RV Hunting

Kevin and I went looking for an RV Saturday. We picked a 2012 Winnebago Sightseer 37ft in Thousand Oaks, California. The Sightseer was smelly and would cost too much to fix up. Kevin and I aren’t fixer upper people. My father was a carpenter. He was a fixer upper person.

The salesman walked us over to a new Itasca 26ft. His thinking was with two people why do we want all that room. I’m not sure I agree with the salesmen but it got us thinking smaller RV’s.

We ended up entertaining the possibility of a 2014 Coachmen Mirada 29ft the cost works for us. I’m told Coachmen is mid-level quality in the RV world. That might be what I can afford. I would like a low payment so this might be our baby.




Looking at the Coachmen I noticed

  • Now, my plan is to travel America but for some odd reason I’m obsessed with the placement of the TV in the RV.  The TV is near the sink so I should be able to see the TV comfortably from the front chairs, dinette and couch. 🙂
  • The Coachmen needs new curtains in the back bedroom. I bought plenty of new curtains in our old house. 🙂
  • No washer & dryer so I’ll be at the laundry room chatting it up with the other travelers that don’t have one

In a few month, Kevin and I are going to look again at RV’s and the Coachmen Mirada or Itasca is top on the list of affordable RV’s for us unless another RV come up that’s better:)

Happy Hunting!



25 thoughts on “RV Hunting

  1. Looks awesome. Smaller IS better. It’ll allow you to travel to all kinds of places a larger rig won’t fit. Even our 31 foot 5th is occasionally too large to fit in some of the National Forest or Park campgrounds. We’re not always fans of RV Parks where you’re neighbors are just a few feet away. It’s all about the views and nature. In the long run you’ll be happy you didn’t go too large.


  2. TV placement has always been high on my list of priorities. I do not want to have to turn my neck (which gets harder every year) to watch TV. And I like smaller. We have a 30 foot fiver and it is just perfect although we are now going to be traveling in a 23 foot TT.


  3. Placement of the TV was a big deal for us, also. With the new flat screen TV’s, placement is a lot better. But I don’t want to watch the TV from one end of the RV to the other or have the kitchen in between the TV and the chairs. We have a front kitchen and a separate area for the living room which includes the TV. Perfect:) We, also, have a TV over the front which we only use when we eat. This way we can both watch the news…one TV has the volume and the other is muted. Shorter length does get you into places. We enjoy the space of our 40′ MH. But I would take any size in order to live this life. Making the final decision took us eight years!


  4. We have a rig that consists of a travel trailer and four wheel drive pick up truck. Our travel trailer is officially 30 feet but if you use a tape measure it’s 28. We have a single slide out that is one foot. We have found we can almost always get into any state or national park with our smaller rig size. More than once we got in precisely because we were smaller and the small spaces were what was left. State and national parks usually have bigger individual sites, better views and are generally cheaper (though not always depending on the state) than a private campground. State and national parks are almost always older facilities. Older invariably means smaller. I think if you can go for the smaller shorter rig you will end up with far more flexibility. Make sure you have enough room, but no more than enough. And the rig is always bigger on the road and when backing up than in the campground. One other thing to be aware of is to pull the sliders in and try walking in it. You will find yourself parking for lunch or ending up in a narrower site because all the big sites are full. Make sure you don’t end up with a rig you can’t access if the sliders are in. Happy hunting.


  5. Janet, we had a 1970 25 ft. Coachman trailer. We got the trailer because Mike was using it for work and we figured he could park the trailer and then use his truck to drive around. That way he would not have to put everything away every time he wanted to go someplace and also unhook everything. Plus the truck had a camper shell on it so he had that space for storing his tools and everything. I lived in the trailer for a year and a half in Bellingham Wash. which is another whole story because the furnace didn’t work (we never needed it before) and winter got mighty chilly. Let’s just say, I now have a very healthy respect for the pioneers.
    Anyway, they said the trailer was 25 feet but they measure the hitch. Inside it was 23′ Fine for one person, but kinda tight for 2 people and a German Shepherd! If one of us was doing something the other one had to sit down to get out of the way Of course now that arrange them a lot different so you seem to have more room. The Coachman had been built in New York (bought it from a friend) The cabinet work was all done by the Amish people. Real wood and so sturdy. I think a lot of all different models and brands are made with pressed wood. You can push on them and feel the give. Not on that one. Only thing we’d have done differently would have been to buy a 5th wheel as they are easier to pull, but I drove and pulled ours and had no problem.
    Hope that helps. Probably confuses you more!
    Good Luck.


  6. I agree with all the suggestions here — we also spent many years going to RV shows and dealers, walking through rigs, even driving through campgrounds and stopping to talk to people when we saw rigs we were considering. Nothing like chatting with people who own and use the brands and models on your list.

    We’re now on our second rig and our fifth year (and heading into our sixth summer) as full-time RVers.

    My suggestion is that the interior amenities are important, but if your intent is to live in the rig you need to be paying even more attention to the company and its reputation for quality. We bought a Travel Supreme and before the year was out the company folded but the quality of the unit meant once we worked out the bugs (and there will be bugs, even with a new rig) we have had few problems. When we bought the second rig we looked to Winnebago — they’ve been around a long time and are financially healthy. We don’t have a perfect rig, but it’s a good one, and we know we can always get parts and find service if we do need it.

    When the RV is going to be your home, you have to remember it’s not like buying a stick home. Your RV home will be traveling down the road, popping over potholes, swerving to avoid debris in the lane, taking on hail storms, high winds, and other challenges you just don’t think about in a stick house. You need something that will stand up to the elements and the road.

    In other words, if the TV isn’t in the ideal spot, see if it would be workable to move it once you buy the rig. With flat screens and wall mounts, you probably can (check bracing in the walls — some spots are hollow, remember).

    Figure out what you can adapt to, and let those things go. Look for rigs that have what you need: reliability on the road (especially in a motorhome), available service, quality construction. You can rebuild cabinets, move furniture, replace carpeting/flooring… all that is change-able. What you can’t change so easily is how well the roof and windows will keep the water out — things like that.

    We saw a Class C rig with the TV perfectly placed across from the sofa — but right over the kitchen sink!!! My husband still teases me it would be easier to see than the higher-mounted TV we have, and I tease him back that at least the monitor doesn’t have soap bubbles on it 🙂 ‘

    Good luck and don’t be in a hurry to buy your rig! Look, look, keep looking. The more rigs you see, the more you’ll know what you’re looking for.


  7. We aren’t full time, but I do know one thing..We have a 2007 Hitchhiker 5th wheel, 30 ft….and we popped for the electric heater/fireplace in this one…best thing we ever did.. We just got back from a 4 month long trip to Texas (which was much colder than usual) and we only got propane twice…We rarely use it and our fireplace runs constantly in cold weather…At night we run our ceiling fan and the heat from the fireplace/heater travels up and into our bedroom..(We also have a small space heater we use on occasion.) I cannot imagine traveling without that fireplace..it has already paid for itself in Propane!


  8. My parents bought a Coachman Miranda. After sorting out a few glitches which were under warranty, they are pretty happy with their buy. Write me back if you would like more info. I’ll pass on the questions to my parents.


  9. Have you considered a 5th wheel? There is no engine or drive train or any of the associated things to go wrong, and believe me they WILL go wrong. When you look into the storage bays of a new MH it looks like the space shuttle. Then there is MPG. Most people I know with MH’s are happy if they get 6 or 7 MPG. A 3/4 ton king can PU will get at least 10, some boast better, but that’s what I get towing my 30′ 5er.
    Just a tought, good luck.


  10. Lots to consider for sure. There is Nothing in all these comments that is wrong at all, it is a matter of what you will be happiest with, BOTTOM LINE.
    NOW, for MY 2 cents.
    1) I was concerned with length also. A blogger friend advised me to forget the concern and get what we were comfortable with. We ended up with 36′ and No regrets. We have so far pulled into a few tight spaces but with all the access to info these days you can roll with confidence of finding a place to be that will work before you get there and avoid surprises. So for size do what feels right for you.
    2) MH vs 5th wheel…. Some issues both ways, MH you will need a second vehicle in my opinion. The Maintenance on a MH is another BIG consideration.
    3) New vs pre owned. I had the advantage of being in the RV industry for a few years and got a first hand up close view of many dealers and many brands of various rigs. I (personally) would NEVER buy a new anything RV. There are ONLY a few manufacturers that I would even consider buying in the first place. They ALL use the same components and what you are really trying to get is the best built rig out there. One to three year old and well maintained will always put you THOUSANDS


  11. Since we live in a 2012 Winnebago Journey 42E, I’m not equipped to speak on “smaller is better”. We are quite happy having as much space as we do. We’ve always enjoyed being together, and weren’t concerned about sharing a small space, but be prepared to work through some new issues all the same. It’s just a part of a good relationship. Many other people do this in much less grand ways, so I’m sure you’ll decide what is right for the two of you. By the way, our first year was a HUGE adventure as we learned to live in our “whale” of a coach. I’ve heard others say they’d never buy new, as we’re working out all the “bugs”, and they won’t. I’m not sure which is better. New was our choice. Just know that repairs and maintenance are just a part of life, stick house OR motorhome! There is no true escape from responsibility. Still, we wouldn’t change a thing, and can’t imagine when we’ll tire of this adventure at this point. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Enjoy!


  12. I like the one you are looking at, we too have gone through the process of researching and looking, considering what if, should we, how big, how small, for sure, we finally agreed, smaller is better, and like I saw in another response you got, it is so much easier to get in and out find parking in the cities if you need to. You saw in my blog I lean towards the vintage look, in Canada, finding older ones, is not easy, when you find them they can be pretty “gruesome” with the weather conditions they have been left out in. thanks for stopping by my blog, will look forward to hearing your news when you finally make that decision. good luck


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s