Why I Chose My Rig: 3 RVs for Full-Timers for Under $70,000

Oct 11, 2022 | Meet My Rig

Why I Chose My Rig: 3 RVs for Full-Timers for Under $70,000

A family of four, a remote working couple, and a solo female traveler share their journeys to rig ownership.

By RVillage

Photo: Stacey Powers

To help RVers better understand the RV market and rig ownership, we’re interviewing real RVers about their experiences buying their rigs. If you’re interested in sharing your story, send us an email at pitches@roadpass.com.


A Fifth Wheel for a Couple Working Remotely from the Road

Name: Tina Klinefelter (@freeaswheeleverbe)

Tell us about your rig: 

We own a 2017 Jayco Pinnacle 36FBTS fifth wheel that we purchased new for $70,000 using dealer financing through a bank. Previously we owned a pop-up, hybrid, and travel trailer.

What research did you do to purchase this RV?

This RV had the best warranty and full-time living options for all-weather travel and a good layout.

Describe your RVing lifestyle. 

I’ve traveled full-time for 5 years with my husband and two cats. We work remotely (not retired) and stay in one location anywhere from 2 weeks to months. Our favorite places are national parks and anywhere there are good breweries. 

Describe your rig’s floor plan. 

We have one bedroom and one-and-a-half baths, with a large primary room bath and living space. We picked a fifth wheel to have more room (400 square feet) because of the two opposing slides. We wanted a half-bath for the comfort of our guests.

Why did you pick this particular rig?

It came with a 2-year manufacturer warranty and had the best floor plan for our needs. We owned a Jayco before and were happy with the quality. There are washer/dryer hookups, and it came solar-ready. We can also camp in it in all seasons. 

What other RV brands, types, and/or models did you look at?

We looked at a Montana with one-and-a-half baths as well as toy haulers, but our truck wasn’t large enough to pull the larger models that we liked.

What are your favorite parts of your rig?

It has a large living area, a long kitchen island, one-and-a-half baths, a bedroom slide-out, a primary bath with double sinks, and a 2-year warranty.

What do you wish you could change about your rig?

I wish we had a propane option for the refrigerator, upgraded batteries and added solar to be able to do some boondocking, a built-in desk for working remotely, and more room around the bed.

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A Motorhome for a Full-Timing Family of Four

Name: Michelle Russell (@restless_russells)

Tell us about your rig: 

We bought a used 2016 Thor Hurricane for $67,000, which we paid for with the profits from selling our home. We previously owned a 2015 Starcraft Autumn Ridge travel trailer.

What research did you do to purchase this RV?

We had no RV experience and bought our first rig based on cost and availability. After a year in that rig, we knew we liked Thor products, so we checked out the brand’s motorhomes. We watched YouTube videos and took virtual and physical tours of different layouts within our budget. 

Describe your RVing lifestyle. 

We travel and live in our motorhome full-time with our two children and two dogs. Our favorite destinations have been national parks, the Gulf Shores, and we unexpectedly fell in love with Sandpoint, Idaho, and Eastern Oregon—there’s so much beauty out there.

Describe your rig’s floor plan. 

We live in a 36-foot motorhome that I describe as a hallway. With two kids we knew we wanted bunks for them, and we scored an extra loft bed over the cab that has come in handy for sleepovers. The main bedroom comes with a king-sized bed and tons of storage. We utilize the front passenger seat as our school/workspace as it comes equipped with a foldout desk. It’s small living, but we’ve made some big memories within these walls.

Why did you pick this particular rig?

We do a lot of boondocking, so we needed to make sure our motorhome was capable of going off-road safely. Our Thor motorcoach is light enough with a high clearance compared to other motorhomes to allow us to boondock in remote areas and national parks. The setup is easy for my husband, who is a disabled vet.

What other RV brands, types, and/or models did you look at?

We looked at travel trailers that had larger bunk rooms and walked through some Class Cs. 

What are your favorite parts of your rig?

It’s a gas pusher. It’s been durable and the maintenance has been minimal. It has a king-sized bed. Our dogs love the doggy window next to the passenger seat. There’s also tons of storage, a built-in generator, and the large front windshield has given us some amazing views. It has an easy, push-of-a-button setup and the higher clearance allows us to boondock more.

What do you wish you could change about your rig?

We only have one large slide, but I’d love two to three slides to make it roomier. I wish I didn’t have to spend so many hours painting and upgrading it to get rid of the tan colors and outdated fabric. The leather cab chairs peel easily and don’t seem to have good wear and tear. It also could be insulated better.

Related Ask an RV Expert: ‘Why Is My RV Furniture Peeling?’ Your RV Furniture Questions Answered


A Solo Female Traveler With Her Heart Set on an Airstream

Name: Stacey Powers (@tincanadventure)

Tell us about your rig: 

I own a 2016 Airstream Flying Cloud that I bought new for $68,000 cash. It’s my first RV. 

What research did you do to purchase this RV?

Mostly on Airstream’s website to look at models and compare different lengths. I knew I wanted an Airstream but narrowing down which model, size, and floor plan was where I spent most of my time. 

Describe your RVing lifestyle. 

I’m a full-time solo traveler. My favorite destinations are places that offer adventure. I travel using my Airstream as a base camp for surfing, fly fishing, snowboarding, and similar types of activities.

Describe your rig’s floor plan. 

I picked a front bed because almost all camping spots are back-in, therefore I wanted my view to be from where I spend most of my time awake, the main living space. I thought I would live in it for a year at least, so I knew I wanted something that could accommodate full-time usage.

Why did you pick this particular rig?

I grew up 15 minutes away from the Airstream factory, so for me, it was always a dream to own a silver bullet.

What other RV brands, types, and/or models did you look at?

None.

What are your favorite parts of your rig?

It tows easily; being the first RV owner in my family, no one else knew anything about towing to teach me, but towing the Airstream has been effortless. It’s aesthetically pleasing, and I always get people who want to see inside—the Airstream name carries itself very well wherever you go. 

It has lots of windows, allowing for lots of light to come into the small space. It will outlast me—according to the dealer and knowing how many older Airstreams are still around, I believe it. There’s a 2-year warranty to cover shaking out the weak areas.

What do you wish you could change about your rig?

With all RVs that you drive constantly, there are going to be minor issues as they go through beatings on the road. But the biggest con for me is getting things fixed at dealerships. They’re always booked up months out, and they never seem to fix things properly. 

I wish the tanks were bigger; for full-time living, the tanks are quite small. I wish it could switch over some of the gray tank to the black tank when needed. My gray tank always fills up first.

For the amount you pay, not everything is built that great. I had screws not tightened all the way, causing bigger issues down the road. Or wires not tucked properly causing heat to work intermittently.


Disclaimer: RVillage is part of a joint venture, partially owned by THOR Industries, Inc., of which Airstream, Jayco, and Thor Motorcoach are subsidiaries.

Editor’s note: Some quotes have been edited for clarity.

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