Sunday, September 19, 2021
Sunday, September 19, 2021

Why go big? The case for owning a king-sized RV

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?

Big rig. All the comforts of home

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.

How hard would it be to live in this RV?

We wanted a near-normal-sized bathroom, a soft king-sized 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.

The Sherman family dog, Nikki

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

##RVT1013

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Curt Rissmann
23 days ago

Not at the point of selling the s&b yet since it is in Montana. However full time RVing calls me, just have to get the wife on board. I suspect there will come a time when age and mobility helps us make that decision. Very content with winters down south and summers back up in Montana. Everyone, do what your heart tells you to do.

Michael
28 days ago

We started with a pop-up camper and are now in a 45′ motor home. Sold the house 10 years ago. Got rid of the storage unit 8 years ago. Everything we own travels with us down the road. We would do it again in a heartbeat.

ConnieVH
30 days ago

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this piece! It describes OUR retirement life perfectly! We’ve done “all that” in our earlier lives … the “real camping”, from tent to 28′ TT, to 30′ 5er, to newer bigger 5er, back to BIG pickup over-cab camper (Lance 1172), to now a 43′ Class A DP. We’re READY for a COMFORTABLE retirement full-timing

Only problems so far are finding spaces that can accommodate us in RV Parks …. no campgrounds, no more National Forests, no more State Parks…. they just aren’t big enough. We can boondock, we’re prepared and equipped for it … but for only overnights, or a few days at a time. We’re packed full, and becoming “full” in the waste tanks means we need the properly planned site dump. No “portable” tanks. Minimal “on the way out” dumps. Yuck. We’re done with all that. No regrets, no apologies. It suits us, now, perfectly and we enjoy it as much as we enjoyed other types of camping when we were younger and could do it better than now.

Thanks again!

Paul Mooter
1 month ago

Well, it’s funny…we didn’t buy our RV to go full timing, it was only a 32’r gas rig. We used it for weekend warrior stuff. But then we sold our house and intended only to stay in it until we found our ‘down-sized’ house while getting ready for retirement. Well, one month, two months….still no house we wanted to buy. Winter was coming…so we rented a house, and somewhere while living in the 32’r in Dec and Jan we realized, “Hey…this is fun!” LOL! Even in the snow!

Long story short, we found a BEAUTIFUL RV site down in Melbourne Beach, FL and bought it and the next thing you know..BOOM! We’re FULL TIME RVers!

And we LOVE IT!

We just flew to North Carolina and purchased our 1st DP and we went from a 32 foot gas rig to a FORTY FIVE Diesel Pusher!!! Wow oh WOW, what a difference!

THIS…is a Home! We are so much more comfortable than we thought we’d ever be. We have a long snow-bird commute, Spokane, WA to Florida, and WE LOVE IT! Complaints? Should have done it sooner!

TRICIA ANTHONE
1 month ago

Mike and Diana, you are precisely the role models my hubby and I hope to emulate when we retire! What a great way of life! It’s not about “camping” at this stage, is it? It’s about a mobile lifestyle.

Dr. Michael
1 month ago

As usual, I suppose I stand alone.
I am tired (especially the last 18 months) of working 7 days a week in the hospital. So this past April my wife and I went out and purchased our very first camper. Our idea is that it will provide us the means to escape for just a few days to relax and recharge. We have it basically empty since we do not know what to put in it (besides clothes, bathroom products, and some dishes).
We selected a gently used Entegra Anthem RBQ. I have never driven anything this large or complex, but I will get used to it.

Cathi
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr. Michael

I hope you get many opportunties to get away from the stress of the current health situation – find some fresh air and listen to nature.

Richard Chabrajez
1 month ago

You are our people! We full time with everything we own in our 46ft 5ver with garage and patio, but we only have one fireplace. Now I’m jealous.

Paul S Goldberg
1 month ago
  • We are middle of the road. We started out in backpacking tents and after sucking CO from a generator or two we decided to be that way. We started with a bare bones 33 foot A and that lasted 3 years, long enough to convince us we loved the lifestyle, our next was a 36 foot gasser that we enjoyed the heck out of for 8 years and 105k miles. We traveled for months before returning to our s&b until one day we realized we had been away for 11 months. Sold the house, sold my financial planning practice, bought the “monster big Diesel Pusher” 36 footer and set out on the full time life style. We were very active in the early years, but age and injuries have slowed us down. After a brisk walk we are content to sit and read or schmooze (or snooze) for the afternoon. If the weather is delightful you may see us out on our chairs, but if it is less than ideal we are likely to sit in our comfortable seating instead.
Fritz K.
1 month ago

Nice article. No criticism here. Everyone is different. But no way will we be getting one of those monster 5th wheels anytime soon. Might as well stay home. I just retired and now have an opportunity to tow our 27 foot trailer anywhere my wife and I and 3 dogs want to go. I’m 65 but feel 45 and we are still active. We like the flexibility to go anywhere we want when we want. And we will keep our house in south Florida as a winter base (yes I know – that’s one advantage we have).

Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Fritz K.

Sounds good except the Florida part

Richard Hughes
1 month ago

Our son and daughter in law bought a 43 foot 5th wheel because his company is opening another office and asked her to run the office and him to drive a truck locally. They sold their house and we brought a new truck and bumper pull trailer to help them move to a different state. We arrived and their levelers wouldn’t work. I loaned them sissor jacks. Their 3 AC units wouldn’t work, so they spent the day in our trailer. We have only 2 TV’s, but we have leather recliners and sofa. Sitting here in our miniscule 30 footer we are watching the big rig owners trying to fix this it that. Bigger isn’t always better.

Terry
1 month ago

I tell all my friends nothing beats laying back in my recliner in front of the fire place watching satellite tv in my camper. Lol. A rough camping trip is one where the satellite goes down and we have to watch over the air tv

Cathi
1 month ago
Reply to  Terry

I feel your pain with the satellite unable to make a connection

ConnieVH
30 days ago
Reply to  Terry

Simple solution: Gig up and put a large capacity SIM card in your cellular router. See MobileMustHaves YouTube channel on this very subject. We have plenty, PLUS DISH. But trees make DISH unusable, so the SIM-powered Roku gives us just about everything we might want. Individual channel apps galore, and with the DISH login we already have … we get just about everything (more than DISH, actually!)

dcook
1 month ago

Absolutely great write up, enjoyed reading this article. I can definitely see the advantages of having some extra space.

manfred manville
1 month ago

Stop talking about me.

Denny Wagaman
1 month ago

What? the article makes it sound like owning a big RV is only for old people. Sorry but that wasn’t us or other people that we know or have known. We were much more active biking, walking, playing golf, going out having fun. Traveling across country for the holidays with family and then off to have more fun. Key West, Hilton Head New Orleans not now though. mostly places close to water. Well except for Palm Springs which is fun, we tried to stay in one place but couldn’t do it. We preferred to get on the road to experience travels to different places. We enjoyed every thing with our big rig. I loved driving it. . For us it wasn’t the destination it was the travel seeing all different places. Meet new people, laugh and enjoy life in our home away from home. just because we all like RV’s doesn’t mean we are all the same. Far From it. Big rig or not. Just do your own thing and enjoy living YOUR life.

Adorable Deplorable
1 month ago

To each his own. This is living for some and they are enjoying it so don’t be critical you might change your mind when you grow up – or not. We had a truck camper but it was too much for us so now we stay at home and live in Paradise, fine for us. Have fun you RV owners.

Bluebird Bob
1 month ago

Didn’t Paradise CA burn to the ground?

Karen
1 month ago
Reply to  Bluebird Bob

Might be more a state of mind reference.

Talina Lambeth
1 month ago

Great article indeed. I’m considering this for my retirement.

Michelle
1 month ago

When I grow up, I wanna be you guys! Right now I’m doing the truck camper thing, but that doesn’t rule out a Newmar in my future… when, I don’t know, but someday.

bull
1 month ago

Went to a “Trailer Trash” Rally a couple of weeks ago at a state park in TN on KY Lake with 450 campsites all full! About 60 Fiberglass trailers in attendance. Upon leaving the rally drove around the campground and was amazed with all the LARGE TRAILERS everywhere. Not only amazed at the number of LARGE TRAILERS but also all the CRAP their owners drug with em to the campground!!

Boats, side by sides, 4×4’s, motorcycles, jet ski’s, Tents, Cabana’s Satellite TV to sit on their arss to watch sports and more! You name it was parked or set up right on their campsite! These folks had to have spent the whole {bleeped} week hauling all this CRAP up to their campsite for a weekend of camping.

Is this what Campground Camping has become????

Is so why not just stay home and save yourself a lot of work!

BIG IS NOT BETTER!

Denny Wagaman
1 month ago
Reply to  bull

funny to read your post about camping and bigger is not better. Please understand we are not all the same. Thank Goodness.
I am not a camper. I am an RV’er. My camping days are long gone but I realize for some camping is the only way to go. If people want to bring their toys with them and the “campground” allows them then why be bothered about it. If it bothers you find another campground to stay in. Sorry sir but I find your post fun to read. I hope you have a good day and I understand that campgrounds are not all the same (thank goodness). I remember staying in one that had little kids and big kids (grown ups) having fun until past midnight while their parents had fun partying. Loud you bet, annoying absolutely! So guess what although we have traveled that way many more times surprise! we found other places to stay.

bull
1 month ago
Reply to  Denny Wagaman

All these folks bringing all this CRAP with em does not bother me in the least. Personally I find it rather amusing!

What amazes ME is all the effort these Campers/RVer’s put into setting up for a weekend of camping or in your case RVing. Take you pick whatever you want to call it.

Being a state park campground the campground in question allows no long-term campers. Everything is short term a week or less. I guess you could move all your CRAP from site to site every week and stay there longer than a week however the same situation exists. You still gotta move all that CRAP and that’s a LOTTA WORK for a weekend of “Fun”!

Apparently a lot of people gotta lot to time and are up for a lotta work to be “Livin For The Weekend”!

Kamwick
1 month ago
Reply to  bull

Yeah, some folks basically use a campsite as their outdoor party venue. The golf carts, razers, and electric scooters are really noisy, and often going a lot faster than the 5 mpg posted. Many don’t respect the quiet hours, and no authority is available to remind them.
We’ve been fortunate, this only seems to happen on the occasional weekend. When it does I forget about sleeping and simply read until the noise dies down.

Jim Prideaux
1 month ago
Reply to  bull

I think you are talking abut LBL. Camped there a week once several years ago. What I remember was that next to us was a large TT. Never saw anyone go in or out. Never saw any vehicle come near it. Told my wife they must be vampires who are active at night. About boats and jet skis. I’ve found campgrounds next to lakes to be among the rowdiest and noisiest. People go to the lake to party. Quietest were parks or campgrounds associated with some historical point of interest.

Judy
1 month ago

Loved this article and all the comments! There us such variety in RVing.

Barnjai
1 month ago

What a great article! Camping is so wonderful no matter what you camp in. We are in a 20 foot travel trailer that we love but a big bed and a bathroom that my 6’4″ husband can use would be nice. We just got home from a month long sojourn where we met the most fabulous people from everywhere. We stayed in campgrounds with no services including bathrooms all the way to full hookups, a restaurant and gift shop. We loved them all!

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