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View Full Version : Worth purchasing an RV?


H_Bruemmer
12-26-2008, 01:08 PM
Hello Everyone!
We are experienced Disney goers, having stayed at all but 3 of the resorts (Poly, AK, Old Key West) and usually I find some way to take advantage of a special promo or something to make it work financially.

However, the family keeps growing (we're up to seven now) and so each time the trip gets more expensive, especially since our kids are getting bigger. The three oldest are only a year apart so that means one who becomes an "adult" this year, one next year, and one the year after that. The tickets alone will kill us, but we hate the thought of giving up our yearly trip. We have stayed at FW in the cabins with the kids. For our upcoming trip (in June) we have reserved a preferred site and intend to tent camp. Having never camped with all five kids I am a little nervous. My concerns are specifically:

1 - How hard will it be to cope with the inevitable rain?
and
2 - How hot and uncomfortable will it be at night?

We have the opportunity to buy a used pop up pretty reasonably, which would give us AC, but it will be taking a chunk out of this year's already diminished budget. We also have to get a towing package installed on the minivan (we have been assured it can pull the pop up in question) which is even more $$$.

I would appreciate any thoughts or tips from experienced tent campers on whether this would be worthwhile. We have a large four room family tent with a gear loft and front awning, plenty of folding chairs, air mattresses, lanterns, etc. already, but have never used them in bad weather or more than an hour or two from home. Thanks!

djblu883
12-26-2008, 02:01 PM
A pop up won't meet your needs with a family that big I'm afraid. Tenting it is doable with good planning but it is HOT That time of year!! You can add an a/c to your tent and there are threads about that here and pics as well( if you take the time to look) and I highly advise that! it can make years of wonderful memories...just be sure you treat your tent(s) with a good water repellant and seam sealer . also save up your change for ice and laundry....buy 5 day coolers for your things that need to stay cool...or even think of buying a mini fridge...it will def. pay for itself!!! a crockpot is a wonderful tool as well as a gas grill for quick meals and easy clean up( with crockpot liners)....good luck ! Have a magical vacation!!!!!

BradyBz12
12-26-2008, 02:23 PM
If you stick with the tents, one thing you might want to consider is setting up a big EZ-ups (or a few smaller ones) that you can park your tents, picnic table and generally all your stuff under, as an extra layer of protection from the rain and to give you the ability to hang out outside of your tents, make meals, or just get outside in general when the weather is bad.

I've seen setups where people had their tents and essentially an entire kitchen setup under their EZ-ups - completely with stove, small fridge, full kitchen setup (on a 6' folding table) - plus chairs, TV, etc.

Just be sure to stake/tie them down well in case the wind comes up.

Whatever you decide - good luck and have a wonderful trip!

chilipyro
12-26-2008, 02:41 PM
We are a family of six, and were introduced to the world of RVing last year. We love it, and are very happy that we made the move (from tenting). For us, tenting was a means of camping - which is a style of vacationing that we love. But, tenting is a poor alternative to staying in hotels, if you are vacationing in a resort area (IMHO). Moving to an RV has opened up many vacation opportunities to us that had become unaffordable as the family grew.

We did start with a pop-up - a new one, that was towable by our minivan. It was comfortable enough for the six of us, and could have held seven (if two of the four kids were small). But, the space inside became exclusively sleeping areas with a crowd that large. We decided pretty quickly that our desire to vacation for longer periods of time would require a larger RV. So, within three months of the time that we purchased our pop-up, we moved up to a 27' hybrid travel trailer with quad bunks in the back. We had to buy a new tow vehicle to haul it as well. I think we could have been happier in the pup for longer, if we did not have the financial ability to upgrade at the time, but I also know that we would have saved ourselves a bundle if we had skipped the pup and gone with the larger RV in the first place.

Air conditioning was very effective in the pup. A bit loud, but plenty cool. I doubt that you will find the cooking space usable with your large family, so I would recommend a disney meal plan for your trip. You also might want to bring a small tent, in case any of the older kids want their own space.

Born 2 Fish
12-26-2008, 03:07 PM
This is just my opinion.
When you decide to buy a camper,(of any type) the very most important thing that you need to have is a vehicle that will properly tow the camper and any added weight thats brought along with, or in the camper, such as linens, pots'n pans, clothing, food, etc.,(all the stuff you'll need to camp).

Your vehicle manufacturer will tell you what your tow weight capacity is,,
it is generally recommended to only tow 70-80 percent of that weight.
And that weight would include camper, all the camping supplies, people, etc.

If you do not have a proper tow vehicle, it can be dangerous to all in the vehicle, other vehicles around you,,and if the vehicle is not strong enough to tow the camper, it will ruin the vehicle.

Cindy F
12-26-2008, 05:47 PM
Sorry to everyone who has to read my story again ~grin~

H_Bruemmer
12-27-2008, 05:04 PM
Thank you so much, there was so much helpful info in all of your posts!:thumbsup2

torquelover
12-28-2008, 02:01 AM
We have the opportunity to buy a used pop up pretty reasonably, which would give us AC, but it will be taking a chunk out of this year's already diminished budget. We also have to get a towing package installed on the minivan (we have been assured it can pull the pop up in question) which is even more $$$.


What kind of minivan is it? If you're towing with a full passenger and cargo load, you'll want to install an auxiliary transmission cooler.

We have gone on a few RV trips and our DD toddlers absolutely loved it. It was a little stressful the first few times for Mom and Dad in comparison to staying in resorts/hotels, but the good memories were worth it. As for purchasing an RV, it is good to start small. We have a Class C RV and usually take at least one long trip (7+ days/2-3k miles) in it per year.

2goofycampers
12-28-2008, 08:43 AM
What kind of minivan is it? If you're towing with a full passenger and cargo load, you'll want to install an auxiliary transmission cooler.

We have gone on a few RV trips and our DD toddlers absolutely loved it. It was a little stressful the first few times for Mom and Dad in comparison to staying in resorts/hotels, but the good memories were worth it. As for purchasing an RV, it is good to start small. We have a Class C RV and usually take at least one long trip (7+ days/2-3k miles) in it per year.

:welcome: :disrocks:

Familyofsix
12-28-2008, 09:22 AM
We have done both and each have their advantages to us. We own numerous tents and a hybrid travel trailer that the entire crew can fit in. The key to tent camping is staying dry so being prepared is the key. It is definately the least expensive way to go.
We tow the trailer with a 1 ton Chevy 12 pass van but could easily tow with a small pick up or sport ute but cant fit everybody in one of those. i wouldn't advise a pop up of t.t. unless you really plan to use it often just do to the cost and upkeep. We have ours out an average of 5 weeks a year and it beats paying those high hotel bills.

njcamper95
12-28-2008, 10:35 AM
One more thing to consider if you were to buy a rv (popup,tt,5er,class a,b or c )which ever you should be able to write off the interest on your taxes if you have the essentials (bath,sink,tiolet,heat,sleeping)it can be considered a second home you would have to check with your area but have heard of people doing this
We started out as tenters then went to a cheaper TT after a few years traded that in and upgraded to a nicer TT hopefully some day we will upgrade to a Class A motorhome
Disney can be a wonderfull camping place but don't forget you can do weekend or long weekend trips to lots of places so you can use it for more then just a disney trip in my opinion i wouldn't get a rv just for disney we have used ours for trips to disney and many places from mrytle beach to upstate NYand out to PA good luck and have a magical trip to FW

rbork
01-04-2009, 08:02 PM
We tent camped once and then bought our pup! Sleeping off the ground in A/C beats tenting hands down IMO. We bought back in 2001 and paid for the pup after the first camping season including a trip to Disney FW. Back then - we saved 1800$ by camping instead on staying in a nice onsite hotel. We are going again this year and saving even more $$$$ by camping. I don't mind the camping aspect and I'll even say the bathhouses are awesome at FW. Our pup was an initial investment but we still use that 2001 pup and it looks brand new as we keep in stowed in the gargage. DH has to park outside:rotfl: It has been a nice way to travel w/o breaking the bank. This trip -I'm even bringing the 1200 thread count sheets and duvet ;) Do the values offer that?
I'm thinking the heat and rain would be tough in a tent but doable no doubt.
Good Luck and Do whats right for you.