In early 2014 we started talking seriously about selling the house and moving full time into an RV and becoming nomads. We decided that if we were going to do it we’d need a comfortable space we would call home. In the beginning I really wanted a tiny house. But after much discussion and review of our goals we decided that an RV was more suited to our desired lifestyle. Tiny houses are ADORABLE and so very customizable, however we didn’t feel we could build one that was as lightweight and rugged as an RV that was designed to be hauled around for miles. And we wanted to be mobile.
So we started researching the different RV types and models to see which ones might fit our requirements and desired lifestyle.
I have a background as a business analyst so I came up with a document that laid out the things we needed to have in the RV. We also came up with some scenarios to run through as we looked for RVs.
- The bed must be a full size queen (RV queen beds are too short and RV sheets/bedding are expensive and harder to find)
- The shower must be large enough to comfortably shower and have a place to put a foot up for leg shaving (ladies, can I get a hell yeah?)
- The kitchen sink must be large enough to wash pots/pans
- There must be a comfortable place to relax and watch TV
- There must be enough storage space for:
- Clothing (both dirty and clean)
- Kitchen Supplies
- Household supplies
- Misc items
- RV must not be too large to fit into state/national parks
- RV must have an open concept living and not feel closed in
- The decor must be more rustic than flowery
Some scenarios we ran through while looking at the RV (the salesman thought we were nuts):
- Doing dishes
- Preparing dinner
- Watching TV
- Talking through how we would deal with noise/light when one of us was sleeping and the other was awake
- Talking through where we would store certain items
First we had to decide if we wanted a drivable RV (Class A, B or C) or something we would tow (a 5th wheel or a travel trailer).
We weighed the pros and cons of drivable versus a tow behind and decided on a tow behind because it was more cost effective to purchase a truck/trailer than to purchase a drivable and a small car that we could tow behind it. We also didn’t like the idea that if the RV engine needed service/maintenance we had to be without our house for the necessary service time.
When we were first decided on purchasing a tow behind we thought we wanted a 5th wheel for all the room and storage. We LOVED the Grand Design Reflection. It was gorgeous, VERY livable (36 feet long, about 400 square feet) with lots of storage space. It even had room for a washer/dryer. If we had decided to go with a fifth wheel this would have been our choice.
But we said to ourselves “you know, we don’t think we’re being masochistic enough. Let’s see how small we can get here!” I mean the idea WAS to live tiny, right? So we decided to push ourselves to see how small we could go. We started looking at travel trailers that were lighter and had less living space. We found that many of them didn’t meet our requirements of the open concept living or had tiny showers, sinks and beds. But then, at the huge RV show in Hershey, PA in September 2014 we found her. As soon as we walked in we felt at home. We looked at other RVs at the show but nothing felt like home more than this one. So we took the brochure and looked at a few more models at RV dealers over the next couple of months but kept coming back to this one. So we purchased a 2015 Keystone Laredo 240MK. It’s 24 feet long (27 if you count the hitch) with one slide out and about 200 square feet.
Because we picked the smaller trailer we could have a smaller truck. So we spent about half our original budget on the truck and trailer. And that meant extra money to put away for travel and living expenses. #winning
Overall I couldn’t be happier with our choice of RVs. The only thing I really miss is having a washer/dryer. We weighed the pros and cons, and adding a washer/dryer would have meant cutting out a bunch of storage or buying a larger RV. We decided laundromats were a fair compromise to keep costs and living space down. I think we purchased the best RV based on our needs, and it’s still working well for us today. But with anything you buy sometimes you’ve got to tweak it a bit to make it work for you. Stay tuned for the next blog post that shows some of the modifications we’ve made to our RV to make it more functional for us. Until next time kids, stay classy, sassy and a bit bad assy.