Many aspiring full-timers want to know what the “best” rig is for full-time living. But that’s a crazy question, it’s like trying to ask people what the best wine is, or the best vacation spot. The “best” full-time rig all depends on what you think is important and those features that you value most in any home, whether it has wheels or not.
There are all sorts of ways to rate and choose the right rig for your full-timing plans, from deciding on what size you want to drive to whether or not you want a king-sized bed. Instead of trying to tackle so many different features at once, focus on one at a time. Since we spend so much time feeding ourselves, the kitchen is a good place to start.
Are You a Gourmet Cook or a Microwave Queen?
When we chose our full-timing rigs, we knew that while we loved to cook in our former life, having the ability to make complicated gourmet dinners on the road wasn’t a deal-killer. We just needed enough space to prepare simple meals that would keep us happy and not feeling deprived.
Our first rig, a 24′ Arctic Fox fifth wheel, had a tiny bit of counter space that was small in comparison to other RVs but adequate while we decided if we would keep full-timing. With our current rig, a 27′ Artctic Fox fifth wheel, we have a bit more counter space and lots more cabinets to store food, kitchen appliances and cookware. With more space comes the extra challenge of not cramming our cabinets full just because we can. We let two rules guide us in this decision:
- Each kitchen gadget must serve at least two different uses.
- If something can be done by hand without a lot of effort, we don’t need an electric appliance that does the same thing.
The biggest example of Rule #2 is making morning coffee. We could do it with a fancy modern coffee-maker that takes up valuable counter space, or we could just boil some water, add a tablespoon of coffee to a free-standing Melita filter and wait a minute or two for a morning jolt. Choosing the Melita keeps our counter space free for other things like a bowl of fruit and our only countertop appliance, a toaster.
If you love to cook, you’ll want to take that culinary passion on the road in order to be happy in your new home. The kitchen, or “galley” is clearly going to be an important aspect of your new RV so look for features like a residential-sized refrigerator, four burner stovetop and ample counter space for appliances and food prep.
If you’re new to RVing you might be surprised to learn that not all RVs have a galley that can accommodate these features. Those that do are typically found found inside larger, heavy-duty RVs at the high end of the price scale, such as Class A motorcoaches and longer, heavier fifth wheels that require a heavy-duty pickup truck to haul them.
Ask yourself: is having a full-sized kitchen that important to you? Are you willing to pay extra for a full-time RV with those features?
There are no right or wrong answers here, just the best one for you. For Jim and I, the whole point of being on the road is to lead a less complicated, materialistic life. The less things we have to plug in to our RV the better. Still, I can’t help but getting just a little green with envy whenever I go into a friend’s big motorcoach and pine over the Kuerig coffeemaker sitting on the counter!
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.