Tuesday, June 21, 2016

RVs and Ice Cream

2007 Itasca Winnebago Navion 23J, image source 

After two long road trips (4 days and 6 days- 1, 2) in the last 6 months, we've decided an RV is closer to being in our future than we had thought. We had planned on waiting a couple more years, but the road trips showed us that we really need the advantages that come from having an RV when we take our next big road trip next summer (we were supposed to do one this past summer, but I was too close to giving birth to Ocean for that to happen). We drove the Camry both times because it gets better mileage, but the CRV wouldn't have offered much more space.

Some of the things we're looking forward to: more space for the kiddos (River is already figuring out how to push Sunshine's buttons), on-the-go bathroom breaks (important with little kiddos), better food options (not relying on junk food or the closest 5 Guys or Chipotle), and not being dependent on static hotel reservations. Sometimes we make good time, but have to stop because we reached our hotel, even though we could still drive some, or it was slow going and we really just need to pull over, but we haven't reached our hotel yet. Being able to pull over into a convenient truck stop, rest stop, or wally world really makes traveling so much nicer. 

We first thought that the Winnebago Era 70X on a Sprinter chassis would be a good option. Diesel engine with power, short enough (only 24 feet long) to be maneuverable in traffic, 5 seat belts in the back, frig, sink, and stove in kitchen area, and -most important- a small bathroom for kiddos to use when the need strikes. They're not the easiest to find, but I found one with the floor plan we liked while we were driving back home on our most recent road trip (seriously, that road trip showed us just how much we need a different road tripping vehicle), so we stopped to look at it at some random RV dealership. I liked it, but Mr M felt it was a bit cramped side to side.  The 70X doesn't have a slide, so there's no extra space, like our little trailer had. 

that back bench has 3 seatbelts and converts to a large bed

doesn't River look like he's inspecting the upholstery?

The dealership also showed us a couple small Winnebago Class Cs, which gave us a good place to start looking at other options. When we got home I did some more research and found several small Winnebagos I thought might work. We found one or two of them at a dealership an hour or so away, so we took a little trip up there to check them out.

The 2016 View J was nice (and has a slide), but only had three seat belts in the back. Since we plan on adopting still (someday I'll do a post on that) we need four seat belts for kiddos. We liked the dedicated bed in the back and the bed over the cab: lots of sleeping space for everyone. If we went with  the Era 70X, the kiddos would be sleeping on the floor and rigged-up beds across the front seats, which would work, but not be optimal.

Since we were there, we checked out some much bigger RVs that were of course roomy and impressive. But we don't want anything too big (mileage decreases the bigger you get, and we already did the low mileage thing with the truck and trailer), so we're concentrating on the smaller models.  The challenge is finding a smaller RV with four seat belts in the back- most only have three.

I have found several models that are 23-24' long, have a slide, cab over bed, freezer over frig, and 4 seat belts in the back, but most of them were only produced in certain years. 2007 for this one, 2008 for that one, 2011 for this other one. It makes it a bit more tedious when searching for listings, but at least there's options. If money weren't a factor and we could buy a brand new one, I'd pick this one, the Coachmen Prism 2200 LE:

It has 3 seat belts at the dinette and 1 by the door and a really cool entertainment center/divider between the bed and the dinette.

We're not planning on purchasing one until late next spring/early summer, before road trip season starts, so we have time to look for the right RV for us, which will probably be the 2007 Itasca Navion/Winnebago View 23J (different names for the same vehicle).


On our way home from looking at RV's we stopped for ice cream. It was cold and rainy, but every time we pass this place we say we should stop there, but we never do. Are we the only ones who do this?

So this time we decided to stop and try out the ice cream. It was pretty good, and River made friends with the local cow:

when he gets older he's not going to appreciate this picture nearly as much as we do :)

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