We’ve been casually searching online for the past year or so for a “home on wheels” that will carry our family throughout Mexico and Central America for a year-long, out-of-this world adventure. There is one thing I can say about RV’s, which is really the same as houses; there are a million and one choices as far as layouts, sizes and costs.
RV shopping is pretty overwhelming!
So, after all this casual hunting, we finally did some serious recon this past week. We went to the Denver RV and Adventure Show to browse.
News Alert! We are definitely not buying a new RV!
First off, we don’t have and extra $80-$100 grand in our pockets. And second, our goal is to buy something that doesn’t draw a lot of attention as we drive through the suspect roads of these foreign countries.
We walked into the Denver Convention Center, filled with every RV style, make and model imaginable and found our way to Camping World and their Class C’s, with the following goals in mind:
Determine the Best Size: We’ve narrowed our RV search to something in the 24′ to 26′ range but until you’ve actually walked through each of them, side-by-side, it’s impossible to understand what would be right for our family.
Discovery: We actually liked the 26′. Shocker! We went in thinking the 24′ would be the best for us as we knew we’d be traveling through some small towns and maneuvering could be an issue. But looking at these RV’s, side by side, the 26′ didn’t feel that much larger on the outside, and the added living area on the inside outweighed the the length concern.
Determine the Best Layout: There are a few standard layouts in the Class C RV’s: 1.) A kitchen in the back vs. along the side. 2.) Either a bed or an entertainment unit over the cab 3.) A real bed in the back or a couch that folds down into a bed.
Discovery: We definitely confirmed that we want a bed over the cab for Noah and a bed in the back for us, with a good mattress. After all, we’ll be living in this thing for a year and feel having our own spaces and some comforts is important. Plus, we have no need for the entertainment center. All our entertainment will be found outside, exploring these amazing countries. Sorry Noah! No PS4!
Determine the Best Kitchen Layout: OK, this is probably just my goal and granted, all of the kitchens are going to be small. And to be honest, we’ll probably be cooking in an outdoor space when we get to each location. So, maybe the inner kitchen isn’t really the biggest priority, but there are still some must-have’s I don’t want to compromise on. 1.) There needs to be at least a few drawers. 2.) I’d also like some resemblance of a counter. Again, I know we’re moving into a RV. I should get it in my head that I am not going to have the kitchen of my dreams, but come on! How about a tiny space for, let’s say, prepping food!
Discovery: Again, in the 26′ RV, there seems to be a few more kitchen bonuses, like drawers. But the overall discovery with the kitchen was that we may need to compromise here if we get all the other things we want. Plus, with places like IKEA, there are lots of ideas for RV organization. I know that is not their claim to fame, but a small space is a small space!
RV shopping is fun! We tried our best to stick to just the Class C’s, but the Air Stream eye candy and other cool setups really lured us in: Mini pods, Pop ups, Travel trailers, Toy haulers…oh my! But, even with all the options, we still know the Class C is right for us and this adventure. So, it’s back to RVtrader.com and other online sites for continued shopping.
In just 7 short months the adventure begins! Follow along, be a part of our journey, and as always, if you have any great ideas or advice, we’d love to hear it!