Thursday, February 21, 2013

Which RV is best for me?

Camping in our trailer
The answer to that question is pretty much a personal decision. It all depends on what you want to do during your travels.
The main types of recreational vehicles are the motor home, the travel trailer and the fifth wheel.

We looked at - and considered - all three, before narrowing down our choice to a travel trailer.

At first we thought we wanted a motor home. There are some really super ones out there. We looked at one so luxurious, I commented to the salesman, it doesn't have a dish washer. He showed me where it was located. Our reasons for ruling out a motor home included price, cost of repairs and lack of flexibility in campgrounds. Motor homes are the most expensive. We couldn't afford a new one, and I didn't want a used one because we'd seen too many motor homes burned on the side of highways. My husband said this was because the owners didn't care for it properly. My husband is a retired mechanic, and we wanted a vehicle he could repair if it broke down far from help. I also thought I would be too afraid to drive one.  Some campgrounds, particularly public ones, have size limitations on the length of motor homes. If we got the size we liked, we couldn't stay in some of the campgrounds we wanted to.

My husband's first choice was a fifth wheel toy hauler. We plan to take our motor scooters with us when we hit the road, and need something to haul them in. Since a fifth wheel fits on the back of a pick-up, that meant we would have to have one with the toy hauler option. I was not particularly keen on having them smelling up our living quarters, nor was I happy we had to give up so much living space to accommodate them.

That left travel trailers, which come in all shapes and sizes. With a travel trailer, we could put our scooters in the pick-up bed. (We bought a wide enough ramp that my husband just rides the scooters up when it comes time to load them.) There are so many floor plans and sizes to choose from. I was really enamored with the Scamp, a small lightweight trailer that can be pulled with a four-cylinder vehicle. This would have been great if we were only going to be gone a week or two, but we needed something bigger since we plan to live in it full time during our travels around the United States.

Then it was a matter of finding a floor plan we liked. This is where we had problems making up our minds. We must have looked at hundreds over a couple of years, getting to be on a first-name basis with every RV salesman in our area. Just when we thought we found a trailer we liked, we'd go home to think about it. We'd have more questions, but when we went back to get them answered, we'd find another trailer we liked better. Everything came together one day last summer, and we have a trailer we really, really like. In fact, compared to our old trailer, we feel like we're living in the lap of luxury, though we only have a mid-range trailer that we purchased used. (Our old trailer, made in 1965, was 15 feet long, and no electricity, bathroom, heat or running water in the sink, not to mention a TV with DVD player and radio.)