How can you call a vehicle home?

For us, it’s actually been pretty easy.  I’ve been surprised at how quickly our new coach has become a real home to us.  We have a 2008 Tiffin Allegro Bus 43QRP.   SlidesOut1SlidesOut2

It’s got 4 slide-outs (2 in the living room/kitchen and 2 in the bedroom) so we have lots of room whenever we’re parked.

Bedroom with slides out
Bedroom with slides out
Living Room/Kitchen with Slides Out
Living Room/Kitchen with Slides Out

It’s still livable with the slides in, but you have to put one out or crawl across the bed to get to the back bedroom closet.

Living Room/Kitchen with slides in
Living Room/Kitchen with slides in

It has a leather sofa and 2 recliner lounge chairs and surround sound in the living room/kitchen. LivingRoom2 LivingRoom1

The kitchen has a big, deep sink, pull out island, 2 burner stove, convection microwave and dishwasher.Kitchen Dishwasher

It has 2 bathroom sinks (one in a powder room with the toilet) and another in the slide out next to the shower. Bathroom2 Bathroom1

It has a king size select comfort bed and lots of storage.  Bed

It even has a stacked washer and dryer so we don’t have to rely on laundrymats.WasherDryer

You might notice that it looks pretty empty.  These are the “before” pictures from when we picked up the coach.  Since I’m still working clean-out duty, no inside pictures are allowed, yet.  When we get more stuff stored and in place, I will post new ones so you can see the lived in look.

Even when we still had both the stick built house and the rolling one, we settled into our new home like putting on an old favorite shirt.  So how did we manage that?

  • First, you have to know yourself.  For us, we love to travel, but we like to stay in nice places.  For us, that meant we couldn’t skimp and get something “economy” as a way to save money.  Since we knew we were going to be living in it full-time, we made a list of “must haves” (like a residential refrigerator and King-size bed) and “wants” (like a dishwasher and a u-shaped booth dinette) and such.  In order to get a better perspective, we even called some places to get prices for after-market “upgrades” to units to see what needed to be existing and what could be added later.  We needed a premium diesel pusher at least 40 foot in length.
  • Second, you need a budget.  We don’t recommend going to look at rigs that are way out of your budget.  I guarantee they’re nice and comfy and awesome, but if you spend much time on them, select something in your budget will be REALLY hard.  We decided early on that in order to get the luxury-type upgrades on the “must have” and “want” lists, we would have to buy a used RV.  We did go to RV shows and look at newer units, but mostly to get a feel for different manufacturer’s quality levels, layouts and options.  We also talked to a lot of other RV’ers at the shows.  They provided interesting insights that helped in our RV selection.  We needed a unit about 5 years old and found the Tiffin Motorhomes fit our tastes well.
  • Third, do your research.  As with nearly any significant purchase in our lives, we spent a lot of time researching options.  We bought an RV review guide (similar to Consumer Reports) from www.rvreviews.net.  It was helpful in understanding manufacturers’ products, customer service and dealer approvals.  It also helped provide perspective on depreciation for RV’s so that we could figure out what we should be paying for a used RV.  Tiffin had high marks in all categories and was spoken of really highly by most users.
  • Last, cast a wide net.  We first started looking in the DFW area, but the choices were really limited.  Here’s where the internet came in handy.  We contacted places in Mississppi, California and south Texas before finally finding our perfect choice in Fort Meyers, Florida at RV Kountry.

Well, at least, that’s our story and I’m sticking to it…

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