Our First RV

 •  Updated 01/16/16

Our first RV was a 2005 Rockwood 30’ Fifth Wheel trailer. We bought the smallest RV we could live in for a year. We wanted to be comfortable with beds and seats for everyone. Being nimble was important. I wanted to be able to fit in as many campsites as I could, navigate gas stations easily, and make U-turns on 2-lane roads.


Length: 30’
Weight: 6800lbs empty


lt had a living area with couch and dinette, a kitchen, a rear bedroom with bunks for the kids, and up the stairs a bathroom and master bedroom.

It had:

  • Solid oak door and drawer fronts
  • Day/night shades
  • 3-burner range
  • Combination convection/microwave oven
  • Ceiling fan
  • Ducted heat & A/C
  • Theatre sound system (with hidden, somewhere, subwoofer)
  • Heated queen size mattress
  • Gas/Electric hot water heater
  • Wiring for cable, satellite and phone


  • Outside shower
  • Fiberglass cover over spare tire
  • Custom rear receiver hitch
  • Power front jacks
  • Rear stabilizer jacks
  • Aluminum wheels
  • Storage galore
  • Outside gas grill & table
  • Awning
  • Heated holding tanks
  • Enclosed underbelly

RV Modifications

We removed the original couch and dinette and replaced them with freestanding chairs from Herman Miller and Ikea.

This gave us all comfortable places to sit. We could re-arrange the chairs for movies or when company was present. The downside was no dining table, so we learned to eat with trays instead.

It Served Us Well

This trailer worked well for us. The floorplan was great and it had a lot of storage for a rig its size. We lived in it for 2.5 years over a 3 year period. We towed it through ~35 states.

We replaced it because:

  • We went from a 1-year trip to ‘indefinitely’
  • it needed a number of fixes (bent stabilizing leg, soft spot in the floor, etc)
  • We had outgrown it (the kids each grew 6” since we bought it)


We sold this trailer in the fall of 2013 after purchasing RV #2.

Our First RV : Interior with slideout In

Interior with slideout In

Our First RV : Interior with slideout Out

Interior with slideout Out

Our First RV : Looking down from steps

Looking down from steps

Our First RV : Kitchen


Our First RV : Heading into rear bedroom

Heading into rear bedroom

Our First RV : Bunks to the left

Bunks to the left

Our First RV : Kids storage to the right

Kids storage to the right

Our First RV : Bunks each have a window

Bunks each have a window

Our First RV : Looking back to front of trailer

Looking back to front of trailer

Our First RV : Large wardrobe next to bathroom

Large wardrobe next to bathroom

Our First RV : Linen storage in bathroom

Linen storage in bathroom

Our First RV : Stool and shower are in here, sink is out

Stool and shower are in here, sink is out

Our First RV : Master bed

Master bed

Our First RV : Looking back towards center of trailer

Looking back towards center of trailer

Our First RV : Rear right side - windows are for bunks

Rear right side - windows are for bunks

Our First RV : Front Left

Front Left

Our First RV : Slide Out

Slide Out

Our First RV : Interior with new furniture

Interior with new furniture

Our First RV : Ikea and Herman Miller freestanding chairs

Ikea and Herman Miller freestanding chairs

8 Comments Our First RV

  1. Picture of Jenn Jenn July 16, 2011

    What is the make and model of your trailer?  I think we have decided to go with a 5th wheel after all.  Where do you work?  Did you build an office anywhere?

  2. Picture of Boyink Boyink July 16, 2011

    Hey Jenn -

    It’s certainly not as stylish going down the road but the 5th wheel format has worked well for us. 

    Ours is an ‘05 Rockwood 8281SS.  I know when we were shopping both Cougar and Sundance had a similar floorplan.

    See this post for what we did to the interior.  I gave up on having a dedicated office and instead work out of a backpack, usually sitting in one of the Ikea chairs we put in.  The laptops slide under the Ikea chairs when not in use.

    Otherwise I sit outside when I can, or book it to a library for the day.

  3. Picture of Boyink Boyink July 16, 2011

    We also changed from a “decorate it to be home” mindset to “lets do as little as possible to make it livable” mindset. 

    Ultimately the trip isn’t about the RV.

  4. Picture of Jenn Jenn July 18, 2011

    Thank you!

    We are just trying to do as much research as possible.  :-)  I saw emailed an ad for a class C on CL today.  She mentioned in the ad her family spent 16 months touring the road.  I asked her about going with an Class C as opposed to the 5th wheel.  She gave me a few reasons but also mentioned she had envisioned herself schooling and working while they traveled down the road but it was too bumpy to get much done.  I thought that was very telling.  We are now thinking in the “long haul”  that a 5th wheel will work very well.

    I LOVE decorating and find great joy in making something unique on a budget.  I CAN’T wait to pull out paint, nails, and fabric!  That’s one of the reason we are going to go with an older one but maybe once we get it we’ll change our minds!

    It’s all so exciting!  Thanks again!

  5. Picture of Boyink Boyink July 18, 2011

    Just occurred to me - I’ve always liked driving days for a couple reasons.  First - I’m disconnected so am not worried about email / social networks / work during that time.

    The other is we are all together, in the same room, doing the same thing, seeing the same stuff.  Yea - once in a while the kids will put iPods on and tune out a bit, but we’ve still had some of our best moments and conversations while driving.

    But you wouldn’t have that with a Class C - only two chairs up front and if you’re in the back you typically can’t see out the front so are looking out the side windows.  I just don’t think you’d have the same family time going that route.

    Just be really careful buying an older RV - these things aren’t made to live in. Get it professionally inspected.  We just spent thousands getting a new roof put on our 6-year old trailer - and if I add that cost to what we paid we could have bought new with a warranty.

  6. Picture of Brandi Brandi July 28, 2012

    Would love to see some updated pics of your RV to see what you have done to make it your own and what you have changed to make it better for full time living…

  7. Picture of Boyink Boyink July 29, 2012

    Hey Brandi - the short answer is, not much!  You commented on the Grant post, there are a couple of pictures there that show some small projects but overall we really haven’t changed anything else.

    We see some folks putting a lot of time into their rig to make it more “homey” but we just don’t feel like investing that time & effort into something that’s not as permanent as a house.

    Oh - I did get some stick-on picture frames so we can put some photos on the walls.

  8. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink July 29, 2012

    See also this post that shows what we did for furniture (which has been invaluable).

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