One Year and 19,000 Miles Later
A little more than a year ago we bought our first motorhome – the Axis 25.1. When we were researching, we found the information in the forum to be very helpful. For those of you in the research phase, here are some of our thoughts after the first year and 19,000 miles:
We love traveling in our RV. Easy to drive and the layout is perfect for us. Because of the room that transforms in the back, it basically feels like bigger coach when we’re driving. There have been a few issues, nothing terrible, all major house systems have worked well to date. I’m really happy with the engine performance, 19,000 miles in and it has performed great. The slightly better gas mileage (about 9.2, 8.7 when flat towing) is noticeable on our longer trips. The view out of the front windshield when we drive and when we’re parked is outstanding. The cost of the RV was less than others in its class.
Could be better:
At first, our coach didn't drive well. It pulled all the time. It needed a front end alignment. We added some other modifications and now, with the exception of strong side winds, it drives great. But it’s frustrating that a new coach drives so terrible directly off the lot. The dinette seat cushions are a joke. The pop-up trailer we bought for 8K in 2002 had seat cushions that were better. The wind noise in the front cockpit can get really loud at times. The front driver and passenger side windows seem to be the culprit. The AC unit is not strong enough and takes too long to cool the RV. There are other minor annoyances I won’t get into, but they are reminders that you get what you pay for.
If we could go back, would we do it again?
Absolutely! If we had to do it all over again, we would buy the same coach. It’s not perfect, but we recognize that the lower cost of the Axis/Vegas model allowed us to join the motorhome community now, rather than having to wait a few years. In our Axis we’ve been able to explore the country and seen areas ranging from the Niagara Falls to Galveston to Graceland to Savannah to Disney World. The RV has made our exploration not only doable, but fun. I will say that going forward I have some reservations about buying a more expensive Thor product. Kind of leaning towards Newmar or Tiffin, but we’re still a few years out from upgrading and who knows what kind of models will be on the market then.
What’s on our wish list for our next coach or product upgrade?
Full body paint, slam shut storage doors, automatic leveling, satellite TV, couch with footrest, more food storage capability, washer/dryer, media switch
Best advice we’ve received:
Get a front end alignment. Join a RV forum. Plan for more time, it takes a bit longer getting from point A to point B, especially when you’re towing. Check your roof often for leaks or signs of stress. You Tube is a great resource for learning about the various systems of an RV. Do it now, why wait until retirement to enjoy an RV?
Lessons from the road:
Stuff happens when you’re rushed and refuse to use the checklist. The gas app is great, really helps in finding where gas stations and better gas prices are located. The driving experience is better when time behind the wheel is shared. Rubber shelf liners cut into the shape of a placemat work wonders in keeping items from moving while driving. Come up with a system to communicate with each other when backing in. Turns out my frantic arm waving doesn’t have the effectiveness I was hoping for. Don't leave a mouthwash spill left out on the counter overnight, it dissolves the laminate surface.