Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Which RV did we picked and Why we chose this one?

As a member of the blogging team of Woodall’s, I have to blog about specific theme every once in a while.   This week, we have to blog about our RV and why we have chosen this one in particular.

IMG_7828Our Travel Trailer

When we first started to look at RVs, we had a pop-up trailer.  But we wanted more functionality while camping like a shower and bathroom for example.   So every once in a while we looked at the RVs.   We knew that we wanted the flexibility of travelling for our family.

In 2007, after talking with a salesperson at an RV store in our city, we purchased a Jay Feather model 30U by Jayco.  Why this one in particular?  Because it is light and we can go on trips with the whole family.   Back when we chose this model we had three kids and we thought that we might have another one – we loved the fact that there were two bunk beds in the back.      There was an pull-out for extra room in the kitchen/living room area and there was a bathroom!

Our RV when we picked it up back in 2007, we only had three kids – all boys!  But the model we picked had four bunk beds…  At the end of that year, our daughter Jasmine joined us and now all four bunk beds are full!

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Our Jay Feather 30U model is 30’4” length.

Other specifications and measurements for our RV:

Exterior Height 125”

Interior Height 78”

Unloaded Vehicle Weight 5,875 lbs

Dry Hitch Weight 850 lbs

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 7,350 lbs

Cargo Carrying Capacity 1,475 lbs

Fresh Water Capacity  36 gallons

Gray Wastewater Capacity 30 gallons

Toilet/Black Wastewater Capacity 23 gallons

One of the main reasons why we went with a Jay Feather is that after looking into RVs for quite some time we knew that we needed to find an RV that could be pulled with a vehicle that seats at least 6 people.    Not many trucks have the potential to have six passengers (if not more).    So we needed something that could be pulled with one of the available vehicles we had identified as well as not too heavy so we could bring some luggage with us on travel.

When my husband went to check out the RVs once more back in early 2007, he was able to chat with someone who knew exactly what would be a perfect fit for us.   There wasn’t a model on site but we saw another one from the same line and decided to purchase the one that the floor plan seemed to be the best for us.

Now let me give you a tour of our RV…

Jay Feather Model 30U TOUR

Pull-out for extra room in rainy days!

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Four beds in the back for the four kids – which is perfect for us!

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Extra storage area under the kids’ beds which is fantastic for my husband fishing gear, electric motor and so on.

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Here is the kitchen/living room area. We didn’t like the table included in the RV, so we changed it for a small foldable table that we purchased at Costco. We have since included two folding chairs so that everyone can sit together when we eat inside.

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Kitchen side – fridge, oven, sink, freezer and microwave. Everything for helping in the preparation of meals.

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The master bedroom has a Queen size bed and lots of storage above.

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ENHANCEMENTS WE MADE

Darkness is essential for my husband to sleep. So we bought some multi-purpose foil 4’ x 10’ which is used to shield and insulate windows. We measured the windows and proceeded to cut the foil. We also bought double-sided velcro and installed them in the outside of the RV and some in the inside. However, the sun is melting the glue from the double-sided velcro so we will modify our set-up to include the foil inside the big windows at the living room/dining room area so that the shields will be inside the RV instead.

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We have paid extra to get another powerful vent in the kids’ area. With one there and one in the master bedroom area, we have more power to air the trailer if needed. We also blocked the sun from entering by using the special items which helps to darken the room in the early morning.

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We also made changes in the master bedroom. Though you don’t see it in this picture, we have purchased a regular Queen size mattress as we were having trouble to sleep on the tiny mattress provided with the RV. We also purchased a King size bed cover which allows us to stay warm at night.

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A shoe rack also made it’s way inside the trailer. With six people in a family, you need to find ways to store our shoes. We usually have a pair of running as well as a pair of sandals/crocs with us. Sometimes, the top rack also hold the camera bags as well as other things. But normally, you would find only shoes there – especially if we are on the road with the RV.

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I was tired of having plastic bags all over the place in one of the cupboards. So we purchased a bag especially made to hold these plastic bags. To store it, we have put a hook on a wall in the master bedroom. This way, if we need a bag for garbage, we just go and pull one out of this ingenious little thing.

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To store the plates and bowls, we have purchase a two levels shelf unit. However, this is not perfect as the bowls will fall from it when we are on the road. But generally speaking it is doing the tricks and it is easier to find what is needed for meal time.

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A paper towel holder can be found above one of the doors. With limited countertops, we want to use as much space as we can in the RV. These days, I am thinking that a spice rack would be nice above the small window behind one of the seats where we eat. We have also added a handle for the two screen doors which is beneficial when you have kids.

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When we are on the road, we don’t have necessarily the trees needed to put a cord to dry our towels. So we thought of putting some stick-on hooks which do the trick perfectly.

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We didn’t like the BBQ that came with our RV and purchased a new one this year at Costco (see image above). But what to do with the rack that used to hold the original BBQ. I suggested that we put some piece of wood to have a little counter for my husband when he cooks. He liked the idea and didn’t waste anytime to build one. We still have to paint it mind you. But now he uses the space to put our outdoor cooler on it which gives him more space on our outdoor table to do the cooking.

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With six people in the family, we can use many towels. So we purchased a above-the-door rack to hold four towels to dry. This rack is strategically located at the bathroom door.

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We used to have a cup where we would put the toothbrushes in it. But it would get disgusting in a matter of a couple of days so we decided to put little hooks on the walls in the bathroom. Each toothbrush has two hooks to hold itself and it does the trick. The kids toothbrushes are located at a lower level than the adults ones.

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To improve the bathroom area, we also purchased four little baskets where we store our day-to-day items like paper towels, brushes, and so on. It is very handy has you have everything ready if needed and it doesn’t get wet from the sink when the kids go wash their hands.

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Another improvement we made for our shower area was to purchased a soap/shampoo dispenser. It helps to reduce the items needed in the shower while you wash yourself.

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Our shower space was quite small – not for a child but for an adult it was… So now we have extra space when we shower and extra space when we use the sink.   See my Extend-A-Shower review.

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This year, we also purchased a extra holding tank for grey and black waters.  This opens up many campgrounds who doesn’t have sewers at the campsite.

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CHANGES WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE

The counter top is too low to wash dishes… Fortunately, I can recruit the help of my 10 years old…. whom is shorter than me.

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While sitting on the sofa one day, I was looking at how we could make the kitchen area better for a family of six. I personally find the fridge too small. So I would put a bigger fridge for big families. Remove the television from above it would do the trick.

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The space above the sink should be transformed to be able to put a television – build-in if possible.

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And finally, there is nothing under the sofa… so I was wondering why nobody has though of putting some sort of drawer system (two drawers) to give us more space to store things. We could put games, books, coloring books, crayons and much more – even towels!

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Note: If Jayco is stumbling on this post and thinks our ideas are fabulous for a new model of RV, our family would be more than willing to review one of the new trailers build with these ideas… *grin*

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Personal blog of a homeschool family. We love to travel with our RV when we can. Fishing, discovering new places, photography are some of our favourite activities!

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