By: Dorathy Gass
For years now, my husband and I went back and forth on buying an RV. A family that loves the great outdoors, we were looking for a “home away from home” that would allow us and our two girls a little getaway to turn to in the late spring, summer, and early fall, where we could make some long-lasting memories by enjoying campfires, the lake, and the fresh outdoor air.
In the spring of 2019, we decided to stop talking and do something about it; so, we seriously began researching RVs, and potential resort parks to place it in. We outlined a budget; we knew we wanted a brand-new model, and listed wants and needs from a trailer, taking our two daughters (aged 8 and 12) into account. After looking at possibly dozens of trailers over the span of two months, we settled on the 2020 Gulf Stream Envision 284QB. A 28-foot travel trailer, it had all the things we wanted in an RV: two separate rooms, air conditioning, a full bathroom and kitchen, extra sleep accommodations for guests, and the price tag was on point.
We are currently enjoying season number two in our trailer, permanently parked in a resort outside of Bobcaygeon. While we are loving RV living, there are some things we enjoy about our Envision and some things we don’t care for.
The storage is plentiful in our trailer, where both rooms carry two wardrobe closets each, and there is ample space for towels and linens within the wardrobe closet next to the pantry. The girls also place books, their backpacks, and stuffies on the bunks above when they are not being used. Kitchen storage is available below the sink, as well as side drawers, and cabinets, for dishes, cutlery, and cups. There is added storage underneath the dinette seats, as well as above and under the bed in the master bedroom.
Speaking of bed, this was certainly one of the major selling points for us as sleep is such a priority. Most trailers in our budget range only offered a queen bed, yet the Gulf Stream Envision caught our eye, thanks to the king in the master bedroom.
The automatic retractable awning has been a lifesaver. With a flick of a switch, we can cover our deck instantly, keep the sunshine (or rain) off us when needed.
We weren’t overly keen on an outside kitchen, so we didn’t opt for that; however, our Envision does have a standard outside area that holds an extra fridge (perfect for bevies), and a sink/prep area for when we BBQ. The sink also comes in handy for when we get back from the lake or fishing and need quick handwashing, but don’t necessarily want to head back into the trailer.
The Kitchen Fridge
The door handle on the fridge was incredibly tricky to open at first. So much so, we broke the handle on the first weekend we had the RV, which was a real bummer. It took some time to figure out that the handle needed to be pushed in first, and then pulled out, which was very frustrating. Plus, it took the kids longer to get the hang of it. The good news is that we all eventually learned the secret to opening the fridge, and it was fixed within weeks (thankful for trailer warranties!)
Instead of a couch, the 2020 Envision we purchased has two reclining chairs (with warming and massaging functions), which seemed cool while sitting in them at the RV dealership, but have lacked luster over time. They just aren’t as functional as we thought they would be. Plus, no couch means no extra pull-out bed.
While there is a plethora of USB outlets around the RV (which is neat for device charge-ups), there aren’t a lot of normal outlets; just a couple in each room, and one in the kitchen area. For anyone who may need a “plug” at the dinette or recliner (i.e. for a laptop) simply can’t do so.
Despite the little quirks, I love our RV, and in a short time we’ve had it, my family has made a ton of incredible memories! (With many more to come soon, I hope.)