RV's and motorhomes

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
paradox
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RV's and motorhomes

Post by paradox » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:39 am

Friends and aliens hello,

Getting ready for my 2nd time. My wife and I were virgins last year and it's been concluded that we have to get back to the playa... there's no place like home :)
Last year we were a 15-person camp, and this year we're a modest 4-6 person camp. We've decided that this time we're coming with a RV / motorhome. And this is where I need your help, since there aren't many RV's here in Israel. We're looking to make it cheapest as possible.
So what's the difference - RV and motorhome?
Since it's just the two of us, we're looking for the smallest version possible (found a 24-footer as the smallest). I've been looking around California rentals to rent one for 10 nights. The thing is that I know nothing of all the "extras" - mileage included, pre-clean, insurance and such. I just know I want to get back to the playa...
So... help?
Burn on,
Dan

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ibdave
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Post by ibdave » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:57 am

Hey Dan, Glad you and your Wife are coming home.
Motorhomes and R.V.s are the same. You have 3 types to choose from.

Class A... The bigger ones you see on the road and Playa. Cost to rent is much more and use more gas, but offer much more.

Class C... Smaller but not by much in some cases. They are very roomie and have lots to offer. Easier to drive than the larger ones. Not much cheaper to rent.

Class B. Yet smaller and very tight inside. Less fresh water storage. The toilet storage is very small. Much better on gas than the other 2. A couple can make it work for them on the Playa.

With all 3 you have to do your homework and PLAN every thing for no surprises..
Dumping your holding tank will cost $40-75 while on the Playa, so be careful...
RESERVE NOW..........

8) 8) 8)
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:31 am

The term "RV" stands for "Recreational Vehicle", and is a generic term applied to motorhomes, camping trailers, snowmobiles, "quad" off-road 4-wheelers, any motor vehicle designed primarily for fun rather than basic transportation.
Class A, B, or C refers to body type.
Class A is a motorhome with a body that is one big box.
Class C is a motorhome built with a regular van or truck front end (driver's cab) and a big box rear living area.
Class B is a regular van, with camper interior.

Gas mileage between Class A and C is similar and depends mostly on how big the unit is. "A"s generally range from 22 feet up to 40 feet, "C"s usually from 19 feet to 29 feet.

I wouldn't bother with a Class B for Burning Man, really too small for extended camping. They're better than a tent, but if you're gonna rent a rig at all you might as well get one better suited to living in for a week.

I'll just say read the rental terms carefully, they do tend to find ways to charge extra for everything. Most have an extra hourly charge for running the electric generator. You'll probably pay a cleaning fee, since the dust storms at Burning Man will get the RV very dirty.

Few motorhomes carry enough water for a week unless you are extremely careful about water consumption. The usual shower routine is to turn on the water and get wet, shut it off to soap up and scrub yourself, then use the water to rinse off as efficiently as possible. Also, be stingy about your water use while washing dishes.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:54 am

In this usage, it commonly refers to motorhomes in particular.
A class B can be more complex in description, but it is probably not a good choice for you.
Like cars, older ones get cheaper quick.
I recently found a fairly new diesel pusher for $3500.
That's a little unusual but it happens.
But you may be better off buying and selling.
An independent dealer will probably give you a better deal on an older one, renting.
A large trailer may be a good option if all you are doing is desert and back.

Make sure you know what you are doing.
Trailer Life is mostly fluffy but has some good technical and they offer some good books.
http://www.trailerlife.com/bookstore/in ... d&subcat=1
I think I have the repair and maintenance book and the RV handbook, but I haven't seen the Idiot's Guide.
I'm not sure which would be most useful.
You need to know how to operate the systems in the RV if you will use them.
Solar is useful on an RV for such a long period.
Will you use a generator and ac?
Is the ac even capable of these conditions?
If so get a quiet one and park accordingly or you will be a public nuisance.
If you run the central heat and propane fridge, will you have enough fuel or do you need extra tanks?
Is it a vehicle that can use extra tanks?
How efficient is the lighting?
Older RVs may have very hungry lights.

You may be able to equip a rental truck with the amenities you want if you only want the basics.

I have seen trailers for rent that will be delivered to the playa and picked up.

RVs range in cost from hundreds of dollars to millions.
The upper end is mostly buses and converted semi-trailers.
One was recently trimmed with stainless here.
The bill was $25,000 and that was before the price rise for metal.

Some people use empty containers or semi-trailers out there.
A running reefer is a cushy way to go.
They start at $3500 to purchase.
A non-running reefer gives you insulation.
Use shade if possible over it.
You need it, unless we have a mild year.
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
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It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

paradox
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slowly but surely

Post by paradox » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:21 pm

ok. First things first - thank you all for the quick replys. Warms my heart and just makes me miss the playa more and more...
Now, since the budget is my main concern, I'm still looking and searching for the cheapest deal I can find. It's amazing how many places are out of RV's already.
Anybody have any kind of opinion concerning a trailer?
This is the thing - we're not looking for pampering ourselves too much and I personally plan to be out on the playa most of the time, or just sit outside and enjoy the view :) The RV is supposed to give me the basics of sleep-shower-food (AC would be nice too).
So... once again I find myself at a loss of expertise and experience.
RV or trailer? Better? Cheaper?
Dog bless you all

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BitterDan
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Post by BitterDan » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:27 pm

If you have the capability to tow a trailer then they are cheaper than full-blown RV's. Comfort is overrated though, you have 51 weeks a year to be comfortable...
Camp FuckIt + MT - 7:15 & D (maybe)

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:11 pm

I would normally recommend buying your own RV, they are available used for cheap, but since you're in Israel I assume it's only practical to rent??

A/C is VERY nice to have on the playa, regardless of what folks who like to "rough it" say about it being an unnecessary luxury. Most RVs come equipped with A/C that is fully capable of cooling the rig in the heat at BM. The main logistic hurdle is carrying enough gasoline to run the generator.
I use a 50-gallon truck gas tank for my generators.
If you rent a motorhome, it's generator will draw off the rig's main gas tank. Top off in Gerlach right before hitting the playa, and carry extra gas cans. Pay attention to the gas gauge while you're at BM.

"RV or trailer? Better? Cheaper?"
As always, it all depends...
I'd have a trailer myself, except that if you tow a camper trailer, you can't tow anything else. If that's not a concern, then trailers tend to be much cheaper.
Most trailers don't have a generator.
If you're renting, you'll need to rent a trailer, a truck to pull it, and a generator... I'd vote for just renting a motorhome!
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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ibdave
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Post by ibdave » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:26 pm

Generators will draw about 0.8 gals of gas per hour when using the AC.Keep in mind it may be higher or lower, but I always use the 1.0 gal per hour, cuz it's easy math...... 8) 8) 8)
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg

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CapSmashy
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Post by CapSmashy » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:34 am

One other point to consider is the nickel and dime factor associated with ownership of an RV.

My inlaws are forever having something go wonky in their coach. Most of it is stemming from build quality issues or just sloppy workmanship which floors me considering how much they paid for the damn thing.

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ibdave
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Post by ibdave » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:22 pm

CapSmashy wrote:One other point to consider is the nickel and dime factor associated with ownership of an RV.

My inlaws are forever having something go wonky in their coach. Most of it is stemming from build quality issues or just sloppy workmanship which floors me considering how much they paid for the damn thing.

Man O Man Cap, you got that right... 2 years ago I spent 5k in upkeep. Tires and more... This year been great, just tinkering with little stuff. I've dragged the RV up to the snow almost every weekend this year and nothing big til last weekend when the main Gennie died.. Fuel filter I think. But Caps right....$$$ 8) 8) 8)
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg

paradox
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One step closer

Post by paradox » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:42 am

I'm getting there slowly but surely. Found some options of renting RV's off the owners and not through agencies - much cheaper. Now it's about finding the cheapest one that'll allow his/her RV getting to the burn.
Three main issues remain a mystery to me:
Mileage - according to a site that calculates the distance between any two cities tells me its about 280 miles SF-Gerlach, but one of the RV owners says it's 1000 miles round trip.
Insurance - I'm just ignorant about this whole thing. Can anybody lend their experience on this subject?
Water and Gasoline - I remember the 1 gallon per day (per person) as the rule of thumb. Is this true also considering showers and a sink? And how much gas should I count on needing (AC and all included).
Last year our neighbouring camp had to make a trip to Gerlach after a few days in order to get more water and I'd hate to leave the playa for even one hour.
Dealing with this just makes me smile. I miss home...

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:34 am

It's best to arrange your own insurance, if possible.

Gas consumption will vary from one to another and depend on condition also.

A mister or garden sprayer can be very efficient in water use compared to a shower head.
Experiment at home and see how far you can take that.

It's possible to clean up with a quart without washing your hair using a mister.

As you know, you will soon be covered with a nice layer of dust anyway.
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
-girl by the fire, watching a tree moved by car bumper in the bonfire

It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

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ibdave
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Post by ibdave » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:25 am

Here is a fuel cost calculator.. You just enter the miles to be driven and the cost of the fuel, the MPG and you'll have a good idea of $$$..
http://koa.com/fuelcalculator/

Have you used Mapquest.com for you trip planner ???
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg

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Dr. Pyro
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Post by Dr. Pyro » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:41 am

My 2 cents on showers in RVs. We bring a large double-slideout RV every year and never shower in the RV itself. Even though now Barbie Death Camp has a large shower with electric pump, back in the day I used one of those bags that heat up in the sun and showered outside. We used a pallet to keep us off the playa. It worked OK. I bring it up because one year one of our newbies decided that showering outside "...just wasn't for him..." and used the inside shower. We ran out of water by Thursday. Bring extra water to wash with (those 2 1/2 gallon "suitcases" work great with the solar system) so you don't run out. Trust me on this one.

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oneeyeddick
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Post by oneeyeddick » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:47 pm

If you buy an RV or trailor with a shower in it, adapt the shower head into a dish sprayer from a sink.
This kinda leaves you no choice but to "military shower".
Also, don't use the hot water when showering and you will be surprised how little water will get used.(brrrr...)
We still had water in our tank after being on Playa 11 days and showering almost every day.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:40 pm

I don't see why people bring an RV to the playa and then don't use the best part of it, the shower! I found a surplus outfit that sells 30-gallon containers that are much easier to handle than 55-gallon drums. I bring three, and a fourth extra empty one. The empty is for waste water... and each container of fresh water that gets pumped into the RV tank becomes the next waste dump can.
I thread garden-hose fittings into the container caps, and pump the fresh water in with an electric pump. The grey water gets bailed from the RV to the waste cans with a 5-gallon bucket.
The First Mate and I are set for showers every day, including washing her very long hair.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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BitterDan
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Post by BitterDan » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:17 pm

I refuse to bring an RV. I guess I am a purist. I prefer to be miserable as it somehow adds to my experience. I can be pampered and clean the rest of the year.
Camp FuckIt + MT - 7:15 & D (maybe)

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MikeVDS
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Post by MikeVDS » Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:30 pm

This year I'm bringing my RV, but that is because I'm bringing my little girl and refuse to make her miserable.
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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:13 pm

So, I get absolutely no sense that there will be a reduction in RVs due to rising gas prices.
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oneeyeddick
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Post by oneeyeddick » Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:01 pm

I filled both tanks on the RV and all of my extra gas cans last week.
$280.....it hopefully will have saved me some money come august.

I hear ya , Goddammit, but wasting water is still a waste.
I don't have room for multiple barrels of water in the RV with all of the other gear and krap.
Try installing a dish sprayer,(or not)..you could carry half the water that you regularly do and it makes rinsing hair a lot easier.

At home I also use the pressuse at about half it's capacity in my regular shower.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:34 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:So, I get absolutely no sense that there will be a reduction in RVs due to rising gas prices.
That is correct! They could double the gas price and I'd still drive my truck/camper or my motorhome. It's Burning Man, it takes trucks and trailers to get all that stuff out there. And if I'm gonna bring a truck and trailer I'm already gonna get shitty mileage, so what's the difference?

Oh, and about the extra water barrels: I carry those on the trailer.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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oneeyeddick
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Post by oneeyeddick » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:35 pm

I should buy a trailor, right now the artcar is a "tow" with a bumper hitch.

Meh...that wouldn't solve anything.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:59 am

oneeyeddick wrote:I should buy a trailor, right now the artcar is a "tow" with a bumper hitch.

Meh...that wouldn't solve anything.
oneeyeddick wrote:I don't have room for multiple barrels of water in the RV with all of the other gear and krap.

Trailers are great!
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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oneeyeddick
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Post by oneeyeddick » Sat Mar 29, 2008 8:14 am

I agree.... it would give me room to haul more stuff but the artcar is a 79' toyota truck with four 100# propane tanks
standing upright in the bed sticking up through a big hole cut in the topper.
It would be kinda top-heavy and taking the tanks out and then loading them in when I get there would be extremely difficult.
But dammit, Goddammit, you got me thinking, this might be workable and having the trailor would be a big plus in the future.(moving soon)
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:38 am

There are high end kits that allow you to use the brakes on a towed car or truck, if you haven't seen them.
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
-girl by the fire, watching a tree moved by car bumper in the bonfire

It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

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motskyroonmatick
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Post by motskyroonmatick » Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:11 am

oneeyeddick wrote:I agree.... it would give me room to haul more stuff but the artcar is a 79' toyota truck with four 100# propane tanks
standing upright in the bed sticking up through a big hole cut in the topper.
It would be kinda top-heavy and taking the tanks out and then loading them in when I get there would be extremely difficult.
But dammit, Goddammit, you got me thinking, this might be workable and having the trailor would be a big plus in the future.(moving soon)
I think it would be workable. The wider width of a "car" trailer would off set the stability issues brought in to play by raising the pickup off of the ground level. Things would get even better if the suspension on the toyota were stabilized so that truck suspension did not "work" when going around corners or over bumps and dips. How to best stabilize the suspension is something I don't know.
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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:12 am

oneeyeddick wrote: the artcar is a 79' toyota truck with four 100# propane tanks
standing upright in the bed sticking up through a big hole cut in the topper.
It would be kinda top-heavy
No worries! Just chain your truck down to the trailer, which has a much wider track and is probably more stable than the Toyota is.
And you'll have trailer brakes too.
I carry the 5000-pound, top-heavy Land Yacht plus water, fuel, and lots of BM stuff with zero issues.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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Xtevan
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Post by Xtevan » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:21 am

My best friend has a class C RV we frequently take to music festivals, It would be difficult to keep it from being destroyed by playa dust.

I looked at my options and ended up buying a flat front Bluebird school bus that was set up for highway use(4.30 rear end, under body lockers, roof rack). I get about 12mpg cruising at 55, 8mpg at close to 70mph for a 17,000lb vehicle. I like the idea of parking the front wheels up on a curb and hosing it out after Burning Man. So basicly, I bought Bluebirds Class A RV mechanicals without the interior or fancy trim or $250K price tag. Skoolie.net was a great resource there are a few resident Burners over there.

I could have bought a smaller used RV for a bit more, but since the bus was recently released from a school district where maintenance is done to federally mandated standards, I known maintenance was more likely to have been performed than would be by a typical rv owner,

Xtevan

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Post by mdmf007 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:14 pm

Old busses are still very solid rigs. Some great buys out there.

I am looking but cant find anything out this way - yet.

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Intubater69
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Post by Intubater69 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:50 am

Hey Dan, do u have ur plane tix yet? if not consider flying into someplace a little further away, u might have better luck renting a rv. course ya gotta factor a little more travel time.

say hi to dog 4 me
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