Saturday, March 03, 2007

Why Aren't We Moving?

Is it just me or are RVers, particularly motorhome owners, more reluctant to move their motorhomes? It seems that many RVers who are in a site for a month (or more) don't want to move their RV once they arrive, even to fill the propane tank or visit attractions in the local area. Why is that?

I'm a full-timer and the owner of a small motorhome. I work part-time in a park that has some long-term guests who may be patients being treated at the hospital, employed in the area on construction jobs or who are traveling nurses. Most of them have fifth wheels or trailers and leave them on the site while they use their tow vehicle for transportation. Several are motorhome owners, however, and leave the motorhome parked for months without starting the engine or moving it. Am I wrong in thinking that's bad for the motorhome?

The reason I have a small 18' motorhome is so I can disconnect and go whenever and park wherever I want. In the past, I lived in a mobile home (which, as we all know, is immobile once it's placed in a space). I think some RVers are confusing the two. Many RVers arrive, pull into their space, hook up and don't move until they leave the park. When they ask about places to go and things to see, I give them directions and information appropriate to the RV they have, including large spaces to park safely. Most will say, "No thanks. It's too much of a hassle to disconnect everything and move it." Um--isn't it supposed to move? It is a recreational vehicle after all. Why aren't we moving?


  1. You are 100% correct. After my last trip in 1998, I parked my 32ft. class motorhome behind my clubhouse at my golfcourse. After 9 years, over time, I started it less and less, till the time came when It just didn't start or run correct. In 2001, I bought a new class C that was only 21ft. to travel in. Not only should motorhomes be started regular, they should be driven to keep all parts loose, like "U-joints" and so on. I'm getting ready to buy a new class A and I learned my lessson, I'm going to move it regularly.

  2. Sounds like somebody hasn't discovered the "Dingy" yet! Or for that matter, the "Blue Boy", portable either. With either one or both, one does not have to move their RV. Of course, it is wise to crank it up and run it till the engine is hot, but it doesn't have to necessarily be moved unless we are talking months here.
    But, 'to each his own' they say.

    Bruce Jorgensen
    Fairhope, Al.

  3. We are full time RV'ers.

    Why do you think we have to move constantly, just because we own an RV?

    Here are some reasons we stay put in one spot for a month or more.
    1. Fuel costs- 6 mpg
    2. It's our home, not our main means of transportation. We use our tow vehicle to run around town and to go sightseeing, just like you do.
    3. It is easier to make friends when you are in the same spot for more than a night or two.
    4.When we decide on a location, we want to spend lots of time getting to know the area and the people.
    5.I could go on and on, but I'll spare everyone my rantings..

  4. This is why I CHOSE a travel trailer, I hook-up, unhitch, and take my truck to the nearby attractions, without having to pull in my electric, water, sewer, & cable lines, put up the jacks, take down the levelers, etc.

  5. And besides... who wants to stow all the things you've put out on the counters/dash to make the place feel like home, retract all of the slides, and disconnect all the water/sewer/electric/cable connections?

    We spend 7-9 months traveling non-stop, all over the country (which we love), but when we're done, we also enjoy "settling down" for the winter and NOT moving for a few months so we can catch our breath!

  6. We all chose this "lifestyle" for our own reasons... but one of the big ones is the fact that it provides us all a great deal of freedom to do what we want, when we want.

    So why is it that everyone is constantly complaining about what others are (or, in this case, aren't) doing?!?! Why can't we accept the fact that what works for us (travel style, travel locations, floorplan, manufacturer, etc.) MAY NOT work for someone else. And vice versa?

    I say: live your life the way it suits you. And let the rest of us do what suits us!

  7. I think that some people have misinterpreted the letter. She isn't talking about moving the RV via driving. I think she was talking about something different. We start the engine about once a month, when we are in our winter RV park. We also start the generator. This is to exercise both of them. We actually move the RV every couple of months a quarter turn of the tires. This was recommended to us, by a tire dealer. It is good for the tires.

  8. Right! What's up with that? We have a 29' Motorhome and we connect and disconnect all the time as we don't travel with a tow vehicle. It is not a big deal...what fun are they having?
    We hosted last year in a State Park in the Florida Keys and quite a few of the campers never unhooked or went anywhere and a couple even asked us to do their grocery shopping so they wouldn't have to unhook and they had a 20 footer,excuse me!

  9. I purchased my first RV, a 31.5' class 'C' in 10/02. It was a 2001 model and the 2003's were already on the lot. It had 800 manufacturers to dealer miles with a full warranty and about $20,000 of depreciation on someone else's budget. It was, all things being equal a very good deal. In my first travel season, I logged about 12,000+ miles of which I was settled in any number of locations for 4.5 of those months. That is a lot of driving in a six weeks. I made it to the west coast in about 3 weeks including staying at a number of places for various periods of time.
    My second travel season was delayed until March of 2004. But for odd trips to the dealer, it sat in a storage lot in the sun and humidity of a Buffalo, NY summer and cold and snow of winter . In advance of taking it on the road, I had it thoroughly checked. I needed to: 1) replace ALL the tires and 2) most of the brakes around. That ate somewhat into my savings, didn't it off a brand new unit weeks off the assembly line.
    Here is what I learned: 1) Cover the tires when settled for more than a day. The sun dines on exposed tires. Driving on tires 'self-lubricates' them through a chemical reaction and keeps them 'alive' for want of a better word. 2) If storing an RV it must be taken for a spin every couple of weeks or so in order to 'scrape' the rust that accumulates on the brakes, particularly in humid climates,and dirt and grime just about anywhere, including desert communities which also settles on the brakes.
    If we think it is time consuming to take our expensive toy out for a little exercise every couple of weeks, consider that cost of replacing tires or brakes well-before their time. I learned to factor in some fun into my RV exercise program and gather some friends for a little jaunt and day of fun closer to home.
    Having said all that, during the winter I tend to be settled in one place for upwards of 4-7 months. That is due, in part, to the cost of gas. Some accommodation to one's budget needs to be made.
    However the tires have been covered since I plugged-in. I start my generator every time I dump my black water tank -- best advice is to exercise your generator an hour a month, so how you divide that is up to you. I do it during the middle of the day when I am less likely to disturb my neighbors. I also start my Ford Triton V-10 engine at least once a month to lubricate the engine; otherwise, oil does tend to drain off the each of the cylinders like dressing in a bottle of salad oil in your fridge. That gives rust an opportunity to form and eat away at your engine like a cancer.
    I appreciate the very practical advice of those who enjoy the convenience of a smaller 'C' or class 'B'. Everyone needs to find the model of RV that best suits their needs. But at the moment, a larger 'C' does it for living area and storage, in part, not having learned the lesson of what to bring or what not to bring.
    Sage advice provided before I bought my motorhome was: TOW A VEHICLE! That's right, I'm not going to disconnect everything, stow my gear inside shelves, disconnect a satellite dish or 'toy' with an exact level to run to town for groceries or a movie – then reverse the cycle a few hours later, ‘X’ number of times a week. As for propane, purchase an “Extend-A-Stay” (a stand-alone auxiliary tank) and take that to the local propane dealer, for those campgrounds where the distributor refuses to deliver to a campground.
    And for me, the prospect of backing a 5th wheel or trailer into most spaces, then level it -- then connect it later to a hauler -- no thank you. Connecting the tow vehicle --I'm 'towing flat' with a 5 spd (as long as they continue to make them) and the auxiliary braking system is a lot less strenuous than what I've observed those with a tow-dolly endure.
    My concern about taking a smaller ‘C’ or a ‘B’ as my primary vehicle is one of security. The risk may be minimal, but by leaving my RV in a campground, I’ve about reduced it to ‘zero.’ That is, bringing my small home to every Wal-Mart or suburban mall containing ALL my valuables, my laptop, my financial records and personal information as an invitation for every sociopath to come take a peek, is too much for my retired public prosecutor’s mentality to deal with.
    What I did do, as the first addition to my RV is install a security system which goes off like a bat out of Hades if someone tries to enter it once it is ‘set.’ For a few hundred dollars, that may provide some peace of mind for those who do take their campers or smaller RVs with them everywhere they go.

  10. Why would anyone in thier right mind take thier motorhome to the grocery store and leave your tow vehicle at the RV site? I can't believe a full timer can't figure this out!

  11. I'm with you... RVing is about freedom. I had to choose a balance point between the interiior space I want to live in and the exterior space I want to park in small spots. My Class C is 26 feet, just big enough for a good rear bedroom, and a motor scooter rides on a rack in back so I don't need a toad. I like to stay put for a couple of days and put out my awning, but I like to drive my house - and staying put too long means too much housecleaning before I can drive. 2 weeks is max parking time for me. If I'm there longer I'll drive on general principles, $4 gas or not.