Saturday, July 14, 2012

7-13-2012: RV Expo at the Orleans Arena

Levi and I took a drive down to the Orleans Arena (located behind the Orleans casino) just off the strip on Tropicana to explore Camping World's big RV Expo.

Levi and I have been going back and forth deciding upon a suitable RV for not only us but our traveling companions: our pooch and cats... 4 cats. ( I know! We are insane, but there are many people that travel with their pets, however few or many. So, essentially, that makes them insane too. It is possible to function in a sanitary manner provided you are consistent and frequent with cleaning routines.) Our intention was not to purchase a new RV ( which we didn't, surprisingly), just find traits about models that would be beneficial for us.

The admission was free! There were rows upon rows of travel trailers, fifth wheels, Class As, Bs, and Cs. We stayed away from the Class As as they were way out if our price range and didn't pay too much attention to the Class Bs ( or oversized vans) since they were too tiny for our feline family.

The fifth wheels on display were a bit overdone. I know they appealed to several spectators there, but we felt like they were too over the top. The fifth wheels were exceptionally nice with giant living rooms, gourmet kitchens, and walk in closets. They felt like your typical suburban house...a feeling we want to get away from when we start this full timing lifestyle. We were pretty surprised with our reaction. Fifth wheels have typically been our top choice in discussions. Maybe this expo just had models we weren't happy with.

Inside the Heartland Pioneer
Inside the Keystone Vintage
We were pretty impressed with the travel trailers, though. The space was just about right...the space was comfortable and provided enough room for our animals to move about and lounge. Plus there were areas (out of the way of the kitchen, bedroom, and living area) where a litter box or two could be put. The Heartland Pioneer caught our eye along with the retro Keystone Vintage that resembles an Airstream but without the weight. The Pioneer felt almost cabin-like and had a separate bunkbed room we figured the cats would like. The Pioneer was lacking an insulated bottom for cold temperatures...sometimes known as an "Arctic Package" or "Four Season Package." The pipes are insulated to prevent them from freezing over. There were other trailers at the expo that had this like the Keystone Cougar (which had a nice floorplan too, now that I think about it). The insulation package does bring the price up, too.   The Vintage was much longer than what we'd like (over 30 feet) but had loads of storage and a nice layout.

Inside the Freedom Elite
We looked at the Class Cs and were pretty impressed with the Freedom Elite model. It was spacious for being only 27 feet. We determined that we would probably have to tow our Toyota Yaris in the back. However, the storage space was impressive and the price, we figured, would be close to how much we'd spend on a truck and trailer together. Also, we liked the fact that our pets would be in an air controlled environment and at arms reach during our travels. (We could purchase a suburban or attach a camper over our truck to remedy that problem when towing a trailer, though.)

We decided to talk about our thoughts over dinner and reviewed the models we liked: travel trailer and Class C. We came to the conclusion that the Pioneer was closer to our preferences. It wasn't too long (27 feet) and was lite weight. The layout was to our liking, especially with the slide out.

Levi and I felt this trip was very beneficial. We learned that we are particle to travel trailers and have chosen specific aspects we want from it! I encourage other RVers and wanna-bes to attend an expo close to their home town AND to visit their local RV dealerships. You don't know what you want until you see and try it out!

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