When we made the choice to go from a house to an RV, our friends and family rarely missed an opportunity to ask if we found the one we wanted. Throughout the decision-making process, we visited RV shows and dealerships and spent countless hours online watching walkthroughs and reviews of our favorite floorplans. But how did we choose our RV?
Honestly, there were a lot of reasons. If you’re thinking about getting an RV, we hope this will help you on your journey. There were things we learned and things we’re still learning. We are by no means experts. However, we realize that not everyone will get to see it up close and personal, so we wanted to share our process with everyone who’s interested.
For those who only plan on camping on the weekend, the size of your rig isn’t really that big of a deal. However, we’re in ours full-time, so we needed something big enough for all six of us without being overly crowded. That made making the right choice for our RV critical. Initially, we were looking at big fifth wheels with bunkhouses. These are RVs that have bunk beds in the back for the kids. Some have bathrooms and some don’t. We liked some of the floorplans we saw, but soon we were turned on to something else.
Part of our research was visiting RV shows in the area. If you’re planning on RVing, I would highly recommend you visit an RV show so you can get a better idea of how much space you’re actually going to have. During one such show, we met a wonderful family which has since become an invaluable resource, as they’ve been full-timing for the better part of a decade. They’re still the ones we turn to when we have questions.
A Toy What?
This couple suggested that we consider toy haulers, something we hadn’t considered to this point. If you’re not familiar with a toy hauler, it’s an RV with a “garage” on the back for all your toys. These are typically ATVs, side-by-sides, golf carts, or dirt bikes. None of that was appealing to us, but there was one aspect that was.
Many toy haulers also have a bed on a motorized lift. That means during the day, the bed is moved up and out of the way, giving our kids plenty of room to play. Then, when bedtime arrives, the bed drops down so they can get into it. Another bonus for us is the hard rubber floors. I don’t know about your kids, but ours make plenty of messes. We don’t care if they draw or scribble on the floor, plus, it’s basically indestructible.
The RV we chose, the Jayco Seismic 4212, has quite a bit of room in the garage, along with a full bathroom and a sink. Here’s the floorplan so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about.
You’ll also notice a loft above the front of the garage. This is where Penny sleeps. Being the only girl, we wanted to try to give her an area she could make her own. It’s not much, but we’ll often find her up there reading or writing or just trying to get away from her “annoying” brothers.
The previous owner made some changes to this area. Some we like and some we don’t, but overall it gives us some room to spread out and get comfortable. During this day Sarah and I are able to work here. We haven’t started homeschooling yet, so we don’t know what that’s going to look like, but I’m sure it will involve some of the kids in that area.
We have a gas stove to cook on, however, one of the changes the previous owner made was installing a dishwasher. While we like the dishwasher, he had to remove the oven to make room for it. We’d heard that RV ovens are notoriously unreliable, so we weren’t too upset about it. We ran out to Target and bought an Oster oven that sits on the counter. It gets hot in the RV when we use it, but it does what we need it to do.
A Washer AND a Dryer?
Before I get to how cool it is that we have a washer and dryer, I want to touch on the front bathroom and bedroom. If you scroll back up, you’ll notice that you can get to it from either the hallway or the bedroom. We wanted this option in the RV we chose so we could get up and go to the bathroom from the comfort of our bedroom.
Our goal is to have all the kids in the back eventually, but right now, Oliver sleeps in the living room. This makes the passthrough bathroom even more important in our opinion. Plus, when the little ones are taking a bath, we can be in the bedroom and still be able to keep an eye on them.
Arguably the most exciting feature in our bedroom is the washer and dryer. For those of you in a house, you might wonder what the big deal is. For starters, a lot of RVs don’t come with washers and dryers. Without a washer and dryer, we’re forced to go to a laundromat. Doing so wouldn’t be a big deal if were just Sarah and myself, but there are six of us. It wouldn’t take long for the laundromat staff to know us by name.
It does mean we have to usually be hooked up to water and electricity, but we’ll take that inconvenience over packing up and losing a few hours of our workday several times a week.
This post is getting long-winded, so I’ll quickly touch on the last feature that helped us choose our RV. Toy haulers usually have a ramp in the back that you can use as a deck once you reach your campsite. What we like about ours is that it has a back deck and a side deck. The kids can play on the back while Sarah and I relax on the side deck.
Now you have an idea of how and why we chose our RV. It’s big, so there are some places we can’t go. However, it provides us with the features and amenities we want and need. At this time, it’s a trade we’re willing to make.
That’s about it for now. Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon!