I spend a lot of time looking at RVs these days. At this point I'm not looking at prices or locations, just looking at floor plans and features. We're pretty sure we're not going to get a 5th wheel, the main reason being when we're traveling we will need to move parrot cages, dogs, and cat to our vehicle. A pickup truck cab just isn't big enough for that. And a truck camper, well...way too small - although they're MUCH nicer than they used to be! A class A motor home is overkill, and we don't want something huge, just big enough; I haven't seen a smaller class A that I love yet. Class B's have an unacceptable space-to-price ratio; heck, they just don't have enough space for our needs.
So I'm mostly looking at class C's and travel trailers.
Besides our own wish list of features, I am also considering our pets. I'm guessing by the time we go, we will be down to 3-4 parrots (several of our current 7 are elderly), 2 small dogs (one of our 3 is elderly), and the cat. In a motor coach, an ideal spot for bird cages would be in a bunk over the cab so there would also have to be a separate bedroom for us to sleep. If a travel trailer, a 2-bunk area would be a great spot to keep our cages - birds on top, dogs and cat on the bottom. (A toy hauler isn't out of the question to modify for cages/supplies either!) These are my considerations for our pets.
The class C's are nice because they aren't too big, and we all (people & critters) will be able to travel in comfort. That's the biggest advantage. But we'd need a toad; Pete and I are both big day trip people, and we would have to be able to get around wherever we are, and we wouldn't want to pack everything up every day that we want to go somewhere. I've seen some good workable class C floor plans that would accommodate our needs.
The travel trailers are nice for the reason I just mentioned: we need another vehicle to go places. That vehicle would most likely be a van, so that it can carry the travel cages when we're on the move. Which means 2 sets of cages for the birds; we could move the dogs' and cat's back and forth. But just one more thing to do when we move. OTOH, every time I see one with the bunks I realize how perfect that area would be for pets. And I also prefer the feel of a travel trailer inside.
As far as hauling a car with a motor home vs. hauling a travel trailer with a van, I don't know which would be more economical and which would be easier/more stable on the road. Those are things I still need to learn.
As far as features: I love to cook and bake, so while I understand a full-size kitchen is out of the question, I do want to have at least a little bit of counter space and a "real" oven. I also don't like the booth-type kitchen tables, whether they are U-shaped or not. I'd prefer a couple of swivel chairs with the kitchen table between. (I'm guessing we could modify?) I also don't care about having a couch, but would prefer chairs - preferably recliners. In a travel trailer, we could maybe have both, but if I have to choose, I'll take chairs over a couch. A decent-sized shower is another must-have feature; when I'm showering I want to be able to move, not bump into the walls or stick to the shower curtain every time I raise my arms. And we will need space for keyboards. I plan to only have 1 by that time, and Pete will probably have 1, plus he has a QChord...so we need a place to store these, and to play music. We have a music room in our home but our living room will have to double as a music room when we're on the road.
Internet is an absolute must. Whether we have a satellite or an unlimited air card or whatever...we have to have reliable internet. Satellite TV is optional, as there is plenty of content on the 'net to watch on our television, connected to a computer or cell phone. But technology will continue to evolve in the next few years, so this isn't something I will worry too much about right now.
As for the size, at the only camper show we've attended so far we decided that something in the 28-32' range would suit us well. It would depend more on how the space is laid out than on how much actual space there is. A 32' travel trailer feels really big; a 28' class C feels kind of tight. Slides make a BIG difference also - a travel trailer with slides can feel really spacious and homey!
Gas vs. deisel (class C)? No clue, haven't looked into it that much.
This describes the very early stages of what we like now. That may change in the next few years, with more experience on the road and with possibly different circumstances, but we have to start somewhere! :)
...Husband Pete & I had always talked about traveling, and how we really wanted to spend much more time doing it. The thought of Full-Timing in an RV never occurred to us. And when it did, it seemed to be something that would be WAY out of our reach, financially as well as physically - our parrot cages do take up a huge amount of living space, after all.
Meanwhile, I've long had a fascination with the tiny home movement, living off the grid, self-sufficiency, and similar ideas. We'd planned to move to Marquette, MI when Pete retires in 2016, and I'd been using the internet to look into potentially putting these ideas into practice at that time.
Then one day it struck us: Why can't we travel AND live self-sufficiently after retirement? Hmmm...why not indeed? So I started researching - something I can do endlessly about any topic! - and I found out that not only was our idea entirely possible, but it is VERY doable! In fact it is as inexpensive, if not moreso, to "travelive" than either of us had thought!
This discussion started months ago - sometime last year - and since that time it has evolved from a dream into a plan. Now comes the start of working toward that goal: deciding which type of RV will be best suited to our purpose...reducing the sheer quantity of our belongings...figuring out how to manage this with our pets...and so much more, that will be discussed in these posts.
Right now, the goal is to be on the road soon after Pete's retirement. But that can change, as our circumstances may change to enable us to move forward sooner. I have a few possibilities rolling around in my head that may allow this to happen, but for now, we're planning on retiring into the lifestyle.
There are lots of blogs out there about RVing, RV Living, Traveliving, whatever, and I am subscribed to them all - or at least the ones I know about - which I will put into a blog roll here. (Please let me know if I missed any, so I can review it!) I also spend my evenings watching endless videos about the subject, as well as about various kinds of RVs; I'm everso thankful that so many dealers and individuals are using YouTube to show the details of their inventory! This really is helpful to me in learning which features we will need, and which we can do without, as well as for general knowledge purposes.
Anytime we are considering a change or undertaking, prayer to seek and confirm God's will is essential. Many people are familiar with, and claim, Ps. 37:4 (He will give you the desires of your heart), but there is much more to it than this. The first part of this verse (delight yourself in the Lord) is just as important as the second. Perhaps moreso.
Truly delighting ourselves in the Lord is more than just being tickled pink that he'll grant our desires. No, when we turn our lives and our spirits over to Christ, and when His very Spirit abides in us, our own desires change. (A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you...Without Me ye can do nothing. Ezekiel 36:26; John 15:5.) We choose to seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and THEN these things will be added unto us (Mt. 6:33).
It is when our will aligns with God's will, and our desires align with God's desires, that God grants us these desires of our hearts. For we're not seeking our own will, but God's. For where our treasure is, our hearts will also be (Mt.6:21). For it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Phil.2:13).
I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. Ps. 40:8