We recently sold our 2016 LTV Unity Island Bed, and we’ve just bought another Unity, pre-owned and slightly younger, with a floorplan that better suits our evolving needs. Truth be told, we did look at other travel options but in the end, we are happily sticking with the LTV family.
Why do we have this attachment to the brand? Curiously, there seems to be the same type of fandom for LTV’s products that is usually reserved for the Apples and Googles of this world. LTV’s Class B+ motorhomes, with their beautiful designs and undeniable quality, have increasingly captured the imaginations of travelers and explorers in the last few years. LTV inspires a lot of excitement and pride within their user base, and the brand has become an unavoidable part of our and many other buyers’ short lists. Here’s a little more about why that is, starting with why we decided to sell our three year old Island Bed model.
Explorer Mode Versus Destination Mode
After logging close to 56,000 miles in three years, we had crisscrossed the US and parts of Canada a few times in what we call explorer mode – that’s never staying more than a few days at a time in any given place before merrily firing up the engine and getting back on the road with our itinerary. Home was elusive. Our multiple journeys covered many miles and were measured in indelible memories. The transitory nature of our expeditions fulfilled our intrinsic desire to explore countless scenic roads, experience vistas that left us breathless, and see the small towns and whatever nature had to offer along our path.
A big change happened this past winter.
It occurred to us during our 2019 winter-spring trip that we enjoyed much longer stays at each location. Our trip was shorter in miles but it felt good to have an anchor, and we were surprised to notice that the joy of a new place did not dissipate within a day or two. Our mindset slowly shifted and we welcomed the notion of stationary life as an occasional travel option.
We felt we needed a change of equipment. Our beloved Island Bed served us magnificently during our “exploration” mode. The bedroom suite is very comfortable and allows privacy when needed; it was a perfect retreat during our brief stops and we rarely felt the need for more living space up front. It was only when we started to lengthen our stays that we felt a little cramped, especially on rainy days or anytime we were confined to our home.
Last fall we had the opportunity to try out a Unity Corner Bed model for a few days, and although some compromise needed to be made on the size of the bed and the smaller outside storage (36 cu.ft versus 63 cu.ft.), we were impressed by the size of the living area up front. The slide-out adds a lot of room and frees up the galley area, especially when two cooks are at work. It felt like this floorplan could work for us in the future.
Fast-forward to late spring, and we made the move. We sold our Island Bed model, purchased a recent pre-owned Corner Bed model, and bought a car that we can tow. Soon, we begin a new chapter in our future road trips.
There are still many places to explore and we will still be attracted by the sheer wonder of exploration, but we feel the time has come to find a balance between unending improvisation and the comfortable patterns of stationary life.
Gradually, we’re shifting from explorer mode into destination mode.
Why We Stuck With LTV
Here are the 9 things we appreciate most about LTV, and why they made the difference during our buying process – twice!
1. Resale value
Our Island Bed model sold quickly, and we were very happy to see that the value of our coach remained very high. In fact, we noticed during our market research (conducted to settle on an asking price for our unit) that many owners were asking close to the initial purchase price. We’ve been told there are very few manufacturers that can boast such high resale value, and this fact helped justify both of our investments in LTV products.
2. Quality of Build
This is the number one reason that our resale value was so high. The craftsmanship, quality of materials, and attention to detail are second-to-none. Everything is solid. We had virtually no rattles even after trekking tens of thousands of miles on sometimes extremely bone-jarring roads.
3. Beautiful Design
We have stopped counting the times people have approached us in parking lots or in campgrounds to tell us how beautiful our motorhome was. The exterior paint scheme has evolved with the years, keeping a fresh and modern look when many manufacturers are content in showing the same swirls and colors year after year. The curved body and clever adaptation to the chassis are ever pleasing to our eyes. There is pride involved in owning an LTV motorhome.
4. A Floorplan Suited to Our Needs
With five different floorplans to choose from in the Unity line alone, we were able to have our coach evolve with us, and we believe our changing needs will be met with our new-to-us Corner Bed model.
5. It’s a Family Business With a Great Mission, Vision, and Values
We’ve gotten to know a good number of employees at Leisure Travel Vans over the past few years, and some have become friends. We are constantly impressed at the level of attention they pay to the customer. The LTV user base is often asked to provide ideas and feedback, which ties into the company’s vision of being a premier company. We never feel like we are dealing with an out-of-touch large corporation driven by quarterly results. In the days of large company consolidations (sometimes foreign), we feel this company remains rooted in the spirit of its founders to sustain its core values, and that, in return, has lots of value for us.
6. Constant Innovation
In the three years we owned our first Unity, LTV introduced two new Unity floorplans (FX and RL), plus the new Wonder built on the Ford Transit chassis with its three floorplans. In our opinion, this not only provides us with a path to fulfill our traveling needs in the future, but also gives strength to the company’s product line and creates additional resale value for current owners. We will only benefit from this.
7. After-sale Support and Service
We called, they replied. If it was broken, they fixed it.
8. Happy faces on the factory floor
We have been through the factory floor on three tours, and we could not ignore the fact that the employees look happy. We were met with smiles throughout each tour. While walking around, we could only sense that this is a good working environment, and that will be reflected in the quality of the products that come out the door.
9. Our Attachment to the Community of Owners
We’ve been active in our local MyLTV community. We’ve just attended our fourth rally in Quebec, where 80 vehicles were registered. This group evolved from scratch three years ago when the first rally was held with 19 motorhomes. The group has its own Facebook page where owners exchange ideas and find answers to questions that arise. I am assuming other manufacturers have a similar setup, but we have become attached to this close-knit group and the life-long friendships that have evolved. We just couldn’t tear ourselves away from that.
We have also attended two rallies in Winkler, plus one in Vegas where I was asked to deliver a workshop on travel photography. It is times like these when you really feel part of the family, and the team that runs these rallies goes out of its way to make you feel comfortable.
Although my wife and I went through months of deliberation on what would best suit our needs, we just couldn’t shake the romance of a Leisure Travel Vans Unity. We looked around at other solutions, but we were constantly coming back to what attracted us to the brand in the first place.
How could we say no to the quality, the value, and the community around these vans?
We couldn’t, so we scoured the internet for our new LTV and found one that ticked every box on our list. After crossing the country with our new Corner Bed and clocking a few thousand miles on the odometer, our appreciation for our decision still grows daily, and when the road calls us, we just can’t wait to turn the key, have the Sprinter come to life, shake off the goosebumps, and head down the road to our next destination.