Ok, we have had our fun at trying our hand at writing a mystery story LOL!!! A lot of our friends that know us and our friends on Facebook had a pretty easy time figuring out what we might be up to. Plus I have been known to pull similar things in the past so when I start toying around like this some people get pretty suspicious really fast.
And those that have been reading our blog for a long time probably have seen us talk about how our fulltime life style might change if we change our traveling habits. Plus we have given a few small tips in the last few updates that helped a few people come to a pretty good conclusion to what we might be up to. And certainly by checking in at certain spots on Facebook really gave the RV savvy friends some great tips that we knew would give it away, but we did that by design to add to the fun and see who was paying attention LOL!!
We used to pull a 40’ Weekend Warrior Toy Hauler back in our working days when we did the sandrail thing but because we wanted more comfort (toy haulers have come a long way since then by the way) we switched to a motorhome and pulled a trailer with our toys in it and have been motorhome people since then, that was in 2007.
*** Let me stop right here and say that these are MY opinions and mean absolutely nothing and just because I think this way surely does not mean its right or wrong, it’s just the way I think. And Diane is ok either way so that makes it easy***
When we went fulltime in 2012 our trend was to make a move every week and because I love driving the motorhome for a variety of reasons and we are very comfortable living in our motorhome things have been perfect, well as perfect as living in a RV can be.
BUT, I have always said that when the time came, and we knew it would sooner or later, that we decided to slow down our travels and stay put in locations for longer periods of time that we would possibly POSSIBLY make a move to a 5th wheel. And with us spending 4 months in one spot last winter, 5 months planned in one spot this coming winter and also looking for spots to spend a month at a time during the summer (with some weekly stuff to) that qualifies for slowed down to us.
So with all of that said I’m sure you have figured out that we now getting serious about switching to a 5th wheel, not a done deal but serious.
***once again we will say that our feelings on what is a good 5th wheel is ONLY what’s good for us and we have not looked at every single manufacture or floorplan that’s out on the market. So no ruffled feathers please***
Because we knew at some point that we would probably make a move to a 5th wheel I have been lurking in the shadows on different 5th wheel forums online during my morning computer time and paying attention to the good and bad’s (and there are good and bad’s in every brand on the market no matter what you buy and for whatever price point) and paying attention to which brands seem to go to the shop more often and which brands I hear the least about which probably means they are “less” prone to issues because it’s human nature to talk about the bad and not so much the good on products we all buy.
Also on the forums it’s not uncommon that every few weeks someone will pop up and ask “what’s the best 5th wheel brands on the market?” And even though as you know what best for one may not be the best for someone else I was hard pressed not to find 3 or 4 brands that almost ALWAYS popped up on the list.
We have also toured a few different manufacturing plants during our travels like DRV, Montana and New Horizon’s to get a better idea of the workings of a 5th wheel and what differences we might find during construction. And we have been known to pop into a RV show or an occasional RV dealer or two in our day to check out different floor plans to see what we liked and didn’t like.
And because we have been fulltime in a RV for close to 6 years in a motorhome we know what little things work for us and would want to make sure we have in our next unit. Even though not all things we have in a motorhome can be had in a 5th wheel nor would they make sense like heated tile floors, we LOVE them but because of weight mainly they just would not be practical plus the extra flex in a 5th wheel would cause all types of issues I’m sure.
To help shorten what I could easily turn into a long drawn out update we will just say that after some long thought and for reasons that are important to us we narrowed the list of possible 5th wheel manufactures down to just 2, DRV Mobile Suites and New Horizons.
OK, so what does all of that have to do with moving so fast from Idaho to Kansas to Oklahoma and back to Kansas? The real answer is that I’m just a fool when it comes to research but there are a couple more reason.
First off you simply cannot find or buy a new DRV in the state of Oregon or Washington that’s 40’ or longer (and we are looking at a 40’ unit) because of some stupid state law. We would have to order the unit without even seeing one and drive to Indiana to pick it up at the factory, well that’s just not going to happen.
So because of that I did my research on what DRV dealers across the country were thought to be the best in customer service and offering the best prices and one particular dealer (Rolling Retreats) came up more times than any other in the country and they are in Elk City Oklahoma. They are a DRV Exclusive dealer so from what everyone said they are experts in what they sell and that’s important. So many time we go to a dealer and the person doing the selling has never spent a night in a RV or every driven or pulled one yet they are the expert trying to educate us. In most cases it just does not work.
And because New Horizons is a custom built 5th wheel and the factory and ONLY sales office is in Junction City Kansas the only real way to check them out is to go to the factory. And even though we had toured the plant before we were not ready for a 5th wheel at the time so of course did not take time to spec one out. And when buying a New Horizons you sit down and design one just like you would sit down with a builder and design a house, it’s intense.
So because we really didn’t have any plan’s after leaving Stone Ridge Motor Coach Resort in Idaho and our need of being back in Oregon on Sept’ 5th for a couple appointments we figured what the heck, let’s just drive half way across the country to really do our research and then head back to Oregon and take care of business LOL!!
Does that all sound crazy, well maybe but I know that unless we just did it we would keep thinking and talking about it and the thoughts of which brand do we do and should we really do it at all was starting to consume my idle time thoughts and that’s not good. So here we are.
So here we are, at the time of this update as you know we have driven from Idaho to Junction City Kansas, roughly 1550 miles, in 3 days to the New Horizon factory where we took another tour and spent 2 solid days designing a 5th wheel and figuring out a price.
Then we drove almost 400 miles south to Elk City Oklahoma and spent most of one day with Rolling Retreats going over what options and what customization we could do with a DRV and figuring out a cost. DRV is far less customizable so it wasn’t nearly as involved as with New Horizon but there are still things we could do and we looked at all of our options.
Then we drove 400 miles back to New Horizons to go over some questions we had while spending an evening going over our quote AND to take a look at a show model that came back from the paint shop after we left that would be almost exactly what we would order.
The second trip back to New Horizon was not in our original plans but because we put in long travel days coming down we were ahead of schedule so we could afford to take the time to come back up. Things just seem to happen for a reason.
So there you have it, the mystery has been solved. The only thing left is to make a choice between the two brands and place an order (both would be special ordered and we wouldn’t pick either up until after our stay down south this winter, so April. OR decide to make no change at all and hope for the best that my fears of a coach sitting too much does not bite us in the ars down the road and keep our current motorhome. Whichever we decide at least we can put the thoughts out of our heads and move on.
We figured we would use the time after leaving New Horizons the second time and during our drive back to Oregon to make up our minds. After everything we did with both dealers it took us to a point that just a phone call (and forking out a little (little lol) money would get the ball rolling so doing it while there was not important.
IF we decide to go with a 5th wheel we will need to look into a truck option, in fact we have already started that so we know what numbers we would be looking at so we have everything on paper 5th wheel and truck wise so we will know what we are walking into money wise. Retirement is great but we certainly have to look at large purchases a little differently.
OK, I’m sure we will talk about our decision in a upcoming update. For now we are headed back to Oregon to resume our previously scheduled chain of events LOL!!