Saturday, August 27, 2011

I Looked at RVs Today

When I was driving home from Boot Camp on Thursday I drove by Poulsbo RV in Seattle and saw a number of Winnebago Views on the lot.  I decided to go there today and check out different floor plans.  

The reason I went there is that I'm not happy with the sleeping arrangements in Olivia, i.e., I'm not too crazy about climbing a ladder to reach my bed at night.  Having spent a grand total of five nights in her I have an idea of what it will continue to be like and I'm not crazy about it.  I also don't like that I can't sit up in bed and read at night.  

Sleeping on the couch in Olivia is out of the question.  Too uncomfortable and I don't like the idea of having to make it up every night and putting it away every morning.  I had a couch in my fifth wheel back in '93 that I think would work marvelously, but I can't find one.  It's just the kind where you grab and pull and the back lies flat and you have an instant bed.  Yes, it has to be made up, too, but with less work since it doesn't have to be inflated and then deflated.  

I drove a 31' Jayco Class C something or other today.  It's actually a truck. I didn't like how the cab felt...too enclosed.  I also looked at a 30' Monaco diesel pusher Class A.  I'm supposed to go back tomorrow and drive it.'re my inspiration!!!

Here's the interior of the Monaco...

and this is the bedroom...

Here's the Jayco...

and the bedroom...

Of the two, I like the Monaco the best.  It's amazing what five more feet will do to an RV.  I also don't like a booth dinette and that's what the Jayco has. I don't know if having been to the Monaco factory recently has anything to do with my decision.  We went there on Wednesday as part of the boot camp and it was a great tour.  Waaaaaaay out of my price range.  They're moving the RV factory to Indiana early next year and will only be building trailers at Junction City, OR.  Sadly, lots of jobs are going away.  

One of the ladies at Boot Camp, who has a Thor Four Winds Siesta, said that Dodge Sprinter's are known for difficulty in side winds.  I didn't know that but I've experienced it twice and it was awful.  They're going to have sway bars or something like that added to their rig plus automatic levels.  I'm not happy enough with Olivia to go to that expense.  

I'm also aware that small probably isn't going to work for me.  If I change my mind somewhere down the line, don't quote me.  I'm just figuring out what works for me and talking out loud.  

The salesman told me that with the airbags on the Monaco and the diesel pusher that I wouldn't have trouble with side winds.  Is he right???

Before I go, I want to share two lovely mountains with you.  The first is Mount Hood...

and the second is Mount Rainier...

Also visible while taking pictures of Mt. Hood, Willamette Falls...

Apparently, the Willamette River is the only river that flows south to north. I did not know that prior to boot camp.  If you look closely in this picture you can see an American flag...

Thanks for listening to my incoherent ramblings.  

Loving the sunshine,



  1. You're a lady so changing your mind is allowed. ;) As for side winds Diesel Pushers handle it better but they also can be affected a fair amount depending on the suspension set up. The salesman is going to try and say it's fine, the best way to find out is wait for a windy day and drive it! A Diesel Pusher with multiple air bags like 8, inboard and outboard of the axle with trac bars really are stable and track the road so well you can drive with one hand.

    The couch you're thinking of is called a "Jacknife couch" and most Class A's come with them, I believe most Class C's do as well.

    I think you'd do very well with the Monaco or another Class A like it.

    Merikay picked a beauty didn't she? Wow.

    Good luck!


  2. I hear ya on the sprinter chassis. We were looking at them before we bought the Lazy Daze but after driving the sprinter based MH decided we wanted something more stable (and bigger). Sometimes it takes a while to find just the right rig but seems like you're headed in the right direction. No need to stay in something that is not comfortable for you. Good luck in finding just the right one.

    Great pictures of the mountains.

  3. I remember on an earlier post you said you weren't happy but we all said to give it a chance. You did and you still aren't happy with the sleeping set up. When I stop and think about having to climb down at night to use the restroom I would't like it either. My neighbor here has a monaco and they both are very happy with it.I don't think its deisel. Are you going to live in it when you come to Tucson?

  4. good luck in finding the right rig for you!!..we are always looking and spend a whole ton of time looking and dreaming...
    five feet makes a huge difference!!..Monaco gets my vote..if it counts for anything?

  5. Both of the RVs you looked at are really nice - very roomy and you'll love having a down bed. It sounded from the beginning like you weren't sure Olivia was the best RV for you. If you're thinking about full timing, especially, you want to be in a rig that's comfortable. There are some basic things about Olivia that aren't working for you, so if you can find something that's better, go for it.

    I have a jack knife sofa, and it would be easy to make up every night. I'd get a comfortable, roomy, washable sleeping bag, I think. Then I'd just have to roll it out at night with a pillow, and roll it back up in the morning to put away. That is my plan if I still have The Palms when I'm not wanting to use the up bed.

    Wow, the excitement of looking for a new rig, and this time you know more about what's going to work for you. We didn't know any of that the first time. Good luck! :)

  6. Even in my teeny tiny 12 foot trailers that we renovate I MUST have a good perm bed that I don't have to make out. And I can't even imagine not being able to read in bed...have fun looking.

  7. I agree with you about the bed. I wouldn't be happy having to climb up into it each night. My body isn't getting any younger. :)

  8. So, if you get a bigger rig will you need to tow a car? Will it still be easy to do without a toad that way? I so agree with you on the bed, it is why we got the rig we did, with a full time made down bed and no cab over. Even at 24 feet, it's worth having the bed instead of a table/dinette. Ours just has a sofa and we bring out tables when the slide goes out. It is all a big learning process, but so much fun. When and if you trade in Olivia, I think you might be really tickled with whatever you choose.

  9. I made my View H (jackknife sofabed) more comfortable by adding a double-wide camp mattress (2 Thermarests velcroed together) and a Travasak double-wide sleeping bag that has real sheets inside. It makes the sofa very quick and easy to make up as a bed, but does require that I store the mattress and bedding up in the cabover during the daytime. Right now, this system works well for my snowbirding and "part-time fulltime" travels. But when I give up my house and go fulltime and stay parked in 1 place for longer time periods, I'll want a Class A Diesel Pusher to get the real bedroom, bigger tanks, and extra external storage.

    Do your homework and ensure that the engine, chassis, and coach components are still serviceable by a good network of dealers and have good parts availability. Don't just take a dealer's word on it-- join online owner forums and ask lots of questions. With all the bankruptcies in the RV world the past few years, there are some great bargains out there, but some lemons with obsolete unavailable parts as well. One thing for sure, there are lots of used Class A's out there so it's a buyer's market. Take your time and find the one that will be your perfect long-term fit.

    I think used is certainly the way to go. Another blogger showed how a company in Phoenix renovated their 10-yr old Class A and it looked like a brand new coach with flat screen TVs, etc. So don't overlook a solid older coach w/ perhaps a few dated interior items. The price w/renovations still might be a lot less than new.

  10. Sounds like you are having a good time looking for a new "home". Think of Olivia as your RV with training wheels. You are learning all about the things you like and don't like so the new one will be perfect!
    About the propane...if you turn it off your refrigerator won't work while you are on the road!

  11. Hi Jeana! So fun to view your comments and photos. You are having quite an experience and what a great idea to blog about your journey ... both the outside and inside one.
    Regardless of what RV you end up with - love the name Olivia!

  12. Photos and info from Boot Camp?

  13. It's nearly impossible to find well-informed people on this topic, however, you seem like you know what you're talking about!

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