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Old 02-10-2014, 05:03 PM   #21
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

Something else to consider about the Axis is 9 mpg. Tops. Gas is going to be $5.00 before long. I chuckled when I read the Motorhome mag article comparing the Axis to an SUV.Yeah . Right.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:39 PM   #22
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

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Originally Posted by Davydd
Here is a small Class C comparable to the View, Navion, Unity size and that Class A Thor Axis. Lake Region RVs had them at the Minneapolis RV Show. Note they have a floor plan similar to the Thor Axis. If one were in the market for a 25 footer RV this might be one to look at. They are priced similar to the Sprinter Class Bs. Lake Region RVs have a few of them with more detailed information and lots of photos.
But that similar to Sprinter class b price is nearly double what the Axis is. I think the point folks are making is that a class A model like the Axis could very well compete with class C models, at a very reasonable price, not that other models don't exist.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:55 PM   #23
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

Yep, sounds about right to me. My feeling is, if it's built on a Sprinter, you pay up front for the chassis, and it's possible to recoup some of that initial hit later on fuel economy, if it lasts for a long time, and you put a lot of fuel through it. If you go with something like an Axis, lots of little perks and extra space, and a much lower cost unit (maybe half of the class B on a Sprinter) priced Ford chassis up front, but at $3-$3.50/gallon, it may be pricey to move it around a lot. I certainly wouldn't use it as a second car. So, the decision is, to tour a little less and stay in one place longer, or buy something really out of our reach initially, that's less expensive to drive a lot.
Stan, where did you see that figure for fuel economy? I was thinking maybe 10 mpg. I hope as the engine and drive train technology gets better, so does the gas mileage. You can probably coax an extra mpg out of it, if you change your driving habits a little. I'm also a bit more optimistic about gas prices, based on the EIA weekly averages.
http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/
So, at $3.30/gallon (national average), it costs $330 for 1,000 miles of travel at 10mpg. That's not that bad, when you compare the cost of travel, and accommodations, and so on. We could do an out and back, or a continental loop for around $1500 in fuel, and take 2 months to do it. Accomodations would be extra as well as everything else in RVing, but it's still probably cheaper than trains, planes, and automobiles and then hotels. Maybe that isn't as cheap as we'd like to see it play out, but it's not that bad, particularly if you only do it once or twice a year.
Honestly, I'm more concerned about things like appliances (I think the fridge is a Norcold?) and warranties (roof?), and whether wiring for things is roughed in, even if you don't buy the options that use it, and where do I take it to get the oil changed, and other service questions.
I'm trying to find a local dealer that doesn't pummel you to put a down payment on something you just want to look at, the minute you walk through the door. One thing about the Thor Axis, and I guess Thor products in general, that bothers me is, how far I'll have to travel to see one. The nearest Canadian dealer to me sells the Thor Vegas (the twin) and is close to Barrie Ontario, which is 200 miles away, and in real terms is a 2 day trip. The nearest Canadian Axis dealer to me, is in Quebec? The nearest American dealer is about 35 miles away, but is notorious for hard sell, which is annoying and really counter-productive when dealing with me as a buyer.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:09 PM   #24
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

I had read that the Axis got more than 9mpg also. I think they said 10-13 IIRC. The class C Sprinters don't do all that well either, I think, at least the current V6 models. The regular body models are only in the 17-19 range, I think, so something that big would probably be under 15mpg.

It is always a trade off of space/initial cost/size against operating cost/convenience, and there really isn't just one correct answer.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:37 PM   #25
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

I think the sales guy said maybe 12mpg, but my memory of that, with people coming into and out of the display model while we were talking, may be wrong. I could live with 10mpg for the extra room and comforts. Anything more would be gravy. If production of petroleum and gasoline in general increases, and they don't export it to make more money (big if), I think the price may stabilize in the short term. If we see any negative activity anywhere in the world, all bets are off.
Isn't the 2500 Sprinter, with the old 5 banger, the one that got the best mileage, upwards of 20mpg or better? Wish there were more of them around for sale. Hard to find.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:43 AM   #26
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

A salesman said 12 mpg? I submit that b plus rv's can get 12 mpg with smaller v8s but the V10's are hard pressed to get more than10 mpg. So how does a brick shaped object achieve 12 mpg. I would be even sceptical of 10. I had a 92 Tropical 29 ft class A with Chevrolet 454 tbi.that got consistent 9 mpg with highs of 11mpg but it was very sleek and only 10.6 feet tall. Man that sucker drove great. I had tough time driving it slow enough to get the better gas mileage.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:12 AM   #27
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

The big unanswered question on the Thor Axis is how well does it drive down the highway? I know one BEE Social person who went from a Winnebago Via Class A back down to a Winnebago Era mainly because it was no fun to drive and felt unsafe. The Via is similar in size to the Axis. In other words if you think it is going to tour and drive like a B you may be in for a surprise. But if you want room and a Class A accept the fact that is what it is. That Axis plan is a pretty good layout and probably would be a good snow bird RV for the price with a toad or rental car for two people and more people visiting you but not traveling with you.

We have traveled fairly long distances with all our grandkids now in our Legend, but now that they are getting older and graduating from their booster seats with head rests I doubt we'll ever do it again even though our frontward seating sofa has shoulder harness seat belts (but no headrest). And we are never going to own a B with a third and fourth captain seat that eats up way too much precious room for a B occupied by only two people 99% of the time. I notice a lot of Class As and even the small Cs sleep more than two people but rarely do they provide adequate on the road seating. It is interesting they don't provide that 3rd and 4th safe seat like the Bs.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:03 PM   #28
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

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Originally Posted by stanw909
A salesman said 12 mpg? I submit that b plus rv's can get 12 mpg with smaller v8s but the V10's are hard pressed to get more than10 mpg. So how does a brick shaped object achieve 12 mpg. I would be even sceptical of 10. I had a 92 Tropical 29 ft class A with Chevrolet 454 tbi.that got consistent 9 mpg with highs of 11mpg but it was very sleek and only 10.6 feet tall. Man that sucker drove great. I had tough time driving it slow enough to get the better gas mileage.
I am pretty sure that a 2014 Ford V10 has some fuel economy related improvements, over a 1992 Chevy 454. It probably weighs a bit less than a '92 National Tropical (if that's the correct model you referred to?) at 12,500 lbs. versus a 29 foot class A. The Axis is more of a class A shaped coach, on a smaller Ford 350 series chassis, as opposed to the larger bus chassis that most full sized class A coaches use. Still, I could be mistaken.
And, the Axis has got a nice aerodynamic nose on it too, don't you think?

Davydd: If it gets close to the serious consideration point, I'm currently making a list, and checking it twice, to find out if the Axis, is naughty, or nice. A test drive on the freeway and in city will be compulsory. Bus drivers seem like well adjusted members of society, for the most part, so I'm optimistic that it will be fine.
I don't know why you keep suggesting that I'll be disappointed because it won't drive like a class B. I don't think I suggested anywhere that I thought it would, just that it can be used to tour on most roadways, if touring is the plan. I realize that it won't do the RV version of arthroscopic surgery in the Black Hills, or the Kentucky Whiskey Highway, or the GTTS road, like your GWV. Honestly, it doesn't concern me at this point, because there are always alternatives, in everything. Thanks for your concern, just the same.
I think we're still leaning towards the snow bird thing as time goes on, and something larger is becoming a requirement. That's what prompted the truck/trailer project.
We'll see, I guess?
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:41 AM   #29
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

Mike, Those drives were just examples in pointing out a small Class A is not a Class B and anyone who thinks it is equivalent is...OK, I won't say it.

And I agree with you about the snow birding. Even though we'll soon be on the road for three months I would never relish staying in one location for that kind of time in a Class B. As long as we are moving I am happy because I am doing what a Class B is supposed to do and is capable of doing best and the amenity sacrifices are worth it to be able to tour freely and go anywhere.

The pluses on the Axis is the price is certainly right and I do have to admit the plan works well as I mentioned. If I went bigger I would look at bigger if the price is not too much of a constraint but I think too there is more bang for the buck with a trailer. I just don't want to pull a trailer or a toad with a Class A. I know I would never buy one of those super huge motorhomes that cost new more than the value of my home. Rather than invest in a comfortable living RV maybe it would be time to just consider a condo for snow birding. That's what my sister does.

Maybe by the end of this year we will have traveled all 50 states and all Canadian provinces in a B. We already are trying to figure out where to go without repeating ourselves too much. Some places we do like to go back again but we still haven't reached the point where we would like to hang around in one place too long. We almost committed to South Padre Island this winter like that but now are kind of glad we didn't. We have some good friends down there right now in a condo and it has been in the 30s and 40s and generally miserable so far. I guess that wasn't south enough.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:38 AM   #30
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

The snow bird idea is probably the ultimate goal, after this winter in particular. We discussed a more permanent solution like a condo, or seasonal rental, but the complexity that being Canadian adds to buying something fixed is almost prohibitive. Some friends of ours just bought a place in a central FL park, and the extras they described sounded terrible. The rental option would probably work better for us, but we're not renters, generally speaking. The other obvious down side of a fixed location like a condo is the neighborhood issue. If you don't like your neighbors when staying some where in a motorhome, you can move. Not so, with a sticks and bricks vacation place. We were pretty sure we weren't trailer people after seeing the amount of work and planning and on going maintenance involved. The money we might spend on a nice rental on the water somewhere, might easily cover the gas and campsite rentals and so on for a few months of driving a larger motorhome all over the country, so that's another consideration. Nice rentals aren't cheap, like mid-range motels/hotels can be around $100 night.
It's a tough one for sure. We'll just continue to plod along in the short term, and see where we end up.
Still waiting for the Axis dealer to get back to me with which location has one we could look at. I'm now wondering if Thor actually provided them with a "sample" for the RV Show, to see what the interest was like, and took it back to Elkhart with them afterwards.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:32 PM   #31
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

When I said condo I was implying renting one not buying. I don't know how I can make a commitment to buy one after years of B vanning. I'd probably have to go through several more years of trying out different places again.

My parents ended up buying a ranch home with pool and on a canal in Lighthouse Point, FL and moving there permanently after RVing for several years. That was back in the late 70s. That was our cheap vacation destination when we didn't have much. Throw the three litttle kids in the back of the station wagon on blankets and pillows and drive down in two days. My wife's cousin bought a home in Sun City, AZ for less than you can buy a Thor Axis. They now have a townhouse in the Twin Cities, a lake cabin in northern Minnesota and the house in AZ. He is the kind of guy who lives to work on home projects. My one house is enough for me.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:55 PM   #32
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

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The snow bird idea is probably the ultimate goal, after this winter in particular. We discussed a more permanent solution like a condo, or seasonal rental, but the complexity that being Canadian adds to buying something fixed is almost prohibitive. Some friends of ours just bought a place in a central FL park, and the extras they described sounded terrible. The rental option would probably work better for us, but we're not renters, generally speaking. The other obvious down side of a fixed location like a condo is the neighborhood issue. If you don't like your neighbors when staying some where in a motorhome, you can move. Not so, with a sticks and bricks vacation place. We were pretty sure we weren't trailer people after seeing the amount of work and planning and on going maintenance involved. The money we might spend on a nice rental on the water somewhere, might easily cover the gas and campsite rentals and so on for a few months of driving a larger motorhome all over the country, so that's another consideration. Nice rentals aren't cheap, like mid-range motels/hotels can be around $100 night.
It's a tough one for sure. We'll just continue to plod along in the short term, and see where we end up.
Still waiting for the Axis dealer to get back to me with which location has one we could look at. I'm now wondering if Thor actually provided them with a "sample" for the RV Show, to see what the interest was like, and took it back to Elkhart with them afterwards.
I think what you say is exactly why you see so many class A motorhomes with very few miles on them. Winter in the south, summer in the north, and if you get bored with a place you can go to a different spot in either location, only limited by the length of your lot rent agreement. Other than that you stay put. Many folks even sell the sticks and bricks house and live in a semi-stationery,big, RV full time, wherever they want.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:32 PM   #33
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

I recently saw a Diesel class A towing a Sprinter class b. That would be my ideal if snowbirding.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:34 PM   #34
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

Actually it was one of those heavy duty class C's.
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:13 PM   #35
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

Quote:
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I recently saw a Diesel class A towing a Sprinter class b. That would be my ideal if snowbirding.
Did it look like this one? These folks were from Tennessee and I spoke with them in September 2011 (somewhere in Minnesota at a Walmart, maybe just outside of MSP, westbound on I-90?) about their situation. They said live full time in the class A, and actually have a small piece of land somewhere down there, with a fully serviced concrete parking pad.
I was intrigued by the lifestyle, and as booster says, that's always been a dream of ours to do something like that, but I'd have no idea where to begin to get the Canadian parking location, other than some Provincial Conservation Areas that allow summertime camping for a season, and then we'd head south as the seasons change.

I think phase one will be finding a large enough rig at a reasonable price, and then we can figure out the rest as we go along. The sticks and bricks "permanent" address is the main catch. Some things in Canada don't take kindly to being a person of no fixed address, like health care, banking, insurance, essential utilities like water/electricity/TV/internet, drivers/firearms/hunting and various other licenses, to name a few that we've discovered in our research. That is the only major stumbling block we have come up with so far.
It's funny that it is still such a big deal to so many people, considering the increasing number of people that are looking into or choosing the more nomadic lifestyle of RVing now and in the future. campskunk and others like him are an example, having decided to live the majority of the year on the road, and the down time at a temporary location, usually a relative, to maintain a fixed address. I guess that's probably the way to go, to get someone to either let you use their address as your own, or to at least pay a nominal fee to rent an address from them for all matters legal.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:30 PM   #36
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

I know I'm digressing, but I wonder if some developer could make a good chunk of change renting very small apartments (In NYC, 300 square feet is the minimum), just for use as a legal residence and perhaps storage. Beside the door's mail slot would be a dedicated package mail slot as well, so the whole apartment can be used for mail storage, until a forwarding service comes by to pick up what is sent and re-mail it. That way, it definitely would be a permanent address for some.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:28 PM   #37
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

My oldest brother was a member of a fulltimers orgaization called Escapeese (I think).I don't know if that would help our Canadian brothers and sisters with their problems.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:35 PM   #38
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

I doubt anyone in their right mind would choose New York or New York City other than maybe a native New Yorker for a claimed residence if full timing in an RV. Little things like cost of living and taxes might be a tad bit of a deterrent.

South Dakota and Texas are actually two of the more popular full timing state resident choices. Keep in mind, whatever you do it affects driver's license, insurance, voting, taxes of course, and a myriad of other things. You don't necessarily have to have a physical abode.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:51 PM   #39
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Default Re: 2014 MARVAC RV Show in Novi, MI - saw the Thor Axis

When the time comes to move forward on the snow birding project, we'll be looking for a "gently used" something, or maybe some leftover stock that will be discounted to move. We're also hoping that by then our "Canuck Buck" will regain some ground on the "greenback". I had all but forgotten about the extra 10% premium we would have to pay for a US import, in addition to the 13% provincial taxes. It really makes things a lot uglier, but it's still cheaper than buying something here, even with the added $ exchange rate. At least it's a little bit cheaper, a few thousand dollars, and that's enough for me.
The other issue is that we've pretty much missed the main snow bird season, and are just trying to decide where to go when the weather breaks enough that I can get the Roadtrek out of the driveway, and south of the Mason/Dixon without seeing any road salt.
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