Keystone Montana Fifth Wheels Compared to Grand Design Solitude Fifth Wheels

Keystone Montana Fifth Wheels Compared to Grand Design Solitude Fifth Wheels

An Overview of Key Differences to Help You Choose Between the Keystone Montana & Grand Design Solitude

Over the past three years customers have purchased 27,349 Montana and Grand Design Solitude fifth wheels.  Montana has been building fifth wheels for 21 years and is the most experienced luxury fifth wheel manufacturer in the industry with over 110,000 built.  In fact, over half of the production workers in the Montana plant have been building Montanas for over a decade making the Montana plant the most experienced RV work force in the industry.  This experience has resulted in Montana having the most repeat buyers, most full time RVers, and highest resell value of any fifth wheel on the market at this time.  Grand Design’s Solitude is a newer product with one tenth of the production history and a growing group of dealers offering their product.

 

In order to compare these two different fifth wheels, this article will outline some of the key differences in chassis, construction, exterior features, and available options.

Chassis Differences between Solitude & Montana:

  • Montana features patented Max-Turn Technology which allows for the best turning radius in the industry- Solitude lacks this feature
  • Montana’s Hitch Vision mirror on front cap with led light allows for easy hookup to the trailer day or night- the Solitude lacks this feature
  • Montana uses a 12 inch I beam chassis on all floor plans that is heavier duty, reduces the stress on the sidewalls, and supports more weight.  Solitude uses a 10 inch I beam chassis on some floor plans and a 12 inch I beam on other floor plans
  • Montana features a Road Armor suspension equalizer with 6 inches of axle travel, rubber shock absorbers on top and bottom, ½ inch shackle plates, and greaseable wet bolts. Solitude uses a suspension equalizer with 3 inch of axel travel, no rubber shock absorber at the top, ¼ inch shackle plates, and no wet bolts
  • Montana features the Road Armor hitch pin that reduces or eliminates chucking while towing and features a pivoting roto flex head. Solitude’s hitch pin does not have a pivoting head which does not keep it in contact with the hitch pin’s rubber shear shock absorbers when there are bumps in the road

Construction and Exterior Feature Differences between Solitude and Montana:

  • Montana uses one-piece roto cast holding tanks. Solitude has two piece holding tanks with a seam in the middle that can be more susceptible to leaks
  • Montana uses color coded and numbered electrical wiring. Solitude uses all white wires and does not use numbers.  (This makes electrical repairs significantly more difficult to trace on the Solitude and more costly to complete.)
  • Montana runs its water lines on the lower deck in the floor on top of spun fiberglass insulation. Solitude runs their water lines in the underbelly which could make water lines more susceptible to freezing up.
  • Montana uses an In-Line-High-Capacity heating system which means a 3-inch X 14-inch aluminum heat duct runs in the floor from the back wall to the staircase. In contrast, the Solitude splices 4-inch dryer vent hoses off the furnace to heat the lower deck.  (When heat ducts are spliced multiple times with bends and turns it is typical to have hot and cold spots, heat loss, and difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature.)
  • Montana comes standard with rain gutters over the slide boxes.  The rain gutters on Montanas also have a track in them for slide awnings so if a customer decides to add slide awnings it is a simple addition (add less costly).  Solitude does not use rain gutters.
  •  Montana has prep for solar to the roof. Solitude does not.
  • Montana has a power channel on its exterior awnings. Solitude does not.
  • Montana uses solid metal locking handles on exterior baggage doors. Solitude has plastic handles.
  • Montana’s auto leveling touch pad is located on the outside of the units for easy access and does not require bending over into the pass-through to get to the touch pad. Solitude places the leveling pad in the pass-through.
  • Montana has slide selector valves that allow the user to choose whether to have all the slides in or out. On Solitude there is no Slide Selector available.
  •  Montana has 2 attic vents to help manage moisture. Montana places one attic vent behind the main A/C and one attic vent in front of the second A/C to prevent mold and mildew.  Solitude has only one attic vent at the center point of the unit, which places the only vent extremely far from the air conditioning units which are a large source of moisture in the RV attic space.
  • Montana comes standard with a 16,500 BTU heat pump.  This electric heat source means that a Montana owner does not have to run the furnace and burn propane to heat their unit in temperatures a little above freezing.  Solitude does not offer a heat pump.
  • Montana has a double laminated rear wall.  In the event of an accident or a repair to the rear wall, the rear wall on the Montana can be removed without disrupting the side walls or electrical channels.  Solitude on has a single laminated rear wall.
  • Montana features two doors and compartments in the front bulkhead area.  One door for storage or a generator and another door to access the battery and hydraulic area.  Solitude has one compartment and door for these areas.
  • Montana’s optional full body paint includes painted baggage door handles, fender skirting, and bulkhead.  Solitude does not paint these items.

Power Options Available on Montana:

  • Montana offers an optional 265-watt solar panel with a 30-amp controller and a 2000-watt inverter.  In addition, this option includes inverting the living room TV outlet, refrigerator outlet, a kitchen outlet, and a bedroom outlet.  This allows a customer that pulls off into a rest stop to be able to run their lights, tv, make a pot of coffee, run the refrigerator, and use a CPAP or charge a cell phone the bedroom.  This option is not available on Solitude

Legacy package option on Montana fifth wheels offer additional features such as:

  • Disc Brakes (not available on Solitude)
  • Rear Cap (not available on Solitude)
  • Hard wood framing (not available on Solitude)
  • Power Cord reel (not available on Solitude)
  • Side view and rear backup cameras (not available on Solitude)
  • Surge Protector (not available on Solitude)
  • IN – Command (not available on Solitude)
  • Generator ready (optional on Solitude)

In addition to the many differences in the physical construction and features of the two units, Montana does offer a warranty for full time RVing.  For those considering full-time RVing this is important and some units (like the Solitude) do not have this type of warranty available.

Share Button
RV Financing Is the Best Option for Financial Flexibility

RV Financing Is the Best Option for Financial Flexibility

There are plenty of options available when you’re looking to buy a new RV.  To this end, we’ll explore below why financing is one of the best options for you, and how you can find the terms that are suitable for you.

1. There are a Wide Variety of  RV Financing Options

If you are trying to buy a new RV, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of options available through banks, credit unions, and other institutions. This means that you can find a lender that can assist you with the arrangements that make sense.

In addition to dealership lending, you’ll be able to look into third-party banks that make opening an account simple and straightforward. Just keep in mind that RV dealerships have access to a wide range of lenders and can often help buyers get access to lenders that individuals might not be able to access on their own.

2. You May Be Able to Deduct Your Interest

Another perk that many people don’t know about is that you can deduct the loan interest on your taxes. This way, you’ll be able to receive a nice chunk of change for your tax refund.

So not only do you conserve your personal cash by taking out a loan, you can take advantage of some tax benefits that might further your over-all financial goals.

3. A Quality Down Payment Matters

If you really want to be sure that you are getting the ideal RV financing terms, it’s about what you do on the front end. By taking the time to put together a down payment, you not only knock some principal off of the price tag, but you can get more favorable terms as a whole.

For best results, make sure that you put together a down payment of about 10 percent if possible. This way, you’ll be able to make your monthly payments more feasible and affordable.

4. A Loan Opens Up Your Options

When you are purchasing a new RV, your loan options will open you up to a series of different RV types- which means more choices for you!

Whether you are looking into a travel trailer, fifth wheel, or a motor home, having lending resources at your disposal gives you options. These loans come in handy when you are trying to buy either a new or a used RV as well.  (And if you are not sure where to start, our finance department has been helping happy RVers finance their purchases for almost 50 years.)

You’ll also be able to have some money left over to buy extra RV equipment to help you in your travels. This way, you’ll be prepared for anything that the road throws your way.

Get the RV Financing That You Need

When you are looking into the best RV financing possible, these are the tips that you’ll need to keep in mind. Thankfully, there are plenty of lenders that support RV loans, so you should be able to get a quality RV that will also fit your budget.

Consider these points and be sure to check back with us for all your RV needs. Stay tuned to check out information on RV parks, maintenance and so much more.

Share Button
The Best Nashville Parks for Your Next RV Vacation

The Best Nashville Parks for Your Next RV Vacation

Summer is a perfect time to load up your RV and start exploring the country. If you live in Tennessee or are curious about driving through there, you’ve come to the right place.

There are plenty of RV parks near Nashville, TN to choose from. How do you know where to stay? We’ve compiled a list of our three favorites that you must see if you’ll be near Nashville this summer.

So, pack the RV with the essential gear and set your sights on these five Nashville parks.

Choosing the Best Nashville Parks

While finding the perfect Nashville RV parks may seem daunting, it really shouldn’t be. Before setting your sights on the available options, you should consider what it is you want to do while you’re on vacation.

Do you prefer to spend the day in the forest or on the beach? Are you traveling alone, with your spouse or a family? Do you prefer to pack your day full of activities like sight-seeing and going on tours?

There is no shortage of things to do in Nashville. What might suit one individual may not suit you, however. It’s important to know what you want to get out of your vacation before you book your RV parks.

Below you’ll find three of our favorite resort options. Find one that resonates with you and your reason for traveling.

1. Natchez Trace RV Campground

What’s to Love

Imagine stepping outside your RV in the morning and being surrounded by nature. The birds are singing, and you’re surrounded by photo-worthy views everywhere you look. That’s precisely what you’ll get if you book the Natchez Trace RV Campground.

This park is situated on 830-acres of wooded bliss. Whether you want to spend the day near your RV enjoying the views or out angling or taking a pontoon tour, there’s something for everyone in this campground.

Amenities

  • shuffleboard
  • pet-friendly
  • games room
  • basketball, tennis, pickleball courts
  • swimming pool
  • fishing facilities
  • hiking trails

2. Nashville KOA Resort

What’s to Love

If you’re searching for a resort that’s right in the center of the action, then the Nashville KOA is calling your name. Located just three miles from the Grand Ole Opry, this resort is perfect for folks wanting a getaway that isn’t in the middle of nowhere.

If you’ve never been to Nashville before, you’ll love that the Nashville KOA campground has a concierge. They will be able to assist you in booking any sight-seeing tours or must-have tickets for local events. Talk about a relaxing vacation.

Amenities

  • pool and hot tub
  • nature playground facilities
  • off-leash dog park
  • WiFi
  • laundry room
  • gym facilities
  • group hammocks

3. Safe Harbor RV Resort

What’s to Love

Whether you’re looking for someplace to park short-term or for a more extended visit, this resort is a great choice. Situated on a peninsula overlooking Percy Priest Lake, this resort is perfect for retired couples or families looking for a lakefront vacation. Being that Safe Harbor is only a 20-minute drive from the heart of Nashville, you’re never too far away from the action.

Amenities

  • shuttle service to downtown Nashville (new for the 2019 season)
  • beautiful views of Percy Priest Lake
  • private swimming access on a sandy beach
  • WiFi included in the price for every site
  • shuffleboard and cornhole games available
  • brand new playground facilities
  • pool
  • picnic area

Get Out and Explore

Whether you’re new to the RVing world or a seasoned veteran, you’ll enjoy a visit to any of these Nashville parks on our list.

Of course, before you set your sights on any RV camping trip, you’re going to need to invest in the essential equipment. If buying a new motorhome isn’t an option for you, there are still plenty of options.

It’s not impossible to find a used RV for sale under $10,000. Contact us today to chat with one of our salesmen to talk about your buying options and used RV financing.

Share Button
Top Five Alabama State Parks for RV family fun!

Top Five Alabama State Parks for RV family fun!

National Camping Month started June 1st and with all of our locations in the Tennessee Valley we thought it might be helpful to provide a short list of state parks that could be good to visit this month.  We know it’s hot out there, but early morning hikes and after dinner walks are always a good option.  And don’t forget camping by the lake or the beach also offers an easy way to keep cool during these hot and humid summer months.  Below is a list of some of the best state parks you can take your RV to, although you may want to call ahead to check availability.

Top Five Alabama State Parks for RVers

 

1. Joe Wheeler State Park 

Located in Rogersville, Alabama this 2,550-acre state park is a resort! On the shores of Wheeler Lake, the resort features a gorgeous waterfront lodge with restaurant and convention facilities, championship 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, full-service marina with slips, and 110 parking spots for RVers.

2. Wind Creek State Park

Located south of Alexander City on Alabama Hwy 128 is one of the largest state-owned campgrounds in the U.S. With 1,445 scenic acres hugging the shoreline of beautiful Lake Martin, this state park is an angler’s paradise. Crappie, bluegill, and striped bass are just a few of the fish this lake has to offer.  Fishing tournaments are scheduled throughout the year.  Plus, there are other fun features that make this park family-friendly like Putt Putt Golf, Zipline Canopy Tours, Boat Rentals, and an Archery Range.

3. Monte Sano State Park

Located near Huntsville, Alabama this park is close to many notable attractions that are both family friendly and educational. Monte Sano sits on 2,140 acres with spectacular vistas from atop the mountain, and there are about 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails. Visitors are also close enough to visit notable attractions like the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Burritt on the Mountain, Huntsville Botanical Gardens, and Early Works Family of Museums.

4. Lakepoint State Park

Located on the banks of the 45,000-acre Lake Eufaula, this park offers plenty of choices for a wide variety of travelers. Lakepoint offers a variety of amenities such as a full-service restaurant, lounge, marina, hiking trails, swimming complex, tennis courts, and playgrounds Lakepoint campground features 192 improved campsites. Deer Court has pull through sites including water, electricity and sewage. Barbour and Clark Loop sites include water and electricity.

5. Oak Mountain State Park

With the largest land-area, one of the widest varieties of outdoor activities of any state park, and its proximity to Birmingham, Oak Mountain is a perfect stop while traveling to and from the state’s largest city. Mountain biking and hiking are two of the most popular activities at the park. With more than 50 miles of trails visitors have plenty of options to choose from be it a short loop or an overnight trip. The Red Trail has even been included on the International Mountain Biking Association’s (IMBA) list of EPIC rides. The park also features a pump track and BMX course. Congrats to Doyle and Kathy on their new Innsbruck Travel Trailer!

We hope this list helps you get out and explore some of the beautiful state parks that Alabama has to offer this summer! Please leave us a comment if you have a favorite state park that you think others would enjoy that did not make our list.  There are so many options- we are sure there are a few more good ones out there that deserve to be mentioned that we did not mention in this blog post.

Share Button
The Winnie Drop compared to the Forest River R-Pod Ultra-light trailer

The Winnie Drop compared to the Forest River R-Pod Ultra-light trailer

Key points to help you decide between the Winnie Drop & the R-Pod by Forest River

In just a few years R-Pod trailer trailers have made an impact in the recreational industry’s ultra-lite towable sales market. Though considered an ultra-light trailer by many and not an official teardrop, Forest River considers it to fit both categories. When Forest River first introduced its R-Pod travel trailer in 2008 it became an immediate success. The R-Pod is now available in thirteen floor plans with lengths between 18’4″ and 22’2″. Eleven of the units feature a slide and many units offer an option called the R-Dome, a screened awning room. The chassis is a powdered coated steel frame holding a one-piece, seamless fiberglass roof unit. Features include a gas/electric DSI water heater, a 3.7 cu ft 3 way  refrigerator (Gas, Electric, 12V), a 2-burner stove, a 20,000 BTU furnace, shower, and toilet.

The R-Pod travel trailers have a unique feature; a pop-out tent area (only a few have this feature) made of Aqualon™ which is a heavy-duty, yet breathable material that remains flexible in all climates and is resistant to mold and mildew. Some models also offer a rear garage option, much like a tailgate, which provides outside entertainment. Each garage R-Pod model comes with a 19″ flat screen TV, marine grade speakers, sink, sliding storage, and a gas grill.

To look at some of the other important differences, we’ve created a simple chart below:

Feature Winnie Drop R-Pod
Black Water Tank 25 gal 30 gal
Fresh Water Tank 31 gal 36 gal
Grey Tank Capacity 25 gal 30 gal
Lightest Unloaded Vehicle Weight* 2630 2338
Max Awning Length 10′ 11′ (or R-dome)
Interior Height 6’5″ 6’6″

The Minnie Drop is More Different from the R-Pod than it looks

First, your fresh water, grey, and black tank capacities are larger on the R-pod.  For those that might be staying in places where access to water is limited, those extra gallons can make a big difference.  Second, the large selection of floor plans available in the R-pod mean that it is much easier for campers to find a model that will meet their unique needs.  For example, only the R-pod model 191 features twin beds with a center night stand in the sleeping area. Third, for those really tall folks, the extra inch of head space in the R-pod might be important.

In closing, shoppers that prefer to have a variety of floor plans and camping options that they can customize based on their needs and travel plans will want to be sure and look at the Forest River R-pod before making a final decision. Its roomy interior is surprising given its smaller size, and the attention to camper-friendly accessories and options have made it an RV customer favorite.  And for those that are looking for a community, the r-pod nation forum is filled with happy R-pod owners that are active on-line to help those new to the R-pod experience make the most of their new RV.

*weights pulled from on-line brochures provided by manufacturers at time this article was written

Share Button
7 Items every RVer Will Want to Have on their RV Gear list

7 Items every RVer Will Want to Have on their RV Gear list

While this list is certainly not exhaustive, we do think several items on here are must-haves for your RV Gear. For example, clean, clear, and tasty drinking water is a must. And for others, coffee is also a must! Whatever you travel life-style, we are sure you will one or two items on here that are worth adding to your RV stash.

1.  Walkie-Talkies  

A pair of these makes backing into a camp site much easier. You can find hands-free versions that also make navigation a lot easier. Walkie-talkies will come in handy when putting out and pulling in your slides. Many models of these will also double as a weather radio, which is an added bonus!

2. Bodum French press coffee maker

Every RVer begins to watch their electrical usage the more they travel- so this handy coffee maker is a welcome addition to many kitchens. It also eliminates the need for filters. For those that want to enjoy their coffee outdoors, boiling water from the campfire can be used to make a pot of coffee without having to use any electricity.

3. AeroPress Coffee Maker and Espresso Maker

This little gadget gets 4.5 stars on amazon with over 1600 reviews. So, for those that really want their espresso in the morning and may be running low on power (while boondocking) this is a great option. Just remember that pressure is being applied to the mug since the espresso is being pressed into the mug itself- so a sturdy mug is required for this

4. Camco drinking water hose  

This drinking water safe hose is lead free, BPA free, phthalate free and also won’t give your water that ‘garden hose taste’. The ends are high quality nickel-plated brass machined fittings for maximum corrosion resistance, and the hose assembly is CSA low lead content certified to NSF/ANSI 372 and complies with all Federal and State level Low Lead Laws. All of this is to say that it’s a really good hose that will not only keep your water tasting great- but it will keep it as healthy as possible!

5. RhinoFLEX 20ft RV Sewer Hose Kit

Our final tip on RV travel is the same one we give to new RVers- we recommend that seniors take it slow. America is an incredibly large country to explore, and without the time constraints of a job, why rush? Don’t focus on covering a certain amount of miles every day or making it to a certain state before nightfall. This prevents you and other drivers from becoming too tired. Slow down, enjoy the drive, and stop at a few places along the way. Remember, the best parts of travel are often the most unexpected!

6. Little Red Campfire by Camco

Why do we like the Little Red Campfire by Camco? It’s super easy to get a campfire going with no wood and for those with allergies or asthma there is no smoke or ash! The controls are very easy to manage so the flame and temperature controls are very manageable too.

7. Quick-Zip Sheets

Finding sheets designed for RV size mattresses is just part of the process of getting settled into your RV life. However, if you utilize under the bed storage, or struggle with managing a mattress, quick-zip sheets are worth checking out! They feature RV Queen size sets that have gotten rave reviews on-line from popular news sites like Buzzfeed and People.

These are some of our top picks for comfort and ease of use.  Comment below if there are other items you think we should look at for our next list!

Share Button
Travel in Style: Your Guide to the Best RV Parks in the U.S.

Travel in Style: Your Guide to the Best RV Parks in the U.S.

RV camping doesn’t have to mean “roughing it.” You can travel in style by visiting one (or more!) of the best RV parks in the U.S. Here are a few of our favorites.

Do you cringe when you hear the word camping? You must imagine tents, dirt, and no showers.

While camping is not for everyone, taking an RV out for a spin is hardly “roughing it.” You can have all the comforts of a house while still being open for adventure.

Lots of people have the same idea. In fact, 10 million American households own an RV.

If you’ve ever thought about what it would be like to explore the great outdoors, an RV could be the solution. But where would you take your RV to?

Keep reading this article to learn about the best RV parks in the U.S.

1. Denali National Park and Preserve

If you’re looking for the ultimate RV campground experience, then you need to put Denali National Park on the top of your list. This national park is located in Alaska in the center of nature and spectacular wildlife.

The park has three RV-friendly campgrounds: Riley Creek, Teklanika River, and Savage River.

Keep in mind you have to make a reservation far in advance through a third party–the National Park doesn’t handle the reservations.

2. Yosemite National Park

Without a doubt, if you plan on taking your RV for a spin, you have to visit the legendary Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite National Park has ten RV campsites for you to choose from. Be aware that electrical, sewer and water hookups won’t be available. The only dump station is available at Upper Pines campground, so you should go prepared.

Also, campgrounds at Yosemite book fast, so make sure you book as early as possible.

3. Fernwood Campground and Resort

You’ve probably thought about taking a road trip down the Pacific Highway at some point in your life.

Well if you own an RV, why not make this a reality? Fernwood Campground and Resort is right in the heart of Big Sur, California.

RV campsites have access to water and electricity so you can enjoy nature without giving up some comforts.

4. Crater Lake RV Park

If you’ve always dreamed of exploring the Pacific Northwest, it’s time you take your RV to Crater Lake RV Park.

It’s recommended you plan for at least a week in order to experience everything there is to see.

The campsite has access to 30, 40, and 50 amp hook-ups and access to telephone lines.

Also, they have free wi-fi, so you don’t have to feel disconnected from the outside world. Not to mention you’ll have access to clean bathrooms and showers.

5. LVM Resort

If you think enjoying an RV resort is always about getting in touch with nature, then we should let you know that there are RV resorts that are all about luxury rather than “nature” and “the great outdoors”.

LVM Resort in Las Vegas is an RV luxury resort located only minutes from the strip.

This resort offers all of the amenities of a 5-star hotel but you can sleep in the familiarity of your RV.

LMV has a full-size swimming pool, two whirlpools, and even a tanning pool. Visitors can also enjoy the clubhouse, on-site restaurant, fitness center, and spa.

Check Out the Best RV Parks in the U.S.

Now that you know about some of the best RV parks in the U.S., it’s time to take your RV for a spin.

So where is it going to be, LVM, Denali, or Yosemite?  And if there are a few more you think others should know about please share them in the comments! We would love to update this article with more of the Best RV Parks in the U.S. in several months.

If you enjoyed these ideas and would like to learn read more about road trip tips for your RV, check out our blog!

Share Button
Retirement RV Living: 3 Steps Toward Chasing Your Lifelong Dreams Of Travel

Retirement RV Living: 3 Steps Toward Chasing Your Lifelong Dreams Of Travel

When it comes to retirement, a lot of people think of moving to a new house or buying a new car. So, why not do both?

Selling it all and living in an RV is the new best way to enjoy retired life.

Think about it, having the freedom to live wherever you want at a moment’s notice. You could spend each day waking up somewhere new and have an adventure.

You’re no longer held down by work. Retirement gives you a whole new lease on life and now you can live it to the fullest.

Does retirement RV living sound appealing to you? Read on for 3 steps on how to make it a reality.

3 Steps for Successful Retirement RV Living

If RV life seems right for you, you’re in for one heck of an adventure. There are a lot of things to think about, but let’s start with the basics.

These 3 steps will help you on the right track and get the ball rolling for your new dream lifestyle.

1. Get the Recreational Vehicle

You can’t start the RV life without first having an RV. The first step it to find the right one for you based on how you plan to travel.

Spend some time researching different kinds of RVs. There are Class As, Travel Trailers, Fifth Wheels and more. We can’t tell you which one to get, it all depends on your individual needs. It’s good to make a list of the types of places you want to visit and check out their parking options and space limits.  For example, if Yellowstone National Park is on your must-see list, parking spots accommodating a length of 40 feet or more are limited.  Or if you plan to visit the Grand Canyon, parking on the South Rim can be challenging for vehicles over 22 feet long during peak season.

The longer you plan on traveling, the more you’ll want the comforts of home and its conveniences. Class As are perfect for long-haul trips, and smaller travel trailers are ideal for camping weekends away.

Figure out if you want to rent or buy. Renting may be the best option if you plan on doing shorter stints. Renting also lets you try before you buy. It gives you a first-hand experience and helps inform your decision when it comes to buying.

When you buy an RV, you have the freedom to pick up and leave at any time. But it is an investment, so think about your budget.

2. Be Prepared

The physical act of downsizing is a big one to consider. If you’re moving into an RV for long periods of time, you’ll need to purge a lot of the extra things from your life.

Decide which possessions you’ll be selling, consigning, donating, or putting in storage.  Even if you choose to purchase a 5th wheel or a Class A Motorhome (which have large storage options), an RV often can’t fit everything a home owner has accumulated over the years.

Minimalism in your life has a lot of benefits and can be a much more rewarding way to live. But it’s not for everyone. We recommend going on a trial trip to see how well you can manage life without everything from home.

Emotional preparation is important too. Leaving home means leaving friends and family for extended periods of time. Are you ready for that? How long will you be away for? These are important factors to consider and it’s different for everyone.

Consider any health concerns you or your spouse may have. As we get older we’re more prone to medical issues. Do you need to have regular doctor visits, or is it a case of taking medication with you?

3. Make a Budget

You and your spouse have worked together to save for retirement. Now is the time to enjoy it!

Whether you’re entering RV life or not, now is the perfect time to develop an in-depth budget plan for your retirement.

You want to account for the costs of the RV you choose. Whether you are renting or buying, you need to know how much you’ll be spending.

Buying costs more than renting, of course. However, RVs have a huge range from $20k to $300k, so if you really want to hit the open road and RV full-time there are plenty of options to choose from!

Also consider costs for gas, maintenance, and food. Make sure to plan for other charges you’ll encounter along the road too.  For example, there are different costs associated with different places to stay, so be sure to factor in state park fees, RV resort fees, or special memberships you might decide to take advantage of.

RV living can be luxurious or simple – you’ll have to decide which route you prefer to go.

Most important of all, have fun! Make an itinerary, and plan your trip out. You’ll be in for one of the best adventures of your life.

Retirement RV Living: Living the Dream

If you’ve decided retirement RV living is the thing for you, congratulations!

This new way of life could be everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Follow these 3 steps and you’ll be well on your way to full-time RV life.

Interested in learning more about RV living? Check out our other posts for additional tips and inspiration!

Share Button
Forester Forest River 3011DS RV Review

Forester Forest River 3011DS RV Review

 

     We are novice RVers so the Forester 3011DS is the first motorhome we’ve ever taken out on the road. For starters, we have a boy (9yrs) and a girl (11yrs) so the multiple sleeping options were great for enabling everyone to have their own space.Specifically, the cab over bunk option with the privacy curtains and cup holder made it seem like my daughter had her own little room. She quickly figured out she could control her own light and air vent, so she was very happy. Given that my son was a bit jealous, she invited him up to hang out with her in “her space” while my husband whipped up a quick dinner.  (I also made a quick trip up there and would like to note there was plenty of room for the two of us. My daughter is 4′ 10″ and about 120 pounds as well. With the max weight of 220Kg, two kids could easily sleep in the bunk over cab.) With the safety netting it also provides some good extra storage for bedding, blankets and pillows while on the road.

 

      We are not “foodies” while we are on the road, so most of our cooking was more basic in nature. My husband and I both cooked eggs and sausage for breakfast and some hot dogs for snacks. The propane 3 burner stove made breakfast a breeze in the morning (we ate lunch and dinner with friends.) That said, the fridge had plenty of room for us for the weekend. Truthfully- there was more than enough room for a 3 day weekend and we had a full gallon of milk in the fridge the whole time. We did have to make an effort to tidy after every meal, because the long counter along the kitchen side seemed to encourage leaving things out. That said, it was good to have the counter room to set out plates and cups with food on them for the kids to take to the dinette.The sofa converts to a queen-sized sleeper and was quite large once opened up. To keep things simple, I brought a fitted queen size sheet from home and slipped that right over all the sofa cushions so it felt more like a bed to my son. With a blanket and a pillow he was all set, and picking up in the morning was quite easy. The only downside to the sleeper sofa being large is that once it was down, it was harder to get to the bunk over the cab to wish my daughter good night. It also cut off access to the seats in the cab, but since we put up the privacy curtains first that was also no big deal.While talking about the interior living space it is worth noting that there are plenty of TVs (3 to be exact) and that all the inside and outside speakers can be controlled from one central panel. There is also a main control screen by the dinette and in the bedroom so lights, AC, propane, etc., can all be controlled by the touch of a button.One of our biggest surprises was the queen bedroom! My husband and I share a king-sized bed at home, so we were unsure about what kind of sleep we would get in a queen. (Especially since an RV queen is a bit smaller than a standard queen.) The mattress that comes in the 3011DS is outstanding! While it was a bit smaller, it made up for the size in comfort. Again, we brought sheets and a blanket from home, and once the bed was made up it was quite cozy. Also, the slide-out gives the back room the feeling of being a bit more spacious, but the small walk space in front of the wardrobe is really not suitable for a larger person. I am 5’2″ and 120lbs and I found it a bit tight. I could stand, and open doors and stuff, but often found myself sitting on the bed while getting items in and out of the wardrobe. The wardrobe itself is lined with cedar, which was a nice surprise. Cedar is a natural bug repellent and has a nice light scent too!

      Everyone talks about the small showers and bathrooms in RVs, so I would like to share a couple of things we noticed about this model that made it very functional. The multi-purpose bathroom door made it much easier for individuals to maintain their privacy while showering. Since we were at the lake, all of us needed showers in the evening, and we were all able to cycle through that process by closing the bath & bedroom section of the motorhome off, while the rest of the family hung out in the living area eating and visiting before bed time. The shower also has privacy glass- so you can see a body in there, but not the actual person. The privacy glass came in handy when one person was in the shower the next morning and another needed to use the toilet. Once again- the double duty door afforded the person that needed to relieve themselves their privacy without taking privacy away from the person showering.Since we were only out for a few days, and were at an RV resort, we were hooked up to city water and power. That said, my husband did empty the black water and grey water with no issues. When we were doing our walk through at the dealership, our tech commented on how “nice” the black tank hose was. These new hoses use clamps to secure, rather than a twist-type seal, which made the hook up and take off super-easy.Also, we drove to the RV park on Friday night, on Memorial Day weekend. My husband said the 3011DS handled “okay” but since he drives a sports car, he noticed a good bit of slack in the wheel. It was not as responsive as he was used to. However, after the drive back during the day and said it was much easier and he felt much better on the 2nd drive.In closing, the 3011DS is a sweet Class C that will easily sleep the 7 as specified. For us, we felt that having 7 in the unit would be a bit full, but for our family of 4 it was perfect. For our first trip out, we were really pleased with all the storage and how easy it was for people to have some personal space at the end of the day. We can definitely recommend this unit for a family of 4-5.
Share Button