So choosing an RV the first time is daunting, especially if you want to use it for full-time living/traveling. We have had two other RV’s.
Our first was an old 16′ trailer we bought from my parents to take our kids to the beach. Loading and unloading the old trailer for us and three kid just for the weekends was major WORK but the kids seemed to have fun so we did it. We pulled the old trailer with our station wagon or van in those days.
Our second RV was a 36′ Rexall Airbus motor home with two large slide-outs we bought in 2001 to use for full-timing (our kids were already launched!). We did full-time in it for one year, had a wonderful time but stopped and sold to work and care for my two elderly, infirm parents. My parents lived with us for their last years while we cared for them and though they are gone now I know they would be happy we are traveling.
With the loss of my Mom in 2009 (Dad died a few years before) it was decision time. Last time we bought a motor home we thought we needed big. This time we decided on small, nimble, very well-built and safe. Back to lots of research, http://rv.org/about.htm and the Escapees RV club were two essential sources for research but I have a need to read everything I can find about the subject I’m researching. Our Rexall had lots of windows and an oven we loved so those were a must. We are not truck people so a 5th wheel was out. If we already owned a truck then a 5th wheel would be a more natural fit. We wanted a motor home that we could just stop driving somewhere, not have to get out of the vehicle, just get into the back of it and we’re home!
So small, hmm… A camper? No, a little too small for us, can’t get in the back from the cab easily and we are back to a truck. OK, a class B (converted van) motor home? No, still too small for us. A class C motor home? Maybe, has more room/more storage. Class A motor home? Maybe, but if it is small it would lack the “huge” over-cab storage area? So many hours spent on motor home company websites looking at floor plans, reading dementions of storage compartments, and looking at RVs on sales lots (sans wallet).
Had been following some RV blogs while we cared for my parents and two stand out in helping us decided what type and brand of RV to buy; http://www.andybaird.com/travels/ and http://vagabonders-supreme.net/FirstTimeReader.htm . Both these folks have a class C, the first blogger (Andy) has a Lazy Daze and the second blogger indicated he wished he had a Lazy Daze. So many, many hours of Lazy Daze motor home research and lots of Lazy Daze discussion ensued. We finally settled on a Lazy Daze Mid-bath and went to the company in Montclair, California to order one. Opps, when we got there we loved every floor plan making it very hard to decide something we thought we had decided. Ended up with the one we originallly decided was best for us… the mid-bath because: we could sleep on or use the over cab queen bed for storage, I could get to the over-bed area by stepping on the back of the dinette seat (didn’t want to use & store a ladder to get up there), during the day we would have a dedicated “living room” with wonderfully large windows and by night we or guests could sleep on the couches in the back.
ORDERING A LAZY DAZE MOTOR HOME
OK, this part of the experience was a trip. Not only do they not push you to buy (there is NO price negotiation), they leave you be while you decide. They do not encourage “extras” and ask why you want to bother adding anything not already included in the price…HUH?…we loved that. We ended up with exactly what we wanted for the original price quoted plus the few options we requested! Where does that kind of buying experience happen? Then the wait starts. Our motor home took about 7 months to build (you can go there and see them building it). The wait was worth it!!! It is just what we need for this time in our lives. There is room for grand kids to travel with us and the motor home is rated as safe.
WHY WE DIDN’T BUY USED
At first, we wanted a used Lazy Daze Motor Home. Looked for a late-model and preferred mid-bath. We called about the rare ones for sale and usually they were already sold. Decided, since we were going to put so much money into a solar package, that we might as well start out with a new vehicle. Since we were going to live in it full-time we wanted it to feel as close to living in a very small, well equipped and well designed house that we really liked but that was easily moved from place to place.