What did we look for when shopping for our RV, and what would we change? We get this question almost as much as the question “how do you spend so much time together?” Ha! So I’m going to break it down for you and answer your questions.
What Did We Look For When Shopping For Our Full-time RV?
Our top priorities were customer service, quality, and warranty. There is only a handful of manufactures that do not void the warranty if you live full time in your RV. If you can’t find this information out before purchasing your RV, please ask to see it in writing. I can’t stress this enough. Some dealers just don’t know.
What Features Were Important To Us?
Bathroom sink ~ As silly as this sounds, in our old RV (weekends and vacations only) the sink was so tiny, and so tucked up under the medicine cabinet that washing our face got the whole area wet, not to mention ourselves. Most RV sinks are so small, and we just wanted a regular sized one.
Our top and most important thing to us was that the bathroom not be blocked by a slide. So if we wanted to stop at a rest area and use our own bathroom without leveling and sliding our slides out to get to it, we could. We actually didn’t look at any RV’s that didn’t have the bathroom accessible.
Heating vents not on the floor ~ Another silly, possibly petty pet peeve. We have a Lab, and we just loved that Grand Design placed their heating vents upright, under the kitchen island, bathroom cabinet and stairs going up to the bedroom so that the warm air blew across the floor, not out of the floor. Therefore no slobber, food pieces or hair are getting in my vents from our dog.
Bathroom storage ~ We walked through so many RV’s, and the standard RV’s had one tiny bathroom cabinet. When we walked into our Solitude 369RL I believe I heard angels singing. The bathroom cabinets were as deep as the shower, and took up the whole wall. And still, they then gave me drawers under my sink.
Pantry ~ Our pantry is just one of a kind. It’s as deep as the slide, and has 3 very large, very deep drawers that pull out. I understand a lot of the newer Grand Designs don’t have this feature, or it’s much smaller, and I’m so thankful ours came with this larger one. This is a huge plus in my book. We certainly don’t over fill it, but it really helps that we can stock up just a little if we are going to be outside city limits for a long time.
Refrigerator ~ I know most people want the residential refrigerators in their RV’s now days. We actually did not. Our plan was to boondock more than not, and we liked the option of having a refrigerator that uses propane.
(If you don’t know what boondocking is, and would like to read my blog on that, please see our previous blog about boondocking here. )
Storage / Storage and more Storage ~ No, we aren’t hoarders! And actually there are several cabinets in our RV that are pretty empty. But we wanted the option. We live in our RV. We downsized from a 2200 square foot home, and we have pretty much just the essentials to live. But we also wanted to keep some luxury items. Like our bread maker, our blender, our juicer, our Instant Pot and several other larger items. We have 2 very large overhead storage areas plus a big pull out desk under our TV. Another feature I understand GD did away with in the newer models. We wanted to bring games, and we love Geocaching (if you don’t know what Geocaching is, see our blog here about that).
What We Wish We Could Change:
All the things below we know we can add/take out/revamp. But if we could buy the perfect RV, these things would have been changed/added/removed.
Ceiling fan ~ Our old weekend RV had a ceiling fan and we loved it. Our Grand Design has a wonderful Fantastic Fan that really cools it down in here wonderfully. But there is just something about a ceiling fan circulating the air that was really nice.
Dimmer Switch on the LED lights ~ I call them runway lights. They are so bright that it’s annoying. If you turn them off, it’s too dark. So I wish there was a happy medium.
Bigger dining room table ~ We did unbolt ours, and turn it, and get rid of 2 chairs, but we are shopping for a longer table/desk at the moment. There is still so much room we can utilize with a longer table, and not be bumping the side window or each other while trying to eat.
Dishwasher ~ Our RV came with a dishwasher. We hope someday to add a “soda/wine/water” fridge in it’s place. Yes, I use the dishwasher when we are hooked up to a pedistal. We boondock 99% of the time and in 2018 have spent $38 so far in camping fees. So the dishwasher is a waste of space and just doesn’t get used. But oh how we’d love a little wine fridge.
We have removed the dishwasher, and put in a small beer/soda refer! One of the best upgrades ever! We love it!
Under RV Storage ~ Our under “basement” storage would be so great to have a pull out tray. Having to remove bins to find something in the middle is frustrating and time consuming. We know we can add one, but we live on a tight budget. It’s on the list.
What Did We Change?
We actually didn’t change too much in our trailer. We like it the way it is, but we did do a few small modifications.
Water Filter ~ We definitely felt this was important. We just recently were gifted (from John and Laura Hebard of Hebards Travels) a top notch Ceramic RV filter system by The RV Filter Store. The owners, Dave and Tracey, are two amazing people who will give you the best system, to keep you healthy. Not only does this system remove chemicals, but it removes bacteria too. Healthy water is our #1 priority for ourselves and our dog.
Mattress topper ~ We found our RV mattress very comfortable. Who says that? We do! But we did add a foam mattress topper, and we truly crawl into bed at night and remark about how much we love our bed.
Cup holder re-vamp ~ We were having an issue with our cup holder. We added a little table to hold our coffee cups. You can see our video below. You can also order the cutting board we used here.
Screen door handle & Screen door protector ~ We added these two items. They have both come in handy quite a bit. Did I mention we have a yellow Lab who has put her head through the screen several times? Ha!
If you have any questions, or suggestions, we welcome your questions, and comments. Whatever you decide on, we hope you are happy with your decision and live a happy life.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Please help support us. If not “us” personally, than someone you know! It costs you nothing more to click on our link vs. not. We really do appreciate your support!