Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Toy-Hauler Dreams at the Houston RV Show

We had ventured to the Houston RV Show for two reasons; one was to check out the selection of Toy Haulers, and the other was to see some great, new, innovative RV products!   

Now, since we full-time, we didn't look at any Lite models.  We need to have a cargo weight limit of around 3300 lbs and these rigs just don't hold that much.  They also aren't built for full-time living and usage.   

In our search, we did find a really great set-up in a particular fifth-wheel; the Montana 3900 FB. Not a bunk-house, but if you like a large bathroom and closet, this has it.  You walk up the steps like a regular fifth-wheel into a king-bedroom, then through into the huge master bath.   A large closet fills up the forward end cap space.

  One cannot turn away from the Tiffin Class As, especially loaded to the hilt with granite, porcelain, leather, walk-in-closets, dual bathroom sinks, led lighting, and electronics galore.

We narrowed in on one toy hauler that we liked, except for one feature...the bathroom door opened up so that to get out of the bathroom you had to teeter on the steps up to the bedroom in order to close the door.  The bathroom itself is a little small but boasts a large, blue-led-lighted, shower with seat. This rig is the XLR Thunderbolt by Forest River.  Now, for those who know us well, no, we are not actively looking to buy, but we like the research.

For those of you just thinking of full-timing, especially with kids, the toy-haulers are something to look into.  We dismissed them when we first started searching for our full-time rig back in 2010.  But, after seeing them first-hand and having lived in a bunk-house fifth-wheel for over a year, we tend to see these as a better option.

This particular rig has a great kitchen slide with large island, lots of Corian counter space, a full fridge, and LOADS of pantry and drawer space.

The master bath is, like mentioned, a little tight.

One of the benefits of a toy hauler is the rear "garage."  This is what turned us off originally, but after reviewing its options, it makes a good deal of sense for a family.  Most toy-haulers have two motorized bunks in the rear.  Sometimes there's a third.  Other models have 2 in the rear, and a loft bed in the living area.  Those without the loft bed usually have storage up high in the rear.

What is appealing about this set-up is that you can raise the upper bed during the day, and turn the lower bunk unto a bench and table set.  Here, the kids can play, or homeschool.  Many models boast a sliding screen door that walks out onto a railed deck.  Some have screen rooms, some have awnings.  Here you see a carpet. All toy-haulers have a metal floor (this is if you are going to actually use the garage as a garage for toys). Most come with a carpet that fits the room.  

This is the view from the bench seats.  This particular model has a full-bath (most have a half bath if one at all).  This bath is an entire shower...great for a day after the beach.  A TV and fireplace also fill the space.  (Some models come equipped with washer/dryer hookups and mini fridges.)  Up above the tv and doors are sliding-door storage compartments.

What we would need to do to the room is add a touch more storage options for clothing and toys.

Stevie dreams.

Double-paned windows put this rig at the top of our dream list.
And, even with three axles,  our 1-ton truck can pull it.

A place for Max and enjoying fresh air.

And, now for the great, innovative vendor products....

goose egg

Very disappointing.


  1. Hi Joanne!

    We just attended the Florida RV Supershow in Tampa last month and had the same experience... toy hauler heaven! Boy have they come a long way! I fell in LOVE with them. The one I wanted had so many slides my husband called it "The Transformer"! While we won't be able to start out with one... I see it in my future if we stay on the road longer than 1-2 years!

    Happy Travels,

    Drive Me Crazy Family Adventure


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