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 > Motorhome vs travel trailer for cross country with pets??

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olfarmer

Iowa

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Posted: 11/11/20 07:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Usually most RV parks even ones with the 10 year rule go more by appearance that the actual age. the rule just gives them a reason to keep a junky looking RV out. This is not always the case but I have had several older motor homes and have never been turned away. I keep them looking as close to new as possible. My current rig is a 2001 Winnebago Brave that I have had several years. It has around 30k miles on it and I have never had any appliance problems but I have had 2 problems with the chassis, one was an in tank fuel pump $$$$ and one was a brake issue. As far as the AC going down the road, in moderate weather the dash AC will keep the house cool enough for most animals but if it gets too hot it is not a big deal to run the generator and the roof air. I think you really should either have a tow behind vehicle with a MH in case of break downs so you have a place for the pets or it sounds like a trailer with a van or big SUV would be the best for you and the pets.
A class A or Class C in the mountains is not a big deal but towing a heavy vehicle behind it in the mountains may be, My MH does not like towing my Jeep over a big steep grade, the engine is OK but the transmission heats up!


Ed & Ruby & the 2 cats
2001 Winnebago Brave 30W
7.4 gas Work Horse Chassis
99 Jeep Grand Cherokee


pitch

NY

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Posted: 11/12/20 06:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like I and others said earlier Full size van and travel trailer.
In the rare occurrence of a breakdown they send one(1) truck. A roll back. wheel lift trucks are mainly used for recovery and repossession, with a rollback being the most common for break downs. Van on the truck trailer hitched to the tow. When you are on the phone with the service or garage tell them you want a roll back.
Van and TT
Don't let people on here get you all worked up. This is not rocket science even though many act as if it is.
A 16 to 20 ft travel trailer with a gross weight of 6k behind almost any full size van. The only pets campground care about are dogs. Don't even mention the rest. When you find a van have a mechanic put an auxiliary transmission cooler on probably about 3 hundred bucks. Figure 10 miles per gallon at best and an average of 40 bucks a nite for camping. Don'tworry about any ten year rule. It is only the snobbiest of resorts that have it.

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 11/12/20 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tortiemctortiepants wrote:

That’s true that it would be better to still have a place to be with the pets in the event of a break down... but If my towing vehicle did break down, say on the side of the road, do tow trucks tow both the vehicle and the trailer?


Basically they would charge for 2 separate tows (mostly a cost thing) but yes, they can get you to a campground while the truck is repaired.

As someone else mentioned, with a Class C, the drivetrain with low miles may not tell you much. Most go to the junkyard due to leaks in the house portion, not wearing out the drivetrain. So a $6k unit with low miles may still be a steaming pile of poo. As you aren't familiar, find a local independent RV tech and once you think you have a good option make an inspection part of the offer. It may cost you a couple hundred but if it steers you away from a bad deal, it will be well worth it.

As long as the RV appears in decent shape, I wouldn't worry about age. That's mostly a southern snowbird thing where people stay in a park for a few months. Really age is just a surrogate measure for eliminating junky rigs. What we've found is if they look out the office window and the rig looks good, they "forget" to ask about the age. For your trip in the summer with just short term stops, asking about age has never came up as a question.

I would still be very careful with the SUV option. Dig in and fully understand the limitations. Most of the smaller ones really have very limited capability. Truck payload often runs out prior to tow rating. Especially moving, I expect, you will want to pack the truck full of your stuff, so you could easily wind up over payload with an SUV. Even with Pickups and Vans, you need to watch it but it's far easier to find one with good payload capability. SUVs are built for comfort not payload. The only ones I would consider are the big Suburbans or the Ford Equivalents. Even then they often are not as good as their pickup comparables.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


CFerguson

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Posted: 11/12/20 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tortiemctortiepants wrote:

Thank you everyone!! I knew I was lost but now I’m realizing how much I really don’t know about this... it had never occurred to me that campgrounds would have age limits for rvs or pet limits... your advice has been really helpful.....

Dont get too concerned about the 10 year rule some CGs have (i have seen several that have that in their rules). It has been discussed here a lot and the concensus is that it is a rule that is in place to exclude junky old trailers(and people) and is rarely applied. If your RV is in good shape and looks good, no one is going to bother you.

Tortiemctortiepants

VA

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Posted: 11/14/20 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can’t thank you all enough for all of the great information and advice!

I was leaning toward a van/suv with travel trailer combo, but I am now reconsidering the class c as a possibility, for two main reasons... One is that I am used to driving ambulance sized vehicles (well, because they are ambulances [emoticon]) so the idea is much less overwhelming to me and seems like it would be easier to maneuver in general. Two is that when I was trying to plan out where to keep the pets in each place and to move them back and forth between tow vehicle and trailer... it got really messy and I think that might be more stressful for the small pets being transferred into travel cages for the day and then back... versus just setting them up nicely in one spot in a motor home and letting them settle in. I could even potentially keep most of them in their current enclosures, depending on space available, rather than having to downsize everybody.

I’ve been thinking hard about the break down scenario, as that was the biggest reason for my tending toward a travel trailer... and I think I can work it out. I will still have tiny travel enclosures that will fit into backpacks and/or duffel bags for everybody in the event of needing to take everybody with me somewhere. Instead of being an everyday transition thing though this would just be in case of a break down. I’ve found ways to stay in hotels before with pets (I did that every night on the trip from WA to VA) or if push comes to shove I can maybe stay a few nights in the small car I plan to tow behind (I think I could trade my Rogue in for something small that is flat towable).

My original concerns about reliability of older class c’s remain though as most in my price range are 1980s/90s/early 2000s. Are there any makes/models that just have great reputations? Or ones I should avoid?

I am still thinking this through and am very much in the planning stage, so I continue to welcome any advice!!!

olfarmer

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Posted: 11/15/20 10:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think you might be wise to go Class C with a small tow car. Class C's are not much harder to repair than any van and not having to move the animals all of the time would be much easier. If you are used to driving an ambulance that makes a lot of sense. I would caution you to look carefully for roof leaks etc. especially in the cab over bed area on a Class C. Many tend to leak there.

Tortiemctortiepants

VA

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Posted: 11/16/20 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Okay, that is good to know!! Thanks for the tip, it seems water damage is a very common issue to be on the lookout for so it’s good to have ideas of where to look for it.

badsix

north bend or.

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Posted: 11/16/20 09:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

we have a crew cab and 45# Boxer. the rear seat 3/4s of it folds up and makes room for a dog bed. i leave the other seat down so she can get up on it and hang out the window when she wants to. she likes it.
Jay D.

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