We’ve had several inquires on social media about what rig we have, why we chose it and how we like it. We’re more than 8 months and 24,000 miles into our journey and now seems like a fine time to toss out a few answers to those questions.
What RV did we choose?
We’ll start with the easy one!
RV: 2018 311BHS Reflection series 5th wheel by Grand Design (new)
- Added a dishwasher in the kitchen island
- Also, here’s a video our daughter made when we saw ours for the first time:
Tow Vehicle: 2018 Ram 3500 crew cab with 8′ bed (Big Horn, Diesel, Tow-pkg, etc)
- Added a Transfer Flow Aux Fuel Tank and Tool Box Combo (I’d do it again in a heartbeat)
- Ordered Curt Q25 hitch with Ram puck system legs
A Few Other Additions:
- Thetford SmartTote2 Portable RV Waste Tote Tank – Just In Case (JIC)
- Universal UB121000-45978 12v 100AH Deep Cycle AGM Battery – more power!
- Victron BlueSolar MPPT 100/15 Charge Controller &
- 2 HQST 100 Watt 12V Monocrystalline Lightweight Solar Panels
- 2 sets of BAL 23216 Lock-Arm Stabilizing Bar for the front landing gear
- as well as all the other usual stuff to out this thing for full-time (maybe a full list in another post)
Why Did We Choose This Rig?
This could be long and subjective but I’ll just keep it to some high-level and mostly personal reasons.
- We wanted a rear bunkhouse model with 2 toilets! That narrowed things down a bit.
- Even though we fell in love with some 5ers over 40′, we decided we really wanted the increased flexibility that something closer to 35′ would give us. That narrowed things down A LOT.
- We really took build-quality (and component quality – i.e. tires, axels, etc) into consideration and looked at whether a manufacturer would stand by a warranty if we lived in it full-time (not all will)
- Used Grand Design coaches seemed to hold their value slightly better than most and we didn’t think we’d be on the road indefinitely.
- In the end, it came down to 2 or 3 models and the opposing slides of this model really sold us as we spent time with it at the dealer and imagined our life inside of it.
Why Did We Buy New?
This is based entirely on our peace of mind. I know that a new coach can have as many or more small issues as one a year or two old, but as a home builder/remodeler that stuff doesn’t scare me at all. I liked the idea of knowing exactly what the trailer has been through and we were willing to pay to own the warranty on a new trailer. Same with the truck, we wanted to own the warranty for peace of mind. There is one other big reason, though: when you sell everything, including your only shelter, it is just a lot bigger deal if your truck or trailer has an issue that puts in the shop for a week. And while nothing is certain, buying new seemed like the best bet for staying out of repair shops. Others have run the numbers and come up with a different calculus and that’s fine. We are certainly not here to convince our way is best!
How’s It Working Out / Any Regrets?
Great! And none!
Okay okay, I’ll say a little bit more. Honestly, though we haven’t ever wished we picked a different rig. Here’s a few thoughts after 8 months on the road though:
- I somehow didn’t order our truck with telescoping steering wheel and have cursed the damn thing repeatedly. I’ve got movable pedals but not the steering wheel and at my height it’s a huge regret.
- I wish I would have picked up an inverter generator sooner. We almost make it boondocking with just our meager solar setup, but there are just some critical times when the generator is needed and it makes putting a week or two of dry camping in awesome places on the calendar seem not so risky!
- As a full-time traveling family, we don’t “camp”. It’s just not us. We don’t have campfires and we don’t really cook outdoors. The outdoor kitchen is a complete waist of opportunity as far as we’re concerned. We use the extra fridge space when we’re plugged in but the rest of it is just storage space that I have to go outside to access. I wish we could access that space from the inside. So this is less of a regret as it is a major nitpick with the way RVs are always designed because every 5er of this class has the outdoor kitchen. Who needs and effing microwave oven outdoors!?
- With the exception of the week we spent
on the surface of the sun, I mean in Hurricane UT (average highs of 108ish) – we have been just fine with the one AC unit in this rig. Just FYI.
I jotted this all down pretty quickly, so if I think of anything else I try to add it in. Let us know if there’s something you still want to know!