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Old 24-10-2008, 21:37   #1
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cruising vs RV ing

Has anyone done both? experiences? cost comparisons?

The family wants to take 1 yr and cruise around the Bahamas and Caribbean or RV the US and Mexico. I know its apples and oranges, but I'm starting to lean towards RVing this trip, due to lower gas prices, the kid being 1 yrs old (safer) and less systems to learn and deal with. But I have a few years of sailing and motoring experience around the Gulf Coast


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Old 25-10-2008, 00:35   #2
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You are going to ask a bunch of sailors if it is better to sail or RV for a year?

You must be a glutton for punishment - LOL.

Oh. My vote - Go sailing.

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Old 25-10-2008, 01:21   #3
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We hippied our way across Morocco in our early 20's in a VW camper van, and again when the kids were small we bought a RV and in it covered lots of europe.
Certainly to see more than just coastline, I think it is a great way to explore the USA.
Why not do both?
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Old 25-10-2008, 01:42   #4
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Definitely RV’ing as it is so much better organized… don’t have to think for yourself!
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Old 25-10-2008, 02:03   #5
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Me father does both, albeit now more RV (Motorhome) than boat - but that is due to circumstances and a bit of age (74). ok he has had a motorboat for the last 10 years or so (and never a blue water cruiser) - but spent large chunks of the year abroad on boats.

Motorhome is far better for going up mountains and extended his cruising area inland somewhat. Sometimes he would run them together.

Like everything, their are plusses and minuses. Big plus is an easier ability to travel around a country / continent, rather than being limited to the coast (now matter how nice). Downside? Not so good for island hopping.

If I was sailing to Europe for the first time for an extended period I would certainly consider buying a campervan (whether a US style RV or VW combi) and running around Inland Europe - but each to their own.......
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Old 25-10-2008, 07:20   #6
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I like them both. When my cruising days come to a close I promised my wife to become a CROW, Cruiser Retired On Wheels.
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Old 25-10-2008, 08:57   #7
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cruising vs RV ing

My plan is to take 1 yr off and travel starting in Feb. 08. My real worries are that my sailing/cruising skills are not at a comfortable place at this moment, especially with a 1 yr old. I would be worrying too much.

Other factors are $$ and time. I think RV ing works out cheaper and I could buy an RV and ready it in 1-2 months time for the trip. Can't do that with a boat

But the cruising dream will come. I'm only 41
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Old 25-10-2008, 09:27   #8
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We've done and enjoy both. We cruised the west coast of Mexico. We've been back for about 8 years and currently have a house and an RV. We're leaving in a few weeks to go to Mexico for about 6 months. We hope to buy a boat next year and return to cruising.

You really are comparing apples and oranges. Do you already have an RV or boat? Cost factors vary widely in both arenas. Consider exactly what kind of traveling do you want to do, what is it you really want to experience along the way? If you are really looking for cultural experiences, learning a new language, etc. I'd say go RVing. If you are wanting nature, being on the water, "getting-back-to-nature" kind of adventure, go boating.

If we could go back to when our kids were young, we'd take them cruising. The families we met cruising were having such great experiences! We have friends who have lived aboard most of their adult lives, and raised a child aboard. What life experiences they've given their daughter! Now at 16 she is quite the sailor! Sailing itself, the lessons we all learn from it, makes it worth the boating choice. What does one learn by driving down the road?

I noticed you posted while I was writing this. Sounds like RVing is best for THIS time. Maybeyou can go cruising when your child is elementary school aged! I think that is the perfect time!

Have fun!
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Old 25-10-2008, 10:17   #9

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Back in my camper days I met someone towing a 28' sailboat behind his truck that used it for a camper when he wasnt in the water.
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Old 27-10-2008, 07:58   #10
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RV and Boat

You need both and here is why.
  • If you lose your boat from mishap, you will need a harbor of refuge.
  • If you are injured or face illness with long recuperation, you will need a harbor or refuge.
  • If things--for any reason--do not work out, you will need a harbor of refuge.
Lin and Larry Pardey emphasize this. You must have a place to come back to. To rest, recuperate, take care of business.

Get the RV first, if this is all you plan on coming back to. In todays market, you can get some killer deals on late model RVs. The RV market is taking a licking and it's a buyers market through and through. It will improve as the recession deepens.

I currently live alone in a small apartment. I'm looking to buy in a few months. With the money I've saved, I can get a late model RV in excellent shape and a small sailing vessel. I have very few wants or needs. Wind, sun and a good book and I'm set.

I believe it's a big mistake to sell everything and sail away. This is especially important as you get older. Think of your land base as you do your ground tackle. Small but great insurance.

Best - J
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Old 27-10-2008, 08:02   #11
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RV's are way too much work. Often when I'm on watch in the wee hours of the morning (on the sailboat) I'll close my eyes for a few minutes. Really dangerous to do this while driving the RV.
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Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 27-10-2008, 11:09   #12
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I've done, and enjoyed, both, but as others have stated, it isn't an easy comparison.

Pat and Ali Schulte ( ) sailed their 35' Wildcat around the world from October 2003 to April 2007. They followed that up by participating in the Great American Road Race in his parents' 1965 Porsche, then bought a 1958 VW van to "land cruise."

They've driven it more than 35,000 miles since they began little more than a year ago, having toured the western US, Canada, Alaska and Mexico (they're there for the second time, at the moment). Their loose plan is to keep heading south, perhaps as far as Cape Horn, then have the VW shipped to South Africa and start heading north.

A visit to their website will give you a lot of information to help you decide between the two lifestyles. Good luck to you in whatever adventures you create.

"Your vision becomes clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks within, awakens."
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Old 27-10-2008, 15:27   #13
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LOL, You can do both with a Norsea 27 and a trailer, so long as your family isn't too big.
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Old 27-10-2008, 16:13   #14
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Here ya go...
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Old 27-10-2008, 17:57   #15
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We love both RVing and Cruising. We own a catamaran as well as a Class A Dolphin RV that we call our Land Yacht. They're both awesome. Slide outs on an RV is like having a catamaran with all the extra space. I can honestly say that RVing is much easier and you cover a lot more area in a shorter amount of time. You can make spur of the moment decisions to get the heck out of town for a few days without too much preparation. And you can get back home a lot quicker if need be. We recently decided to put our cat up for sale Surf NRG and stick with RVing for now since our parents are getting older and we need to stay more local. With RVing we can get home quick in case emergencies arise with them. Actually we'lll be putting the RV up for sale soon too since it's my final year of a 5 year depreciation (business write-off). PM if interested in a nice 2003 Class A with dble slides, corian counters, etc. and one year extended warranty.

I agree that RVing and Cruising are like comparing apples to oranges but they're are both great lifestyles. If I had a choice today and had no obligations I'd probably go cruising especially since I'm still young enough to do all the physical stuff required for sailing. I surely wouldn't wanna try driving that RV across the Gulfstream to do some island hopping though..,
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