By Mike Sherman
A debate on RV size is almost a waste of time. It’s a question that’s been debated for years. Everyone has an opinion. Go BIG? Go small?
Have you ever wondered when you’re parked next to a huge RV that you may never see the occupants unless they have a dog to walk? For many, that large RV is all they’ve got. There’s no stick home sitting on 5 acres waiting for their return. Everything they own is in that rig. Everything! Some full-timers don’t even rent a mini-storage locker – they got rid of everything except what’s in their RV.
These RVers are probably older, and have no desire to take walks around the RV park or hike nearby trails. They prefer RV parks with amenities, having experienced plenty of primitive state and federal campgrounds in the years gone by.
Occasionally you might spot them coming outside to dump their holding tanks. You say “Hi.” They smile and wave back, then retreat into their private domain. They may stay in one place for months at a time, but sooner or later they will muster up the energy to move on, often to an RV park they visit annually like clockwork.
THEY ENJOY THE AMENITIES made possible with a big rig – a fireplace, big screen TVs, built-in vacuums. Some rigs have a bath-and-a-half, and there’s ample closet space for a year-round or seasonal wardrobe. They enjoy eating meals at their dining table and later relaxing in heated, vibrating recliners. Two people can live very comfortably year-round in such a rig. If too much togetherness creates stress, the bedroom offers a quiet, private sanctuary to escape and recover.
My wife and I went BIG after owning smaller RVs. We had 27-foot Class A and 32-foot Class A motorhomes before deciding to go BIG when we both finally retired and were ready to liquidate and hit the road full time.
After a lifetime of dry camping in tents and smaller RVs in the boonies with maybe a pit toilet, no showers and eating canned beans … you know, roughing it – “real camping” … we decided we wanted all the creature comforts. I grew tired of manually leveling the rig. I grew tired of cranking the awning in and out.
We wanted a near-normal-sized bathroom, a soft king-size bed and automatic everything. We had no plans to drive down dirt roads for miles looking for privacy. Yes, we are soft, lazy and weak, but we are still rolling on down the highway!
We ended up in a 42-foot 5th wheel with awesome, fully equipped recliners, 3 big screen TVs, 2 fireplaces, automatic levelers and 2 electric awnings. I do little cranking these days. Mostly I just push buttons. Perfect, just the way we wanted it. The RV has a wet bar (4 bar stools) that even has a foot rail (no spittoon) with a TV overhead. Oh, it has a wine cooler, too.
When we eat our meals at the dining table on our super-soft, thick chairs, one of us can easily see the TV over the bar, and the other the TV over the fireplace. We can pause a program via remote control while we serve up seconds, then resume our comfortable dining experience. The dining chairs are quite thick and very comfortable. You can sit in them for hours, unlike fine restaurant seating where the idea is to get customers in, then get them out without delay.
There’s a fireplace at the foot of our custom king-size bed – custom because we replaced the mattress with one as soft as our dining room chairs. If the evening gets chilly, we can warm the bedroom using electricity instead of propane, and avoid heating the entire rig.
We still enjoy meeting people, so we walk the dog and talk with neighbors. We’ve had dinner parties with total strangers, shared funny videos, and enjoyed sitting around our propane fire pit. I do a pretty good BBQ chicken dinner, and we offer up advice to the rookies we meet when they ask. We support campground owners and vote for legislation meant to improve the RV industry. I would like to think that we are still contributing, even though we certainly enjoy spending a lot of time inside our controlled environment, watching “Wheel of Fortune”.
We visit areas where our family and friends live as we travel. They enjoy having dinner in our little abode. It gives them an excuse to enjoy a cozy, comfortable experience. I would like to think we are making the most of our retirement.
It sure sounds like that to us, Mike and Diana. Thanks for sharing! —RVtravel.com