When we started our research into purchasing an RV, we were overwhelmed and unsure of which direction to go in. There were so many options, Class A, Class B/Van, Class C, Travel Trailers, Skoolie conversions or 5th Wheels. Our first step was to make a list of our requirements and go from there:
We never really considered Class B's/vans. They just seemed impossibly small for all of us to fit in. Next, we ruled out travel trailers. While financially they make sense because they are cheaper, neither of us really felt comfortable driving them. I have seen Kevin try to maneuver a small boat trailer (it wasn't pretty) and seeing how they swing and don't really cooperate, I wasn't very confident in our ability to easily maneuver them. Kevin also spent an afternoon watching trailer accident videos on YouTube which further put us off them.
The remaining options were: Class A, Class C or Fifth Wheel. We tend to have an unfailing habit when giving multiple options of never agreeing on the same one. True to form, Kevin wanted a 5th wheel and I wanted a Class C. So how did we end up with Wanda, our Class A? For us it came down to our timeline, our budget, space/storage, and availability.
We searched online and visited some dealerships in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Unfortunately, RVing isn't really a big thing on Long Island and the search was harder than either of us expected. We were very disappointed in the inventory and condition of the used RV's in our price range at RV dealerships.
In our experience if you are looking for cheaper used RV in the northeast, you are better off going with a private seller vs. a dealership. We ended up purchasing Wanda from a
private seller off craigslist.
We did see several 5th wheel's which we liked. The benefits to the 5th wheeler for us were:
However, the biggest problem for us was that we did not own a truck capable of towing a 5th wheel and purchasing a decent truck would have blown through our budget.
,Our other serious contender was a Class C. We felt like it would be the easiest transition, as the cab is similar to a van or truck. It's smaller and more compact than a Class A or 5th wheel and they are easier to drive. But Class C's in our price range were nonexistent. The few that we looked at were priced too high and had very little outdoor storage. While wrapping our heads around downsizing and moving everything into an RV, the lack of storage was a really big issue.
And then there was one, a Class A. The availability of A's was better, we were able to find several priced in line with our budget, they had more living space than C's and plenty of pass through basement storage. The downside being that since they are bulkier we would definitely need a car to tow behind to avoid being landlocked at a campsite.
In the end we chose the Class A and feel it was the right choice for us. It's nice to have an all in one on travel days. I have easy access to the kitchen for drinks and snacks while Kevin drives and we all (dogs and cat included) have plenty of room and are not sitting on top of each other cramped in a truck. We have also watched several people with 5th wheelers and travel trailers have a very difficult time getting into some tight campsites. Our only complaint is that Wanda is pretty cumbersome when moving around a lot (which we tend to do). Sometimes it would be nice to be a little smaller and ironically enough we do have some extra storage that we don't use. But we really enjoy the space, comfort and open layout of Wanda and the wide open view out the front windows doesn't hurt either!
How did you decide which kind of home on wheels was right for you?
By Ashley Quiambao