A Throwback Thursday post! Originally published last year, this describes how and why we chose our rig. It has proved to be an excellent decision!
Choosing an RV for full time living is a Big Deal. It will be our moving home, one that we will be living in for a very long time (hopefully!). Before making our decision, we spent years researching and travelling to RV shows.
The first decision: What kind of RV?
Jeff loves to ride motorcycles. He’s had some kind of motorcycle for most of his life. At his peak, he had 4 cycles in our garage: a Honda 15cc scooter, a Honda 450 trail bike, a Honda 650 sport bike and a Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited touring bike. Life on the road without at least ONE motorcycle was not an option. So, any housing option we selected had to allow for towing or otherwise carrying a motorcycle along with some kind of car/truck for everyday transportation.
5th wheel trailers are homey. The layout is much more house-like and very comfortable. And they are potentially the less expensive option. But, towing a large/premium 5th wheel trailer that we would be happy living in full time would require a hefty tow vehicle, on the order of an F-350 or larger. I wasn’t enamored with the size of the vehicle that we would use for sightseeing and errands. Plus, there was no good way to carry a motorcycle too. So, 5th wheels were out.
A conventional travel trailer was another option that we ruled out for most of the reasons above (size of trailer desired vs. corresponding tow vehicle required). It was possible to carry a motorcycle in the back of a large truck tow vehicle, but we liked the appearance, ease and convenience of the motorhome option. Plus with a motorhome, we had options that enabled us to tow both a car/truck and a motorcycle.
So we zeroed in on a motorhome as our preferred choice fairly early in the process. But, which one?
Second decision: Selecting the bus
Key factors for us were cargo carrying capacity, quality, and of course, price. Since this would be our full time home, we wanted it to be a quality build with home-quality furnishings. RV’s can look nice on the showroom floor, but if the materials aren’t top grade, they can quickly fall apart with daily use. And since top quality furnishings are heavy, that steered us toward a diesel pusher in order to have the cargo capacity we needed to carry our entire life with us.
Our researched showed Tiffin, Newmar, and Entegra to build quality rigs in a comparable price range. We watched the models evolve over years and also perused the owners’ forums to assess customer satisfaction. We were fortunate that our nest egg grew, so we were able to raise our sights to slightly larger and fancier motorhomes. We debated RV size, and decided that we preferred having more living space and accepted that having a “big rig” may limit our camping options. As we approached the time to buy, Entegra bubbled up as being the best value for the features provided as well as providing the best warranty. Entegra had a model and floor plan that we liked and fit our budget. So that was the pick.
The final factor was timing. With the introduction of 2018 models and close out of 2017 models, we felt late summer or early fall would be the time to pull the trigger. We watched rvtrader.com and saw the prices dropping in early June. We found our preferred model and color scheme at a price significantly lower than our budget and felt we had to move on it, even though it was earlier than expected. So, there you have it!
I know what you’re thinking – why didn’t you look at gently used buses rather than just new? It was an option we seriously considered, but cream puffs are hard to find. Since this is our very first motorhome, we liked the security of having that full 2 year warranty period. And, we have almost always bought new vehicles. It’s just what we do.
So that takes you through our rationale and decision making process. It is a rig that fits our particular needs/wants and lifestyle.