Our First RV Experience

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My wife and I recently purchased a 2016 Leisure Unity CB… our first ever experience of owning a recreational vehicle. Now… we’ve didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to purchase one (though almost), but had been poking around at the idea for a couple of years. We initially looked at small tear drop style pull-behinds and migrated our way to larger 5th wheels. After much thought about our active lifestyle, we decided an all in one vehicle with easy maneuverability would most likely work best for us.

One day I called our local Leisure Van dealer just to inquire if they happen to have a corner bed unit we could look at. The salesman I spoke with said they just had one delivered via order that the owner wasn’t able to take delivery of. We headed to the dealership the next day “just to look”. Well… the salesman gave us an offer we just couldn’t ignore… and after considering our expenses, long term goals and excitement about new possibilities we made the decision to purchase. We totally lucked out though! We had done pretty extensive internet research on Leisure Vans, the company & products and had watched quite a few of the videos, including one posted by a couple that did a factory tour. The attention to detail and manufacturing process completely sold me on what a great, quality product Leisure Vans creates.


We made arrangements to pick up our new Unity on Saturday. From the dealership, we planned to go straight to a local state park and spend the remaining weekend learning how to operate the RV’s systems. This is where our first challenge began… figuring out which equipment would be necessary to help with the RV experience. We did quite a bit of research on the internet and even read the online manuals for our Unity before we picked it up. From there, we made an Excel list separating the essentials and options and prioritizing items we would need immediately and items that could wait.


Of course, essential items comprised mostly of exterior setup products, leveling blocks, water hoses, and anything associated to dump tank processes. I evaluated many different options; everything from self-made to purchased and ready to use. One item I was a little leery of (based on mixed reviews) was the use of plastic leveling blocks. But, after two trips, I’ve been completely happy with the choice I’ve made.


One of the other items that I put some more extensive research into was a propane grill. I didn’t want to be hindered by having to purchase and transport separate propane bottles and wanted to be able to make full use of the quick-connect propane hookup that is included on the Leisure Vans. Many of the RV specific grills are more expensive than basic bottled propane grills. The problem is that the bottled propane grills come with a regulator, which is not necessary or wanted when connecting to the Unity’s propane tank. After some searching I purchased Cabela’s propane grill, which comes with a regulated valve which I ditched, and then purchased a separate not regulated valve and quick-connect hose off of The system works great!


To complement our RV living, we looked at various accessories that take minimal space, help eliminate rattle and help with general organization. We’ve since found a small collapsible table that supports the grill, a small foldable step stool to assist with the awning and various accessories.

Some final accessories we’ve found helpful are android phone apps for locating RV related conveniences. Everything from dump stations, free boon-docking locations, various RV site ratings, and even a bubble level application. I also found a checklist application with RV specific lists that can be completely configured to your individual needs within the app itself or via Excel.

Android App Recommendations:


I’m currently researching various options for transporting our bikes. We have both road and mountain bikes that we’d like to transport during many of our adventures. I’ve seen some that offer full enclosure and some that provides minimal protection. I’m looking for something that provides a very secure system with protection, but ease of use. Based on what I envision, I may have to modify something that can be purchased. But for now, placing the bikes inside while moving (though not ideal) is completing the task.

We are looking forward to many more trips in our RV and currently have plans to attend the Albuquerque Balloon Festival and make a weeklong trip to Jamestown New York and the Niagara area of Canada.




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