Saturday, August 18, 2012

Looked At RV's Today

I took time on Saturday to hit the road, looking at RV's on 3 different lots. The closest lot was small, family owned but only had travel trailers and 5th wheels. Drove around the lot and did not see anything worth getting out of my car for. I then headed 45 miles east to Indianapolis to Colerain RV's and Camping World because I knew with their large inventory I could check on about every RV and trailer that I have considered.  That proved to be the case.

Just as I planned, I was fortunate to walk both lots without a salesman and only my iPhone to take short notes on what I saw. Sure, I looked at the 2013's but with no intentions of buying them and not even buying anything. With cars I am too impulsive but not with RVs.

I was able to see 2 Class B's, both 2005's. The Coachman Concord and the Gulfstream BT Cruiser both had slides, 27' - 29' and believe it or not had enough space for me and my hounds or more space than some C's. I liked the BT Cruiser better, it was 29' and I had it rated higher for having enough room for me and my hounds. For a smaller rig I have always liked them.

I looked at 3 different Class A's. 2 of them were 30' long and the old old Fleetwood Southwind was 34'. I looked at that not only because I wanted to see an older model with no slides but also it was the same model my friend had full-timed in as recently as 2005. The other two were both Winnebago's Sightseer. Of course they felt bigger inside than a 29' Class C because they are higher and appeared to be a little wider. Yet, when I sat in the driver seat and compared the feeling of sitting in a Class C or Class B ... it just seemed too big and not something I would want to be driving in the places that I want to be going.

I looked at 6 Class C's. From a 2002 - 2012, 28'-31' and even checked out a 23' just to see if it would work with my dogs. The best and favorite of all of the C's was the 2012 Jayco Melbourne. It had 2 slides, was 30' and had every feature that I wanted but was listed at $105,000, more than I want to spend. The 2007 Forest River Sun Seeker really had a good floor plan but really nowhere to install a computer desk by replacing a couch or a kitchen table. The 2002 Jayco Designer had a great floor plan and it must have been a good RV because it had be used and used a lot. It was 31' with a slide but the overall condition was not something I would want to deal with.

The last 3 C's I looked at were all Thor's. I am not sure of the reliability of their reputation but I liked all of their floor plans and have even when seeing them online. The 2012 23' surprised me with the room it had and while I was sitting there looking around, walking around I really felt that it might be a possibility with 3 dogs on the days that we were stuck inside due to weather. I might be wrong after I get out on the road, but if the weather is good, I plan on being outside most of the time. It proved to be an option to look at later. The 2005 Thor 4Winds was in really great shape, the entertainment center was in the overhead compartment, was 30' long with a couple of slides. The 2013 Thor Freedom Elite was 28', had the best "trunk" storage I had ever seen and of course being a new model, had everything you would need. Looked great.

Then as a lowest start up cost option, I looked at a 2012 Jayco Feather Travel Trailer and believe it or not I could see that working with dogs and me. Had a queen size bed in the front, kitchen in the rear. At the same time it may not be made for 365 day rving. The other Jayco trailers I looked at were great but to go that route I would need to buy a 4x4 truck to tow it with.

On the way back I had about 90 miles of country highway to cruise and think, unlike my trip to Indy on I-70 was more like a high speed race and no time was allowed to day dream. It is beautiful scenery in southern Indiana and the highway I travled felt like times I driven cross country. I wanted to see what kind of reaction I had when I got back to my small town and the house I have lived in since 1997. I wanted to see if these past few weeks of saying I am packing up and leaving or in my recent posts, talking of selling everything but the hounds and hitting the road, would make that feeling different as I drove up the drive way to the top of the 80' hill.

In the past, after day trips like these, I was always happy to get back home and it felt good, even if the snow flew or the sun was out and it was hot. I noticed today it was different. I have really had no attachment to this town living a few miles outside of it and knowing no one ... and I didn't feel any different driving through town today either. The town is so cliquish, that it has created it's own privacy with me and that has been that I liked while living here. I am more of a loner than people I know, think ... so it may be a huge reason I have stayed in this location for 15 years. As far as the house, it felt like it was time to go. All I could think about was what I needed to do to put it on the market and things I needed to do to sell everything that I am not going to take.

Didn't surprise me with that reaction but it was different than in the past.

So today was a good day, a recycling run, more clothes ready to be dropped off at Goodwill tomorrow in a town 25 miles away, sun was out all day and I was able to check on floor plans of every kind of RV I had been looking at online. So I am now in the stage of clearing out the house by selling, donating or throwing away and preparing to sell the house by owner.

I am thinking of putting the sign out tomorrow afternoon in case I find that buyer that would rather do their own improvements (ie: painting interior in their favorite colors) rather than not putting the sign out until I have everything cleaned out, painted and pretty well empty before showing it. It only takes 1 to buy and the highway I live on gets a ton of traffic.

As always your thoughts and comments are appreciated and very helpful.


  1. I own a 2008 21 foot Jayco Feather Lite .

    I was comfortable in it with two labrador retrievers who slept on the queen bed right near the door. I got the bunk over queen model-took the mattress off the bunk and used it for storage. I made the table into a bed, stuck two foam mattresses on it, and slept like a log.

    When my older lab passed away, my other lab and I set out and went across country and we were gone for 6 months. He slept on the bottom of my bed with me, and sometimes on the couch--we even had matching twin sheets.

    I never felt a lack of space. I wouldn't want another PERSON traveling with me, but dogs actually take up very little room. My kids did come to visit, and I made the couch into a bed and slid one of the mattresses over for comfort. That left the queen free for two people. I managed for a week, but wouldn't want to do it any longer than that.

    We lived outside most of the time, but the occasional rainy day, we were comfortable - Jack slept and I read or napped. I love my trailer--it's perfect for me. I sailed up and down the steepest of grades because I have a big truck, I could fit into smaller areas (I travelled in a 40-42 foot Class A with my husband when he was alive) and I missed him, but I did not miss having all the space.

    Good luck in your endeavor to find the right RV for you. I know you've been trying to decide for a long time.

    1. Thanks for the great information and from someone that had TWO large dogs. I love retrievers, neighbors across the highway have two. They are bigger than my smaller size bloodhound. I liked all of the Jayco Feather trailers I "glanced" at but didn't write about. The option of unhooking and then taking a 4x4 out where only 4x4 roads are, is enticing enough to me to consider that combo as an option. What kind of truck do you tow with?

    2. Remember, I'm over powered but have never regretted it. I bought a used 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 Diesel 4X4 in perfect condition.

      The storage space in the bed is invaluable so take that into consideration when you are considering the size of your RV. What you can't store in the trailer, you can store, easily in the truck. I have a set up/take down bin sitting right at the end of the bed. I bought a 2000 Honda generator, thinking I'd keep that right at the back of the truck where it would be easily used, but I never used it because I ran into back problems and can't lift it!

      I forgot I was towing anything, and I left the trailer and explored in my truck. Hitching up is second nature after a while. As I said, this was the perfect answer for me and my pups. Folded the seats down to the floor in the back of the truck, put several orthopedic beds down and they traveled in comfort. I use the Champion Seat Belt System. Dogs can Stand, sit, and lie down so it keeps the safe.

    3. I am going to look at your trailer again on the link you sent me. With your set up, I think I will take another look at the 4X4 / Trailer combo. I might go with a Tundra for the 4x4 since I am familiar with Toyota. Thanks for all your information, it is being used in what I look at.

  2. Now that you have been inside the RV's it will probably be easier to make a decision. As for painting the house, I got tired out and didn't finish painting, washed down the walls and left the paint for the buyer.

    1. I like to paint but this is the type of painting I am looking for right now...let the buyer do it in their own color. Thanks for the info. Yes, I have a better idea now and realize that some C's have a lot less storage than other C's.

  3. My C has a lot of interior storage, AND a closet that is very functional. The newer Cs I've seen only have the side closets beside the bed that you can barely put anything into. I've found that the old C's are actually set better for cabinet/closet space than the newer ones are. Not sure why that is. But again, pay attention to the cargo carrying capacity & don't forget that outside shower to make it easier to bathe the hounds with! My little C is only 22'. For what you want to do inside of an RV, one with a bedroom would work better for you.
    But if you are now looking at TT's, then that's another story. After all the recent work I've had to have done on my C, I was beginning to wonder if a TT wouldn't be better & haul with a van. But for me, that would actually be double work & I was very lucky that I was able to find mechanics that would let me stay on their lots & plug into power to run my a/c.
    So even when you are in an RV, sometimes you wonder if the grass is greener in a different kind! Had I had a TT, then my auto would have been in a shop & I'd of been in a campground in the RV. Ultimately though, there's always a resolution to be found, so what ever it is you decide on, it'll work regardless.

  4. TexCyn, isn't that the truth about Murphy's law when it comes to vehicle repair. I've been very lucky lately hear at home in vehicle problems but in the past with multiple cars, it seems to go from one car to another, even when they were new or a couple of years old. I just need to make a decision one what to buy and hit the road. Of course the length of time to do that may be determined buy if I decide/wait to sell my house or rent the house while it's being sold. I guess no matter what people drive they are always wondering about the other type of vehicle and if that would be the better choice. Storage and outside shower has always been on my list and I did notice last week the difference you speak of, the storage of the older and newer Class C's.

  5. I just found your blog (I think by cyber-stalking TexCyn) and had an "OMG, I'm normal!" moment.

    Although I grew up in this rural area, I don't have an emotional attachment to it or the people. Maybe it's because I've been away for half my life, seen things, met people. I feel like this place is always the same. The same cliques, gossip, etc. The land is beautiful but this area feels like it sucks out my soul.

    If I could find one in my price range and stuff enough clothing and food in one, I'd drive off in a 4x4 class B right now. I don't want anything ginormous and they are so easy to drive! A travel trailer with bunkbeds would be a great rig for my situation (my son, Mom, Lab, cats) but I'd need to upgrade my vehicle. TexCyn is so right about the storage issue on the C's now. Everything seems like it's already at max GVWR once you sit down! Definitely makes a thorough search so much more imperative.

    Pass-through and 4x4 capability are also biggies for us. Well, for me actually. As the designated person in charge, to drive, to maintain, and provide, I want everything to be as simple as possible.

    I'm going to catch up on your posts now and see what insights I can glean. =)

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I have a wide range of posts here since last October 2011 and getting near the end of the final stage. I bought my 4x4 tow vehicle this past Monday and am now in the mode of finding the trailer. I will post about this later. Good luck in your search. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have.