Probably the most important decision after deciding to become a nomad is what kind of RV to choose. Like most people contemplating a large purchase I turned to the internet for inspiration and advice.
My first love was the Leisure Travel Vans. Holy crap they are beautiful!
But then I read on and came to realize that for what I want to do and my expected style of travel they are just too big (don’t let them fool you, there is no such thing as a “Class B+”, its a Class C.)
So then I tried to figure out what I really wanted/needed in a rig.
- 21ft max. The smaller the better. I won’t be towing a separate vehicle (i.e. a toad) so I need something I can park in the city as well as the great outdoors.
- Gas engine. The diesel vs. gas debate can rage on without me. I know gas vehicles. I like gas vehicles. I don’t want to deal with finding diesel (did you know there are parts of the country with mandated 20% ethanol diesel and Mercedes says to only use 5%?) Yes, gas is more expensive but servicing a Mercedes diesel is more expensive so most folks say its a draw as far as cost. I could probably be swayed on this if everything else on the RV was perfect but I prefer gas.
- Permanent bed. Let’s face it, I’m lazy. I’m not going to convert my bed back into a couch everyday. I even think putting up the murphy bed would get annoying. I’d just like a bed that stays a bed.
- Big refrigerator/convection microwave. I’m not in college, I don’t want a dorm fridge. I like leftovers and I don’t like to grocery shop. I need a decent sized fridge. And I don’t know if I really need a convection microwave but I would rather have it and not need it.
- Guest space. Who knows when someone might want to meet up with me for a few days?! Since I hate sharing a bed I need a decent space for at least one other person to sleep.
- Power management. I have a dog that might need to be in the RV without me from time to time and I need a way to keep him cool. Manufacturers are doing all kinds of things like generator auto-start, Voltstart, Pure3, etc. But I need something.
So that list narrowed down my choices:
Hymer Aktiv 1.0: 19’7″ Cool rig. Not sure about the cassette toilet though and the bathroom is really small. Small fridge too and no guest space (unless you get the loft one.) The Voltstart system isn’t as robust as some others.
RoadTrek Zion SRT: 19’7″ No permanent bed but I could probably just leave the couch as a bed most of the time. Can convert into 2 twin beds for a guest. Big fridge but no convection microwave. Good sized holding tanks. The Voltstart system isn’t as robust as some others.
Pleasure-Way Lexor FL: 20’11” Good quality coach. Not sure how functional the front lounge would be. No permanent bed but I could probably just leave the couch as a bed most of the time and convert it to 2 twin beds for a guest. Big fridge and a convection microwave. No lithium battery option but it does have an auto-start generator.
Winnebago Travato GL: 21′ This is my current front-runner but that might be because it’s the only one I’ve actually stepped foot in. Has a permanent bed, large-ish fridge, big bathroom (for a small rig), a front lounge that converts to a guest bed, and the Pure3 system that can power the coach as if you are connected to 30 amp shore power. It doesn’t have a convection microwave and the holding tanks aren’t very big but I think they would work.
Looking forward to hitting some RV shows to take a look at all of these but I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to comment below.