Upgrading vs. Keeping Our Current RV: Is The Grass Greener On The Bigger RV Side? 

Many of you have been in our shoes and have faced the decision of whether you want to keep your RV or upgrade to something bigger/better.  We’re pondering whether we should keep our current RV that is reliable and sort of close-ish to being paid off, but isn’t as comfortable as we’d like it to be. Or, should we purchase something that “fits” us better, but will be more expensive and could potentially have loads of problems.  We’re torn.

I’m currently looking at our options in larger Class C RVs (31-33 ft) and always pondering the possibility of bumping up to a Class A (yikes… driving lessons would most likely be in my future!).

Click here to read the second article in the “Upgrade vs. Keep The RV” Series- RV Decisions: Trading Up vs. Sprucing Up  

There are so many things we enjoy about our current 28 ft. Class C Motorhome, but I wonder if a bigger RV would make a positive difference with our comfort while RVing.

Why We Bought Our First RV

Three years ago, my family and I made the radical decision to buy our first RV. We had zero RV experience and almost no camping experience. We had just come through several years of serious illness among our closest family members and felt a strong gratitude for life and a zest for adventure.

Long-time Wanderlusters and RV admirers, we chose a 2003 Jayco Greyhawk Class C RV (lovingly named Bessie) to house our family, which includes my husband (Ted) and our two children (12 and 10 yrs old) and our dog (Hairy Barry) as we explored the region and the country.

We Love RVing

My family and I have had many wonderful journeys in Bessie the RV over the past 3 years, including trips to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, Niagara Falls and the Finger Lakes Region in NY, as well as to Michigan for our first NASCAR race and to see the incredible sand dunes. We’ve also motored down the Atlantic Coast through Delaware and Maryland, and visited Gettysburg and Hershey Park in PA.

Additionally, we camp locally at State Parks and RV Parks and boondock at various Harvest Hosts locations. We use our RV for 6-7 months a year, at least twice a month, averaging 50 nights per year.

Time To Move On?

I think we did a great job choosing our first RV, but like most first-timers, we have learned more about our wants and needs as we have traveled. Specifically, I wish we had more living room space in our RV. It gets pretty tight with 4 people and a dog.

Bessie’s Current Set Up

Bessie is a 2003 Jayco Greyhawk 27DS. There are so many things that I love about Bessie. She’s well-made and reliable. One of the few drawbacks is that I want to be comfortable in the “living room” area, and I’m not. There’s nowhere to sit and relax.

When we bought our RV three years ago, we acknowledged this space issue, but thought we’d be outside all of the time. Since we planned to use the RV mostly on the weekends, we thought we could get by without a living area. Bessie was our first RV, so we really didn’t know how often we would use it, or whether we would like the lifestyle.

Fast forward to present time, we actually use the inside of the RV a lot. It’s our cottage on wheels.

  • We cook our meals in the kitchen, hang out throughout the day and wind down together inside the RV in the evenings.
  • We have one barely comfortable barrel chair and a dinette that converts into a bed. That’s our living space. If I want to stretch out, I have to lay down in bed.
  • Currently, my daughter sleeps on the converted dinette and my son sleeps in the cabin above the driver’s seat.  My husband and I have a nice bedroom with a Queen bed and lots of quality cabinets for storage.
  • We have two slides (one in the bedroom, and one that houses the fridge and dinette).
  • Our kitchen has all of the basics, with a double sink and a nice little “L-shaped” counter.

My Dream RV Set Up

I am leaning toward a 31-33 ft Class C RV with the following features:

  • Room for everyone to sit comfortably, and at the minimum, a couple of comfortable recliners.
  • A table and chairs is optional, but is nice.
  • A bedroom for my husband and I with a walk-around queen-sized bed and lots of storage.  My husband requires a TV.
  • A place for two pre-teen (and soon-to-be-teen) kids to sleep.
  • A full kitchen, preferably with more counter space than we currently have.  One long counter or an island would be super!
  • It would be nice to put makeup on in the bathroom without crawling over the toilet.
  • An attractive decor is a plus, but I realize decor is subjective.  I’ll be happy if it’s not obnoxious.
  • Driver and passenger seats that are adjustable and can turn around to the living room area, if possible.

Is The RV Grass Greener On The Bigger Side?

It’s time to start looking. We will begin visiting RV dealerships and looking online to get a handle on whether the grass is really greener if I have a recliner and more space in our RV.

We will put together a “Pros and Cons” list, and we’ll re-write and prioritize our “Wants vs. Needs.” We will take lots of photos and videos that we’ll share as we are making our decision about whether to upgrade or keep our current RV.

Be sure to sign up below for updates by email for exclusive peeks and insights during our decision-making process on whether we’ll update our RV or keep Bessie.

We Can’t Wait To Hear From You!

Have you upgraded your RV? Or, after lots of consideration, decided to keep yours? What were the major factors that pushed you into keeping vs. upgrading your RV? What were your “Wants vs. Needs?” Your feedback will surely help us during our journey.

 

Check out the other articles in the “Upgrade vs. Keep RV” series:

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9 Comments

  • Reply explorvistas September 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    We had an 18 foot travel trailer, then went to a 24 foot travel trailer. With me being tall, I got tired of bumping my head on the air conditinior. Plus, there was not a comfortable living room. My height issue was solved with a fifth wheel. Our 31 rear living room is perfect for the two of us. Tons of space to stretch out.

    It is all what makes YOU comfortable, Chris. Just remember that the extra length will require a longer parking spot…although what you are talking about shouldn’t be a huge issue.

    Jim

    • Reply Chris Hughes September 2, 2015 at 6:24 am

      Hi Jim!! Thanks for sharing your experiences. We’d love a fifth wheel- so much space! But there is the whole complication with a truck (that we don’t have) and a driveway that’s difficult to navigate. It’s on a hill and I don’t know if I could back a trailer up it. Either way, I hear your point about comfort. It confirms that comfort is KING (as long as it’s affordable, too). -Chris

  • Reply Road Abode September 2, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Hi Chris!
    We too are beginning to wonder about a different RV – We’ve had RoadAbode for a decade now, and she has served well! The technology changes and upgrades to towing capacity and build are good reasons to think about updating. Our reasoning is a bit different than yours – our daughters are in upper teens and twenties now, and though they still enjoy travelling with us, we are starting to do trips where we take friends on adventures instead of the kids. We also want to plan ahead in case of “grandchildren” =p Jayco is a solid brand – be glad you have one! RoadAbode is a Coachmen, and from RV shows and taking a peek at others RVs, Jaycos have a better build quality. Have you looked into Greyhawk 31FK? It would give you a Queen for you and your husband, bunks for the kids, and still have sleeping area for the friends that the kids want to bring along sometimes. Good luck on your search – and happy and safe travels!

    • Reply Chris Hughes September 3, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Hi Road Abode!
      I have looked at the Jayco fk, but not seeing bunks…. I will look again. Yes, agreed that Jayco is a great product and I would definitely consider buying another. The 2009 and 2010 Coachman Leprechaun intrigues me in a very big way. They took out the bench seating and replaced with one long sectional looking couch. There is a high-low table that sits in front of the couch. That design didn’t last long, but I really like the idea. The only big down side is the bowl – like kitchen sink. And I am not sure it can be replaced. Anyway, it’s fun to start thinking of options. Please share your journey, too! I’d be interested in what direction you go. Keep Road Abode vs upgrade. Thanks for commenting and the tips!

      • Reply Road Abode September 3, 2015 at 9:30 am

        Sorry Chris, the Model I was thinking is the Jayco Greyhawk 31FS, not the FK. 2 Bunks, Queen, Cabover bunk for sleeping – and the Dinette, and sofa convert for extra guests.

  • Reply RV Decisions: Trading Up vs. Sprucing Up – CU On The Road October 26, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    […] here to read the first article in the “Upgrade vs. Keep The RV” Series: Is the RV Grass Greener On The Bigger Side? […]

  • Reply Making Bessie The RV Great Again – CU On The Road July 3, 2016 at 10:54 pm

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  • Reply Making Bessie the RV Great Again: The Bathroom – CU On The Road September 4, 2016 at 11:01 am

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  • Reply Finding Our First RV: Motorhomes vs. Travel Trailers – CU On The Road September 21, 2016 at 11:31 am

    […] in the RV, it can feel pretty tight.  So far, the only regret I have is that we don’t have a comfortable seating area.  We have one barrel chair and a dinette that converts to a bed.  I wish we had room for a couple […]

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