Our ride is a 2009 Free Spirit, a Class B motorhome manufactured by Leisure Travel Vans of Canada. We purchased her new in September 2010 from Van City RV in St. Louis, Missouri, for our nine-month road trip. Tim and I fall into a tiny percentage of full-time RVers who are traveling in such a small RV. Larger motorhomes or fifth-wheels seem to be the norm, and Tim and I briefly considered upsizing. Eventually, however, we decided that our RV just might work for us. It was perfect for our nine-month trip, so we are going to give it a try. Besides, it’s paid for!
|Our Free Spirit|
Here’s a bit more information about our ride.
The Free Spirit is built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis and has a 3 liter V6 diesel engine. She is 23’9” in length, 7’2” in width and 9’6” in height and weighs 8,500 pounds fully loaded.
Although very compact in size, the Free Spirit has everything that we need. There is a kitchen with a sink, propane stove, refrigerator and microwave-convection oven. An electric sofa in the rear folds down to create a wide bed. The bathroom is perhaps the most compact of all, but it does have a toilet, sink and handheld shower, all in one space.
|My Office Is in the Front|
|The Sofa Converts into a Large Bed|
There is a surprising amount of storage space in a wardrobe closet, curved corner cabinet, galley and multiple upper cabinets. There is also storage in the two rear ottomans and under the sofa. The most unique storage space is a “basement,” a lidded compartment under the sofa between the two rear wheels. That’s where we have placed the litter box.
|The Kitchen Is Very Functional|
|The Floor Plan Utilizes Every Square Inch of Space|
We think she is a beautiful and sleek piece of engineering, and we are excited to drive her again.
After much thought, we also decided to bring along our car, a 2007 Subaru Outback that is made for adventure. Although we had happily traveled for nine months with just the RV, we knew that this new full-time lifestyle would be somewhat different. We would be doing less touring (moving every day or so) and more staying in one spot for a week or more at a time.
Although some people may question the wisdom of traveling with two vehicles, it is proving to be a good choice for us. It’s been convenient to have a separate vehicle to run to the grocery store or go out to eat. More importantly, we can leave the cat behind in the RV with the air conditioning on and not worry about her overheating, even if we’re gone for the entire day. Although I do miss riding with Tim on travel days, driving separately gives us a bit of “alone” time – always a good thing. Besides, we each can listen to our own music!
|The Free Spirit and the Subaru - A Perfect Pair|
For those of you who may be wondering, towing the Subaru behind the RV is not feasible. Although the Free Spirit is rated for towing, I’m a bit hesitant to try it. As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen a Class B Sprinter like ours towing a car. Besides, the Subaru (which is also paid for!) cannot be towed with all four wheels down. A tow dolly would be required, which is not appealing to us. We’ll see how it goes and reevaluate our decision later if necessary.