Sunday, February 14, 2010

Attending Our First RV Show...

WOW!  Over 600 RV's to look at and some brands present from our list to focus on - that is what we found a the Houston RV Show this weekend. So what did we learn? Well for one thing my gut feel for what we like held true as we still have Tiffin as our most preferred brand right now.

Now we read the forums and heeded all of the advise of those who had attended RV shows in the past as to how to best approach a show and how to best maximize your time spent at the show.  So I will share what worked for us?
 - first do your homework and make a list of those you think you like the most and want to see
- go to the show with a goal(s) in mind (for us it was 1- narrow down brands, 2- determine minimum length,
            3- study features and quality)
- start from the back of the show and work forward - row by row
- mentally separate off the show floor in quadrants 1-4
- take a pad along to make notes as to which ones you initially like so you can revisit them (list by quadrant)
- as you view an RV note the the features you like
- take a lengthy break after viewing half the RV's (we went to a seminar on RV technology at the mid point)

After seeing everything once:
- revisit those that impressed you
- now make a list of those features that you see as "must haves"
- photograph those must have features
- then revisit a third or fourth time to meet your goals (get a real feel for length, space, floor plans, etc.)

So what did we end up with?  Well we now have an order of preference in brands:
1- Tiffin
2- Winnebago
3- Newmar
4- Monarch
... and we decided that our target of 32 feet on the minimum side was not too small so we will focus on 32-35 foot motorhomes.

Coaches we saw at the show that we liked were:
Newmar BayStar 3202
Monaco Monarch 33 SFS
Tiffin Allegro 35 TSA

Coaches we still hope to see are:
Tiffin Allegro Bay 32BA
Tiffin Allegro 34TGA
Tiffin Allegro 34WA
Monaco Windsor 32 PDB
Monaco Monarch 32 PBD
Monaco Lapalma 32 PDB
Monaco cayman 32 PBD
Monaco knight 34 PDD
Monaco Riptide 33
National Sea Breeze
Winnebago Sightseer 34M
Triple E Comander
Itasca suncruiser 33V
Winnebago Sightseer 33C - a new model but we really like it (may be out of my price range)

Features we decided we really liked and want to have as many as possible in our rig are:
-as large as a Fridge as we can get without sacrificing the pantry
- a pedestal dining table instead of a booth
- only one couch in the coach (not two)
- no carpet in the living area
- lighter colored cabinets
- spill guards on the counter in kitchen
- a dining/living slide
- a bedroom slide
- one piece shower units

So what is next? More research and of course we still need to see more coaches.  But for now it is time to start researching the non-living quarters... workhouse vs ford vs chevy etc... we have been focusing on where we will live now we need to focus on how our house will move...


  1. Sounds like you had a good plan and will end up with a coach that will suit you well!