What cracked me up about the RV show is that right when you walked in there was a row of booths with people selling everything from gutters to replacement windows to bathtub inserts! Yeah, I'll be needing a new set of gutters on my RV soon :p
Yes, I understand that most people who are looking at RVs have money to spend on their homes too but still... found it funny there were more sticks & bricks type booths than RV related ones.
Anyway, amid the Class C's, toy haulers, fifth wheels, Class A's, pop-up's, and cute little pull behinds I finally found what I'd come to see... Class B camper vans!
Unfortunately there were only a few to look at - maybe 5 Pleasureways (not sure why but I really don't like those much) and 1 pretty damned awesome Free Spirit Leisure Travel Van!
I've had a love affair with Leisure Travel Vans since I ran across them in a Google search a while back and getting to hang out in once sealed the deal. They really seem to put a lot of thought into their designs, and make great use of space too. All around very cool!
After we were done with the RV show we headed north to see my friend's Aunt, then back south, getting home right around midnight. Quite a long day with a total of almost 10 hours of drive time. Ack!
So here's what I learned form this little outing...
On RV Living...
- After sitting in these Class B RV's, I can confidently say they are absolutely the PERFECT size for me! I love that everything is easily accessible, cozy and comfortable and that they're small enough to be easy to drive and park anywhere. I felt right at home :)
- The only down side is that the freezers are small (I typically like to keep a fair amount of frozen grass fed beef & free range poultry & pork around) and that it's really inconvenient to accommodate two people unless you share the bed. Not a big deal as I plan to travel solo most of the time, but on the occasion friends or my daughter want to tag along it would be nice to have individual sleeping arrangements. Especially for my daughter - love ya Donna but you take up way too much room and steal the covers! :p
- There is a ton of mark up in these things! The one pictured above had a price of $116k on it with a show price of $93k. That's a $23k discount - makes me wonder how many others tens of thousands of dollars they have in mark up! Not that I'm planning on buying new mind you. It just cracks me up that the discount on these rigs is more than what I'll probably pay total for mine.
- Inch for inch, Class Bs are by far the most expensive way to RV. Assuming you already have a vehicle that can tow something, you can get a cute little pull behind thingy with more interior space than a Class B for under $5k new. Really when you're buying a Class B you're buying all-in-one convenience and stealth capability... but oh man do you pay for it!
- Financing is tough on these things unless you have stellar credit and lots of money down. Honestly it's much easier to pay cash if you can than to try and jump through the financing hoops. One sales person was telling me that many people wanted them but just couldn't get the financing, which is really hurting the industry right now. Makes sense to me.
- The trip reminded me how much I love to travel. Thinking back some 30 years ago... almost another lifetime really... I was with a guy who also loved traveling and we did it often. Not a weekend went by that we weren't driving somewhere, camping, or out on the boat. I remember one time we drove all the way to Toledo just to go to McDonalds. Ha! Yeah we traveled a lot and I miss that.
- What I don't miss is the long drive home after having fun getting there. Coming home always was (and still is) boring, as you pass much of the same stuff you saw going there. Plus it's kind of a downer having to come back to the same old, familiar surroundings once again. So the idea of taking my home with me so that the destination becomes the home now has even more appeal! For instance, from Cleveland, Erie is just a hop and a skip and then Niagara Falls isn't too much farther and I have friends in New England... See where I'm going with this?
- I also know that I'm done with Cincinnati. Just driving back here I felt the energy get heavier and greyer as we approached the I-275 belt. Now don't get me wrong - Cincinnati is a fine city. It's just that I've lived here my whole life and it's time to expand my horizons a bit. Ok, a lot!