16 posts in this topic

Mike,

Welcome to the Forum.

Sure you can live in a Class B RV for a week or more. You just need to make sure that you stay in Parks with full hookups and good (nice) Showers.

It might get a little tight after a few days. However you would not need a tow vehicle and can park any where you could park a car when sight seeing. I don't know how large your holding tanks are but you should dump everyday. Carry extra water and be sure and HAVE FUN.

Herman

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A little bit about Mike:

Mike is a veteran journalist who recently bought a Roadtrek RS-Adventurous Type B motorhome. With his wife, Jennifer, and Norweigian Elkhound, Tai, he travels the country blogging about the people, places, joys and frustrations of RV life on the road. He is the official on-the-road reporter for the Family Motor Coach Association. a columnist with Family Motor Coach magazine and his Roadtreking reports appear in numerous newspapers and publications.

Obviously, you can live just fine in a small RV for as long as you choose. We have very good friends who sold their bigger RV and bought a Winnebago based on the Sprinter chassis. They are full-timers and live year-round in the RV including Winters in Mexico. I would expect you to be able to dry camp or use campgrounds as you choose. Dumping will certainly not be (and should not be) and everyday thing but you will need to monitor your usage to determine how long it take to fill your tanks. I think you already know the answer to the questions you ask but do keep us up-to-date as you add additional posts to your blog.

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I appreciate the feedback. We're sold on the B platform. I'm booking CGs now for the long trip but may mix it up with a hotel every few days.

Here's one question I have: RT makes a big deal out of its macerator. The other B manufactuers - leasureeway, Winnebago and Airstream - use gravity dumping. Wonder that the thoughts are over the two systems?

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I MUCH prefer a gravity dump just for the speed and ease. Connect, dump and leave all in 10 minutes or less. The macerators take a long time to chew things up and send them down that small tube to the drain. If you camp a long way from the dump (or home sewer clean out) of if you plan to camp downhill from that dump (very rare occurrence) you might find some benefit from this kind of system. Many claim that it's a cleaner option but I am not sure how much cleaner you can get than the 3" hose and a good connection at each end. I would really hate to be at a Flying J or other public dump site and make everyone else wait while I let my grinder grind.

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I've been at the RV pumps at Flying J and hooked the macerator up and pumped it out while waiting for the small nozzle to fill my 127 gallon tank. I was able to run the line while in the line waiting, pulled up, started the diesel pump, hooked up the line to the macerator and pumped it out while the diesel tank was filling. I didn't hear anyone complain! It is a cleaner operation and having one gives you the flexibility to get to a dump where others can't. I've run the hose across the campground road to a sewer hookup at another site (with permission from the owners of the park). I've used home clean-outs at friends homes to dump tanks with it. I've used it at rest stop dump stations. I use the 3" hose when I can but when I can't I can usually still dump tanks. If the macerator is taking too long to dump the tank, it may need to be rebuilt. They have a flexible rubber impeller and the vanes on the impeller will eventually fail. When they have all failed, it will take forever to pump out a tank. When it is kept in good condition it works great.

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TBUTLER...I agree whole-heartly...Best thing since pocket in a shirt....I do the same thing at Flying J's....By the time my diesel tank is full, my other tanks are empty and hose put away...Never had anyone complain,on the other hand,many have come up and wanted to know how I like the macerator..If I had a quarter for everone that had asked,I could buy another new VETTE!! I know you can't please everyone,and some won't move up with the times.but all in all I think its the best thing going..Also, If I don't have to dump. I go to the truck islands,,,Lots faster fill...need to empty tanks I go to RV island.

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Last July we started a long 3-month trip out of Florida, all the way to Glacier and are now in TX, heading back East/SE in our 28' Coachmen/Concord, a B+ RV, with our tow car. It has been a great experience and my husband often asks if we'll get used to living again at our house! Thru the trip, we stay mostly at National/Corp of E/State/Passport America....in that order I research for campgrounds.... Those that are "dry" we plan on no more than a 5-day stay, that is the average max time before emptying the tanks, as we rarely use public showers. So, living at an RV for a week (s)at a time? Why not, we love it!

Have Fun!

Jocelynn and Quico Power/Gainesville, FL

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I owned a 1995, 42' Blue Bird Wanderlodge (Class A) for about 3-1/2 years. We put 36,000 miles on it and visited (portions of) 29 states. Most of our trips ranged from 2 to 4 months. We had planned to full time, but the real estate market did not cooperate. Our normal travel complement included my wife, our cat and myself. The Wanderlodge, with toad, took up 65 feet on the highway and had a gross combined vehicle weight of 51,000 lbs when loaded for travel.

We sold the Wanderlodge in 2009 ... and in 2011, bought a new, 2011 Roadtrek RS-Adventurous -- and it has the same set of travelers. We have used it for numerous day trips and for several trips of one or two nights up to a week or so. Plus we took one trip of about 6 weeks that was cut short due to a medical problem that required an early return to our home. The Roadtrek weighs a bit under 11,000 lbs loaded -- and we do not tow anything.

Obviously, there are numerous differences between the large "supersize bus" class A and the 22' Roadtrek.

On the plus side, the Roadtrek is much easier to maneuver over back roads -- including roads we might have simply avoided in the large coach. We are seeing more of the 'back country' since it's easy to drive on lesser-traveled routes. Indeed, the Sprinter van handles much like a larger pick up truck, though the driving position is higher (which improves the view of scenery). I am very well satisfied with the Sprinter Van -- the 2010 model year introduced a slightly more powerful engine, though the fuel rating is about the same. Over the 10,000+ miles I've driven the Sprinter, so far, it's gotten an average of about 20 mpg. That includes a moderate amount of around town driving and one day of travel on I-10 in west Texas where we cruised at the posted 80MPH speed limit -- and got 18 mpg that day. On other days, where most of the driving was at moderate (non-freeway) driving speeds, we got around 22-23 mpg.

The bed is nearly the size of a standard king bed -- much wider than the RV Queen in the Wanderlodge. We set up the bed -- and left it up while traveling. This allowed using a 'space foam' mattress topper that improved the comfort of the bed. I used some plastic bins that fit in the aisle (under the bed) for some supplemental storage. The negative about the bed is that it is entered by crawling in from the foot. Instead of making it up with sheets and blankets (as we did in the large RV), we simply put on a lower sheet -- then use sleeping bags -- and a quilt for extra warmth when needed.

The small refrigerator requires more frequent shopping trips (we had a 22 cu ft in the Wanderlodge), but it's not inconvenient as we use the van to get around while visiting sights, etc.

Storage space is a consideration. We cut down the amount of "stuff" we carry along -- we make more careful choices about clothing and give more consideration to probably weather on planned trips. We removed the street-side passenger seat (just behind the driver's seat) and installed a plastic set of drawers -- this has given us extra storage for maps, medications, and misc. other things. The "foot area" of that seat is where the cat box resides. The dining table is set up for use by the passenger seat and the rear passenger seat by the side sliding door.

Using the galley, bathroom, or just moving about inside, is a one-at-a-time situation. We quickly learned to accommodate each other and for one to remain in the bed or to sit in one of the seats while the other moves about.

It only took one (experimental) shower to convince me that the onboard shower was suitable for emergency use only. So finding campgrounds with good showers is a priority. (With the Wanderlodge, we never used campground restrooms or showers.) I use online reviews to help select "good" camping locations.

The macerator pump is OK for emptying the tanks, but I miss the gravity dump of the Wanderlodge. The gray tank does not drain by gravity, so it requires dumping almost daily. However, since we're not using the shower, our water use is rather less than I'd expected, so if necessary, we can usually go a couple days between dumps without any problem. The smaller hose is easier to handle.

Cooking/meals. My wife prefers to prepare her own food -- but the limited food storage and cooking facilities in the Roadtrek has made her modify her past practices. Breakfast and lunch doesn't present much of a problem and is similar to what we did in the larger Class A ... but dinners are more of a compromise -- I'll cook on a charcoal grill (if the campground has one) and she'll prepare the side dishes on the stove or in the microwave -- but we do eat dinners out much more frequently than we did with the large RV.

In the final analysis, we were quite happy in the Class B for the longer trip -- and we may take another trip of 6 weeks or so ... but we bought the Roadtrek mostly because we wanted to travel more on secondary roads and we'd decided to focus more on trips of a few nights or at most two weeks, most of the time.

I couldn't claim that the Roadtrek is a "replacement" for the Wanderlodge -- but it's pretty good for what it is and the occasional longer trip can be accomplished with relative comfort.

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We just completed a 6 week 6800 mile trip in our B+, a Leisure Unity MB model. We always use the coach shower. The only limit when dry camping is the 30 gal water tank. Holding tanks do just fine. We also travel with a cat. The key is compatibility with your spouse and each understanding that everything must be kept in it's place. This took a little practice on our part as we downsized from a 36ft class A coach. We do tow a small car and did have to pack a few winter coats etc in the car. It seems we always take too much, but you need your STUFF!!

We are towing a new Chevy Sonic. The Mercedes has no problem with this 2700# car going over 11,000ft passes in Colorado. We consistently averaged 16.3mpg.

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We are looking to buy a used later model Roadtrek and am debating between the 19 'and 22 ' models. Can you park the 22' model in regular parking spaces. Advantages and disadvantages for both. We are new to motorhomes but had a 34'SeaRay for years. thanks for any insight.

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Hi,

I'm a new owner of 2010Roadtrek and I love it! After I bought it in Florida, I took it up to Connecticut, Mass and top of Vermont and I learn something more as I camp and how to run the equipment and camped at a rally for 5 days and everything worked fine. You learn to travel with lesss and I turned a c camper in for the Roadtrek. Averaging 16 miles to gal of regular gas. Chevy chassis and so low to ground you don't get the wind draft from trailer trucks.!

rml

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I have the Winnebago ERA on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. It is 24 feet long. I have traveled in it for as much as 4 weeks at a time. I have plans to do 3-4 month trips in the coming years. My biggest advantage is that I travel alone. So I have no problem with water/holding tanks etc. In fact, I have NEVER stayed at a campground while travelling. I will on occasion stop at Flying J or similar facility to get a "real" shower. On a long trip I might even stop at a motel once a week just to get rid of the travel dust ... so to speak. The rest of the time I boondock and have had not problem at all.

I've never had a problem parking ... my unit does take up 1 1/2 spaces in some parking lots. But if I can back in over a grass area or medium I'm good as gold. I can travel anywhere and everywhere without having to tow another vehicle. The fuel mileage has been remarkable ... 18-22 MPG depending on the roads I travel. I generally travel the back roads at slower speeds and might not get as good mileage as someone on the Interstate traveling at a constant speeds.

Anything is possible if you plan and prepare for your trips.

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17 April 2015 11:05

The notes on long trips and "toad" vehicles piqued my interest in this part of the Type B Forums.

In the thirteen years I have owned my current coach, I have made four extended trips -- two to Florida, and one each to New Mexico and Wyoming. My Airstream's tank capacities are good for five to six days before I would need to use a campground or rest stop to dump my drain and toilet tanks. As to a "toad", my 2003 Chevy Cavalier behaves well when "following" on its Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar and RSA ReadyBrake auxiliary brake-cable system. The Cavalier has the four-speed GM automatic transaxle, and I start the engine once around half-way along each day's trip, and cycle the gearshift through the steps to circulate the transmission fluid.

Even more "Happy Cybercamping!"

Michael Canode, F13049S

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