In this series, we talk to RVers about the search for their dream rig. Find out which options are on the table, and which rig they ultimately choose. If you’re interested in participating in this series, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warren and Robin Baxter have always been campers. They started out tent camping, and as their children grew up, they worked their way through a pop-up and a Class A. “Eventually we sold that,” Warren says, “and then we didn’t have a trailer for a couple years.”
Warren retired after 30 years as a peace officer with the California Department of Corrections. “When he retired, I told him I was one bad day from retiring too,” Robin says. “That day came, and I was like, ‘Pack your bags, we’re outta here.’ The kids had graduated from college and settled in their careers and were doing their own thing. We decided to sell our house in the Bay Area and become full-time RVers.”
The couple didn’t jump right in, though. They went on a fact-finding mission, driving to different RV parks to chat with travelers. After 2 years, they bought a fifth wheel.
It was great, Warren says, but they soon began to want some more space to accommodate visitors, and went shopping for a toy hauler.
“We always encourage our family and friends to just come to where we are around the country,” he says. “It got to the point where the kids were coming, we had our grandbaby and another on the way—the family had started growing. We thought it’d be nice to have more sleeping areas and an extra bathroom. We wanted to have room for them to have their own privacy.”
So, which RV did they choose?
The 3 Options
Option 1: Keystone Fuzion 427
The super-spacious Keystone Fuzion features a massive, 14-plus-foot garage with a loft and private bathroom. In the main living space, the bathroom includes a residential-sized shower. There’s a ton of open space around the four-seater table and large couch, and a kitchen area tucked into one of the slide-outs.
Option 2: Grand Design Momentum 399th
The 13-foot garage in the Grand Design Momentum contains a small overhead loft and the washer and dryer. An entertainment center and fireplace separates the main living area from a primary suite that’s big enough to house a king-sized bed and a large bathroom.
Option 3: Heartland Cyclone 3511
The Cyclone has an 11-foot garage with an attached half-bath. In the main section, two slide-outs house an entertainment center with a bar and a lounge area with double loveseats. In the primary bedroom, a third slide-out accommodates a king-sized bed and a bathroom with a corner sink and stand-up shower.
The Winner: Keystone Fuzion 427
The Baxters wanted the largest possible garage. “A lot of models had an 11-foot garage,” says Robin, so the choice of the Keystone Fuzion 427, with a garage space larger than 14 feet, was a no-brainer.
“The back area is a living area for whoever comes to stay,” Robin says. “Two beds come down from the ceiling and we added a futon, so you can easily sleep about six people back there comfortably.”
Of course, not everything about their RV is perfect. There are small things the Baxters say they’d change if they could, including the placement of one of the rig’s three air conditioning units.
“We love that this design allows you to have three A/Cs running at the same time,” Warren says. “But they put one in the garage, one in the living room, and one directly above the loft sleeping area. We have to kind of direct the air down and around the bunk, and if we were to use that spot for one of our grandkids to sleep, they’d freeze.”
And while the garage is one of the largest on the market, that space is sacrificed elsewhere, Robin says. “You only have so many square feet, so it’s always some give and take,” she says. “Our bedroom is very compact. We don’t spend a lot of time in there, but just trying to get around and make the bed is tough.”
Still, the Baxters love their toy hauler and have used it as the basecamp for adventures ranging from California to the Gulf Coast and to Canada.
“Each year has changed for us,” Robin says. “Our goal was just to head out and explore the U.S. We wanted to be able to go wherever and just park the rig. We’re enjoying what we’re doing right now and we don’t see any end in sight.”
Disclaimer: RVillage is part of a joint venture, partially owned by THOR Industries, Inc., of which Keystone and Heartland are subsidiaries.