Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, March 12, 2011

RV Shopping

Well, I did it. I went to look at some RV's today.

It was cold and overcast and the weather kept trying to convince me to stay inside.
I left the house at 11am, and drove about an hour. The first RV dealer I went to was gone, vacant, a for sale sign on the fence. Last night I printed pictures of RV's for sale from their website, and wrote down the address. Oh, well. I was going to call the number on the printout, but didn't.

I stopped at an antique store to look around, I am looking for 50's style melamine dishes for the RV. I don't need anything else because I am in the process of cleaning out my house. I did buy 2 books, and a small twin size quilt. I can use the quilt in the RV, it is handquilted and very soft, not like the imported ones for sale in department stores.

Then I went to Camping World, the salesman asked basic questions and told me to be "totally honest" with him when I went inside the RV's. I looked at four: 1 Class B Van, and 3-Class B+.  I was surprised at how dirty they were inside and told him this. When I would go to a car dealer to buy a used car, they always detailed the used cars to have them looking there best.  I was going to take pics with my cell phone, but I forgot. All of the RV's are on their website, so I can look at the pics when I compare these different models.

The Class B Roadtrek Van is tooooooo small. I won't be getting one of those, I had to bend over to go in the side door, not enough head room.  The Class B+ are wider, but are small and cozy and this is what I want. A small little cocoon to stay in while I travel. Many of you have bigger rigs, but I am not ready to commit to a bigger RV at this time, I just need to really get away, and small and simple is what I want.  These are what I looked at:

2005 R Vision Trail Lite 235S with a slide for the couch/bed
The quality of the shower surround is poor, and would need to be replaced, previous owners added wood floors, but did not go under the dinette seats. I would want to put a desk in place of the dinette, so I would have to redo the entire floor. This one has a Chevy engine, I prefer Chevy over Ford. states that the entire quality of this brand is poor.

2007 Coachman Concord 235SS with a longer slide for the couch/bed and the closet. Across from the sofa are 2 swivel chairs with footstools - there is a fake narrow cabinet with a ledge behind these and it had a terrible looking caulking around the edges. And someone added a cabinet in the bathroom, that would cause you to bang your head anytime you were in there. It does not match the original cabinets in the RV. states that this model is unsafe and they would stay away from it. Maybe its overloaded - to heavy???? It is bigger and wider, but has same engine as the smaller Phoenix Cruiser.

2001 Phoenix Cruiser Model 2100, this is small, just like I want, no slides. (it's like a Chinook) It has tile floor, which is good and I would replace the dinette with a desk. There is an outside door for storage under the sofa, and this is a good size, would be good for lawn chairs, etc.  I looked around the other outside compartments, and the propane tank looks very rusty - what else is rusty under there???  I doubt that the dealer would do anything about it. I asked the salesman and he said they might do some things, the salesmen is supposed to get more info on these models and email them to me. I like the size and the floorplan of this one, but the rust concerns me, it would have to be worked on and I'm not sure that I want to take the time and money to do that. I may be better off spending more up front on a newer model that does not need the work done.

I'm glad I went, even though it never got over 40 degrees, and was very windy, we didn't spend a lot of time outdoors, all of these RV's were parked in the same row. I am now looking for another group of RV dealers to go to next weekend. I may have to head into Indiana or Michigan.


  1. Just a heads up on the melamine type dishes, they can't be used in a microwave. But for table use, they are great. You can often find them in Target, Wal-Mart, Big Lots in the summer seasonal section.

  2. Good for you to get out there and get inside the things. Don't forget to open upper cupboards to look for signs of water leakage. RVs are not really made to live in so are rather flimsy and look old fast. You don't need a monster size RV, at least not for the first one. I started with a cabover camper and have lived in trailers, buses, motorhome and 5ers which I like best. Heck I lived in a Vega for 2 months.

    BTW, I like my correl as it's light, unbreakable and microwavable.

  3. I have both...a couple melamine(4) and the same in Correl.

    Only you know what you are comfortable with as far as size is concerned. Keep looking! :)

  4. I have used Correl for 30 years and like it. It feels like china, but doesn't break if dropped and is fairly lightweight. Ace hardware stores have Correl by the piece in white. We also have a Corning Ware outlet in our area where you can get just a few pieces in many different patterns.

  5. Be aware of the 'WOW' factor. Many RV's are very fancy schmancy looking & it's easy to fall into the trap of, 'this is it, I just gotta have this one!!' Take your time, lots of RV's out there & it's a buyers market. We had 2 Class C's, a Travel Trailer & a 5th Wheel. Cost us a lot of money to finally realize a Motor Home was the best set up for us,

  6. Just a hint when I was looking for some dishes for our RV I went to a couple of resale shops, Goodwill didn't have anything, but the St Vincent Depaul Resale shop had a large selection. I ended up buying a six place set with everything you could think of, 3 sizes of plates, 2 meat plates,cups with saucers,gravy bowl, and a small pitcher, all with a nice old fashioned design on them. About 36 pieces. Total price was $15. We use them a lot instead of paper plates even when weekend camping.Like Al said take your time and always walk away after the first visit to give yourself time to set down and go over what you saw, and who knows if you go back for a second look it might bring the price down so it will leave the lot. As Grandpa used to say never look hungry, just ask questions and appear as aloof as possible. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna....


  8. Teri,

    I can't find an email address for you so I'll answer you here. Regarding your post here, I wouldn't count out Ford, there is a very good reason why they dominate the truck market and RV gas market, plus that Triton V10 is excellent. ;)

    The only reason I would buy a Chevy equiped RV is if it has the Allison transmission otherwise it will always be Ford.

    The best place I have used for RV service is Collier RV in Rockford, IL. Here is a link to their Class B and Class C rigs.

    Copy and paste it into your browser.

    If you do head into this area I'd be glad to meet you at a dealer and go through their rigs with you. Also, if you find one you like and they have it on their website let me know and I'll check it out.

    I'll be happy to help out any way I can.


  9. We also really liked the one B+ we saw. It seemed cozy but not cramped. We drove a couple of Bs and knew they weren't for us. If we were to downsize, it might be to the B-touring style


  10. I, too, didn't understand why Camping World doesn't detail their RVs. Some are really dirty, things in the cupboard from previous owner, etc. I asked my salesman, and he said they just do a quick sweep and don't detail until after it's sold. It could get dirty again from people walking through and have to be re-detailed again. ???? Maybe more would sell faster if they were CLEAN? Are all RV dealers this way? I have a problem seeing beyond someone else's dirt.


Hi, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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