Well, I finally did it! After months of looking at RV’s online and still struggling with which type of RV to purchase, I finally got off my rear and went to a dealership. You simply can not make a determination without actually getting inside and walking around these things – kicking the tires, so to speak.
I had planned to go to one dealership southeast of Indianapolis, but this morning I thought, well let’s see if there is another dealership I can incorporate into the trip. I had this dealership in the back of my mind anyway, so after a quick check of their website, I determined that they were open and had plenty of RV’s for sale. So off I went.
Walnut Ridge Family RV Sales
Walnut Ridge, located in New Castle, Indiana, is a pretty big dealership, with “66 acres of sales, selection, and service.” The sales and service areas are very nice.
I was greeted at the door by Nicki, a Sales Consultant. Nicki was extremely helpful and attentive to my particular needs and everything rattling around in my head about finding the right RV for me (I’m sure she’s heard it all before!). We sat in her office for about thirty minutes; she asked me questions, listened to my story, and answered my questions. After she felt she knew enough about me and my preferences, she selected three RV’s to show me, one 5th wheel, and two travel trailers. Off we go!
Keystone Cougar XLite 28SGS
We began by looking at the 2014 Keystone Cougar XLite 28SGS 5th wheel. This unit is pretty much exactly what I’ve been looking for with the standard floorplan for a 5’er that length: rear living area with two recliners and a sofa, a nice sized kitchen, entertainment center, and a free-standing dinette w/4 chairs. The bathroom has plenty of room with a corner shower. It has three slide-outs — opposing slides in the living area, and one in the bedroom for the wardrobe. It has a very nice, neutral color palette. This unit 1) gives me the living space and storage I want, 2) is something I could easily live in full-time, and 3) easily towable with a 1/2 ton truck. The only thing I didn’t care for on this unit is the slide-out on the entrance side. Kinda cuts down on the under-cover outdoor space. But, I love it!
Forest River 2015 Grey Wolf 23DBH
Next, we looked at the Forest River 2015 Grey Wolf 23DBH. Another, very nice unit with the front bedroom, separated from the living area by an entertainment center. There are sliding doors on both sides that close off the bedroom – a feature I really like. It has a large, u-shaped dinette, and an adequate kitchen – something I’m not hung up on as I plan to do most of my cooking outside. It has two entry doors (another thing I like) and the bathroom has a tub/shower and is roomy. The thing I didn’t expect was the storage area under the lower bunk (it’s a side bunk). I’ve been struggling with finding something with enough storage. Between the two bunks, and the space underneath, it just might be the ticket! It is small but easily livable for traveling the country. As for permanent full-time living, not so much.
2017 Heartland Mallard M32
Then we looked at the 2017 Heartland Mallard M32. Another very nice unit with an outdoor kitchen and entertainment center, and two entrances. It also has an entertainment center separating the bedroom from the living area, with a u-shaped dinette and a sofa. The bedroom is small but has a very cozy feel. The Mallard has a bunkhouse across the rear with two bunks on one side and an upper bunk and small sofa on the other. I’m torn on this one — love the outdoor kitchen and the storage in the bunkhouse. I don’t see this as a unit I would like living in full-time permanently (when not traveling). I really like this unit, but it’s longer than I want to tow, I think.
After actually being inside these units and getting a feel for the sizes, I’m a bit closer to making a decision – but I’m not quite there yet. I had not intended to buy a bunkhouse unit but I do like that extra storage space (Nicki was listening to me about storage!). And I love the outdoor kitchen in the Mallard.
So the struggle continues! However, I do feel much more comfortable about towing a fifth wheel than I did before. I’ve always had a gut feeling that 5’ers are easier to pull and maneuver than a travel trailer. After everything I’ve read and talking with Nicki and one of the owners of Walnut Ridge, that feeling has been reinforced. Besides, I love 5th wheels!
I’m going to think about it for a few days. I still have to consider a truck to purchase! Yikes. Maybe an auto dealer should be my next trip this week.
I want to give a shout out to Walnut Ridge Family RV Sales. They took the time to listen to me, showed me exactly the types of RV’s I had liked on the Internet, and never pressured me. One of the owners visited with us twice during my time there.
After looking at the units Nicki took me on a tour of their campground and the Service Department. The campground is very nice and there are many units in there permanently – they have built their own decks! The Service Department was impressive — very clean and organized. The service department even installs hitches on trucks – one less thing I’d have to figure out! Nicki said their service folks are fully trained and qualified. Their RV accessories store has just about everything you can imagine.
I haven’t signed a contract or closed a deal with them, but I do feel very comfortable working with them. I will go back!