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32v: Picking an RV

Oh my! Soooo many choices!!!
We visited some dealerships and RV Shows to get an idea what was out there. Top on the “requirements” list was a toy hauler, because we intended to travel with our ATVs or motorcycles.

After getting a rough idea of what size and type of trailer we could get in each price range, we narrowed down a range of prices that seemed to give us the minimum features (at lowest price, obviously) and what our cap would be. We also investigated used, and what we might get if we extended our cap a bit (i.e. looking at some 5th wheels).
We both really liked the design and space in a 5th wheel, but just felt like it was out of our price range. For now. =) We’ll likely spend a few years in our travel trailer and then see about upgrading.
Update:  We did ultimately move to a 5th wheel – details can be found here.  

We closed the overhead door in our garage at home and pretended it was one wall of the trailer. We gathered all manner of brooms, lawn mowers, and just general clutter to create an 8 foot wide by 10 foot long space, simulating the 10 foot “garage” of a toy hauler. I then tried (very unsuccessfully) to shoehorn both our quads into that space. With much grunting, shoving, and a few choice words, we realized we were going to need a 12 foot garage in our toy hauler. Further, we decided that we really didn’t want to hassle with fumes, dirt, etc so we opted to increase budget and go with a separated garage space. We then identified the things we liked most about each trailer. What stuck out for us was: A separate bedroom (vs curtained off), kitchen island, bathroom attached to bedroom, etc.   

We created a spreadsheet to help us keep track of which models had what features. We filled it out using video walk-throughs (YouTube), dealer and manufacturer websites, and these two sites: RVGuide.com and RVUSA.com.
Once we had narrowed it down to a dozen or so, we would check availability and price ranges via local(-ish) dealer websites, RVUSA.com, RVtrader.com, RVT.com, and RVuniverse.com. As we located models near us we planned multi-stop day trips to go see the models all across New England. We took pictures and video with our commentary to remember them and write up notes later. Yes, it was a completely dorky thing to do!


We finally settled on the Vengeance Rogue 32V because it seemed to have the best balance of features vs cost for us. Unfortunately, there were none for sale in our area that we could go look at. However, having spent over 6 months researching, watching videos, and walking through models we also felt we didn’t really need a physical walk through to know we would like it. The 3D virtual thingy on the manufacturer’s website and YouTube videos also helped in that regard. We found one for sale in Michigan (about 900 miles away) and bought it sight unseen.

One thing to call out is the size.
Being 40 ft long does prevent us from using some campgrounds!  
In this particular model (with slides on both sides) we are roughly 14 ft wide when set up, 15 ft when the steps are down.  
With the back deck down we are 48 ft long, plus a 20 ft tow vehicle….
Depending on the site length and how level it is, we sometimes stop to load/unload the bikes or quads before pulling into the site, but still – it is a lot of RV to account for!

Fortunately we both have some experience backing so it hasn’t been too bad, but here are some things that it affects:

  • Campgrounds – both site sizes and access roads (some corners are tight!)
  • Bridge max weight – We don’t come across this too much, but it has happened.
  • Gas stations:  We do not have a diesel truck so we typically spend hours planning routes to ensure there are gas stations that we can get in/out of.  Even still we have hit some surprises! 

The first quad we drive in and then pick up the back to spin it.
Right pain in the butt when the quad is super muddy!
Second quad just drive straight in.  

The bikes we can park side by side but it is tight getting around in there!  See this page for details on the motorcycle wheel chocks.

In both cases the access door from inside the RV (to the living room) is blocked until the machines are unloaded.

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