Posted by: Larry | May 22, 2008

An Apology

I apologize, I have not been paying any attention to this missive at all lately. I know you’ve heard it all before but I have just been way too busy. First of all I (OK then, my son and I, I truly am a goof when it comes to computers, electronics, etc) have been setting up the new website at

It’s not ready yet and I was just starting to get it together when we bought a newer motor home. We are going to full time in this one for a bit. Now we are preparing to rent out our house. Anyway, I promise I’ll get it all together soon.


Posted by: Larry | May 11, 2008

The Importance of Proper Braking Systems II

Here’s the orginal story The Importance about a motorhome losing it’s toad during an accident. Here’s the update, from WAFF, North Alabama TV. Joey, we want you to know we are ALL pulling for you.

Lets all double check our tow bars and braking systems every time we hook up.

Posted by: Larry | May 10, 2008

A Very Useful Website

As you travel across North America this season, enjoying the beautiful scenery and relaxing in our fine RV Parks and Campgrounds every once in a while you’re just gonna want to park for the night. All you want to do is sleep for a few hours, then it’s back in the saddle, back on the road and lets get to “Where we’re goin”. Are you with me so far? But the question is always “Where?” There’s one site that stands out as the one with the solution to your dilemma and that site is called Overnight RV Parking. They tell us they have close to 4,000 spots in North America to temporarily hang your hat all properly mapped out in an easy to find way.

We will certainly be offering up our $18.00 for this one before we hit the road this fall.

Oh, and just in case you are interested, according to Ontario Travel most Travel Plazas and Rest Areas in Ontario Canada offer Overnight parking. You can get a complete list of rest areas and travel plazas go to  Travel Ontario.

Posted by: Larry | May 9, 2008

Fuel Efficient Motorhomes

  Last time  we talked Fuel Efficient we talked about Class B’s like Roadtrek, Leisure Travel and Winnebago ERA. This time we put a little bigger house on our car and we still go for exceptional mileage. 

The next step up from a B is a C or Mini Motorhome. The most fuel efficient of these use the Dodge Sprinter Dual Wheel chassis built by Mercedes in Germany and assembled  in the US by Freightliner. These vehicles are substantially bigger than the B’s built on the Sprinters  allowing for bigger beds and appliances. Most also offer a slide giving you even more floor space.

This style of coach was first built in 2007 by Winnebago under the brand name View and for 2009 will be offered by numerous manufacturers including the Fleetwood  and Gulf Stream. As the size and weight increase the mileage will drop, but because of the extra room the Mini’s are far more liveable. And compared to their cousin C’s built using V8 and V10 gas engines, they still provide amazing mpg’s.

Posted by: Larry | May 8, 2008

Are The Chinese Coming To An RV Store Near You?

RV Business this morning has an item about Swagman Motorhomes of Australia debuting their new joint venture motorhome, called Next Generation. It’s  manufactured in Australia, and finished in China, and will be shown at an upcoming show in Shanghai this May 16 to 18. They hope to have these 28′ and up Diesel Pusher motorhomes in the North American market by early 2009.  While you visit their website please note the way these coaches are constructed. Not at all common compared to what our manufacurers are doing.

This will certainly be an interesting story to follow, I promise to keep you up to date.

Posted by: Larry | May 8, 2008

New or Used II

For today’s lesson I have enlisted the help of my two friends “Darryl and my other friend Darryl” (Wasn’t that a neat show?) As you know my name is Larry. In this skit I’m the RV salesperson, Darryl is going to buy a new coach, other Darryl is going to buy a similar motorhome, 5 years old, low miles, good condition. These 2 motorhomes actually exist but from here on in we are going to wing it a bit. there are just too many variables to be specific. I got the insurance quotes from the Wayfarer website.

Darryl buys his new 37′ triple slide gorgeous motorhome, gets a great deal and winds up only paying 149,900 plus tax (assuming 10%) for a total of about $165,000. He insures it for another $1800, heads out for his first trip.

Other Darryl also gets a really nice 37′ coach, only about 25,000 miles, 2 slides, all the right equipment. Other than the full body paint and the flat screen tv’s, not unlike Darryl’s. He writes a check for $77,000 including tax and another one for insurance, about $950. There he goes for his first trip now, right behind Darryl.

They both travel the same highways, stay in the same parks (side by side), visit the same happy hours, even drink the same brand of beer. Life is good!

5 years go by and both Darryl and other Darryl decide it’s time to hang up their keys.

Darryl sells his 5 year old triple slide coach in great shape and gets exactly what NADA says he will. $75,000.

On exactly the same day other Darryl looks at NADA and sells now 10 year old, well looked after, in great shape coach for $40,000. Mathematician that he is, using nothing more than his fingers other Darryl adds it all up. He bought it for 77,000, insured it for 5 years at $950 per year and averaged about $2,000 per year for maintenance. His 5 years of seeing the world including the purchase price, taxes, insurance and maintenance adds up to about $94,000 less the $40,000 he gets for his coach equals 54,000 or about $11,000 per year. Worth every penny!

Darryl gets out his calculator to see how he made out: Including tax the first check was $165,000, then insurance, and maintenance times 5 years (less because he started with full warranty new) $9,000 and $6,000 comes to about $180,000 less 75,000 equals $105,000 or about $21,000 a year. Great Value!



Purchase Price



Tax (10%)



Insurance ( 5Years)



Maintenance (5 Years)






Less Selling Price





Cost per year (Divide by 5)



Remember I’ve been watching this skit for close to 30 years and I can tell you that when its all done both Darryl’s will be equally happy. Both will have many fond memories and loads of friends they’ve met all over North America.

Posted by: Larry | May 8, 2008

New or Used?

What’s your best buy? New or Used?  If you always buy new or you always buy used, this conversation is over already. If you are on the fence, read on. Lets start by looking at motorhomes. New motorhomes today have numerous slides, full body paint, flat screen TV’s and the latest of Electronics. The tail pipe exhaust from new diesel engines is often cleaner than the air we are breathing. Today’s motorhomes have very complex systems, especially the higher end units and new coaches definetly have a “break in period” of a few months or more when you’re going to get to know the service people at your dealership pretty well.  

I always tell my clients purchasing a new motorhome that for the first few trips, it’s pen and paper at the ready; write down all those issues, big and small.

 If I was in the market for a new motorhome and was planning on heading out soon after purchase on a long trip, I would either hurry up the purchasing process or delay the trip. I would make sure that I could take my new beauty on 2 or 3 good “Shake Down” trips, note the problems and get it back to my dealer for repair. Then with fingers crossed I would enjoy our trip and show off my new motorhome with pride to all who want to see it. And there will be lots that do.

On the other hand, ir you were to purchase a well looked after, carefully inspected slightly used coach you  could not only save some money, you might just miss those frustrating first few months. The coach will probably be not quite as fancy and will be missing a few of the latest goodies, but still a coach you can be proud of.

Next we’ll look at the dollars and cents side New or Used.


Posted by: Larry | May 7, 2008

The Importance of Proper Braking Systems

A lot of motorhome owners feel that having a proper braking system on their toad or dinghy isn’t necessary inspite of the fact that it is illegal to move with out it. At this point we don’t know exactly what happened, but the story certainly points to an inadequate system on the toad. It would appear the toad (or dinghy) did not have a Break-Away switch. With that switch the towed truck (called a dinghy or toad) would have stopped immediatley upon parting company with the motorhome. Here’s the Story:

Three road workers hurt in I-65 accident

By Trent Moore and Patrick McCreless
The Cullman Times
Vehicles struck three Arab men working with the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Monday morning on Interstate 65.

ALDOT employee Joey Mallard, 21, was airlifted to the trauma and intensive care unit at UAB Hospital and fellow employees Michael Tolton and Tommy Conner, all of Arab, were sent to the Cullman Regional Medical Center emergency room. Tolton and Conner’s ages were unknown as of press time.

The accident occurred less than a mile west of Cullman around 9:43 a.m.

According to state trooper reports, William Richards, 53, of Englewood, Tenn., was driving a 2000 Sarari RV and pulling a white pick-up truck in tow. The pick-up truck came loose and caused the accident. Richards was not injured.

You can read the whole article here: The Cullman Times

Hopefully this article will change a mind or 2.

Posted by: Larry | May 6, 2008

Better Mileage

Gotcha! Here’s one we are all interested in. It’s the first word in every RV related conversation these days. Apparently fuel savings are important to others as well. Check this out:

“JetBlue’s aircraft are 1,079 pounds lighter after removing extra trash bins, flight kits, supplies and seats — “all the little things that, when combined, make a decent difference,” JetBlue spokesman Bryan Baldwin said.

The weight loss will save the carrier roughly $16,000 for a three-hour flight, he said.”  You can read the whole article here . They go on at length about what steps the airlines are taking to conserve fuel.

So let me ask: When was the last time you took something out of your RV? Come on now, I see all the stuff you pack “just in case”. We pack too much stuff too. What would happen to your fuel economy if you left an extra thousand pounds at home (Oops,Sorry,  there goes the Mother-In-Law).

So now in addition to checking the tire pressure, reducing our speed, cutting back on the air conditioner, only running the gennie when necessary, using the Economy mode on our Allison transmission, staying closer to home and all the other little tips to save fuel we can leave some stuff at home.

You’re welcome, glad I could help.

What are you doing to save fuel? Comment or drop me an email

Posted by: Larry | May 3, 2008

Motorized or Towable What’s Best For Me?

Oh Boy, here we go. Sit down a few trailer owners with a few motorhome  owners and this conversation will go for hours. Let’s try to make it simple.

The motorhome shines when you are on the road. The view sitting up there in a Class A is to die for. The trailer or 5th wheel shines when you are parked. Some people move from a home base to a park, then move back so a towable is probably better suited. We like to explore and move pretty regularily, we love our motorhome. The motorhome is easier to use, no difficult hooking up and unhooking. I am terrified by the thought of a big trailer behind  me and backing the whole rig up. Score another for the motorhome. On that same thought I know that given some practise I could learn to be comfortable handling the trailer. Some buy a motorhome so they don’t have to tow anything. Soon though they add a dinghy so they can get around easier when they reach their destination. It’s not uncommon to see a dinghy behind a Class B. If you already have a good towing vehicle maybe a towable is the place to start. Remember, you’ll never know what works for you til you get something and get enjoying it all. I help people choose the right RV for them everyday, that’s my job. I really think that the first few RV’s should be used or as we in the business like to say “preowned”. Once you know exactly what works for you, then move on to new if you wish. Why do I say that? Think Depreciation. Remember, there is no right or wrong. It’s what ever feels best for you.

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