Monday, March 30, 2009

Northside RVs

Jill's Journal: A delayed anniversary babysitting gift from my sister and brother-in-law netted us a few glorious child-free hours on Friday afternoon to spend as we pleased. We turned it into a great fact-finding mission at Northside RVs in Lexington, which claims to be Kentucky’s largest RV dealer. The number one thing we learned? There’s so much to learn and so many options!

We’ve looked at literally hundreds of blueprints online and in catalogues, but it was so incredibly helpful to actually see some in person. The manager of the place seemed to be a straight-shooter, always a welcome thing in a salesman, and spent nearly two hours with us. He took us into about 10 different models, a nice mix of motorhomes and fifth wheels, so we could really get a feel for our different options. We have so much to think about.

At dinner afterward, Rob put it eloquently and perfectly: “A motorhome is the sexy option, but a fifth wheel is the smart option.” And that’s what we’re thinking. As much as we’d love a Class A motorhome with the accompanying bells and whistles, we can get the same square footage in a fifth wheel for a fraction of the price. And these next two years on the road aren’t about living in luxury and comfort. They’re about enjoying life with just the basics and being comfortable enough. A fifth wheel fits the bill just fine (and a fancy fifth wheel gives us a bill of about one-third the price tag of a basic motorhome!).

Friday, March 27, 2009


So it has begun. I knew where I was going with the purge, but I don't think anyone believed it. When Jill heard I was talking about 86ing my poker books, I think it was finally understood. We are going to have to get rid of A LOT of stuff. I'm all about storing stuff, but it has to be important stuff. Anything I haven't looked at or used in the last 18 months probably needs to go. Most of the other stuff probably needs to be used.

Just looking around the office I can see tons of paper that has to be used - DVDs to make electronic, pictures to store (those aren't going to go away), all the electronics that we don't need. The furniture that quite frankly is gonna go away and I guess some is staying, we are coming back to a house at some point after all, right?

Jill started purging herself today, and I think it was a big step. I know she likes to get rid of things, but she got rid of some stuff that was very personal and things that she had projects in mind for. I'm not sure I'm ready to take that big a step this quick, but I'm gonna work on it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Live from Kentucky…

Jill's Journal: Rob gave me sh*# today about two things. Well, probably about more than that, but just two come to mind regarding the RV trip! One was about not yet reading the “right” RV books, so I’ll delve into those soon. And the other was about not yet combining my “blog” with his, so…without further ado, I’m going to “back-post” my little journal/blog right here. I’ll notate my entries in some way. Here goes…I'm going live!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Toy Hauler?

So, now - maybe a toy hauler? With the garage area we could tun it into whatever we wanted. The triple-bunk thing probably wouldn't be hard to do - it would be 'empty' space to use as a playroom, and we could use the tailgate as a kind of porch.

In fact - putting a deck on that ramp, putting supports on the outside wouldn't be that tough. We could leave it closed when the weather was bad and open it up during the day when its good. I could see putting some simple kind of aluminum railing in place that automatically opened. Damn, new ideas.
We'd still need to go with a tow vehicle, though they do make motohomes with that type of floorplan. That kind of open floorplan might be just the kind of playroom we need.

Monday, March 2, 2009

More Research.

I kept thinking about the right post to get back into this blog and figured - what does it matter - just blog... so here it is:

I started giving a little thought to a travel trailer over the weekend. I could probably find a nice 40' and either tow it with the Dodge or pickup a new/2008ish 450 or something. There are benefits to it mostly in sleeping arrangements (best I've seen yet is a separate room and bathroom for the kids up front, and all the other amenities we'd been looking for). However I'm still not sure its the best arrangement. Point is that we aren't planning on driving more than living, unlike some people, and sitting in the car/truck during travel just might not be that bad. I'll have to do research - I love research... :)

The thing that brought this about is that the one motorhome that looks genuinely perfect will not tow what I need it to tow. I'm not sure if that's because they only want to rate it at 5,000 pounds but it can handle more, or if that's really all it can do physically. Again, more research to see. I think looking at other bunk models will help, but I haven't seen a bunk model that truly has the family in mind. Most of them look like they are built for occasional sleepovers, not full-timers with kids. More Research.

So far I'm still on the fence about new/used. There are just so many things that come into play here. I really need to go look at a dealer inventory to get an idea about what 'used' really means and what types of things they might have. I guess a wandering of ebay probably would help too. Used Pros: Price, possibly a layout/towing that I can't find in a new model, probably can still get a warranty if its new enough - largely price. Used Cons: used - meaning mechanical expenses, but if I save enough up front and put that in an account, that might not be too bad. Non-Manufacturer warranty - but still, that should be able to be gotten around. Feel - I'm not sure about driving someone else's rig, but if I find the right one, maybe... Financing - we'd have to play by the rules to finance an older rig.

OK - well, nice to be back in the saddle blogging, and I'll just have to do it more often. I'd been hoping to get Jill doing the blog by now, but - well, we'll just have to wait for that.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

Jill's Journal: After researching what seems to be hundreds of floor plans to find the one that would fit our needs best, Rob thought he’d found our future RV. Until tonight. We want to pull a trailer behind the RV to carry our minivan, but we just learned the model we had our eye on doesn’t have the towing capacity we need. So, it’s back to the drawing board.

Rob had another thought as well. Perhaps a travel trailer might also suit us well. It still gives us 40 feet of living space and the spare vehicle we need, as we’d have to tow it with a truck. That truck could then be unhitched and the trailer left in a park…that way Rob could still work uninterrupted while I’m off exploring with the girls. There’s just no way around it – we need some kind of vehicle and some living space. So maybe this is an option. We shall see.

We really believe we’d prefer a conventional RV instead of a travel trailer, but the latter is far more economical and may be the smarter way to go. Again, we shall see.

We’re also constantly on the lookout for great ideas to help us through that year or two and we found one recently! Space Bags, the kind where you suck the air out of the storage bag with a vacuum. We bought some a week or so ago to see how they might work and it appears they’ll suit our purposes quite nicely. We’re planning to live in quite the minimalistic manner, but with three little kids and two adults, we’re going to need at least a few pieces of clothing! Our big concern is winter clothes vs. summer clothes. We plan to follow the seasons for the majority of the time, but how nice will it be to be able shrink our jackets and blankets when we’re in a hot climate?