I started with a local RV seller that was unexpected, even with high reviews online, they were mostly into trailers but I at least I wouldn't be wondering what they were like. That put me further south than I was originally headed. I had a RV lot picked out that had a large selection of all types. When arriving, no one approached me, so I started with the brand new trailers, and a 29' Class A on the showroom floor. I was also pleased that I was not "attacked" by the sales force and I had to ask someone if the sales lot was open today so I could check out some used rigs.
He immediately asked what I was looking for, what type of RVing would I be doing (RV Parks or Boondocking), gas or diesel and what class. He asked what time period I would be looking to purchase and/or leave. I was able to look at a 2010 Jayco Greyhawk 31', a 2010 Thor Chateau 31', a 2005 32' Winnebago Class A gas and a 2004 32' Winnebago Journey diesel.
All very nice coaches and like I told him, I have been confused on which to choose between an A or a C while looking at a "million" pictures and after looking at them today.... I still am! The trailers were just too small based on pulling them with my Toyota 4Runner V8. Even the new 29' A on the showroom felt a little cramped.
Remember, as I am working around these different floor plans I am trying to visualize 2 short legged bassets and a small Bloodhound that still weighs 78lbs and stands 28" at her shoulders would be in this RV.
I know it was only 2'-3' difference but I could tell a large difference as I walked thought the 31' er's compared to the 28' and 29'. The 4 I mentioned above all had 2 slides. Before I made this trip, I was favoring the Jayco models but after looking at the one's today, I liked the floor plans of the Class C Thor and the Class A Journey Diesel.
Some of you may be saying "why diesel", he hasn't talked about that before.
Well during recent research this past week, knowing I would be traveling the mountain ranges of the Western USA, I felt that the diesel might be the way to go. Also, I am thinking more and more of towing my Toyota 4Runner as my 'toad'. If I do tow the SUV I will definitely go diesel and due to the weight I would have to go with the Class A.
As you can tell I am looking at a few options. ALL of these were priced higher than I planned on paying when I started this research a month ago. I might have to spend more than I had planned based on deciding what I need. I will continue looking on eBay, Craig's List, and the different online RV sites but at least now I know it has to have the following:
1. 31' minimum
2. the kitchen opposite side of the couch and diner
3. walk around bed
4. 2 slides instead of 1 slide
5. diesel if I decide to take my 4Runner
So today knocked out the idea of my V8 4Runner towing a trailer. I realized even with no dogs I don't think I could handle something less than 28' I felt cramped in the new 29' A I looked at and this is from a man that spent a lot of time on Aircraft Carriers 6-10 months at a time, in my past. I just felt much more comfortable in the 31' coaches.
I also know that my idea from boondocking might change to RV parks but that is something I will not know until I try it. So I am kinda planning on a rig that will cover both options as a full-timer. Like a reader from here told me that after he started full-timing, he decided he wanted a "normal life" instead of a "camping life".
On my drive back home, state highways, hilly, curvy ... all too perfect for the Z, I had a lot of time to think about what I liked today. All 4 rigs I mentioned at the top of this blog were extremely clean, little wear. The 2004 32' Journey only had a little over 22,000 miles on it. No body damage of any kind, and with the previous owner installing his large 46" Samsong tv (same size as my home tv), there would be nothing to change EXCEPT, possibly taking out a diner or couch and installing a desk for my iMac and monster size screen.
I also really liked the Class C, 2010 Thor Chateau, actually there was nothing I found to be an issue. I felt like I could get in that and drive away. I would still change out the TV (remember I'm a sports addict) and I would take out either the couch or diner for a desk / computer table. That is where I spend most of my indoor time at home, at my computer desk.
So I will go from here, back to the sites to look around for specific models and sizes. I feel I am getting much much closer to what I want compared to yesterday...in fact a lot closer, now that I have walked around them, sat in them, looked in every exterior corner I could. I also felt good when thinking of selling my house and the Z4 and moving into an RV full-time.
To top off this day, the salesman answered every weird question I asked, added more information about each coach and NO PRESSURE....that was a big plus. All I wanted to do today was look.....plus a 250 mile road trip.