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Old 02-07-2018, 08:39 PM   #1
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2018 16' Sport
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For those who have had a TT and a MH, can I ask your advice?

So, I am still rig-less, and now on my 3rd generation of researching how to get on the road in a way that I feel I can handle (both driving as well as maintenance).

I started looking at TT's... thought about it, almost bought one but had trouble finding insurance for it Massachusetts. The season ran out and I put it aside. I didn't have an appropriate tow vehicle and there seemed to be many obstacles standing between me and moving forward.

When I came back around to it, I thought perhaps a Class B MH would make it easier to get on the road, no hitching and unhitching, easier to maneuver, etc. I have visited RV shows, and test driven both a Promaster 2500 chassis RV (the Hymer Aktiv 1.0) as well as the MB Sprinter (2018 Airstream Interstate). I far preferred the AI. I felt more secure on the road and wasn't getting pushed around as much by 18 wheelers.

As I have continued my research, I am learning that diesel engines for all of their benefits, might also have some detractions especially for someone who is not mechanically inclined. Came to the conclusion that if I were to go for the Interstate it should be a new one or at least new enough to be under warranty. I live in a cold weather climate and wonder about battery maintenance, etc. -- I've been spending quite a bit of time on the Class B Forum and read a thread recently about the Bluetec Diesel engines that put chills up my spine and left me more confused than ever about how to get on the road.

Given the cost of a new Interstate and the fact that I really did not want to be in that price range (started out looking at an Airstream 22 Sport and renting a TV when needed, finished up at more than double the price for a new AI), I started thinking again about the TT.

I love the layout of the Sport 22. It works better sleeping wise for the people in my family (although I can make the AI work). I have a daughter about to get her driver's license so if I were to get the TT and buy a legitimate TV, there is some benefit to putting the money into a TT/TV combo vs. a MH. I can't really see driving the MH around as a primary vehicle if she were to take over my car.

So that is the scenario.. To the degree you can help me, here are my questions:

** If I get a really optimal TV with integrated brake controllers, sway bars, etc. - every feature I can to make it easier to drive on the highway (passing 18 wheelers, windy conditions etc). which is less "white knuckly"? the interstate? or the Sport 22 on the back of a pickup truck (which is where I am leaning for a TV).

** Which is easier to winterize / maintain over the winter with limited expected use? (kids are in school so taking off isn't that easy when school is in session and thus the MH/TT will be parked)

** I do not have a garage at all (never mind one tall enough to store a TT or MH). Which will withstand the elements of a harsh winter better? I am thinking there is a bit of an advantage of being able to find indoor storage for a TT whereas the MH will need to be started on a regular basis and driven thus would need to keep it in my driveway.

** If I go the TT route, do you think a V6 engine is adequate for the Sport 22, or do I need a V8? I'd prefer one of the more compact pickup trucks as I live in a town with narrow roads and tight parking getting in and out of the grocery store etc. Would prefer the smallest pick up truck that has the features I'd like (those mentioned above - essentially a vehicle with axle, frame, features for optimized towing). Thinking something along the lines of a Toyota Tacoma or GMC Canyon (or the like).

** If I go the TV/TT route, I'm in it for a far reduced overall price than the MH route and honestly this is a factor but mostly, I got super nervous about being able to maintain and manage (as a single working mom) the needs of a MH, diesel or not, but the diesel definitely seemed like a bit more than I'd likely be able to handle and just too bad that it was what felt more comfortable on the highway to me.

I've cross posted in the Sprinter section as well. Thank you in advance for any advice of WYWD in my shoes.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:02 PM   #2
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Yep, decisions, decisions... There are no easy answers. Just gather the facts and hopefully the decision will become obvious.

We have both a TT and an Interstate MH so I think we can provide some insight on both.

It sounds like it's you and your daughter so maybe twin beds in either RV would make sense. That way both of you have a comfortable place to sleep and neither of you has to sleep with the other person or crawl over the other to get to the bed.

Also consider buying a used TT or MH. You will spend less money initially, pay less insurance and generally avoid the infant mortality problems that sometimes come up on new RVs. Used RVs may be outside the warranty period but that's not a problem if you have a qualified, trustworthy RV tech (or perhaps you're handy with such things).

Now to your questions:

In some ways our trailer tows better - that is less affected by wind - than our MH. I sometimes joke that the Interstate should not be considered an AIRstream because it doesn't seem to stream through the air at all. Wind from nature and from passing trucks is much more noticeable in the MH.

Winterizing the TT or the RV portion of the MH is very similar. As I said, we have both and there are only minor differences. However, the MH may need additional Sprinter items winterized if you don't drive it for extended periods. On the other hand, the MH is so easy to take out for the weekend, even if for a day-trip, maybe you consider using it periodically during the winter.

Indoor storage is nice but covered storage is okay too. The TT or MH can develop water leaks to some sort of protection over the top is helpful. Keeps some sun off the rig too.

Many V-6s have plenty of power. I'm not an expert on small trucks but you may find you can tow a TT with a conventional passenger vehicle. Lots of people tow with vehicles like VW Toureg, other small/medium SUVs and the like.

I mentioned buying a used MH. We bought a 2010 Interstate and it doesn't utilize DEF so we hope to avoid most of the emissions/sensor problems that some of the newer Sprinters have experienced.

Take some time to find RV rallies in your area. Continue looking and the answer will present itself. Best Wishes.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:28 PM   #3
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2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Coldwater , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2017
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I think the most important factor to consider at this point is how do you plan to use the rig? Long epic trips where you travel and then stay put for a week or two or more and explore the area? A travel trailer most likely be most convenient. Every time you go anywhere you have to pack up and stow anything you’ve got out.
Or do you like to move move move and stop at any roadside attraction that takes your fancy and then move on again? The MH might be more convenient for this. We sometimes wish we had a van conversion as tow vehicle - use the TT as a basecamp and then explore with the van - sometimes we are a long way from ‘Home’ and would like to just camp where we ended up but have to drive back to the trailer.
Also, go sit in each of these rigs for several hours with your traveling companions. Play cards, pretend to make dinner or coffee. One may feel much more like home to you than the other.
As for V6 - no problem with the sport 22. Goodness, a well hitched and athletic 4 banger can handle it, as long as you don’t have expectations of winning races up hills. We have nearly 10k towing our 27FB with our Honda Ridgeline this winter, from Ontario to Arizona. Tows and handles like a dream when hooked, drives and parks like a car unhooked.
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:20 AM   #4
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Mount Dora , Florida
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Here’s something to consider;
If you buy a small truck like a Tacoma or Canyon to pull your small 22 foot trailer, all is well, assuming those trucks have the capacity, etc.
You’ll have fun and enjoy your adventures, so much so that you will want a bigger trailer because maybe this one is just a little too cramped.
Then you’ll need a bigger truck.
I recommend you get a full size pickup with more towing capacity than you think you’ll need. It will handle the small trailer with ease, and it will be ready if you decide to upgrade in the future.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:18 AM   #5
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Schoharie , Unknown
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If money is a concern, stay away from mohos, especially class "b"s as they are way overpriced for what you get. There is some advantage to a class b due to their size for parking, but most are still pretty good size for your average mall parking spot. In our experience, mohos can become "money pits" especially if they sit. A used moho is a "roll of the dice". We think you would do well with a 2-3 year old TT. Take the price difference from the same model new and put that money in bank for repairs and you will probably be farther ahead than paying the new TT price w/ factory warranty. Insofar as a TV, we would buy a new gas model, again unless your full-timing, you will be farther ahead in the long run money-wise. We pull a 7.5k lb TT (loaded) with an F-250 gas, it's not a daily driver and would most likely have an F-150 if it was for better fuel economy. Hope this helps, good luck and travel safe!!
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:50 AM   #6
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I’m the current owner of a 23CB trailer and former owner of an Interstate. Pretty much agree with all that’s been said.

Never had any issues with our diesel Interstate, so not sure what all the worrying is about regarding that. Only had a problem getting it to pass smog testing!

Otherwise, I’d say, get the one that fits the type of traveling you want to do. AND the one that you can best manage as a single person doing all the work (hitching up, etc).
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Old 02-08-2018, 10:09 AM   #7
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2018 30' International
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Great topic!
As someone has already said, what kind of use are you planning? Also, will a tow vehicle be your daily driver?
We had a Roadtrek class B and I can say it was fabulous! BUT! It was my daily driver too. And here’s my point in motorhomes. Nothing is worse for a machine than sitting. I’m a retired pilot. 20 years in helicopters and another 20 or so at an airline. I’ve also always been into cars, motorcycles, boats etc.... the longer any of those sat, the worse the next usage would be.

From your post, it sounds like you will be an occasional user and probably lay up over the winter. Are you willing to go out a couple times a week and drive a class B. Get it all warmed up? If not, we’ll, get ready to fix stuff =$$$

Now on to a trailer. Btw, we just ordered our first AS! So excited! Have had other trailers but it’s time for an Airstream.

Again, will your tow vehicle be your daily driver? Because that really helps in the decision.
What kind of truck? In my career, I never once said, “Gee, I have too much power”
As another has stated above... if you match a smaller truck to a smaller trailer, any upgrade in trailer in the future will require an upgrade in both. $$$$$$$

My daily driver now is a Ram 3500 Dually. Overkill? Perhaps.... but again, it’s never been a problem having too much capability.

Another thing is this... if you don’t tow a vehicle with your motor home, you have to break camp any time you’d like to go check stuff out. With a trailer, we’ll....

Size? Get the biggest you can comfortably afford. There’s a thing in the boating world called “two-foot-itis” you bought a 30 footer and in a year you really want that 32! $$$$$$$. Same thing happens all the time with RV’s.

In the end, this is supposed to be a “Recreational” vehicle.
Get what will give you the most pleasure and enjoy.
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:04 PM   #8
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IMO.....you do not want a DEF diesel!!!! Neighbor had one for 1 year (Cummins) and spent $6000 on it and it was BRAND NEW. When the sensor comes on, supposedly you must seek repair within very few miles. Needless to say, while traveling, there are many times you are many miles from any services such as that.

We struggles with the same decision on TT vs MH. Two things finalized our decision. More money for insurance with a vehicle containing a motor AND when staying for anything more than a weekend, you might need to run to the store for something, which is a pain if you are connected to water, electricity, or sewer. Plus, you would have to go through the hassle of re-leveling the unit upon your return. We did not want to pull a vehicle behind a MH because, for us, it would have required purchasing one for that purpose.

Just a little more perspective to help you make a decision.

Patty
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:33 PM   #9
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Schoharie , Unknown
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While I said earlier that we tow with an F-250, the conversation van as a TV sounds like a good choice. I would recommend staying in the 3/4 ton series (E-250/2500, etc.) or higher for towing capacity. That might give you the best of both words insofar as long/short trips. I would look for a lower mileage CV as they usually aren't abused like used trucks may be... We have had several TTs, Mohos and a slide-on camper, the AS TT has performed the best of all. Both in high winds and in truck traffic due to its shape, low profile and having a decent weight distribution hitch (reese dual cam) and anti-sway (friction). Do lots of research before spending your $$. Once again good luck!!
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Old 02-08-2018, 02:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverie room View Post
** If I get a really optimal TV with integrated brake controllers, sway bars, etc. - every feature I can to make it easier to drive on the highway (passing 18 wheelers, windy conditions etc). which is less "white knuckly"? the interstate? or the Sport 22 on the back of a pickup truck (which is where I am leaning for a TV).
We've had a number of RVs, including a small Class C, a 'home made' Class B, a 10 ft SOB TT, and currently a 30' AS Classic. By far, the steadiest on the road is our AS. We have a Hensley hitch on it, which completely eliminates any sway from trucks passing us. In strong wind, the entire rig (TV + AS) move as one, without any 'bend' at the hitch, which is far safer than a setup that flexes at the hitch point. Our Class B and Class C RVs were both like large sails - they were tall enough that they were strongly affected by wind. By staying lower to the ground there's less cross section for the wind to act on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by reverie room View Post
** Which is easier to winterize / maintain over the winter with limited expected use? (kids are in school so taking off isn't that easy when school is in session and thus the MH/TT will be parked)
They're about the same, as others have said. Our 'home made' Class B used a water jug and manual pump for water, and a porta potti for, well, you know, so winterizing was a snap. But that's different than an Interstate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverie room View Post
** I do not have a garage at all (never mind one tall enough to store a TT or MH). Which will withstand the elements of a harsh winter better? I am thinking there is a bit of an advantage of being able to find indoor storage for a TT whereas the MH will need to be started on a regular basis and driven thus would need to keep it in my driveway.
Agree that its probably easier to store a TT indoors than a Class B, especially if you need to run the engine on the MH periodically while stored. Indoor/covered storage will help protect your investment, so probably worthwhile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverie room View Post
** If I go the TT route, do you think a V6 engine is adequate for the Sport 22, or do I need a V8? I'd prefer one of the more compact pickup trucks as I live in a town with narrow roads and tight parking getting in and out of the grocery store etc. Would prefer the smallest pick up truck that has the features I'd like (those mentioned above - essentially a vehicle with axle, frame, features for optimized towing). Thinking something along the lines of a Toyota Tacoma or GMC Canyon (or the like).
I'm sure others will be quick to jump on me for this, but have you considered something other than a pickup for towing? It sounds like you're not looking at full timing - more like shorter trips for vacations, weekends, etc. We pull our 30' Classic with a Dodge Grand Caravan. It has a 3.6L V6 which is more than adequate to pull the trailer for us. We've been to the Maritimes, as well as upstate New York, and lots of trips around Ontario - roughly 15,000 kms (~10,000 miles) since we bought the trailer two years ago, without any issues at all. We had Can Am do the hitch work to beef things up (they've been doing this for decades now on all sorts of TVs).

There are a couple reasons why a van makes sense for us:
  • The van is our daily driver, and gets much better mileage than most pickups.
  • It has seating for 6, stow-away seats so we can use it for hauling 'stuff' when we need to, like camping, or getting groceries, lumber, etc.
  • Vans are cheap compared with pickups. We can probably replace our van a couple times for the cost of a new pickup, so even if we kill it over the next 3 or 4 years, the replacement cost is manageable (we buy our vehicles used, typically 2-3 years old, with low mileage and lots of warrantee left to save cost).
  • We can use the van for 'exploring' when we're out. We use an air mattress, and blankets, and can make the back quite comfortable if we need a place to crash if we can't make it back to the trailer.
I'm not saying a van makes sense for you, but I'm pointing it out in case it does. Also, we're happy with our Grand Caravan, but I know others who tow similar trailers with Honda Odysseys, Toyota Sienna's etc. I think they can all be good tow vehicles in the right circumstances.

Good luck with your decision - I don't think you can make a bad choice either way!
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:00 PM   #11
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2017 27' International
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"Size? Get the biggest you can comfortably afford."

I'm going to offer the opposite advice: get the smallest rig you're comfortable traveling in. It will be easier and less stressful to drive/tow, will fit in more campsites, won't require as large a tow vehicle, won't be as big an investment in a lifestyle that you may not be sure about until you've tried it, is likely to be less complex and hence less costly to maintain... and because it's less expensive up front, a smaller rig will leave you with extra cash to spend on your travels, and a reserve fund for possible repairs and improvements (if it's a used rig).
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:21 PM   #12
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2018 16' Sport
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oh boy, had the longest day ever and finally getting a chance to read all you've shared. so thankful. will respond to each so I can process more fully. THANK YOU!
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:45 PM   #13
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2018 16' Sport
- , Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
We have both a TT and an Interstate MH so I think we can provide some insight on both..
this is most relevant experience!
.
Quote:
It sounds like it's you and your daughter so maybe twin beds in either RV would make sense. That way both of you have a comfortable place to sleep and neither of you has to sleep with the other person or crawl over the other to get to the bed.
.
probably would be more me and my son for the most part and hopefully my daughter on occasion - she is older and busy. he is 12 and would probably appreciate having a separate bed. Because my kids are growing and changing, what is good for me now may not be the case in 2 to 4 years from now. In six years from now, my scenario will likely be 100% different than it is now. So the buying decision is a bit complicated by my transitory situation but I have decided to do what works for now with the mind to make decisions that have good resale value in case a change is needed.
.
Quote:
Also consider buying a used TT or MH. You will spend less money initially, pay less insurance and generally avoid the infant mortality problems that sometimes come up on new RVs. Used RVs may be outside the warranty period but that's not a problem if you have a qualified, trustworthy RV tech (or perhaps you're handy with such things).
.
oh, most definitely would like to buy used, however, i feel more comfortable buying a used TT vs. a MH particularly since the MH's I like are quite expensive, truly an asset and as such similar criteria as if I were buying a second home.

.
Quote:
Now to your questions:

In some ways our trailer tows better - that is less affected by wind - than our MH. I sometimes joke that the Interstate should not be considered an AIRstream because it doesn't seem to stream through the air at all. Wind from nature and from passing trucks is much more noticeable in the MH.

Winterizing the TT or the RV portion of the MH is very similar. As I said, we have both and there are only minor differences. However, the MH may need additional Sprinter items winterized if you don't drive it for extended periods. On the other hand, the MH is so easy to take out for the weekend, even if for a day-trip, maybe you consider using it periodically during the winter.

Indoor storage is nice but covered storage is okay too. The TT or MH can develop water leaks to some sort of protection over the top is helpful. Keeps some sun off the rig too.

Many V-6s have plenty of power. I'm not an expert on small trucks but you may find you can tow a TT with a conventional passenger vehicle. Lots of people tow with vehicles like VW Toureg, other small/medium SUVs and the like.

I mentioned buying a used MH. We bought a 2010 Interstate and it doesn't utilize DEF so we hope to avoid most of the emissions/sensor problems that some of the newer Sprinters have experienced.

Take some time to find RV rallies in your area. Continue looking and the answer will present itself. Best Wishes.
thank you... i agree, that I think the answer will present itself. I think actually getting to try something vis a vis a rental will be most helpful but aside from that, I can continue to look into the options - pulling together the rental doesn't seem easy and would likely me another year past without making a decisions and buying a rig so practicality vs. expediency weighs on me. I love the AS Sport 22. Think it is a great layout for my purposes. I love also the AI Interstate Lounge. As for a TV, I have actively wanted a pickup truck for quite a while so would likely go in that direction but I am driven by practical decisions so if I found a reasonably priced low mileage great condition TV that was different than what I had my eye on, I am flexible enough to pivot toward the new direction.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:59 PM   #14
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2018 16' Sport
- , Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbandeddie View Post
I think the most important factor to consider at this point is how do you plan to use the rig? Long epic trips where you travel and then stay put for a week or two or more and explore the area? A travel trailer most likely be most convenient. Every time you go anywhere you have to pack up and stow anything you’ve got out.
Or do you like to move move move and stop at any roadside attraction that takes your fancy and then move on again? The MH might be more convenient for this. We sometimes wish we had a van conversion as tow vehicle - use the TT as a basecamp and then explore with the van - sometimes we are a long way from ‘Home’ and would like to just camp where we ended up but have to drive back to the trailer.
Also, go sit in each of these rigs for several hours with your traveling companions. Play cards, pretend to make dinner or coffee. One may feel much more like home to you than the other.
As for V6 - no problem with the sport 22. Goodness, a well hitched and athletic 4 banger can handle it, as long as you don’t have expectations of winning races up hills. We have nearly 10k towing our 27FB with our Honda Ridgeline this winter, from Ontario to Arizona. Tows and handles like a dream when hooked, drives and parks like a car unhooked.
hi bbandeddie, good question... I think i would be more of the quick trips, moving right along, seeing lots of sites (at least at this point in time). It is why I liked the idea of the MH, but the more I looked into it the more I felt the extra maintenance might be the tipping point of making it too onerous to be fun. Also, and importantly, felt that wind pushing and it was very disconcerting.

I love hearing that towing your TT is a dream. Music to my ears!
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