How do you know you have the right RV?

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Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,669
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Fulltimer
No
There are a lot of variables that go into choosing a motorhome from floorplans, length, diesel, gas, price range, etc. I don't know what all goes into fifth wheels and travel trailers but I'm sure many of the requirements are the same, the only difference is you need to figure out what to tow it with or can you tow it with what you have. I've heard the term buy your 3rd motorhome first. Some of you here have been through quite a few RV's to date and maybe you can help others figure out what's right when it's time to seek their first or next RV.

My story as some know is that I'm in my first RV, a 2017 Newmar Ventana 40ft diesel pusher. It was an impulse buy, one with very little research, starting out at a weekend RV show then touring the lot of the local dealership, talking to my neighbor who had a Class C and some experience in RVing, etc. I learned pretty quickly that Newmar was the high end on the lot and I told my salesman while I knew nothing about this stuff I wanted to do this once. He talked me into the Ventana over the Dutch Star, I wanted the Dutch Star - those big tires looked cool! :) I hate it when someone changes my mind, it usually doesn't work out well, I regret when I go against my instinct. When I arrived at Newmar for the factory pickup I had a pit in my stomach that I may not like it from this situation but I was impressed.

I admit it has taken me time to like my coach. There is the part that is the status symbol, the higher the line type of thing. I've come to really like the simpler setup in the Ventana giving me more control, I've really liked the 40 foot length as that is stressful enough and I've gotten myself into enough situations with it early on having to disconnect the toad to get out of situations. I learned the hard way about tail swing and that your credit card can fix anything. It has been a great training wheel coach per se, but after 3 years I've come to realize this is the right coach, I love this coach for many reasons from its power to weight ratio, the floor plan, the length, the knowledge I've learned from the peers on forums like this.

I've started discussions on other forums about making your RV your own and not hesitating because you're always in resale mode. I learned that just about anything you see on a higher end RV can be done to yours too such as the Summit Stainless I love and was sad wasn't offered for my Ventana, later to find out it was an option. I look at higher end Newmars for my scenario, such as I'm looking at an Essex out the window, probably 4-5 years old and realize it's not really different than what I have. "It's a Newmar" and within the Newmar line at least I really do think they are all the same. Built by the same people, same assembly line, what is really the difference in the prices we're paying? Status symbol partly, higher end finishings inside somewhat, engine, length, etc. we all know that's a factor.

What I'm getting at in this long post is that after 3 years and many thoughts about something bigger and better I realize that I may in fact be in the perfect coach for me. Forums and also admiring coaches at campgrounds can make your mind think you need to be buying something different. Step back and try to figure out what you like and what you wish you had done better and if that is really worth letting go of what you have. I've had many nightmares of selling my S&B that I've loved since the day I moved in (brand new) in 2005, I've been concerned that if I got rid of this coach which has been pretty solid (knock on wood) that my next one may be a regret.

I welcome any thoughts or stories about buying to right coach or what made you decide to go to something new and if that was really necessary, being authentic with yourself and those reading here. Do you wish you had kept a previous coach? What can you share for others to learn from in this regard and realizing what coach is right for them.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
443
I think you answered. Time is the answer. I am on my way to pick up my third RV , since I started this adventure. The motorhome seemed perfect for me when I bought it. I love the floor plan and put too much money and time into making it heaven on earth for me.

A few things changed since I bought it. Firstly, I bound 2 group 27 lead acid batteries inadequate for overnights without running the generator.

Secondly, I started carrying a pedal bicycle for my toad. Thisget me around for necessities while burning enough calories for the ice cream socials.Anyhow, I cannot put out the bed slide with the bicycle rack on the back. Now that many trips require overnights, they become uncomfortable without an area large enough to stretch out and go to sleep. If this class C were 3 ft longer, with a permanent bed, it would be near perfect.

This brings up another point. The perfect rig today may not be the perfect rig five or six years from now. I am moving to a class A. Hopefully, I will like it better. I have always wanted one. Should the lord allow me to continue to camp into my eighties and nineties, I could see going back to a longer C.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
2,387
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
Well, for us, I think we wound up in the right place. That was a combination of experience, dumb luck and changing circumstances. As I have said in previous threads, we bought our first "RV" in the early 1970s; a 15' Red Dale travel trailer. We had a young family then and that small trailer worked well for us. And, we bought it primarily because it was (at the time) a fairly well-known brand and it fit our budget. That trailer served us well and we might still have it if it had not been destroyed by a falling tree during a major windstorm in 1993.

We briefly had a converted Flxible bus (Gene Autry's old band bus) that my father-in-law lovingly restored and converted into a nice RV. It served us as living quarters while we built a new sticks-and-bricks house. Unfortunately, it was not easy to drive as it had a straight-cut gears manual transmisson and no power steering.

As grandkids came along, we wanted another trailer so that they could travel with us throughout the West. So, we bought a 21' Aljo because we were familiar with travel trailer camping. It was fine for a while, but as the grandkids expanded in both numbers and size, we needed something larger.

A 35' Montana fifth wheel served well until the grandkids starting getting lives of their own and were less able to travel with us. So, we downsized to something for just the two of is; a 24' Solera (Forest River) Class C on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis. It was a great small coach for weekend and week-long trips, but as we started taking longer trips it proved to be a bit tight.

That's when "dumb luck" reared its head! I happened to be looking at some RV ads and saw a 34' 2014 Newmar Ventana LE 3436. Quite honestly I had never heard of Newmar. A bit of research showed that, in fact, Newmar produced a quality product. So, we drove our Solera to Oregon (from Washington) to take a look at this Newmar DP. The Solera didn't return home with us; the Ventana LE did.

Finally, we began taking longer trips (I have been a competitive skeet shooter for years and started traveling farther to competitions) and we decided to purchase an RV lot in Montana. Size-wise, the 34' Ventana LE was just a bit cramped for long stays, so we did some careful research on our "last motorhome." We were very satisfied with Newmar (and, especially, Comfort Drive) and decided to order exactly what we wanted.

After a lot of research and much conversation between LadyDi and I, we settled on the 40' 2018 Mountain Aire 4047. It was a combination of mechanical factors (500 HP Cummins, Allison 4000 transmission, air-disc brakes all around, etc.) and floor plan/amenities as determined, primarily, by LadyDi. In the end, it has proven to be our "perfect coach" and we have no plans to replace it.

All this rambling to illustrate that changing needs and circumstances can be the primary driver for changing RVs. If what you have satisfies your needs, it is the "perfect coach" for you. If/when those needs and circumstances change, you may well be a candidate for a new RV.

TJ
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
532
Location
Fremont, California
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4018
RV Length
40’
TOW/TOAD
Jeep Wrangler Sahara
I won’t go into all our early rving with small units. So, about 20 years ago when the Country Coaches, Monaco’s, Beaver’s, Fleetwoods etc used to show up at the local shows, we would spend hours enjoying all these wonderous toys we hade’t realized existed. At one event we happened across an Alpine pusher and were seriously impressed. Long story short we ended up ordering a 2005 36’ Alpine that was a fantastic coach. We traveled cross country several times in the Alpine, from Key West to Prince Edward Island. It never let us down.
Fast forward to 2017. We were in Coburg Oregon to have all the fogged windows replaced In the Alpine. While camped in the glass companies parking lot on a Sunday so we could get in first thing Monday, the DW said “let’s go over to Guaranty RV and wonder through their pusher inventory.“ Little did I know that she had found the Rv of her dreams on Guaranty’s web site and wanted to see it.
Well, we ended up owning our 2017 DS 4018 that same afternoon. And even though I loved my Alpine I must admit that the DW was right (As she usually is) that this coach is right for us. We love our Newmar DS and it will most likely be our last pusher.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
35
I don't know if there ever is the "perfect" trailer, tow vehicle, toad, class A, B, C...etc. My history is getting to do just a fraction of a few trips while in college when my parents purchased their first RV, which was a used piece of junk. We still laugh about it. It was a 1977 "Apollo." My brother quickly donned it "Apollo alright...a pile of junk." And we all laughed.

But..I'm a gypsy at heart and hold those trips dear. My parents are very elderly now.

When hubby and I were younger, we could only tent camp. It was all we could afford. It was work, but we had little children and I remember those trips and smile every time I think about them.

Then we got a popup. The kids quickly named it "Ghetto." It was old and used, but in good condition. We took some long trips in it and somehow, made it work with two adults, two teens, and two little kids.

Finances and life changed and improved, so for 50th, hubby wanted to surprise me with an Airstream trailer and he found a sweet deal on a gem that had been kept in pristine condition. We've taken lots of trips over the past three years, and now are doing some longer jaunts. We are down to one teen and one almost ten. They both love our trips. I hope they will remember them fondly and that we are giving them some character by camping.

Our trailer is pretty basic. No slideouts. No power anything, except the front jack. That's ok. It's built extremely well and we have kept her maintained to the highest degree. She's only 26' long. It's cozy for four, and sometimes we have a tent for the boys and sometimes we don't. What we are and what we have is very adaptable.

I often think about going to a newer Airstream, but I know what we have and it works. I'm not sure we need more. We are outside so much, we just don't need all the bells and whistles. I guess it would be very different if we full-timed. I think a class A makes a lot of sense and those Newmars are really beautiful!

I'm not quite sure what we will do over the next five years. We very well may have this very same trailer. Whatever, the case, I'm just extremely grateful to have the opportunity for a hubby who works remotely, schooling how we want from any location, and the opportunity to get out and enjoy this. It's just hard for me to demand much since this trailer has not given us any fits nor been a headache. If that were the case, I'm sure I'd be looking for something else. Airstreams are built to have a lot of adaptability and that suits me at this time just fine.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
689
Location
Orinda, CA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4002
RV Length
40’10
TOW/TOAD
2015 Jeep Trailhawk
My story is long and I am on my third RV. I have what I would call not normal experiences in owning RV mainly having to do with bad warranty work and service. I wont go into the details because its long past and I also will say I did not know anything when I started 5 years ago but I have learned alot ( especially on this forum and the predecessor) and I am more educated about what it takes to own an RV.

People warned me, if you are not mechanical (I am not), owning an RV will be very difficult and expensive. Those things break all the time etc etc etc. I would say yes it really helps alot to be mechanically oriented but it does not mean you can't own an RV. You have to be creative in how you approach the problem you are trying to solve. I think all things break at some point, but if you are on top of maintenance items, this can help a lot and prevent breakdowns. I try to plan before they happen. So far the formula has worked pretty well for me.

How do I know I have the right RV? I have the right RV for me now at this moment in time based on the time I have to put into it and what I use it for. Are there things I don't like about my RV, absolutely 100%. Thankfully my list is short. I plan to keep working for a while, so if and when I retire, I would want to move to a coach that had some features I wish I had now. Not deal breaker items just nice to have items.

When I retire, I would plan to take longer trips and probably go live the winter months somewhere warm and sunny and therefore those items on my list would be in my next coach. Who knows, it may not happen. For now all is good, my Ventana serves my needs.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
239
Location
Sarasota, FL
RV Year
1997
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
London Aire
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2008 Jeep GC Overland
Fulltimer
No
We bought our first Class A in 2016 and have been whipping it into shape. Being 40 ft, it is very comfortable. I wanted to get some slide repair and windshield R&R done at the factory so I took her solo on our first long trip from west central FL to Nappanee, IN and back and she did fine. We don't use her as much as I'd like too (my wife is still working), especially during this pandemic but she is sitting right beside our home ready to go - it may even be the place we isolate in if either me or my DW get the virus (knocking on wood that we don't).
As far as I can tell, we are not looking to buy another, we'll just keep this one.
 
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