Motor homes and fifth wheels and bumper pulls, oh my!

6 Feb

I like to think of myself as independent, but becoming a homeowner solo taught me all the things that it’s nice to have a helpful and knowledgeable hand readily available.  Thank goodness for unlimited text and calling when I’m on my island of one (that’s right, even at 30, I’m not ashamed to call my parents for help).  And despite all my independence and learned comfort with being alone, the motor home is like homeownership on wheels!  The “how to’ s” of it sitting in the driveway are anxiety producing enough!  The great beyond and cell phone towers everywhere… prepare!   I’m going to use my “phone a friend” lifeline frequently, I’m sure.   For me, knowledge can be power and also paranoia-inducing.  This experience will hopefully teach me to not obsess so much about the “what if’s” and just deal with them if they arise.

To increase my knowledge base and, thus, my comfort level for living in an RV, I was given “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to RVing (2nd edition)” by my full-time RV-ing mom.  Idiot: check.  RV: check.  Perfect!  {Note: No book review here. This is just my own anecdote on my RV decision-making.}  She instructed me to skip reading the chapters on RV selection and purchase, knowing it would just perpetuate my over-analysis of a decision I had already made (the motor home had already been purchased by that time).  I, of course, ignored her advice and started to skim these chapters.  She, in turn, was absolutely correct; and I started down my road of “what if” ‘s and “Did I make the right choice?” ‘s. Quickly, I stepped away from the book.  I remembered my lengthy pros and cons debate with myself (under the guidance of my full-time RV’ing resource-people) and embraced my decision.

A motor home and tow dolly for my car was financially a better plan for me versus purchasing a bumper pull RV plus a vehicle to tow it.  Size-wise, it also felt more manageable.  Driving my 23.5 ft motor home doesn’t feel much different than driving a U-haul.  A downside is that adding the car-in-tow makes maneuverability more challenging—you can never ever back up— and the tow dolly itself is cumbersome for manually moving and storing (600 pounds, if memory serves).  A motorhome is also a convenient and secure choice for the single female traveler.  When on the road and in need of a rest or a bathroom break, I can climb from the cab to the “home” portion without having to exit the vehicle, if it seems unsafe to do so.  The motor home (versus hotels/motels) also makes on-the-road overnight stops with two large dogs a bit easier.

If you are considering an RV for yourself, finances, size, and practicality are certainly important points to consider.  My expert advice, however, ends there.  I highly recommend finding the RV’ing book of your choice to learn the ins and outs, the pros and cons, and all that jazz.  Other than that, we’ll figure it out as we go!

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