On the RV Hunt: Searching for Something Small and Driveable

Jan 10, 2023 | Meet My Rig

On the RV Hunt: Searching for Something Small and Driveable

Join one couple’s search for a smaller, secondary RV (with a surprising result) in this installment of “On the RV Hunt.”

By Kate Morgan

Photo: Rocio and Gabe Rivero

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 pitches@roadpass.com.

Rocio and Gabe Rivero lived in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September of 2017. For years, they thought about a move, Gabe says, “but we couldn’t narrow down what city. After a while we found the full-time RV lifestyle and said, ‘Well, what if we live in several places?’”

They were still considering the idea, Rocio says, when the hurricane hit. “That was the catalyst,” she says. “We decided, if we’re going to do this, this is the time.”

The pair sold off almost all of their possessions and went RV shopping. Their first rig was a Heartland Gateway, a 43-foot fifth wheel.

“We thought, if we’re going to full-time, we need all the comforts we have at home,” Rocio says. “We still wanted to have every convenience, and wanted to be able to have friends over, so we got a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath, ridiculously big RV. We quickly realized that’s not that convenient.”

The Riveros struggled to find space for their large rig in the places they wanted to travel, and found it inconvenient to move around frequently. The second bedroom sat empty the vast majority of the time, and the couple decided to downsize just a bit.

“We went from 43 to 40 feet, into a Keystone Montana,” Gabe says. “We still wanted comfort; we just got rid of the second bedroom and focused more on us and making our home comfortable for us.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to live full-time in the 40-foot RV, the Riveros started to consider adding a second rig; something smaller to take on shorter trips, while continuing to use their larger RV as their primary home and basecamp.

“I said, well, we’ve been cooped up here,” says Rocio. “Taking the fifth wheel out for 2 or 3 days is just not a thing; it’s too much work. I started showing Gabe Class Bs and little RVs.”

“We had talked previously about going smaller,” Gabe says. “But we started shopping, and looked at truck campers, travel trailers, and vans.”

So, which RV did they choose?

The 3 Options

Option 1: Roadtrek Play

MSRP: $134,610 

Exterior view of new white campervan
Photo courtesy Roadtrek

The Play is an open-concept RV built on the Dodge Ram ProMaster 3500 chassis, with a center aisle flanked by two twin beds, a kitchen area with a 5-cubic-foot refrigerator, a countertop with a folding extension, a microwave and propane stove, and a wet bath with a corner sink. In the cockpit, both seats swivel to create a lounge space, and an optional folding mattress adds another twin bed.

Floor plan of van with two beds, kitchen, closet, and wet bath
Photo courtesy Roadtrek

Option 2: Thor Motor Coach Sequence 20L

MSRP: $134,260

Exterior view of campervan
Photo courtesy Thor Motor Coach

The Sequence, also on the Ram ProMaster chassis, has a daytime layout that features two twin beds (which can be joined at night) with a wet bath along the back wall of the van. The rest of the space accommodates a flip-up table and countertop, refrigerator, microwave, and stovetop.  

Floor plan of a campervan with two beds, a wet bath, and kitchen area
Photo courtesy Thor Motor Coach

Option 3: Winnebago Sunstar 29V

MSRP: $188,341

Exterior view of a Class A motorhome
Photo courtesy of Winnebago

At a total length of 28.5 feet, the Sunstar is Winnebago’s smallest Class A RV. Double slide-outs create space for a king-sized bed, a large dinette, and a pull-out sofa, plus a bathroom with a large standalone shower. The cockpit seats swivel, and storage spaces include a pantry, wardrobe, and closet.

Floor plan of a Class A motrohome with bedroom area, dry bath, kitchen, and living space
Photo courtesy of Winnebago

The Winner: Thor Sequence 20L

The Riveros liked the Winnebago Sunstar, but ultimately decided it wasn’t exactly what they were in the market for. As soon as they saw the Thor Motor Coach Sequence, they knew it was the right choice. “We looked high and low at everything and everything in between, used and new, all different brands,” Gabe says. “This one appealed to us because of the open layout created by the twin beds.” 

The Riveros were based in California at the time, and, Gabe says, “the closest one we could find with the layout we wanted was in New Mexico. So, we made it a camping trip. We went to Southern Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and it was amazing. We were able to see how we managed being in the van and how everything worked.”

At first, the Riveros thought the Class B would be supplemental to their fifth wheel, but after that first trip and a boondocking trip to Big Bear, Rocio says, “We came back and Gabe’s like, ‘You know what? I think we could live in the van full-time.’”

The Riveros plan to spend months at a time on the road in their Class B, but in addition, they recently purchased a house.

“Basically, now we have a home base for us to travel and come back to,” Gabe says. “We’ll be traveling forever.”

Disclaimer: RVillage is part of a joint venture, partially owned by Thor Industries, Inc., of which Keystone, Heartland, and Thor Motor Coach are subsidiaries.

On the RV HuntRigsRV buyingRV Types

Kate Morgan

Kate is a freelance journalist whose work on travel, science, food, and more has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Popular Science, SAVEUR, USA Today, and many other publications.