As in every expedition, there is preparation. Peter and I had been spending hours looking for our new home/kayak mover for our Kayak 50 adventure (kayaking all fifty states). We had many considerations in some ways as complicated as new home ownership.
Perhaps the biggest issue in our minds was the trade off between inside-the-home comfort and overall external length. This was coupled with musings on gas vs. diesel (10-14 mpg as opposed to 20-23 for diesel), original mileage, overall condition, seat and sleeping comfort, storage, ease of driving, etc.
We had long ago dismissed the idea of kayaks on the top of the vehicle as being too cumbersome. Instead we were working from a model we saw at the Deerfield River in MA. A kind gentleman showed us his Sprinter and the custom-designed kayak carrier that fit into his rear hitch. This small “cage” allowed the kayaks to be transported in an upright position – very cool!
This is an off-the-shelf carrier, but similar to what we have in mind.
Peter and I had been scouring the internet for months looking at Class B RVs. We went through the pros and cons of different models/reputations/use etc. We even were exposed to scamming – an “owner” who wanted to sell to us via a private listing on eBay – beware, a common scam.
As President’s Day weekend rolled around, we had four candidates – three in Pennsylvania and the other in Delaware.
One of the RVs we considered.
Stopping in PA first, we were able to immediately disqualify one of the models since Peter would have had to crop a few inches off his height to stand up in it! The other two were the Sprinter and a Roadtrek a more van-like model that was $15,000 less. We liked the idea of a really cheap ride on one hand, because we are so inexperienced in RV ownership that it posed less risk. The trade off was possible breakdown in the middle of no where when routine failures crop up – alternator, starter, etc. Our other serious candidate, a Sprinter, was double the cost and was only 19 feet long – not really much space for visitors. Our intrepid kayaker friend, Christian, would be joining us periodically as well as various of our collective children.
Off we went to Delaware with high hopes that we would find the perfect RV so we’d be off the hook with our PA dilemma. This was the longest RV we were considering at 24 feet. We liked the bump out on one side that created a spacious feel. Plus, a big bonus, was a “real” bathroom with an actual shower stall! We sat in the Roadtrek for quite some time loving the extra room for entertaining, but realizing the bed was narrow and uncomfortable, and remembering how driving it was cumbersome. We decided against it by Sunday afternoon.
RV with bump-out.
We had some fun on Sunday exploring the Delaware seashore. On Monday morning, we showed up at the dealership driving through a snow storm that later caught up with us. We looked at both RVs again and decided that the Sprinter, although small, had everything necessary for us – friends and family would be tenting, and socializing would definitely be outdoors or at the local restaurant or pub. We also considered and were swayed by the ease with which we could resell the Sprinter if it ended up to be too small or in some way not the right fit.
Three hours later, we had completed the transaction and were on our way home. The bad weather followed us and was a bit nerve-wracking for Peter since he was driving the new Sprinter, but all went well….
Diana and Peter in front of the new Sprinter.
As the days have gone by, we are happier and happier with our decision. For the extra money, we have peace of mind, a fuel efficient vehicle, and all needs for shelter, food preparation and storage, comfortable rest, and entertainment (computer/internet/music) met in one place. Next step is a test run!