Our Motorhome: Likes and Dislikes

Just like a house, our home on wheels has things that we like about it, and things that we’d change if we could. In fact, many of these could be true for a house, too! We have specifics about Trudy, our motorhome, on the “Our Rig” page. But here’s a more personal look at things that I like and don’t like about Trudy.

Coolest pic of Trudy yet?

Likes

Storage

Trudy has a crazy amount of storage. When we first moved into Trudy, we didn’t come anywhere close to filling all of the compartments. We still have plenty of open space, although in the past 6 months we have definitely acquired more stuff!

She has lots of compartments inside, and then a bunch underneath the living space. If you look at the picture above, every cabinet underneath that has a handle is storage (with the exception of a few – one is the fresh water tank, one is the wet bay, and one is the propane tank). Some of them go the whole way across Trudy (called pass-through storage) so they can fit very large items.

See the overhead cabinet storage? We don’t even have these full!

Updates

We love the updates that we did to Trudy. If you’ve spent any time looking at RVs, you’ll know that they are usually very dark inside, usually with tons of dark wood, strange patterns, and tan walls. We painted Trudy’s walls white and took out the carpet and put in vinyl flooring. We added white faux subway tile backsplashes in the bathroom and kitchen.

We also brightened up the bedroom by removing the old headboard and adding wood-look peel and stick wallpaper. My favorite renovation project is an area that used to be a cabinet in our living space. We made it into something a lot more lively.

All of the updates to Trudy make it feel a lot more like home and less like a “50 shades of brown” nightmare.

Before: Outdated brown
After: fresh and personalized!

Big Windshield

This is a perk of having a Class A. While you are driving to new places, you get an amazing view of where you’re going! After driving Trudy, it would be hard to have our windshield cut in half (or less) like in a truck or car. Trudy’s windshield has 2 pieces (it has a seam down the middle) – the newer motorhomes have a 1 piece glass windshield, making the view even better.

The other cool thing about having a big windshield is that it acts as a big window in your living room while your RV is parked. We draw the curtain at night if we are in a populated area, but if the weather is good, we keep the windshield open all day. When we were in New Mexico, our windshield was facing an open field and a mountain, and we kept Trudy’s windshield open and had amazing stargazing…from the living room!

The dashboard of a huge windshield also makes a great place for a toddler to play…

Living Room Space

Trudy has a bigger than average living room due to a large slide on the side. It really opens up the floor space and provides a lot of room for Calla to play. We also have a fairly large (as far as RVs go) table that can easily fit all 3 of us and faces a window, making it a nice space to work from.

Some RVs have opposing slides – which means that the slides are directly across from one another – this makes the living space even larger than what Trudy has! The disadvantage of this is that when both slides are closed, the rig is nearly inaccessible. With one slide in the living area, Trudy is plenty spacious enough for us!

A bird’s eye view of the living area

Dislike

Counter space

Trudy is lacking counter space. If the sink cover and the oven cover are both off, we are left with a small rectangle of counter space – and the coffee maker needs to go somewhere! We’ve actually made do with this a lot better than we thought we would, so it’s not a deal breaker. But it’s definitely one of those things we’d change if we could. Even another foot of counter space would help a lot.

In this picture, both the sink cover and the stove cover are on. The yellow circle is our only counter space when they are both off.

Noise While Driving

Driving any large vehicle is going to be noisy, but I was surprised by just how noisy Trudy is when going down the road. The engine is located right between the driver and the passenger seats (this area is called the doghouse) so there is a lot of engine noise. In addition to the engine being loud, many things rattle around in the living area.

Over time, we have identified the rattles and put a stop to them, but every time you stop one rattle, another one starts! We’ve gotten used to the noise in Trudy, but have sometimes find it frustrating when we can’t make a phone call going down the road due to the loud background noise. Calla seems to find it soothing, because it usually lulls her to sleep and then she wakes up the minute the loud noise stops!

The carpeted area is called the doghouse. With the engine so close, is it any wonder it’s noisy? Our captain’s chairs swivel and become chairs for the living room when parked.

 

Leveling System

The leveling system is used to get Trudy level when we are parked on unlevel surfaces. Best practice states that the coach should be level before the slides are put out. We’ve had trouble with our leveling system. The word in the RV community is that electronic leveling systems are just buggy – and ours is no exception. We used to use Auto-Level, which means you press a button and the coach levels itself. Gee, doesn’t that sound nice, press a button and a 38 foot coach will be level! The reality is this usually doesn’t work as advertised.

We still press buttons to get Trudy level, but we use Manual mode, which is a setting on the leveling system. We have more control over it in manual mode. We also have purchased many things to assist us in manually leveling, including:

Even with all those tools, it can sometimes be a battle to get Trudy level. It’s really made us appreciate level sites at campgrounds when we come across them!

Calla helping with leveling. These stacks go under the leveling jacks, or you can drive up on them to get level.

There you have it! Some things I like and dislike about our dear old Trudy! Overall she has been good to us the past 6 months and we haven’t had any major problems.

4 Comments

  1. In an over-the-road tractor (as in tractor and trailer, 18 wheeler, etc.) it is called a dogbox…
    That is a great picture of Trudy. Some day I will learn how to capture it and print it.

  2. I don’t know if it will work for you but I know of a way to gain counter space. Looking at your living room pic though you might have to change a few things. If the car bench can fold forward during your camping time then you could add a drop down leaf to the straight edge of the counter that is between the sink and the car bench. Flip it up to use during food prep and whatever and flip it down against the lower cabinet when you need to travel.

    1. Cate, thanks for commenting! This is a great idea but unfortunately our bench doesn’t fold down! However it can be removed fairly easily, but we don’t do that often with how much we move. If we stayed in one place for awhile, we could take it out then add a counter space extension. Keep the feedback coming!

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