As a follow-up to the previous article, it’s important to keep in mind that your choice of RV does not have to be a life-long commitment. As carefully as you have considered the options and the pros and cons of your RV choice, for various reasons you may change your mind at some point down the road.
When my husband and I were raising our three children, our 24-foot 1977 Nomad travel trailer fit our family’s needs. It was tough and could handle the abuse of rowdy children and dirty dogs. We especially appreciated that as a towable, it could be left in the campsite for the day while we went off to explore the area. This feature also made it easier to return “home” in the evening, get dinner going, and wind down for the day without re-setting up. Usually, a grassy spot was available in the campsite for our sons to pitch a small tent. They enjoyed the independence of sleeping out while our daughter, the youngest, slept on the bed converted from the dinette table. When the years of family camping waned, we sold the old Nomad to a younger family who I imagine enjoyed making similar memories. Every now and then in our travels, we spot a green-striped Nomad of the same vintage and find ourselves reminiscing nostalgically.
Once we retired, without kids and dogs tagging along, our RV desires changed. We wanted to travel in Europe and found camping a viable way to go. After some research, we learned how to buy or rent a motorhome in Europe. The other popular option for Europeans is to pull a caravan (travel trailer) with a car. Not owning a car in Europe, was not an option for us. All the rentals we looked at were drive-ables anyway. Our choices consisted of campervans, which were easy to drive and park but lacked spacious interiors, and various sizes of motorhomes. We decided upon a 7-meter Fiat McLouis, what we would call in the United States a Class C motorhome. It had an over-the-cab bunk bed, which we used for storage, a queen bed in the rear, a dinette, and a full kitchen. The McLouis also featured a “wet bathroom,” meaning a shower was included, but if you used the shower, the sink, commode, and walls all got wet. Nearly all the campgrounds where we stayed had nice showers, so over 7 ½ months of camping in Europe, we never once showered in the motorhome. I used the space primarily to hang damp laundry to dry.
After our camping tour in Europe, when we returned to the United States, we wanted a similar RV. We purchased a 26-foot Coachmen Class C motorhome. We found it similar to the McLouis in Europe, but the corner shower is separate from the half bath where the commode and sink are located. This has worked well for us to have the shower so conveniently located in our RV. We have also enjoyed the slide-out because it makes the living area roomier. We never saw slide-outs on European motorhomes. Also, the kitchen in the Coachmen has a microwave, which the McLouis did not. The Coachmen can also tow our motorcycle trailer, which we have enjoyed taking with us for day trips while leaving the motorhome parked and set up in the campsite.
Currently, we are thinking about our next RV choice. We are leaning toward a small to a medium-sized towable travel trailer. We like this idea because we can pull it with our pickup truck, which is comfortable to drive and ride in. As we did while camping with our kids, we could once again leave the trailer set up in camp and then go exploring with the pickup. Many roads in Arizona are dirt or gravel, which is not compatible with our street motorcycle, but the pickup could handle those readily for day outings.
As you can see, our needs and desires have changed, and so have our RV preferences. We have met many RVers who have gone through similar evolutions. As their needs and wants change, they adjust accordingly regarding which RV will work best for them. The key is to be flexible and adapt to those changes. After all, much of RVing is about just that – adapting and enjoying the ride.