We have many friends that think our RV is the Taj Mahal. (The Taj Mahal is a palace built for a princess in India.) Why would we want a different RV?
We also think that our RV has the right balance between travel and camping. Why would we want a different RV?
Our RV is more of a camper than it is a tour bus for a rock band. (Willy Nelson has a tour bus.) We have a camper that looks like a tour bus. The biggest difference between a tour bus and a camper is the ability to camp without hookups and without running the generator. The reason that a tour bus needs to run the generator is to keep the refrigerator running.
The biggest reason we want a different RV is for the refrigerator. There are other reasons but this is number one. In our RV, the refrigerator can’t be any bigger than it is currently is. There just isn’t any space to have a bigger refrigerator. If our RV had room enough for a bigger refrigerator, we probably would not change RVs. We don’t like shopping for groceries every three-four days, and sometimes this isn’t possible.
Our RV runs our small refrigerator on propane. We need a small amount of electricity to run the refrigerator, all the cooling comes from propane when we don’t have an outside source of electricity. (Outside source of electricity is commonly called shore power). We can run our refrigerator on electricity or propane when we have shore power.
The term food desert is very real. Most of last year’s travels, Wal-Mart has the highest quality vegetables in most small towns. Beyond that, there are many towns that are not big enough to have a Wal-Mart. WOW, I can’t believe I just said that!
We have been places that only have a combination gas station, restaurant, grocery store, and four-lane bowling alley. It was right next door to the only church. You might guess that vegetables were in the cans, next to the motor oil, and you would be right. Canned veggies are our last resort, but if we had a freezer bigger than three shoe boxes, we could have frozen veggies, and ice cream.
The discussion about the freezer also brings up a different point. When we are traveling from place to place, our refrigerator and freezer are off, because we turn our propane off. Some people do not turn off the propane, but we do. Turning our propane off eliminates the risk of fire behind our refrigerator as we travel down the road. So after we arrive, had we traveled a long distance (which we avoid for other reasons) all our frozen food will be on its way to becoming … well, you get the idea. If we had a refrigerator that would still be on, while we traveled, then this would not be the issue.
How are we going to power that big fridge?
Five years ago, it would have been nearly impossible. That’s when lithium batteries became available. With lithium batteries, we can store enough energy to power the big refrigerator. With solar, we can recharge the lithium batteries so that we don’t have to run the generator every day, nearly all day long to recharge the lithium batteries. We proved the solar fact with our current RV, although, since it was a camper we didn’t install the lithium batteries.
We have a complete description of how lithium batteries made the challenge of RV electrical power possible in this post. RV Solar Series: Batteries Lead or Lithium and RV Solar Series: Lithium/Lead Acid Final Analysis
Since we can’t change the refrigerator we then started to think about other improvements that we could get in a different RV.
- Clothes washer and dryer, or at least room for a clothes washer and dryer
- More insulation and double pane windows
- Bigger, more powerful engine for climbing mountains
- Diesel fuel rather than gasoline so re-fueling in the truck lanes, rather than with the cars
- More interior room, more comfortable furniture
- More storage space in compartments under the RV
- Larger capacities for fuel, water, sewer, propane, and batteries
- Lower stairs when parked because the airbags deflate as part of the leveling process.
- Much better ride when changing locations, quieter when traveling because the engine would be in the back.