But I Thought You Wanted a Bus...
I still want a bus. But I'm not ready for one.
When I first looked into the RVing life, I gravitated towards the class C models. While smaller, their layout made more sense to me: I could use the back bedroom as my study and sleep in the over head cab, giving me more floor space for daily use. But I began to hear horror stories of carrying capacity on class Cs, so I started to look at class As, which sort of automatically led me to look at buses.
Soon as I started to shop for a bus, I began to feel very uncomfortable with my plans. I finally accepted that I was trying to learn too much in too little time. I just did not have the time nor knowledge to learn what I needed to learn about bus conversions to buy smartly. Also, the amount of choice in Canada left to be desired. I had no idea what I was looking for and fishing in a very small pool of candidates. It was a recipe for disaster.
Later, when I'm properly retired and have years of RVing under my belt, I can get the bus of my dreams. For my current plans, a bus just adds too many variables.
So, I went back to looking at class As. Originally, I had budgeted a lot for my rig, but I knew I had to scale that plan down when I decided to give up full-time work for at least a year. The rigs within my new budget were older. Through research and inference, I began to realise that a lot of these older rigs really didn't have all that much more carrying capacity than does a class C. Why buy a 35' or 40' rig when a smaller one would actually give me more usable space?
I test drove a 40' rig and doing so showed me that I didn't have to fear driving such a behemoth. I could now look at smaller rigs for reasons other than 'I'm scared to drive a class A!!!' The more I researched class Cs, the more I liked them. Their smaller size is better suited to the sort of RVing I want to do and will be easier to heat in winter.
So, it was a question now of finding the perfect match of manufacturer, length, floor plan, and the all important carrying capacity.
Figuring out my optimal floor plan didn't take long. I want a rear twin bed model. I could use one bed as a sofa and replace the other one with a desk. Once I'd settled on this floor plan, I seriously narrowed down my options for the other three requirements.
I Googled, searched discussion forums, read, read, read, and did a ton of math. I made some phone calls, read some more, and perused the for sale ads.
Finally, I found two local RVs matching all four criteria.
One is a Glendale Royal Classic, 31'. The other is a Winnibago Winnie Minnie, 28'. Both are roughly the same age and the same price. The Royal Classic is a high end, luxury model. The Winnie Minnie is in the same league.
One of them is just about as perfect as I could ever have dreamt of, factoring in some compromise, and offers almost twice the carrying capacity as the average class C its size. I didn't believe the math, so I ran it by a few other people. It checked out. It's a gorgeous coach, twelve years old and still looks brand new, with a layout that would give me the illusion of having no less than six rooms. Solar panels, inverters, and the very tow bar I want to buy are also negotiable as a package deal. If the inspection checks out, and I have no doubt it will, this coach will be confirmed as being a gift from the gods.
I went from 'thinking about full-timing' to 'shopping for a rig' in a very short amount of time. I've had to take a crash course in everything from calculating RV weight to 12V electricity 101. The amount of research I did and the questions I asked (some of them probably sounding idiotic to those in the know) really helped me figure out exactly what I need for my current project. It's not what I want; I would love to head up the 417 in a gorgeous Prévost conversion, but it's what makes sense for me at this time of my life and for the type of full-timing I plan to do in the next year or two.
So, which did I choose, the Royal Classic or the Minnie Winnie? All in good time, faithful readers, all in good time. :-D
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."