Hitting the Dealerships
This weekend Kelly and I took a trip to the outskirts of the Chicago area to check out some dealerships. Our main goal was to talk to some knowledgeable folks and get a feel for what we want for the RV. Seeing these things in person makes SUCH a difference. I think we learned more in the few hours we spent tooling around at the dealerships than we have in our research. Some of our main questions going in were: Can we actually afford the type of RV we have in mind? Do we definitely want a Class A motorhome, or is a Class C an option? And what about secret option number 3, a truck and trailer combo??
Our first stop was Rick’s RV in Joliet, IL.
We met with a salesman, Kurt, who spends his summers living in a camping trailer he tows behind his pickup truck. He was very kind and helpful and had some good insight about the pros and cons of towing a trailer vs. buying a motorhome. Kelly and I had our minds set on a motorhome, but he made the trailer sound quite appealing. You can get a relatively cheap trailer that is decent quality, and then you’ve automatically solved your problem of “to tow or not to tow” (as in – should we tow our car behind our motorhome? This question necessarily disappears when you are driving a truck and towing a trailer ).
We looked at what I would estimate to be every single RV in the entire lot (ok well close). We just wanted to get a feel for all the possible options. We looked at Class A’s, Class C’s, and trailers, in every conceivable length. We decided that 30 feet felt like a LOT of space, which was exciting to see.
30′ – 35′ seemed to be what we felt most comfortable with. Starting to get under 30 still felt huge, but upon reflection we could imagine it being a bit small with us, the dog, and the cats trying to live comfortably together.
Although we briefly toyed around with the idea of a truck/trailer combo, the Class A vehicles just had a more sturdy feel to them. In the trailers I felt a bit like we were on a sailboat, every step tipping us ever so slightly back and forth. A little dizzying. This might have been because the jacks weren’t down.
We saw their one and only used Class A vehicle, which we both really liked, but was way out of our price range at over 50K.
We learned a ton from this first dealer experience, and were eager to see more.
Next stop was USAdventureRV, where we met with a very helpful and informative salesman named Sean. We took the big plunge and I drove an RV for the first time! Kelly has documented our experience here if you want to check it out.