Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our New Home

One of the main reasons for writing this blog is to chronicle what we have gone through to get to full time RVing as well as what the lifestyle entails. Reading those details in others blogs was immensely helpful to our planning and research.

This post from 2010 describes how we decided the fifth wheel/truck combination was right for us. Subsequent posts (here and here) show that our choice of fifth wheel trailer has evolved over time.

When we arrived in Oregon in August we thought that the Arctic Fox 29-5k fifth wheel was likely to be our new home. Once we got here and sat in it once again with the intent to actually buy, we began to feel rather cramped in it and had a hard time visualizing storing some bulky items we intend to carry.

So now we were ready to buy but felt like we were starting over again! It was a bit disheartening and rather overwelming when we considered how much time we had already put into this decision.

We revisited (via the internet) our previous first choice: the NuWa Discover America 345 LK WTB. We had previously decided against it because it was around $75-80k and was pretty much only available in the midwest. We couldn't rationalize paying at least $25k more and driving to Kansas for the "perfect" aesthetics when the Arctic Fox was about $48k with virtually everything we wanted (we thought).

Now we had to find all the dealers in Portland and survey their inventory. The primary RV's in our price range ($50k - $65k) were Heartland Big Horn and Keystone Montana. I had grown to dislike Big Horn over time so we focused on Montana. I liked the 3000RK (very similar to the Arctic Fox we liked) and Hans was favoring the more spacious 3400RL (very similar to the NuWa we liked).

Turns out most of the dealers in Oregon and Washington were low on inventory at the end of summer. We were able to view representative examples of the models we liked, but each of them had aspects that would be a compromise if we were to purchase.

Finally, we narrowed it down to the Montana 3000RK. Our rationale was: 1) shorter was better (35'6" long), 2) having only two slides on one side gave it a narrower profile which will allow us to fit into narrower campsites if necessary, 3) the kitchen appliances were NOT in a slide (we felt the frequent in and out movement of the slide could cause problems for all the infrastructure required for the appliances), and 4) it had two more closets than the Arctic Fox thereby alleviating the storage problem we had worried about.

With that decision made, we just had to find the actual rig in the decor choice we preferred! Trailer manufacturers tend to be rather old fashioned in their design choices. Montana provides three fabric choices and only one of those really appealed to us.

Thank goodness for the Internet! We found a 2013 model with the Blackthorn decor in Boise, Idaho! The 2013 model comes with an automatic leveling system and a quieter, ducted air conditioning system. The dealer happened to be open on Labor Day and several phone calls later we had a deposit on our new home:

Floorplan of the 2013 Keystone Montana 3000RK
Now we are working on the logistics. Our host for our first house sitting gig has returned. Our second potential house sitting hosts have someone else able to take care of their house...we just have to stay in Portland until some items we've ordered arrive in the next day or so. Then we'll head to Myrtle Creek to pick up our belongings at my daughters house then make the 10 hour drive to Boise to take delivery of our new home.

We plan to stay in Boise for a week or two to get used to the rig and take care of any warranty issues that might show up. No plans beyond that except to be in San Diego during the holidays!


  1. OK Kohls you are venturing into my old home town. If you want an amazing Burger, you need to go to Big Judds...it's not big, it's HUGE. They are an old school diner with yummy fries and shakes. If you have time to do some hiking you need to go out Warm Springs (Ave?) which is right downtown Boise which leads you to Castle and Table Rock hiking area and along the way is the old Idaho State Penitentiary.

    Old Penitentiary Road Boise, ID 83712‎
    (208) 334-2844 · history.idaho.gov

    1. Hi Shelle, Thanks for the local tips! We absolutely will be doing some hiking while in the area. The RV park we are staying at is right on the riverfront path so we'll be able to bike right in to downtown as well. We are really looking forward to getting to know the area, it will be new to both of us.


  2. It's a gorgeous rig! Congrats! I'm sure you checked that the warranty is valid for full time use? Some Montana Keystone 5th wheels are not (manufacturer warranty voided if unit is used full time). Just wanted to note it down.

    1. Thanks! Yes, Montana are now warranted for full time use. We are in! Almost done unpacking. Blog post tomorrow hopefully...It's been a whirlwind!