccoon that had wandered in, as I had left the door propped open. That's a hammock strung in front of our van, in case it isn't clear in the photo.

Well, one never knows. Maybe I'll like it enough to sell the home, or rent it out long term
__________________

HWDean is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×