The Perfect RV

 Posted by at 6:30 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 052009

It’s cold here in Show Low, Arizona. Last night the thermometer dipped down to 25 degrees! We were sure glad that we put so much effort into insulating our bus conversion when we built it. With just a small cube style electric heater, we kept it about 65 degrees inside the bus overnight.

We don’t have a furnace in our bus. We installed one early in our conversion project, but quickly realized that the typical RV furnace blows more heat outside than it does inside, so we pulled it out. We have an Olympian Wave 8 catalytic heater that keeps us toasty warm on cold nights, and when we have an RV site with a 30 or 50 amp electric hookups, we use the cube heater to save on propane.

Several people have written to suggest that instead of replacing our bus, we just put in a rebuilt engine. We debated that, but the 8V71 Detroit Diesel engines like we have were prone to overheating on steep climbs even when they were new, and they were never very powerful. We want to get away from the overheating problems and the long, slow climbs here in the West.

We could upgrade to a more powerful engine, like an 8V92 turbo, but that would also require a transmission upgrade, and a pair of larger radiators. I talked to a bus garage we trust and for the price he quoted us to do the job right, we could spend just a little bit more and have a newer coach with a slide out or two.

We’ve reached the point where we’d like to have some more living space. Yesterday my daughter and her family stopped by, and with the two grandkids in here, it was just too crowded.

There is no perfect RV, even when you build it yourself. Our bus meets a lot of our needs in a home on wheels, but if we were going to do it all over again, there are some things we would do differently. We’d install an instant-on hot water system, we would not put in a residential size bathtub, and we would try a different floor plan, probably a side aisle design.

Some things we would definitely do again would be the residential style refrigerator, the stainless steel apartment size range with oven, and the separate apartment size washer and dryer. We’d also still spend the money we did on large holding tanks, our solar system, Magnum Energy inverter, and large bank of AGM batteries.

Some things I’d like to see in our next RV are a bigger engine, at least a living room slide, and preferably a bedroom slide too, a rooftop automatic satellite TV dish or dome, and leveling jacks.

What options do you wish your current RV had, or that you will demand in your next rig?

We know the right coach for us is out there, and we’ll keep looking until we find it.

Thought For The Day – You can do something in an instant that will give you heartaches for a lifetime.

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Nick Russell

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  8 Responses to “The Perfect RV”

  1. We have an absolutely luxury (for us) RV. But the one thing — the ONE thing — I would like is a trash compactor! Now that might sound silly, but we two can generate more trash in one day than anyone I know. Where does it all come from???

    It wouldn’t have to be a full size one. Half the home size would be just fine.

  2. Definitely BIGGER TANKS!! Even with all the conservative and recycling practices, we are limited to about 6 – 7 days without dumping. Thank goodness for the Blue Boy. But that is even a chore if we are boondocking far away from civilization.

    Another must would be a double fridge/freezer. Ours is just too small.

    And the ability to carry more weight. We are pretty comfortable in our little 30 foot fifth wheel, but there is no way we can carry all we would need to full time. I must say we have done pretty well this year on our trial run though.

    We are contemplating making some changes to our current rig or upgrading to a MH. Things we are thinking about are switching our axles for heavy duty ones, solar panels (of course), in line water heater (no tank).

    Would love full body paint as our decals are showing some wear.

    Just dreaming:-)

  3. The one thing I want, that you alrady have, is greater weight capacity. I’m astounded how much stuff we seem to accumulate, even as part timers. The stuff just seems to infiltrate through the air, directly into the cabinets and the storage compartments.

    On the other hand, I can fully appreciate your desire for more power. I can still recall driving our last coach over Broad Pass, pedal to the metal in low gear, at 10 miles per hour. Our current Ford v10 seems to fly up the mountains, compared to that old Dodge v8.

    Best wishes in your search for the “perfect” coach. Seems to me that you were on the right track with the Endeavor that fell through. Just keep looking, and something will turn up.

  4. The 18″ dishwasher would be perfect…Rinse dishes off…put in Mach…no more clutter in sink.

  5. I am still hoping to one day stretch the frame on my Peterbilt and build a motorhome out of it. That would be my ideal RV. My ship doesn’t seem to be coming in, so I am trying to swim out to it, so I can reach that dream!

  6. Nobody mentions 2 recliners! I am not comfortable on the couch (turned sideways to see the TV) or at the dinette bench. I want a recliner, too!

  7. A full size bathtub you say!! GOSH dh and I would love one of those in our RV. I am missing my tub soaks so much I would almost through out everything else! Also a dish washer would be very cool!

  8. Just thought since no one has mentioned this, we made the decision to upgrade the Diplomat to a one year newer Windsor because of: the side opening bay doors (just too hard on the back and knees getting under those doors at our age), 4 slides instead of 3, the automatic satellite dish, and the flat screen TV (no more “watch your head” warnings to friends and family when entering. We sure hope you find your dream home before we meet up again. We can’t wait to see you.
    Barbara & Tom

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