Below you will find topics related to our RVing experience including stories, pictures and advice (like "don't do what I did!").
Our RV is a Georgetown 351DS manufactured by Forest River. For photos, a video and specs refer to Forest River's website: http://www.forestriverinc.com/ClassAMotorhomes/Georgetown/default.aspx?model=gt&page=floorplandetails&floorplanid=258&RVType=CLA
The Georgetown 351DS is a Class A RV powered by a Ford Triton V10 gas (petrol) engine. The floorplan works well for a family of 5.
Key features of this RV which made it our first choice were:
- Price and value for money
We compared the Georgetown 351 DS with RVs from other manufacturers (including Winnebago, Allegro, Jayco, ....) and none of them were anywhere near the matching the price, quality and value for money of the Georgetown. In fact, the cost difference compared to some of the RVs (e.g. the Winnebago) was around $30K, and I didn't see any significant difference in build quality and the several attractive features on the Georgetown weren't available on the Winnebago.
- Bunk beds
There are plenty of similar sized RVs, and even smaller models, which claim to be able to sleep 6, 8, or even 10 people. However, some of the floor plans and bed setups make it unrealistic for so many people to live on the RV for more than a couple of days. More often than not the majority of beds in RVs include beds which are made up by folding down the dining table and/or pulling out a foldaway bed. The advantage of having bunk beds is that when the children go to bed we, the parents, don't have to sacrifice the dining table or the comfortable sofa. Also, if someone in the family has the tendency to get up before the rest of the family, then they don't have to wait for the person whom may be using the converted dining table to get up before they can have their breakfast. The 351DS also has a pull-down bed above the driver and front passenger seats which is unusual for a class A RV. So, the queen bed, bunk beds and the pull-down beds combined provide enough beds for our family of 5, without having to rearrange the living and dining areas every evening and morning.
- Full size fridge
The 351DS has a full size (22.5 cu ft) fridge freezer, compared to the poultry 8, 10 or 12 cu ft refrigerators that you'll normally find on a comparably priced RV. That's a great feature for a family of 5 travelling for an extended period.
- Plenty of exterior storage space.
- Linoleum flooring throughout.
At first we were slightly disappointed to see that the 2015 model came with linoleum flooring throughout, instead of the combination of linoleum and carpet which came standard on the 2014 model. However, it didn't take us long to realize what an advantage wall to wall linoleum has when you have 3 young children. Even though all of us usually take off our shoes and leave them by the door when we enter the RV, the amount of dirt that gets traipsed through the RV each day is shocking. I'm sure our carpets would have been trashed within weeks.
The "Toad" (i.e. sounds like "towed") or "Dinghy" is the vehicle that gets towed behind the motorhome. Our toad is a 2005 Mazda Tribute which we've owned from new. The Mazda Tribute is similar in size and shape to the Ford Escape, and shares a common chassis with the Ford Escape, I believe.
Our Mazda Tribute is an uncommon model within the US. It's a 4WD, with manual transmission powered by a 2.3 L 4-cylinder engine. It turns out that this particular SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) - referred to as a 4x4 in the UK - is just perfect for our needs as a toad. The fact that it has a manual transmission means that we can tow it flat - i.e. with all 4 wheels on the ground instead of using a tow-dolly or trailer. It still costs a considerable amount to get the vehicle set up for towing behind a motorhome (more details to follow).
Towing and Braking Systems
More details (including learnings and opinion) to follow on the towing and braking system I use, but until then here's the basics:
- Tow system: Roadmaster Falcon 2
- Brake assist: Brake Buddy
Campsites - and what we thought of them.
The windscreen wiper debacle.
- The sewer pipe incident.
- The power cord incident
- The fact that buying a brand new RV does not mean that everything will be working!
- Driving in Mountainous regions.
- RV Driving School
- Use "rain-X"