My Next RV

What?? You’re getting an RV?? But, but, but…..you just got yours last summer!!

Ok, so I am teasing a bit by the headline. But seriously, I am already thinking of what I want in my next RV, just a few short months after I bought mine this past July and moved into it in August.

What I Like About My RV:

  1. Cozy feeling of my bedroom.
  2. Easiness of heating my bedroom with  one small space heater.
  3. Enough room for me and all my animals.
  4. Closet that has a little hiding spot for my Callie to do her “observing from above.”
  5. Tall ceilings in the living portion.
  6. Dinette table that serves me in multiple ways – it’s an office and a dinner/breakfast table.

What I Don’t Like About My RV:

  1. It’s too big.
  2. Costs too much to heat. (See #1)
  3. Costs too much to cool.  (See #1)
  4. Can’t tow it without a huge ass, honkin’ truck, as its dry weight is over 8600 pounds. (See #1)
  5. Bed is too soft and tends to hurt my back unless I put a pillow under my knees when I sleep.
  6. Smallness of my shower (hey, I get in and do my business and get out. It works.)
  7. Tall ceilings in living portion (see #2 and #3)

What I Want:

  1. Something much smaller.
  2. Something much lighter.
  3. A motorhome? A travel trailer?? I can’t decide!
  4. A teardrop! (I know, I know, pretty unrealistic given my number of pets.)

What I Need: 

  1. Something that can cozily fit me, four cats and my tiny Osito.
  2. A toilet. (Because honestly, if I’m at a campground, and don’t have a shower, I’m fine with using the campground showers. Doesn’t bother me to shower away from home.)
  3. Something that will get decent gas mileage, whether it be by my driving it itself or by being towed behind something.
  4. Something in decent shape that won’t need a lot of repairs. (I’m not a super handy girl.)
  5. Something that won’t cost a lot of money as I will likely have to sell my RV on consignment if I can’t sell it on my own.

Yep, my needs are few, honestly. At least I think they are. I’m obsessed with fiberglass trailers as well as Class Bs, and I do like the little a-liners (because of the fuel thing) but am open to hearing people’s suggestions and thoughts. I’ve joined a lot of facebook groups so I can learn about the pros and cons of many. I just love dreaming of what can and will come next. Because I can say one thing,  I don’t plan on being someplace cold again next winter. (More info on my plans to come later. They’re still being formulated in my little ‘ole mind.)

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30 thoughts on “My Next RV

    • Oh, it totally does! I have been trying to concentrate on getting my resume together for workamping jobs (a hint of a future post!) and not worry so much about the rig, but I like to go on craigslist and rv trader and dream of what could be….

      • Terri, do you know about The Caretaker’s Gazette? It has been around for about 20 years. You may find something interesting in there. I’ve never heard a bad word about it in those years.

      • No, Caretakers Gazette is by Gary somebody – memory fails at the moment, but no doubt on the net. Both were excellent publications back in the day. I haven’t followed either for a long time.

        http://www.caretaker.org

        Tightwad Gazette was by a lady whose name is Amy (phonetic) “Decision”, although it is spelled Dacz….. can’t remember the rest of it. Also no doubt on net, but I’m too lazy to look it up right now. Am wrangling pizza dough for luncheon guest!

        Here’s her book URL at Amazon.

        http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Tightwad-Gazette-Dacyczyn/dp/0375752250

        I remember being fascinated with the Tightwad Gazette at the time. Very good hints. It must have been a very long time ago, because I seem to remember that I read it in installments in email, and then bought a book??? I don’t actually recall seeing the book lately, and that is one I would have kept handy, so maybe I didn’t get the book.

        You can do this! ;->

      • Thanks, Judie, I did find the caretaker gazette after I read through your email – I would just need to see if they would allow pets like I have, or if I’d have to still kind of live outside in my RV. But I appreciate all the suggestions, my sis in law has also done some caretaking over the past year – they spent a month on Cape Cod in MA, helping someone get a summer house ready to go for a vacation rental. It gave them a break from the small Westy that they live in now.

        And yes, i remember reading through the Tightwad Gazette, and don’t worry, I do remember how hard her name was to spell! LOL. And that sounds right, I think they did have an email that they would send out and then they created the book. i thought some of her ideas were a bit extreme, but it really does help to get your frugal creative juices flowing doesn’t it? 🙂

        Thank you for believing in me, Judie. I really appreciate it – all this support is just amazing.

      • Animal lovers must stick together! We had a white 1987 Westy, but didn’t live in it. I was very glad to graduate to a rig with a bathroom and heat!

        Do you ever see any posts by Katherine O’Keefe? She is the most successful person at low-cost living that I’ve come across in the thirty plus years I’ve been at this. She works at a lot of jobs. She is a bit older than you, but not as ancient as I am. She really knows how to get along, and I’m pretty sure she has multiple pets. Keep your eyes open for her, if you read any of the RV chat lists. She doesn’t post very often, but is a wonderful source of solid advice.

      • I have not, unless it’s the same Kathy who just posted a comment to my blog in the last day or so? I will definitely google some stuff on her name and see what i can find. I have joined a few of the RV forums – are there ones you would suggest I join?

        My brother and sis in law have a 1985 Westy – their blog is http://www.slowcarfasthouse.com, in case you are interested. Oh and Judie, you’re not ancient!!! You make me crack up. 🙂

  1. Teri,

    I have been living & traveling in a 21′ Winnebago Vista class C mini motorhome with 2 cats for 2 yrs,and want something bigger.Since the litter box is in the shower (of course) I use showers in RV parks/campgrounds.I would enjoy having my own shower,and more room to breathe.I am always stepping on cat tails and trying to create order.So you may want to give serious thought before going to a class B or small C as it is a daily challenge.I know there is no perfect RV, just what works for you.I am planning to buy a travel trailer and 1/2 ton truck this Spring.I enjoy your blog!

    Margie

    • MArgie, thank you so much for commenting and for liking the blog! Wow, that is so nice of you to say! Do you use your Class C as your primary or only vehicle as well as home? I would probably put a litterbox on the floor near the passenger seat, as it would be just me and The Herd, as I like to call them. At night, me and all the furballs tend to hang out in my bedroom area of the fifth wheel as it’s warmer, and cozy. They all like to doze on the bed while I work on my chromebook or read a book or watch tv. My friend Dan does have a Class B and two cats and he wishes he had more space. But i know I can’t afford a motorhome and a car to go along with it, but yet don’t want to have a 29 footer be my daily driver, you know?

      I know what you mean about stepping on cats’ tails – for me it’s the constant jumping that they do on to the table, which they didn’t do when I lived in a normal apartment. I wonder why that is!?

      And yes, I sometimes have worked out five days a week in the morning, so I am totally fine with showering outside of my *home.*

      • I work as a college instructor so I have been doing it online for over five years.A perfect RV job as long as I have a Verizon connection.Since I don’t have a tow car,my house has to go every time I need to go somewhere which can be a pain.The plus is that I only have one engine to deal with/maintain.

      • And that’s what I find alluring when I think of getting a Class B, or very small C. I’ve been looking at the a-frames lately though as a possible option. Really light to tow, and have a lot of nice headroom in them but at the same time much smaller than the camper I have now. I know at one point, I’m going to have to *pull the trigger* as they say, and just decide what to get. The only thing is that they dont’ have a ton of storage, but then again, it would force me to focus on what is important.

        Margie, do you also read The Adventures of Kimbopolo? kimbopolo.blogspot.com – she also works as an online instructor and has a Roadtrek.

  2. Terri, I think you said that you have read, Bill Myers’ book, “Buying a Used Motorhome – How to get the most for your money and not get burned.” If not, by all means get a copy.

    Also, spend some time at RV shows and at RV lots looking at the many different types, models and styles of RVs. Spend some time inside them — sit on the couch, stretch out on the bed, stand in the shower. Doing this will help you discover one that feels like home.

    After you find the type and model that you want, you will have to spend enough time looking at what RVs like you want actually sell for, so you can recognize a good deal when you see it.

    Just like your first RV turned out not to be the one to fit your needs, keep in mind that the next one might not either, so by all means, one of your main objectives should be to buy an RV at a great price. Buy one at a price that will allow you to sell it and not lose any money — and maybe even sell it and make a profit.

    It’s important to spend the time and look for a really great deal — and they are out there.

    • Oh I’ve definitely been to RV shows, and been to RV dealers and sat in many and imagined myself living in them, etc. I really like an open room feel to it – it’s why I liked a studio much better than a one bedroom apartment. I think i paid a fair price for my RV, although i realize i probably could have negotiated the price down more than I did. More knowledge for the next time!

      Oh, and yes, I do have that book on my kindle app on my ipad mini – i’m going to give it another look-over. And one thing I found at the RV shows back in Boston – they all tended to go with the latest trends – more gigantic motorhomes than you can imagine, and the toy haulers, etc. Very few smaller trailer, except for a few brought by Lance.

  3. Hi – I have a Class B Pleasureway Excel that does have a toilet and small separate area for showering. I travel with my 35 lb dog and to be honest, I think 4 pets in a B would be very uncomfortable. It definitely would be with cats especially as a place to put the litter box would be tricky. It is easier with dogs as they can just go outside and waste deposited in garbage, cats are trickier. I have one cat I would like to take with me and I am thinking it will be very crowded.

    I hope you find what you are looking for!

    • My friend Dan has a Class B Pleasure Way also and he has two cats, and he worries it would not be enough as well. He also mentioned the litterbox. Do you go on extended length trips with your dog in your pleasureway? Lynn, thank you so much for writing and telling me about your experience – I’d love to hear more!

  4. We have a 31′ fifth wheel. We are still getting it packed to take off as soon as our house sells. It is used, but paid for. It is in immaculate condition, and as long as we keep it pretty much that way, we should not lose much if any money because we got such a good deal on it. I cannot tell you if it will serve our needs like we hope until we hit the road 🙂 What I can tell you is that it is bigger than what we intended to get, but we got a great deal on it. I am ready to strike out and find our forever home (area where we are called to live) I cannot imagine spending the rest of my life on the road. God knows where we are suppose to be. I cannot wait for Him to reveal that to us. Sorry this post is all over the board. LOL Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • No worries at all, Kaylee. It wasn’t all over the board, but I’m excited for you guys that you are ready to embark on such a trip. My fifth wheel is just under 31 feet itself, and it has two slides. I’m glad to hear you got a good deal on yours too. And yes, I didn’t originally expect to get something this big myself, it was huge that I could have it delivered to the RV/trailer park that I am in, since I drive a little four cylinder car. Merry Xmas to you and your family too!

  5. Teri,
    I think the size of the rig has to do with lifestyle.When I bought my 21’Winnebago class C motorhome,I was traveling a lot.Now I tend to stay in an area for a month or so.With 2 large cats,my space seems confining and clastrophobic at times.So thinking about buying a travel trailer and 1/2 ton truck.So the choice of a rig changes over time and your style of traveling.I enjoy your thoughtful blog!
    Margie.

  6. I have my heart set on a large class B when I retire, but I haven’t ruled out a class C either. For now, I want an a-liner because my Subie can pull one and I finally have a place to store it! I did have a 24ft travel trailer and I LOVED it. I just hated towing it. Happy Holidays!

    • I remember you had a 24 foot one that you showed me pics of – didn’t you have a truck to pull it? And yes, that is the allure of the A-liner for me too – my car can pull it. But I’m not sure that it’s enough room for my cats, although we do all like to hang out together in the bedroom at night. Happy Holidays to you too, Jan!

  7. Hi Terry,
    Good to hear about your plans, its funny how when we make major changes in life its usually just a stepping stone to something else. You would make a great fulltimer. I started out with a cat and a dog, I had a 19 ft 1996 Roadtrek. My experience was that it was easier with the Roadtrek after Joey (the cat passed). I think in general it is easier with dogs when you RV is also your everyday transportation. I even thought it was too much space and could have done just fine with a 17 ft RT when it was just me and 1 dog. If I hadn’t been scared to tow I would have definately looked at the Casitas or Scamps.
    It would be great if you could try out towing the smallest Casita and see if you liked it.
    I do want you to feel encouraged to follow your heart so I will tell you that the 9 years I
    spent fulltiming were some of the best years of my life (I started when I was 50). These days I’m only part timing. I now have a 2015 Dodge Caravan (minivan) and the back is almost finished set up as a camper. I love it. Next winter I will do 3 months in FL & GA in it.
    You have so much to look forward to.
    Best wishes
    Kathy

    • Kathy, thank you so much for taking the time to write to me and let me know about your experiences, especially about what it was like to have a cat. I find so many fulltimers have dogs, and not cats, and they certainly have different needs, that’s for sure! I would actually love to have a tiny Scamp or Casita as my full time home. I have definitely joined as many facebook groups as I can find, and have joined the fiberglass RV forums, etc. And they seem to hold their value well. I think I also may have to get another vehicle to tow something like that with. My Mazda2’s owner manual says you should not tow with it at all.

      I am so glad you had a great experience with workamping – I have also heard good stuff about it from a local friend here in Utah and I’ve been following Becky Schade’s Interstellar Orchard blog now for a few years.

      That is awesome you are setting up your minivan to allow you to camp too! God, my mom had a Caravan for years!!!

      Thank you so much!!

  8. There is a Facebook group

    VanDwellers Facebook: Live in your van

    that might interest you. Not everything is slanted towards living in a van per se, and there are a lot of posts about other aspects of RV living that you might find helpful no matter the size of one’s RV.

    If you don’t intend to move around a lot, or very far, then contracting to have your fifth wheel moved by a third party might prove more thrifty than buying and maintaining a different vehicle. You’re good with numbers – work it out according to your perceived needs. Every time you change vehicles – puller, living unit, or toad – you will lose a pile o’ cash. Doling out a bit here and a bit there to have your unit moved may mitigate a big outlay to get an appropriate vehicle, which will then require massive amounts of fuel every time you go anywhere, whereas your Mazda2 will just continue to sip, sip, sip to take you on outings.

    The draw to “live small” is strong, I know. But it may seem yet even smaller and smaller as time goes by and even the animals begin to feel cramped. I presume you read RVSue, and she has two dogs, one of which is VERY active, in a small fiberglass unit. BUT – she has a large van that can take care of “overflow” of all kinds, plus gives her the ability to take her animals with her when she leaves the campsite.

    I have my Sportsmobile camper van, the size of her van that is not a camper van, that could pull a good-sized trailer like that, or even larger, but her trailer seems small to me for living in, especially if the weather is unpleasant. But having ONLY the Sportsmobile camper van for living in entirely is not something I can contemplate. Sue seems completely content with the size of her trailer, but I notice that she does a lot of things that are out of the ordinary in order to accomplish living in that small space; probably things I would not want to do on a permanent basis.

    If you still have my email address, and you care to, drop me a note and I can tell you another person’s name on Facebook that might be useful to you. I hesitate to use it in public because she is somewhat private a person. I sent you an email on 11/23/15 that has my address.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    • I was just thinking to email you, Judie 🙂 And I understand about not using it in public, trust me. I have thought about that – having the fifth wheel moved so I need to do some research on how much it would cost. It’s 8600 pounds or so, dry weight, so essentially you’re talking about a tiny house being moved. I know one girl who has a tiny house and is moving to VA and I think she was quoted about 3K. If I were to work in say, Yellowstone, that’s far, and might cost a pretty penny. But you have some very valid points.

      And yep, I have joined that facebook group you mention, as well as a bunch of others with various types of RVs!

  9. I had Ms. O’Keefe’s name wrong. It is Kathleen, not Katherine. Also, I just got an email about your brother’s latest blog entry. I signed up when you mentioned them before. I guess I hadn’t realized that they have an Adventurewagen! We almost bought one when we got our 1987 Westfalia, but there was a $10K difference in the prices and we just couldn’t go that extra amount. The inside was all teak, and very beautiful. I kind of wish we had gone for it at the time, though, since Mr. Anderson stopped making them not long after that. I really lust for a permanent top that allows a person to stand upright! I think that is my biggest complaint about our Sportsmobile.

    • They used to have the pop up top but they modified that (and many other things) before they hit the road. And my brother is very knowledgeable about the engine in that thing because they have done so many repairs to it, it’s insane! But then again, it is a 1985. And they are now replacing the engine in it completely before they head to south america, sometime next year. Oh, I’m so glad you signed up to read their blog!

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