Buying an RV

with 2 Comments

And so I made the decision to live the RV Life. Once I made this decision I was ready to buy an RV. I had already been looking around, keeping my focus on Jayco, since my parents swore by that brand. Just like buying a car I went to the RV dealer knowing what I wanted. All I really needed was to actually see the RV and inspect the details. So off to Camping World of Spokane I went.

I won’t get into the drama I went through with a particular Sales Manager at this location. What I will say is that if you go here, stay away from D.J. Miller. Personally I prefer to deal with Mike Justice, who is the General Manager. A good, friendly Salesperson is Bob Dugan. Anyway, moving along…I went in specifically looking for the Jayco Jay Flight SLX 212QBW Travel Trailer. I chose this as a compromise to a situation I was in. The problem was there was a minimal set of requirements for me in an RV, which included an oven and a separate toilet (not in the shower). But the problem was weight limitations of my SUV. I was just under the maximum ratings for tow capacity and tongue weight. In fact, with the trailer loaded and the weight-distribution hitch installed, I was over both ratings. Not by much, but enough to bottom out the suspension a little when I hit some bumps.

 

Buying The RV

Once a deal was reached I was able to take home my new RV and prepare it for the future.

 

It was currently winterized as there was still snow and freezing weather. Here it is sitting in my driveway before the house was sold.

 

My tow vehicle was a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe. Later it turned out to be inadequate to tow this RV, bordering on the maximum tow ratings and exceeding the maximum tongue weight.

 

I ended up trading the Santa Fe even-up for this 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE Crew Cab.

 

This truck was more than adequate for the Jay Flight SLX 212QBW.

 

I did have to take the truck / trailer back in to Camping World to have the weight-distribution hitch readjusted. As you can see in the photo, the back of the truck is sagging a little using a standard hitch.

 

Here the weight-distribution hitch has been installed and adjusted for this truck.

 

A Tour of the Inside

This is looking left just as you come into the RV. The sink is double-sided and has a nice faucet with pull-out. Not a lot of counter space. They give you that sink cover / cutting board to make up some space, however it is too loose for me and I don’t use it. There were supposed to be covers for both sides, however Camping World lost the second one on me. It also came with a drying rack that goes over one side of the sink which I do use.

 

Here is the dinette and bench seats (which have storage under them) as well as the overhead cabinets, entertainment system and TV.

 

Across from the dinette is the jack-knife sofa and storage cabinets over it. There is limited storage under it, however the hot water tank and furnace are also under there. The dinette and sofa can both be converted together into a guest bed, though I never see myself doing that for several reasons, not the first of which is that it’s just me. You can also see the Norcold fridge / freezer. More than adequate for my needs. The fridge is capable of running off 120V or propane. Below the fridge is the power systems, though I haven’t delved into those yet.

 

This is the view from the back window (standing between the dinette and sofa). You can see the microwave oven, 3-burner stove and oven. There’s also a vent hood with light and exhaust fan. From this angle you can also see the storage over / under the sink.

 

The bed is a “short” queen, meaning it’s not the same length as a typical queen. Under the bed is storage which connects to the pass-through storage outside. The cabinet on the left is the one with the hanging rod, however it is barely useful and everything I hang in there drags on the bottom since it isn’t tall enough. It really isn’t very wide either, so I won’t be hanging a lot in it. The cabinet on the right has shelves and is where I store socks, underwear, pants, etc. The shelf over the bed has baskets for storing various things, including much of the knick-knacks and such that I take down when towing the RV.

 

The Bathroom

Here’s the bathroom. The toilet is a standard marine-style with pedal. I do like the counter in the bathroom. There isn’t much space under the sink due to plumbing, but in addition to the counter and storage under it it’s not bad. Plus there is a medicine cabinet in this version of the 212QBW (Rocky Mountain Edition) which is deeper than a traditional medicine cabinet and therefore has more space than a traditional one.

 

The tub / shower is somewhat cramped. I say somewhat because I did check it out before buying the RV, however in practice it seems more confining once you have the curtain closed and are trying to wash the harder to reach places. Bending over, for example. Also, turning about seems to cause the curtain to cling to me.

 

The shower nozzle does not have a shut-off position as I was originally told. It has two modes, but you have to turn the hot / cold knobs off the save water in between washing and rinsing, which is a pain because it means trying to adjust the temperature when you turn the water back on. Ironically, the outside shower does have the shut-off position. Perhaps I need to start showering outside!

 

The shower also has this little skylight which gives you good lighting in the daytime and also gives more headroom for tall people (I’m not tall). On the other hand, it also helps heat the bathroom up during the day.

 

The exhaust fan over the toilet is pretty simple. There’s a switch up there to turn the fan on. You do have to be average height to reach it. Like the skylight, the fan also gives some extra light, but also heat from the sun. The cover seems to rattle itself open when I am driving down the highway, which isn’t cool when it is raining. I am thinking of upgrading to a Fan-Tastic unit. Not sure yet. Also, when the cover is open, leaves and other things seem to find their way into the fan area and lay on the screen. Then when I turn the fan on, some of it gets sucked into the fan, which makes for a surprise sometimes.

 

Storage

I put these baskets in the pantry to keep food cans and boxes from sliding around. The baskets fit three deep and perfectly for width. They have a rubberized bottom as well. I got these from Walmart.

 

I also got some little containers for butter and other things that need to be sealed when not in use. The pantry has 4 shelves that are about the same size. I probably could have doubled the use, but with the baskets I would have had a hard time getting stuff in / out so I opted to waste some extra space for convenience.

 

This is the cabinet over the sofa. Cloth baskets with wire frames help keep things organized here and prevent things from flopping about.

 

This is the cabinet above the dinette and I applied the same logic here, but with plastic baskets since this will be mostly office stuff.

 

Even though I already showed this shelf earlier, this photo gives a better view of the storage baskets used here. Cloth with wire frames. There’s a lot of stuff up here, but I kept the weight down since I don’t know the limit for this shelf.

 

This is the cabinet over the sink which I used for dishes and my two favorite pans. I didn’t bother showing the lower cabinets or the storage under the benches and sofa since I hadn’t yet figured out how I was going to use that space at the time. However I did use crates under the benches and store water, paper towels, toilet paper and things like laundry detergent and fabric softener on just one side. I hid my brook (folding unit) and mop (Swiffer) under the sofa.

Well, that’s it for now. I will probably do a more complete video tour later, but this is how things were set up in my driveway when I first got the RV while I continued to pack and sell things. The inside has evolved so much more since then.

Follow Chris Savage:

At age 48 I decided to downsize, minimize and shed things that cause me stress and contribute to my declining health. For 22 years I've spent most of my time indoors in front of a computer. It's time to change that!

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2 Responses

  1. Cheryl
    | Reply

    Hi Chris,

    Great detail and descriptions. Thanks for the time & effort to put this all together.

    Suggestion for your shower curtain that attacks you: Rusty78609 is a YouTuber who had the same problem until he installed a curved shower rod from Amazon. Even though the curtain still tucks into the tub at the bottom, you get an extra 4″ of elbow room where it counts.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHv1SqTt_QY

    Pleasant travels,
    Cheryl

    • Chris Savage
      | Reply

      Cheryl, thanks for your comment. What’s interesting in Rusty has a bigger shower than I do! =) I’d love to have that one! I’ll have to look into the rod you linked. Thanks again!

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