September 14, 2014

Finding Our Future Cave

     It's that time of year again for the big RV Show in California!

As it was last year, it is being held in Pomona.  There will be hundreds of RV dealers showcasing 1000's of RV's, an exhibit hall where RV accessories will be displayed and sold, seminars dealing with everything from solar panels to RV maintenance to cool gadgets. 

We have our minds made up that a 5th wheeler is right for us.  A Class A rig is not what we want.  We don't want to have our driving space be in the living room.  We also don't want to have to deal with a huge RV motor plus the additional motor of the towed vehicle.  We will definitely need a rig that is made for full time living.  We have to be able to see past the fancy hinges and countertops.  We have to focus on the stuff we can't see right away such as the frame, insulation and quality of workmanship. 

Since our trip to Pomona last year, we have visited other smaller RV shows and dealers.  The local show held in March was a turning point for us.  We had seen all of the RV manufacturers that we had wanted to see and were on our way out when we stopped to look at a toy hauler.  That's when it clicked for us.  With the added space of a garage we could have a work area for our business separate from our living area.

Toy haulers are intended for people who like to bring toys, such as ATV's, motorcycles, etc, on their journey.  The entire back is a huge hinged door which opens into a ramp.  Traditionally toy haulers have been similar to a studio apartment with everything in one big room.  However, the industry is realizing that people want to separate the garage from the living space.  They also realize that not all garages will be used the same way.

So, I started researching different toy hauler manufacturers and have found a good fit for us.  Voltage toy haulers are made by Dutchman Manufacturing in Goshen, Indiana.  Our local Voltage dealer has a few on the lot that we can look at but not the model (3600) we are interested in.

Model 3600 Floorplan
The closest dealer that has the model we want is in Fresno, a 3 hour drive from us.  On Mother's Day weekend we drove down to Fresno to look at the 3600 they had in stock.  It had already been sold but they were nice enough to let us look inside.  The slides were in.  I took advantage of this and tried to get to the kitchen area.  After all, we might want a snack when we're on the road and I had to test if this would even be possible.  Yep, it is.  I carefully climbed over the couch arm and the kitchen was fully accessible.  I especially like that the heavy refrigerator is not in a slide.  I've heard nightmares about the weight being an issue for the slide mechanical system.  Soon the slides were opened and we had access to the entire rig.     

A few of the favorite features on this particular floorplan include:
   1. Dinette Seating
       We don't like the idea of just one long couch.  It seems like it would be difficult to have a decent conversation when we have company if we are all seated next to one another.
   2. Wardrobe Slide
       We really like the idea of a his and hers wardrobe area.  This model has two closets with mirrored doors and drawers underneath.  With the center dresser, we know there will be plenty of storage space for all of our clothes.
   3. Twin Bed Loft
       There is a small loft above the garage accessible from the interior hallway.  This could be an added storage area for when we hit Costco. 
   4. Second Bathroom
       No explanation needed...
   5. Separate Garage Entrance
       A second door is located in the garage area of the trailer.  If your shoes (or clothes) are dirty you can change in there and not traipse mud and dirt into the house.
   6. Ramp Becomes A Patio
       One really cool feature is that the ramp also becomes a patio complete with short side walls.  After a day of exploring we can set up a chair, grab a cold drink and relax.
   7. Washer/Dryer Hook Up
       The garage has a place to hook up a washer and dryer.  I'm not sure if it is for a combo or stack-able set so I'll have to look into it more.

Voltage is one of the dealers showcasing models at this years Pomona RV Show.  We're hoping to get a chance to see the 3600 again.  We'll also be sure to check out the competition.  We still have a while to wait before we'll be ready to buy our 5th wheel, but it's definitely fun looking at them!


  1. We were there too! Funny coincidence...we are originally from Carmichael, CA. We also decided to go with a Fifth wheel toy hauler for upcoming full-timer adventure. Leaning towards the Keystone Raptor 425 TS. We look forward to meeting up with you both on the road. Aloha!

    1. It was a great show this year! We had fun looking at all of the different 5th wheels (and the others too). Did you see the one where the front bedroom wall is a large window with a reading bench!? The Raptor 425 looks like a nice rig too. Are you still in Carmichael? We're in Citrus Heights. When will your adventure begin? Thank you for stopping by and commenting :-)


I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment!