Finding the right RV is not an easy task, and neither is deciding on the right floorplan for you and your family. For us, we’re seriously looking into which fifth wheel floorplans would be most suited to our lifestyle on the road.
I think we’ve settled on the idea of a fifth wheel as being the best RV choice for us. You would think that answer solves everything, but it only opens up more questions and concerns.
If you happened to catch some of the back-and-forth discussion in Finding the Right RV, then you know we were kicking around the idea of a Class C for a bit as well. But, alas, the better choice for us will be the livable space provided with a fifth-wheel.
Now, at the forefront of our though-process, is the debate of what the right floorplan would be. One that will complement both our family and our upcoming adventures.
I know there are other questions to be addressed, but most of those already have answers:
Price: Under 20k, preferably closer to 15k.
Age: Mid 2000s or newer.
Length: Under 35’
Slides: The more, the merrier. Two would be great though.
Bunkhouse: Preferably, with an actual room as opposed to just open bunks on the side.
Bath: 1 is perfectly acceptable (more like mandatory), a half-bath would be cool but not necessary.
Butler: Yes, please!
Against our wishes, Nevaeh continues to grow and get older . . . the nerve of some children. Keeping that in mind, we would like to provide her with her own little sliver of space. Preferably in the form of a room.
The amount of floorplans out there is astounding! There really is no foreseeable end to the options and configurations available in today’s RVs.
Without compiling an exhaustive list, we’ve broken things down into the three categories that we have considered, toured, and tire-kicked.
RVing with two? Possibly a new family testing the waters? Weekend camper? This is what comes to mind when we have looked at some of the rear-living, fifth-wheels out there.
The concept is fairly straight forward. The front of the RV has a bedroom (usually a queen bed) and typically has the bathroom up there as well.
The back two-thirds of the rig holds the kitchen and living area, usually with two awesome captain’s chairs gently swiveling in the back.
It seems like we almost have to throw this one right out . . . for us.
A couple Tonka trucks, maybe a skateboard or two, and quite possibly a Vespa. That is what makes toy haulers great . . . they haul toys!
One benefit of some of the newer toy haulers is that the fold-down door in the back can convert to a deck area (check it out), easily adding some much-needed square footage of outdoor living space.
Another great feature provided are the fold-down bunks that can sometimes be found in the rear garage area. This would make a great room, or could even double as an office.
The downfall for us, is two-fold. The rear garage/room is not as well insulated, making it not as comfortable as a dedicated room. Secondly, these rigs tend to exceed the length that we are looking for.
*Now, if the wife authorizes a couple Vespa purchases, then you can bet we’ll be rolling in one of these!
There are so many configurations we have seen out there that offer “bunk” space in a fifth-wheel. Some will have a couple bunks stacked in a rear corner, with no discernable room to speak of, while others seem to provide a secondary living area with up to four bunks (hello quadruplets).
The attraction of a bunkhouse model for us is the ability to provide a separate room for Nevaeh in the rig. This will give her the opportunity to have her own space that can be decorated as she wishes. Plus, we’ll have our own space as well (it’s ok, you can call us selfish).
Visiting dealerships, viewing Craigslist and EBay adds, and looking at manufacturer websites has opened our eyes to the numerous bunk configurations out there.
Rear-corner Bunks– This isn’t out favorite option. If you have a couple kids, and are looking for the weekend/vacation experience, then this may be a great choice. As for long-term, it doesn’t afford the privacy we would like to offer our daughter.
Second Room– Most often this second/bunk room is located at the rear of the rig. There is an actual door back there that leads into a smallish room with a couple bunks and some open area (think a small desk and/or dresser).
The appeal here is that Nevaeh would have her own space. We could tear out the bottom bunk, opening up even more floor space, and she could have semi-cart-blanche in regards to decorating.
The Right One
As of right now, it seems that a bunkhouse model with the actual room, most likely in the back, is the way to go. Of course . . . that could always change.
We like the rig to be as short as possible (within reason), allowing for a bit more maneuverability to (hopefully) access some off-the-beaten-path locations.
We’re also open to any great DIY projects that could turn any of the above 5ers into our “ideal for us” RV. So, if you have done a renovation of this kind, or even have a good idea, we’d love to hear from you.