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OK. First thing… DON’T TELL LANCE! I don’t want him to hear and start freaking out, but… we’ve started talking about what our next RV might look like. It’s not like we’re getting a new RV tomorrow or anything, so nobody panic yet.
You can see our whole thought process in the video below:
So what we’re doing is going through a modified version of our own 8 Step Program for Choosing Your First RV. It’s a modified version for a few reasons. First, the 8 Step Program was written to help people with a FIRST time RV selection. We already have an RV, so things are a bit different for us. We don’t need to rent one, for example. Next, one of the steps in the program – visit an RV show – would be difficult in 2020 since there are very few RV shows this year. But there are virtual ones, like Camping World’s Ultimate RV Show. I plan on checking that out because I hear they will be announcing some new RV models at the show. You never know…
Also – since we already have an RV that’s pretty freaking awesome – we’re not interested in going backwards. In other words, we have a hard “floor” for features and functionality. And finally, though our list of wants is extensive… I have the ability to make significant modifications to any new RV we get. So even things that might be deal-breakers for some other folks might not end things for us. (But let’s be honest, there are some mods even I’m not willing to make.)
So how does this process look for us? Lifting directly from our 8-Step Program, we get through the first three steps in this video.
Step 1: Stop Thinking About RVs
Here, we lay out our use case: how we plan to use an RV. And since we’ve been RVing for almost a decade now, we have a pretty good handle on this. In the future, we intend to do more of what already works for us! If we describe our RVing style in 10 bullet points, it looks like this:
- We almost ALWAYS travel with bikes.
- Two Humans. One Cat Overlord.
- Both of us will drive.
- We RV in extreme weather conditions – desert southwest plus snow & skiing
- We never stay in any one place for very long.
- We take some shorter trips, some longer ones. 2 days to 2 months.
- We plan trips based on what we want to do:
- Cycling events
- RV Events, Shows, Meet-ups, etc.
- Working a full-time 9-5 job remotely from the road is (unfortunately) mandatory.
- We take our RVs on narrow and/or windy roads, into urban environments, crowded trailheads, and Starbucks parking lots.
- Some RV parks, some remote camping, some Wal-Mart – none dominates.
Nothing earth-shattering there, but now you know who we are and how we roll.
Step 2: Rent an RV
Yeah. We can skip that one.
Though we do get to borrow new RV models from time to time, so we’re not opposed to taking something out for a trial run. (Like we did with the Solis 59PX this summer!) You can bet if we have any more opportunities like that, we’re going to jump on them if the rig is even close to what we think we want.
Step 3: Figure Out Features You Want
This is kind of like brainstorming for us. We just went nuts and listed out everything we think we want in an RV. It got a little, uhhh… dreamy…
- Under 24 feet in TOTAL length
- All Wheel Drive or 4WD
- NO PUZZLE BEDS!
- Dedicated INDOOR bike storage
- No restriction on RV Class (A, B, C)
- 4 season capability – Insulation, tanks, etc.
- Dual pane acrylic windows
- No mandatory toilet preference
- Lithium Battery System (20,000 watt-hours)
- No Generator
- Solar capability nice, but not a driver
- No pre-installed connectivity solution
- Separate areas for sleep and work
- A proper and sturdy work table
- Tables for two
- Induction cooktop
- Large NON-ABSORPTION fridge
- Ample pantry space
- Separate wardrobe space
- Capability to bring “cat stuff”
- See-Level tank monitors (or could add them)
- Prefer without TV or Entertainment system
- Quiet, PREFERABLY DUCTED air conditioning
- No “pictures of wood”
- 7-pin wiring harness for trailer
- 360-Siphon Vent Covers
- Leveling System
- Air Suspension
- Permanent Surge Suppressor
And since we made the video, we came up with another one:
30. Can’t be too wide
We don’t really know what “too wide” is. We know that our current ProMaster is 81 inches wide, and we’re completely fine with that. The LTV Wonder is about 95 inches wide, and that seems too wide for us. For reference, the maximum allowable vehicle width is about 102 inches for like a semi or something, and parking spaces are about 108 inches wide (give or take). So what do we want? We don’t have a number in mind, but definitely closer to the 81 inches than to 95 inches. Let’s just say that ideally, we’d like something in a van-type footprint, and leave it there for now.
So What’s Next
In the next steps, we’ll put these features in order, and then start identifying models and checking them out at RV shows. We have a lot of “which is more important, a or b?” questions to ask ourselves. And then we get to try to identify rigs that match up with our prioritized wish list.