Hi Everyone. It’s been a while, but I have something big to show you today! Kathy and I have been keeping this mostly under our hat, but as we’re getting ready to get back on the road the time has finally arrived.
Last year we bought a new, 2012 Winnebago Aspect 30c RV and over the past year we’ve been turning it into our new home!
I made a video tour of our home on wheels yesterday, and if you have the time I’d appreciate it if you’d watch it:
I’ll be making more videos going forward, both to cover tips and tricks that I’ve learned as well as to show you modifications I’ve made.
Don’t worry, this won’t turn into an RV-only site. Both Kathy and I see our RV as a way to better do what we set out to do in the first place – travel!
Why a Winnebago Aspect?
During our travels we stopped at the Winnebago plant in Forest City Iowa and took the tour. We were both very impressed with the Winnebago facility and with the manufacturing standards and processes. We both felt that Winnebago does a great job building their coaches, and that we’d get years of trouble-free service out of our RV.
In addition, Winnebago has a huge network of dealers around the country in the event we have issues or need repairs (a constant thing with RVs). It doesn’t hurt that Winnebagos have good resale value too.
We specifically chose the Aspect because of it’s size/shape, contents, and price. Our Aspect is relatively small at 31.5 feet and short at only about 10.5 feet tall. On the other hand, we have 3 slides – 2 in the living area and one in the bedroom, so even though our RV starts fairly small, it gets relatively large when setup.
In addition, our Aspect came equipped with a lot of things we thought would be useful:
- 3 Slides – Increases living space dramatically considering the small footprint of our RV
- Our AC unit also has a heat pump. That means we can run electric heat through the AC roof vents when on ‘shore power’ or when the generator is running. We also have a propane furnace that blows warm air out of floor vents.
- Automatic Leveling Jacks – I can literally press a button and the entire RV will level itself.
- Our Refrigerator runs on either propane or electric and switches between the two automatically. If no electricity is available it switches to propane.
- Our Water Heater can run on either propane or electricity as well.
- Factory installed inverter means we can run 110v appliances off of our batteries.
- Electric Sofa – runs on 12v (battery) power and easily converts to a bed.
- A garage – very handy if you like to do projects like I do.
- Lots of external storage for a small RV
There are too many things to list here, but I’ll touch upon more features and benefits – as well as negatives and detriments – in future posts.
New RV vs. Used RV
I’ve been asked why we purchased a new RV considering that RVs depreciate rapidly and a used RV is significantly less money. There are several reasons however the biggest reason in our case was financing.
Like most people we didn’t purchase our RV with cash. We had enough to make a solid down payment, but that would have only purchased a small, used travel trailer and then we would have needed to purchase a truck to pull it and so on.
As we’re both technically self employed, financing is much stricter than if you’re a W2 employee – at least at the time we made our purchase. It remains to be seen if the banks loosen their standards again going forward, but at this time making major purchases as a self employed couple is still challenging.
Long story short, the bank had requirements we needed to meet both in price as well as year of the RV. It was easier for us to purchase a new RV than it would have been to buy one that was a few years old, so that’s what we did.
There are many other advantages to buying new. RVs have all the features of a house and a car combined, and as such they have everything that can go wrong in both a house and a car. I’ve read many stories of people buying older RVs and getting so bogged down in repairs that they finally gave up and went back to living a ‘normal’ life. We didn’t want to be another cautionary tale, and buying a new or newer RV ensures that everything has a warranty and can be relatively easily fixed.
We also added an extended warranty that covers everything in the RV for the next 7 years so that we can be sure that major repair costs don’t derail our travels. I’d recommend that anyone considering living this lifestyle do the same as RV repairs can cost a bundle!
Both Kathy and I are very excited to get on the road. We’re aiming for this summer and I’ll begin posting travel blogs once that happens. In the meantime I’ll be adding posts and videos about gear and equipment that we’ve purchased to make our travels easier, and perhaps a few day trips thrown in.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll answer them as quickly as possible. Until next time, happy travels!