We lay in bed this morning and had our Lightbulb moment.
Last weekend when we were at the RV show there was one purchasing criteria we forgot — completely – about. And it should have been so obvious.
I told you that when we were looking for a Coach that we looked at about 100 different units. And that there were only three that we really liked. The greatest number of units on dealer lots were center hallways and we were looking for something that had a side hallway. At the time we weren’t all that sure of the implications of such a ‘small’ requirement but after last weekend when we saw a lot of Coaches with crosswise beds the complications of a crosswise bed jumped out at us.
This is Journey! And after we had her for a few months — and got around to using the Satellite dish we discovered that we could control the DISH receiver from the left side of the bedroom — just pointing it down the aisle! Why? Because I didn’t want to pop for a second receiver, or the added cost of running two separate DISH receivers.
This is the 36PDD that we looked at last weekend and can you see the problem? In the Winnebago the wiring for the entire satellite system is contained in a single cabinet above the cockpit and all of the entertainment switching is in another cabinet above the passenger seat. In the Knight that’s not true. If I were to attempt to point the remote from the bedroom to the receiver I’d have to be sitting on the foot of the bed and even then if the toilet door was open I wouldn’t be able to shoot the IR beam to the right place at the front of the coach.
Ok — none of this is crucial to how you live in your RV — but it is just one of a thousand little details that make your choice of WHICH RV you buy more than a moment’s “Oh, I love this…” kind of decision. It also helps explain why so many RV’s get traded after a short time or low mileage. When we were waiting for Lichtsinn to make the final pre-delivery adjustments to Journey another owner pulled in who was trading up after only 14 months of ownership. Why? Not enough storage. They hadn’t thought through how they were going to be USING their RV before they bought it.
I think we’ve done well. Last weekend was the first time since we took delivery that we looked at any RV for any reason. And this trip to Eugene was more about learning about the dealers in our temporary home area than in buying a different coach. And most importantly we ruled out any thoughts about buying a 5th wheel in the future.
Here in Oregon we have been seeing television adverts about gambling encouraging you to set a firm limit to how long you will gamble, set an amount, and … well, some other compulsion breaker that I forget right now. I think there are some parallels to buying an RV. Set your budget, and live with it. Set our time frame — do you HAVE to do it in 2 or 3 months — or are you willing to wait for just the right RV to come along. And, before you go shopping, define your needs. What do you NEED? Not what do you want… wants are elusive and we all now wants are changeable. But what do you NEED — absolutely HAVE to have. Our need list was short:
- Diesel power (not only for the torque, also for the rear engine and quieter ride, and now we realize the third reason is that when we sit for an extended time we don’t have to worry about fuel getting old as is the case with gasoline powered RV’s)
- With storage for my photo cases. (I had not given adequate consideration about how much space my computers took — next time around — if there is a next time it’s the one addition we will make to our list)
- Sleeping for 4 (when Kathryn and Mike or Melanie come)
- As short as possible (so we could fit into tight State Park campsites)
- NOT a Detroit Diesel engine — that was after my own experience of 92 series and 71 series engines in the past.
Anything in the 30′ + category would have a genset — that we knew. It would also be equipped with rear duals — I didn’t have to specify that.
Our want list was a little longer but because they were wants we ended up with some of the items on the list, we missed out on a few, and we ended up with things we never considered but wonder how we ever would have gotten on with out them — now that we have a coach with them.
Once you have your MUST HAVE list, be patient. Be willing to do your research. Be willing to make a few trips to check out what’s available — and keep checking. Inventories can change rapidly — especially if what YOU are looking for is the same as what OTHER PEOPLE are also looking for. That fellow I mentioned who was trading up when we were waiting to take delivery of Journey — they traveled 1500 miles to get the used coach they ended up with. That’s at least $750.00 in fuel plus other expenses for the trip. Be willing to do what it takes to find the Coach / RV you want.
Ok — that’s it for me. I hope you tweaked your RV shopping process a bit. I’ll talk with you tomorrow.