100 Days of Camping Day #21
Mike Thompson RV Super Stores has rented a portion of the parking lot here at Wilderness Lakes and we took the opportunity to be Lucy lookers. In all fairness, we are hoping to be buying one of these suckers some time in the future. But it's all about $$$. We would have to prove our income to get a loan and right now we're self employed, but we could turn things around pretty fast, so we're allowing ourselves to dream. 🙂
So the one that really caught our attention was the "Grand Design" 5th wheel called "Reflection". I posted a couple of pictures from other RVs at the end, but this one really impressed us. It also is retailed at $70,000+, but as a full-time residence, it would be worth it. Not that I am announcing that this is our dream rig, but it sure would meet our wants and needs, so let's take a look!
When we first started RV shopping, one thing that I thought I would not be interested in is the outdoor kitchens. Sure, it's a nice idea for, you know, camping campers, but as a full-timer with lots of kids, I want the bunk space! But in truth, I often cook outside because our small space can get hot really fast. Cooking outside helps keep things cool inside. Plus, if you're cooking something at all smelly, like fish, you will be dealing with the fish smell until all of the dishes are clean. But as nice as the outdoor kitchens would be, we would want the space for a bunk bed.
And yet, this model would has enough room in the back for all of the kids to sleep, all of their clothes, a big screen TV, and STILL has an outside kitchen. Technically there's only 3 beds, but both bunks are wide enough for two kids, and the bench is long enough to put another kid there. If we needed to, we could even put a triple-bunk bed back there. The kid room also has it's own bathroom. The master bedroom ha the shower and a very large closet. Another 5th-wheel model had a washer and dryer up there. Wouldn't that be handy- wash the clothes and immediately put the clothes away right there.
As dreamy as these homes look, and as much as I really want one, there is this caution we are considering ourselves- some of the materials in the RV felt cheap. They weren't designed for full-time use and I wonder how well some of these things would hold up with heavy use. We've been spoiled in that aspect. I mean, our 1989 RV is old, and has had roof problems, and engine problems, and we had to fix some plumbing and electric, and it's been a pain, but most everything works now. And it was in our price range, so great! But in 1989, our rig was right up there with the best of them, and I have been impressed at the quality of the cupboards, the table, the blinds, etc. It's a sturdy ol' bessy, and I really like the quality of these things in our home, even if it is so retro. Now, I'm not saying everything was cheap-o in this rig either, but there were a couple areas where they took shortcuts and I don't think it would take that long before we would be breaking light fixtures and such. So I have that concern. I also have heard horror stories from fellow full-timers recently who have purchased new and have had their rigs spend extensive time at the shop for warranty work while their family camped out in motels or a friend's couch.
Not that it would stop us from purchasing new if it was the right rig for us at the right price, but it's something I want to do with our eyes open. We don't have a warranty and have done quite a lot of work on our rig, but even with all of the repairs, we're in this thing less than $10,000 (plus labor, but let's look at the dollar figure). And we own it. And it has an engine. Our dream vehicle is a 5th wheel with a truck, but we will have to add the price of the truck to our final price when switch to a different RV, which well need to do. This is an excellent Southern California rig because it doesn't rain much, but there are exterior weaknesses that I would not want to deal with in Oregon where it rains so often. And I don't know if our rig would be able to handle extensive driving. But it's nice and roomy for now and I'm grateful for to have a roof over our head.
It's so fun to shop though! So good for getting a feel for what is out there and what is new on the market. Someday I'd love to buy a new RV, and the Reflection is as good a model as I have seen to date.