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  #1  
Old 02-24-2021, 05:39 PM
coopGT coopGT is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 10
Default Best RV for first build?

Good evening all! I am waiting for my training project to come in as I decide what is the best build for a first timer? I am 29 in the Charleston, WV area. I had my heart set on the 7A. However, after research Iíve became interested in the 12iS due to its short(er) build time. The 20 gallon fuel capacity is a set back. My main mission(other than quality time with my wife and sons) for the aircraft are cross countries to SC and FL. Any advice and/or mentorship is appreciated.

Happy Flying!
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2021, 05:43 PM
Auburntsts's Avatar
Auburntsts Auburntsts is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,946
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopGT View Post
Good evening all! I am waiting for my training project to come in as I decide what is the best build for a first timer? I am 29 in the Charleston, WV area. I had my heart set on the 7A. However, after research Iíve became interested in the 12iS due to its short(er) build time. The 20 gallon fuel capacity is a set back. My main mission(other than quality time with my wife and sons) for the aircraft are cross countries to SC and FL. Any advice and/or mentorship is appreciated.

Happy Flying!
IMO youíre looking at this wrong. Build the plane that meets your mission. They all get built basically the same way, just some are bigger and take more time. My first build was an RV-10.
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2021, 05:44 PM
fgwilliams fgwilliams is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Auburn, AL
Posts: 19
Default RV-14

First time builder myself.
Get the -14. It will be the best option. My kids love helping build. Plans are very thorough. Lots of resources available if you need help figuring something out.
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  #4  
Old 02-24-2021, 05:48 PM
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Mike S Mike S is online now
Senior Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 15,772
Default Welcome to VAF

Thurley, welcome aboard the good ship VAF

Cross country and wife+sons------>RV 10.

But, the 10 is a pretty expensive and demanding build.

For a two seater the 9 might be a good choice, great cross country bird.

Hands down the simplest is most likely the 14----but $$$ are almost up there with the 10.

Is aerobatics in the picture?? If so, the 9, 10 and 12 are out.
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2021, 07:00 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,285
Default

Just to echo the others....build because you like that kind of work (Vans sells/recommends starting with the tail kit, precisely so that those who decide building isn't for them don't lose too much money). From that point of view the time is almost irrelevant.
Yes, if you're serious about the "wife and boys" then your only choice is the -10.
Like Auburn, the -10 was my first and only build, although I did have some basic skills (riveting, torquing wrenches) from 25 years of 182 maintenance.
Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2021, 05:44 AM
fixnflyguy fixnflyguy is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posts: 1,354
Default Have you been in any RV?

Welcome to the wide world of RV's (the flying kind)! Have you flown in, or looked at any of the types? What are you currently flying? The build process is SIMILAR no matter what you build, so the mission plan of your typical flying may be the determining factor ($$$ eliminated from the decision). If you haven't flown in one, start your search by finding a demo ride in various types..RV folks are all generous people and most are willing to help put the RV grin on a Newbie. Building is a commitment that requires diligence, passion and a "don't look back" attitude, but brings great pride at the finish line. I started my build (RV-4) when my son was about 2, and flew it just before he turned 18, so life has to fit in there also. The newer kits are not like a -4, and can be built much faster with less work. If you can afford, go quickbuild, as you will still do plenty of building. Good luck with your choice, and listen to the posters on here..there is no other homebuilt in the world with this kind of support network.
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  #7  
Old 02-25-2021, 07:16 AM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Buena Park, California
Posts: 421
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopGT View Post
Good evening all! I am waiting for my training project to come in as I decide what is the best build for a first timer? I am 29 in the Charleston, WV area. I had my heart set on the 7A. However, after research I’ve became interested in the 12iS due to its short(er) build time. The 20 gallon fuel capacity is a set back. My main mission(other than quality time with my wife and sons) for the aircraft are cross countries to SC and FL. Any advice and/or mentorship is appreciated.

Happy Flying!
Welcome to VAF. I was 29 once and I was bouncing between the decision to build the RV4 or the RV7. However my career was getting started and with the high cost of living in California, I could not justify the financial commitment of building a new airplane back then. Airplanes are expensive toys, more so than boats. Good luck with your decision.
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  #8  
Old 02-25-2021, 07:48 AM
Robin8er Robin8er is online now
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Socal
Posts: 495
Default

I agree with the above statement. Build the plane you want.

I built an 8 because I wanted an 8. At this point the 8 is considered an "old" kit. It's still a phenomenal kit that is better than most other experimental kits on the market. I have no regrets.

The 12 or 14 will be the easiest, but only build it of that's what you actually want. It would be a waste to spend a couple years building a plane just to be dissatisfied with it in the end.

I built an 8 because I wanted a plane that was good for cross country flying, aerobatic and able to carry acceptable baggage for 2 people on a weekend trip. The 8 does all that and looks great while doing it.
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2021, 08:46 AM
meloosifah meloosifah is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 254
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The -12 is definitely going to be the easiest to build but is an LSA - it’s not even in the same class of plane as the rest of the RVs. The 14 is the best kit with the best instructions and could be configured as a 2 +1 seating but by the time you’re done might be irrelevant. It will also cost much more than the earlier kits. The -10 is probably the one that best fits your mission but is also probably the most expensive, longest to build and highest learning curve. The -4 and -6 are MUCH more complicated due to kit and plans improvements to later models. The -7, -9 and -8 are pretty much identical from a build standpoint.

I have started or partially built more subkits (without ever completing a plane) than anyone I know. I’ve sold, traded, etc. and am now (10 years later - started my Vans adventure not much older than you) close to finishing my -7, but probably really a year out. Mainly because I picked a hobby I couldn’t afford with a wife and 5 young kids (there was only 1 way back when I started). Is it worth it? ONLY if you really like to build. I would have been much better off (logically speaking) to buy a 172/Cherokee/182/similar and we would have been flying all this time.

The thing is, I want to fly something that wasn’t built in a factory. I want to do it my way. And most importantly, the people you meet along the way as you’re building an RV are worth every aggravation.

Just keep in mind that Van designed a kit that ANYONE (yes even someone with no previous knowledge) can build. BUT....(wait for it).....MOST people will not finish their kit. Don’t know the percentage but I can tell you that FAR more subkits end up for sale than planes are completed each year.

It’s been said over and over here - build because you love to build. Any other reason is setting yourself up for failure. It’s going to take longer, cost more, impact your family more, otherwise change your life more than you ever planned. If you’re building because you love building it will all be worth it. If you’re building to meet a particular aviation goal you might end up frustrated or disappointed.

Just my opinion - worth what you paid.
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Last edited by meloosifah : 02-25-2021 at 08:49 AM.
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2021, 08:55 AM
meloosifah meloosifah is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 254
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I guess I will add that the -12 can be built however you want. You could probably find a way to add fuel as long as you’re building as an EAB only. It will be a quicker build.

For me, if I didn’t need LSA, I would not even consider the -12. For the money you will have in that plane you could buy a similarly performing spam can with more room and with your left over cash pay for all the extra fuel you burn for the next 25 years. The -12 is uniquely un-Vans-like in that it doesn’t (to my criteria) meet the total performance goal that all the other models do. For an LSA it’s fantastic, but LSA planes are not my cup of tea at this point in my life.
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1946 Cessna 140 (currently flying)
1946 Piper J3 Cub (stripped for restoration)

Exempt on multiple counts - donated double because this site is worth it!
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