Wednesday, October 2, 2013

So You're Thinking of Buying an RV...Motorhome or Trailer?

One thing I am learning in looking into all of this road travel business is that there are really a LOT of options for which type of travel one prefers. The three I am considering are:

 1)Motorhomes, which have the driver's seats right in the motorhome and are a part of it. And then one might pull a "Toad" (towed vehicle) behind, for running errands when the motorhome is parked. Run on diesel, so can be converted to veggie oil.


2) 5th wheel - which is a trailer that has a bit that goes over the truck bed (sleeping quarters?) that is pulling it. Needs to be pulled by a truck, preferably a diesel, because I have learned that they are workhorses. Bonus: diesel can be converted to veggie oil. 5th wheels often have pullouts (at least the newer ones), which make them much heavier but also provide more space when parked.


3) Trailers, which are also towed by diesel trucks or SUVs, and are similar to 5th wheels in that the newer ones can have slideouts. They're just flat on the front, nothing hanging over the towing truck. I believe thats the difference anyway. Again, diesel truck can be converted to run on veggie oil.

At first I thought I wanted a motorhome because of the fact that it is all self-contained, and I liked the idea of being able to hang out "in the house" while we were also driving. Everyone is always all together, etc. But there is also the part where if the engine breaks down, then ones entire house needs to go into the mechanic....and then what does a family do if it takes days or more to fix?

What really changed my mind actually was watching this video:
The Happy Janssens: RV Veggie Oil (WVO) System from Sara Janssen on Vimeo.


Now, that is an awesome veggie oil system, yes? But also, Scott installs those systems and has some skill with maintaining them, I assume. AND it becomes complicated with the RV towing the truck that also holds fuel, adding to the total weight and and and. So I did some more reading about towing and at the same time remembered that long-buried dream of touring the country in a silver bullet trailer. And it seems worlds less complicated to just tow a trailer behind a truck which itself is converted to veggie oil. Then when you need fuel, you just unhook the truck and off you go, and no extra steps - it's all on the vehicle itself. Plus there's all that extra space in the bed of the truck. Why not use it for fuel?

I also read that diesel trucks are workhorses, and go forever and ever apparently, so getting one with 148K miles is "just getting started" on their capacity and that the silver bullet trailers were built to be towed behind cars (in the 50s, 60s and 70s, which meant big steel boats, but still CARS), and so are fairly light, even with allthethings we would be putting inside. And again, having the trailer separate means being able to send the truck in by itself to be fixed when needed while still having the ability to live in the trailer wherever it is parked. And what I read about handling when pulling a trailer in a diesel made me say yep, this is the way to go. For us, anyway.

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