Monthly Archives: August 2017

Early Research

Virginia and I spent part of the afternoon at Motor Home Specialist in Alvarado yesterday. The first lesson of RVs is that none of the dealers are very close to town. For example, Alvarado is literally on the other side of Venus (but Venus has a Whataburger). The second lesson is that dealerships are big – especially if they have a decent selection. This is the first dealership for anything I’ve ever visited that will lend you a golf cart to get around. 

You trade your drivers license for the key to a golf cart (it will start any of the guest golf carts) and you are then released to wander the 160 acres. This is truly low-pressure sales (and a show of great faith.) The RVs are all open – you can wander in, turn on the A/C if it’s not already on, open the cabinets, turn on the TVs and lie in the beds. The only request is that you not test the toilets, which seems reasonable.
We wandered around until heatstroke threatened, but we learned quite a bit. For example, I may be a bit large for a Class C. So, we’re looking mostly at Class As. Now, Virginia is concerned about the driving. That’s for another weekend.

Our RV Specs So Far

  • Table & Chairs. Much like asking for a table rather than a booth when we go to restaurants, I either need movable chairs or to lose some weight. Movable chairs seem easier to accomplish.
  • Washer & Dryer preferred – maybe not a deal-breaker, but the ability to do laundry in-house (even minimal loads) would be nice.
  • Square shower – there are some long, thin showers available. We are not supermodels.
  • Oven – a requirement for an Italian. I’m grateful she’s not asking for two.
  • Side & Rear Cameras – we need to see what we’re about to hit.
  • Auto-leveling – why do manually what a machine can do?
  • Toad-ready – we will need a car eventually.
  • Two (or more) AC units – this was easily proven by looking at RVs in Texas in August.
  • Bed over cab would be more useful than bunks, from a space-utilization standpoint
  • Bunkhouse non-optimal – it takes up space that we need for dog crates. This can’t be a unique requirement. 
  • King Bed preferred – did I mention we’re not supermodels?
  • Three slides – although this is a Virginia requirement. I just want enough room, and I’m not hung up on how you get it.
  • Full-side slide preferred – this is probably going to solve my room issues.
  • Leather furniture – cheap protection against the dogs. We learned this in the house.
  • Doggie window preferred – really, we need three. I’m sure the dogs won’t bark at everything. Maybe this is optional.
  • Bath 1/2 preferred – two baths is probably overkill. One may not be enough.
  • Distinct areas preferred – in spite of the open floor plan movement, having spaces that can be closed off would give the dogs separate spaces.

Toad?

As newbies, there are many questions we have. (The ones that concern me most are the ones we don’t have yet.) The one that came up early was – do we need a toad?

In this case, it’s not a frog’s cousin, it’s a small vehicle that is towed behind the RV, so you have local transportation when you get to a stopping point.

If you don’t have a toad, then every time you want to go somewhere not in the RV park, you have to disconnect everything and drive away. Then, you get back and have to reconnect everything.

This is a pain.

However, to me, adding a few extra feet and a tow vehicle behind a rather long vehicle already can also be a pain.

So, I asked for advice on a Facebook group – where else would I go?

“Hey, can I survive without a toad?”

I got three answers.

Yes. No. It depends.

Well, that pretty much settles it.

Of course, the other option is to buy a truck and just pull a trailer.

So, question one is still open.