Home RV ShoppingDealerships Part 1: Finding a new RV. Options!

Part 1: Finding a new RV. Options!

by Sonya
How did we choose a new RV?

How did we get here?

We knew a few months ago that we wanted to upgrade Boomer. We figured that we were likely to actually buy a new RV in the new year, mostly because we were unsure of the timing of John’s company allowing him to be an official ‘remote’ worker.


A little history. We lived in Northern Virginia (DC Metro) for about 10 or so years. We both worked for large tech corporations and kind of got caught up in the whole tech swirl in the 1990’s and 2000’s. About 7 years ago, we decided to move back to John’s home town of Virginia Beach to be closer to his family. (I was fortunate enough to have my sister move here about 5 years ago from Australia as well – bonus!)

John found it challenging to work remotely from Virginia Beach and the jobs for his calibre of skill were limited. He was recruited by his current company about 3 years ago, and we made the decision to buy a townhome back up in Northern Virginia so he could live comfortably up there during the week, and commute home on the weekends. That worked well for us until we decided that we enjoyed RVing, and commuting to/from DC and trying to fit in RVing wasn’t going to work. John applied for remote status, and it was finally approved!

Back to present day…

We recently decided to sell our townhome and start looking for a larger RV. John loves researching, so started looking around on RV Trader, etc. for an appropriate (to him) sized RV. Again, we really weren’t planning on buying until 2017. But here was our list of desires:

  • Brands: Tiffin and Newmar were our top choices due to their superior quality and service. [John: Others were in the running, and there are a lot of other good quality coaches, but these seemed right for us.]
  • Diesel vs. Gas: Diesel was his choice as he wanted the larger engine and roar that comes with a diesel engine (and we want to scale mountains!) [John: I also _really_ liked the air-ride suspension, and engine-at-the-back, too!]
  • Size: That was a larger debate. John wanted big (up to 40 foot!) I wanted something in the 30-34 foot range (big rigs are scary!). We compromised (originally) at 33 foot, then 37 foot.
  • Layout:
    • TV viewing: We are really fussy about the position of the TV for optimal watching pleasure. We don’t care about the TV over the windshield area. At all. In fact, we’d be fine if it wasn’t there! But the living room TV needs to be viewable without breaking our necks.
    • Sitting options: We like a free standing reclining chair so John can kick back wherever he likes. I like to lie on the couch.
    • Dining: Neither of us like dinettes. The storage would be nice, but we’d rather have a table/chairs option that can be used as a desk as well, and doesn’t take up so much space!
    • Bedroom: This was a BIG one. There needs to be enough space between the bed and the dresser for a chair and custom desk so John can use it as his office space – away from the rest of us.
    • Slides in: As we plan on boondocking, urban camping (occasionally) etc, we want to have the ability to move around, cook, eat, bathe, sleep and do daily tasks with the slides in.
    • Outdoor (bay) storage: We want to have the option of carrying a variety of outdoorsy stuff with us, so basement storage is important.
    • Washer/dryer: It was our preference to have a stackable, but wasn’t a deal breaker if it didn’t have one.
    • Used vs. New: We wanted used. We wanted it to be broken in and also didn’t want to deal with the immediate depreciation you get with new when you drive it off the lot.
    • Intangibles:  It had to ‘grab’ us – there were many that we saw that just didn’t do it.  Polished floors?  No second bathroom?  Nothing major, but a lot of little things.

So what did we do?

How did we decide? Read on to part 2 where I explain how we were pretty sure we had chosen our RV, but ended up … well… read on for what happened next.


You may also like

1 comment

Top tips for buying a new RV - Itinerant Life October 21, 2016 - 11:24 am

[…] this twice now. We are by no means experts at this, but here is a list of tips from OUR experience (read part 1 and part 2 on our buying journey). Your list might be different, as everyone has different needs and […]


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.