What Kind of “Home On The Road” Will I Live In?
The vast majority of my friends think moving out of a permanent home to live in an RV is nuts. Some are supportive and have some great ideas. Then there are the two that are extremely helpful and assisting me in the daily plotting of this journey.
Between the three of us there has been a plethora of conversation around my upcoming home on wheels. What kind will I choose?
After much debate, days on end of pros-and-cons discussions and all considerations are taken into account, I’m settling on buying a used class A RV. I’ll explain the final decision here in a bit but let me first get to the decision on ruling out the others.
Class C – Class C was certainly an option (and still isn’t totally 100% ruled out). I know some prefer class C because the motor is easier to work on vs class A and some say the drive is slightly quieter on the road as the engine is in front of you, not under you. I also know some don’t feel safe sitting right up against the front of a class A in the unlikely but still possible event of colliding with something or someone in front of you. But I just don’t like the layout, vibe and feel of a class C. That’s not a jab at anyone with a class C. Not at all. It’s just a personal preference thing. For some reason I just feel a class C is a little more “closed in” in the main living area. I know some newer models are doing a lot to change this, but I can’t afford a newer model so this is out for me.
5th Wheel – I love some of the 5th wheel models I’ve looked at. It’s truly incredible how large the living space can be in some of these. I mean, some of them have the floorspace of a full condo! That said, my budget just doesn’t work for me to get a truck stout enough to pull one. Which is a shame because I plan on doing a lot of boondocking and a 5th wheel setup would be ideal for longer stays. But the reality is I can buy an older model class A for the same price as the kind of 5th wheel I would want. With a 5th wheel I would need to buy a totally different vehicle along with it. My Jeep Patriot is useless in pulling something like that around.
Travel Trailer – If I were going to get a trailer, it would be a 5th wheel. A travel trailer just doesn’t fit for what I want/need for this journey.
So class A it shall be!
There are a number of reasons for this choice.
First, space. Now I’m not picky or posh. Quite the opposite, in fact. My downtown apartment where I live is generally minimal as it is. Yes, I still have WAY too much stuff, but not anywhere near as much as virtually everyone else I know. That said, I have a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment. Two floors with bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, living room, dining room, kitchen and garage downstairs. I have one bedroom serving as a large office and it all gives my dog and I plenty of space to roam freely.
Speaking of the dog, he’s a large purebred belgian malinois. If you know anything about the breed you’ll know this critters are VERY high energy. My dog doesn’t stop going from the minute he wakes until he forces himself to sleep because I’ve shut the lights off for the night. He goes, and goes, and goes.
So I need space. Space for work and space for the dog to chew on his toys until his life is content.
The class A models I’ve looked at so far feel pretty spacious all things considered. Especially when slide outs are taken into account.
Second, that front window! I don’t think I’ve every lived in a house with a window the size of the front windshield on some of the class A models I’ve seen. Yes, it will be a pain in the backside to clean, but the view has to be incredible!
Third, storage. I know storage space is relative depending on brand, model, etc., and storage space can be achieved with any class or trailer. I get that. But generally speaking the class A and 5th wheels seem to have the most space of everything I’ve considered to date.
No, I don’t plan to hoard or take a lot of crap with me. But I have a large dog and need to work from the road. So it’s just a reality that I will inevitably need places to store a lot of practical and necessary items.
I get the sense that a class A might keep me from some of the best boondocking sites. And I feel like it may be an interesting challenge to upgrade my RV for longer term off grid stays, but ultimately a class A feels like the right fit for me.
Of course, things can always change. But right now that’s what I’m going for.