Shopping for a New Home

Now that we decided we are going to go RVing, it’s time to start planning.  We are now in the process of purchasing an RV and a truck to pull it – unfortunately, our Subaru Forester can’t even pull a pop-up camper.

While driving to work, I heard a commercial on the radio for an RV Show that was taking place in Des Moines, September 16-18.  It had been about three years since we had looked at what RVs had to offer, so we thought this would be a good idea to check them out again.  The Greater Iowa RV Show took place at the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fair.  When we were walking into the show, we ended up running into a couple that was going to check out RVs too.  After talking to them for a little bit, we found out that they are currently living fulltime in an RV – and their advice was “do it NOW, don’t wait”.  It was reassuring to hear someone actually partaking in the lifestyle to encourage us to follow our dreams.  

Spending a little bit of time looking at RV layouts online, we decided that we were interested in a travel trailer.  We also had a few “requirements” the trailer needed to have – I mean we are going to be living in this for at least a year.

  • Rear Living RV, with the entertainment center directly across from the couch
  • A fireplace
  • A location large enough for two dog kennels
  • Enough room in the bedroom for our King size bed

We were a little overwhelmed when we entered the RV show, there were some many different RVs – from travel trailers, to fifth-wheels, to motor homes.  Luckily, we came prepared with a our online research and measurements.  Since we knew we were interested in a travel trailer, it cut the inventory quite a bit.  We spent about an hour walking around and checking out all the travel trailers.  There were only a couple that we felt meet our requirements and would be a good fit.  We ended up talking to a saleswoman, Sparky – from Autorama RV, and explained our plans for the RV.  She told us she had the perfect RV in mind for what we were hoping to do, and we were interested to see if the RV she had in mine was one of the RVs we had put on our list.

Sparky took us to the top RV on our list 2017 Keystone Outback Diamond Super-Lite TT 328RL.  It was the only RV at the show that meet ALL of our requirements, we didn’t have to give up anything we wanted!  Welcome Home – check out the floor plan below.  

tt

Not only did this travel trailer meet all of our requirements, it also offered so much storage.  If you want to check out some additional photos of this particular travel trailer head over to http://www.keystonerv.com/outback/.  We ended up putting a hold on this RV and were impressed we had found it so quickly.  

Derek decided to do a little more research after we got home from the RV show – at this point we really hadn’t done a lot.  We knew we wanted to hit up the western part of the United States following the weather and we knew we wanted to stay at some national parks.  After checking out a few national parks – we quickly realized we had an issue.  Some of the national parks do not allow trailer over 35 ft long, because they don’t have the space in the campgrounds.  When we saw 328RL on the RV, we thought this meant that the RV was 32.8 ft long.  However, the trailer is really 37.4 ft long from hitch to end and is 32.8 ft long on the interior.  Since the dogs will already be limiting some of the locations we can stay at, we decided we didn’t want to add to that list by having a trailer that was too long.  

Bye-bye dream camper

Back to the drawing board it was.  Derek’s parents own a Jayco camper and really like it, so we decided this would be a good brand to check out.  We headed off to Des Moines RV to see what type of options they had in stock.  After looking around their lot for awhile, salesman Pheng came out to show us some options.  We now had a better idea about lengths, so that was added to the requirement list.

  • Rear Living RV, with the entertainment center directly across from the couch
  • A fireplace
  • A location large enough for two dog kennels
  • Enough room in the bedroom for our King size bed
  • 35 feet, preferably shorter

After viewing all the travel trailers and feeling pretty defeated, we were going to have to start giving requirement up if we wanted to stay at 35 ft or shorter.  As we were getting into our car to leave, Pheng asked us if we had given Fifth Wheels any thought, and honestly we really hadn’t.  When we started talking about RVing fulltime we had thought about Fifth Wheels (because many people say they are easier to pull and maneuver), but we thought they were too expensive and required a ¾ ton truck and we were hoping to purchase a ½ ton instead.

Pheng was able to clear thing up for us – they had Fifth Wheels in our price range and Jayco has a whole line that are half-ton towable. He took us to view a 2017 Jayco Eagle HT Fifth Wheel 28.5RSTS – check out the layout below.

5th

If you want to check out some additional photos of this particular travel trailer head over to http://www.jayco.com/products/fifth-wheels/2017-eagle-ht-fifth-wheels/285rsts/.  This Fifth Wheel meet all the requirements except for one – our king bed wasn’t coming with us.  Derek and I decided that we would be willing to sacrifice losing the king size, if we were able to stay at all the location we wanted (luckily this RV was only 32.11 ft long).  

We ended up putting a hold on this camper – we have finally found our new home.

  • Step 1: Buy an RV
  • Step 2: Buy a Truck
  • Step 3: Sell our house
  • Step 4: Start Our Adventure

Follow along in our adventure, as we find a truck to pull this monster!

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