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.
Kay Akpan and her husband Sylvester wanted to expose their son Aiden to as many new places and experiences as possible while homeschooling him. So, in early 2020, they put their Southern California home on the market.
“The best way to educate him, we figured, was to be in an RV,” Akpan says. “We also wanted to spend more time together, save money, and pay off our student loans.”
Kay is the creator of The MOM Trotter, a family travel blog and social media community, and founder of Black Kids Do Travel, a blog and resource aimed at diversifying travel. Her entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take a leap came in handy when the family’s house sold and they bought an RV—a 2016 Fleetwood Tioga Class C—on Facebook Marketplace.
“We leapt and then just figured it out,” she says. “There was no in-between.”
The family lived and traveled in the Class C for a year, and it quickly became apparent that they needed more space and more conveniences to be really comfortable in their home on wheels.
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“Aiden is 8 years old and homeschooled; my niece and nephew are always over,” Akpan says. “We needed more space for the kids to play and for Aiden to learn. I wanted him to have his own bedroom, with a door—I needed him to have his own space.”
There were other upgrades Akpan wanted, too.
“I hate going to the laundromat,” she says. “I wanted a washer and dryer. I also wanted a king-sized bed. In the kitchen, I wanted an island or just more counter space. We don’t really eat out, so we cook all the time, and I needed more room to do that comfortably.”
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So, at the start of 2021, Akpan and her husband started shopping for a much larger RV. “We knew we wanted a fifth wheel,” she says. “We just weren’t sure which one.”
So, which RV did they choose?
The 3 Options
Option 1: Jayco Northpoint 387FBTS
At just over 43 feet, the Jayco Northpoint sports luxury finishes and details, and ample seating areas. It sleeps four, with a queen-sized bed in the primary room, and a hide-a-bed at the back wall. There are two bathrooms—a large one with a toilet and sink at the center of the rig, and one with a shower off the master bedroom. The kitchen island with an inset sink creates tons of food prep space, and an additional outdoor kitchen means there are options for mealtime.
Option 2: Keystone Montana High Country 385BR
The Keystone High Country is made for comfort, with a bonus bunk room and loft right at the center of the rig, next to a large bathroom. The primary bedroom, toward the front, houses a king-sized bed and a stackable washer and dryer. On the other end of the RV, even more sleepers can be accommodated on a hide-a-bed sofa, and the wide-open living area around the kitchen island provides room for active families.
Option 3: Keystone Alpine 3712KB
In the primary bedroom of the Keystone Alpine, a cavernous walk-in shower, dual sinks, and a washer and dryer share space with a large bed—just shy of king-sized. A walk-in pantry, plus multiple closets and wardrobes, provide an impressive amount of storage, and in the front of the rig, two sofa sleepers and theater seating are positioned to create a cozy lounge or sleeping area.
The Winner: Keystone Montana High Country 385BR
In the end, the family chose the Keystone Montana High Country for a very specific feature: the space for a coffee station. “We have an espresso machine,” Akpan says. “My husband grinds coffee every morning, and this model was the only one that had that little area by the pantry for an espresso machine. That was the only game-changer.”
The spacious kitchen area has changed mealtimes for the better, she says. “Having all that counter space makes things easy because we can prep, cook, wash,” she says. “We use it every day.”
The stacked washer and dryer are a convenience Akpan says she can’t imagine going without, ever again. “We just go through stuff,” she says. “It’s easier to have fewer clothes and do more laundry. You can have three shirts and wash and wear as you need, rather than piling up laundry for weeks.”
The new rig has made the family’s travel even more enjoyable, and they’re continuing to make memories on the road. “We spent the summer in Maryland, and Aiden went to summer camp, and met tons of kids there,” Akpan says. “We’ve toured a lot of Black history sites, and cities in the south. We spent time in Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming, and did national parks for 2 months.”
It’s a lifestyle Akpan says suits her family fine, and they don’t plan for their road trip to end anytime soon.
“Every day I wake up, like, ‘Wow,’” she says. “This is my home.”
RVillage is part of a joint venture, partially owned by THOR Industries, Inc., of which Jayco and Keystone are subsidiaries.