I’ve been thinking about getting an RV for a while. I actually started looking for one a couple of months ago and I finally found one I like that fit my budget (well, almost). I was looking for a used fifth-wheel trailer on the smaller side that Molly and I could use when we went to visit family and friends and take with us on our honeymoon. The one I found was a little bigger and a little more expensive than I was looking for (I’m not saying how much), but it fits the bill.
It’s a 2000 Tahoe (by Thor) 25SDS. It’s 27′ long and has a single slide out (the dinette). I originally wasn’t looking for a slide out, since that tends to raise the price, but they do provide more room. I was originally looking for something about 5 years old, so it’s about right from that standpoint, but I didn’t look at it on my initial visit to the dealer because of the price. I saw it later while looking at the dealers site and what caught my eye was the word “solar” and the price was lower, too. Most of the units I had been looking at were closer to 10 years old, and smaller, with no slide. Between the extra room of the slide, the age, the solar, and the price reduction, it looked much better, so I went for it.
I bought it last Thursday, and last Friday night I took it to Yosemite for the weekend. Some pictures from the trip are on “flickr”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcgreenw/tags/yosemite200603/ though I don’t have any of the RV yet. I’ll post again when I have some up. The trip went well, and it was really nice to have a heater, a flush toilet, and a kitchen, especially since it was snowing, hailing, raining, etc. for much of the weekend. The RV sleeps six (as long as four are under 5’8″), but we squeezed ten in for dinner Saturday night. and slept four comfotably. I stole the following picture of it from Molly’s sister’s flickr:
!/images/3.jpg (RV in Yosemite)!
Having a pair of solar panels is also a plus. They are large enough to recharge the two large batteries during the day after using lights, water pump, fans, etc. the night before. There is also a charger that can be plugged in to normal utility power or “shore power”, but I haven’t had to plug it in yet, since the solar keeps the batteries up. There is no inverter, so if I want to use the microwave, or any of the outlets, I’ll have to plug in. There are a couple of automotive style power outlets, so I can plug in a small inverter to run a laptop or something, and I may permenantly install one at some point.
fn1. For those of you who don’t know what I mean by slide out, it means a section of the RV can be extended to give more interior space when camping, then retracted for towing so the RV will be under the legal vehicle width. This also means it takes up the same amount of room inside the RV when it is not extended. In my RV, the section with the dinette slides out so there is more floorspace between the kitchen counter and the table. If it didn’t slide out, it would probably only fit two at the table instead of four, and/or the kitchen counter would be much smaller. It makes it a little cumbersome to get around when not at a campsite, but much more comfortable when camping.
fn2. Yes, I said “shore power”. Since camping in a self contained RV is a bit like being in a boat, with a limited supply of fresh water and power, and much of the technology was developed for marine use, several of the terms have also been adopted by the RV world. Don’t worry, you wont have to ask for “permission to come aboard” my RV, just wipe your feet so I don’t have to vacuum!