As an LTV Explorer, I’ve received numerous private messages from fellow Leisure Travel Vans enthusiasts and travel lovers who were interested in my thoughts on our 2019 Unity FX. The popular demand for an honest review of this LTV layout became the inspiration to share my thoughts on the effects of our Unity FX!
Why We Chose the Unity FX
When we began searching for our new home-on-wheels back in 2018, we were shopping with the intent to down-size from our 38-foot Class A motorhome to a smaller RV that would still satisfy all of our needs for full-time travel and our taste for more modern décor, and also provide comfort in driving – primarily for me (Larissa), since I never actually built up the courage to drive our Class A over the two years we had it. Oops!
When we discovered Leisure Travel Vans and walked through the Unity FX, we were immediately attracted to what the layout offered. The name says it all! The Unity FX wowed us with a set of “effects” that made its layout truly unique in comparison to the other Leisure Travel Vans floorplans that we saw in person and on YouTube.
Because we own our business and work on our laptops while on the road, we loved the fact that the FX was designed to have two separate living spaces – or even three, if you count the fact that when the Murphy bed is down, it creates the sense of another “room.” The separate spaces would allow us to have our own “offices” while working, but would also allow us to reconfigure to create a different ambiance when retreating to eat, relax, and wind down.
Additionally, we were impressed by how this floorplan’s interior was thoughtfully laid out, and how every bit of space had a purpose and a space-saving or storage function. The Murphy bed, the slim slide-out pantry cabinet, the innovative bathroom door, the separate lounge living space, and all of the furniture configurations that Dean from Leisure Travel Vans demonstrates so well in the video below – all of these features made our decision to go with the 25-foot Unity FX Class B+ so easy.
Full-Time Living in Our LTV Unity FX
2 years and 10,000+ miles later…
We’ve traveled coast-to-coast in our Unity, created memories that will last a lifetime, and experienced what it’s actually like to live in our FX. Over the past couple of years, we’ve found that there are many features that we love about our Unity and a handful of things we don’t care for or wish were different. We also found a number ways to modify and enhance our living space to better suit our needs and to make our RV feel more like home.
As I mentioned earlier in this blog post, we absolutely LOVE the layout of our FX. We loved it when we first bought it, and we continue to love it now. When you’re living tiny and work in your home-on-wheels, every feature and every bit of space matters! Because it’s always been incredibly important to me to separate our “workspace” from our “play space,” I’ve been really happy with how the FX allows us to reconfigure our living space in so many different ways.
On workdays in the morning, the dinette allows us to enjoy breakfast together. After eating, we separate into our own “offices” – the dinette becomes Jamie’s desk, while I venture to the back of our rig, to my “office with a new view” – a view that I get to see change every 2 weeks to 1 month. On nice days, I often find myself taking my office outside to enjoy the fresh air. As the day goes on and we wrap up our workday, Jamie’s desk becomes a kitchen prep table and ultimately where we dine, and mine becomes a lounge. Whether we choose to relax together or to do our own thing, we have the option to hang out up front on our day bed, which can easily turn into theater seating, or to relax in the back lounge. Both areas have TVs that allow us to watch our favorite shows together or separately, while stretching out on our own couches. Whenever we do want to sit together, we can do that too, as both areas have ottomans and room for two! When we’re finally ready to turn in for the evening, bringing down the Murphy bed is quick and easy, and it creates our third “room” and sets the tone for bedtime. As you can see, there’s a lot we can do in this Class B+. Three living spaces in one 25-foot RV… it’s pretty amazing, if you ask me!
In comparison to the the other floorplans we walked through – we checked out many! – we found that the Unity FX felt much more open than the others. Given that the Murphy bed gets tucked away when it’s not in use and that the lounge area is L-shaped and hugs the walls of the RV, it doesn’t feel claustrophobic inside the van. I believe the interior colors of our RV also help create the sense of a bigger space. Ours has the Sierra Maple wood cabinetry, the white Arctic Glamour Décor Package, and the Fog leather color and light gray cloth lounge. When we were browsing, we were initially more attracted to the darker, richer colors, but after stepping into both, there was a significant difference in how much more open the van felt with lighter tones in comparison to the darker. Because we do spend so much time in the RV when we’re working, I’m so glad we ended up with this color scheme.
In addition to the floorplan and colors, we are happy with all of the nooks and crannies that the FX has to offer. Although this plan has the least amount of storage space, from what I recall, I love that there’s a space for everything. For example, there are cabinets under the day bed that perfectly fit the ottoman cushions for the theater seating. There are storage areas for little knickknacks in the armrests that are great for bedside items (glasses, earplugs, cell phones, etc.), and more storage above the lounge TV for remote controls and other miscellaneous items. Outlets and plug-ins are strategically placed throughout the van, which is nice and convenient. The lounge has an ottoman and a desk that gets tucked away and hidden when it’s not in use. Our floorplan also has an extra desk that can be assembled in the front cab, and we like the fact that it can be stored flat in the closet without taking up a lot of our much-valued closet space.
The way the bathroom door is designed is pretty clever too, as it swings in to create more space when it’s not in use, and swings out when it is in use. We’re happy with that, as it assists in keeping the living space open while at the same time ensuring the bathroom doesn’t feel claustrophobic. We like the slim sliding pantry as it stores quite a bit and doesn’t take up any real estate. I’m surprised by how many pots, pans, and dining and kitchenware we’ve been able to stuff in the cabinets! I’ll be honest, our drawers aren’t not as organized as I’d like, but it definitely gets the job done.
Lastly and quite importantly, the drive is easy and great! I was always a little terrified of driving our Class A, but driving the FX is like driving a car. I’m super comfortable in it, and that was really important to us when we were searching for the perfect motorhome.
As much as we love our Unity, we’ve noticed some cons too. The good definitely outweighs the bad, but from our experience, here’s what we thought may be important for anyone interested in the Unity FX, especially those who are down-sizing and/or full-timing, to know:
Full-timing in our LTV Class B+ is way different than full-timing in a Class A. Yes, there’s the obvious difference when it comes to the size and the amount of storage. However, there were also the not-so-obvious things that we weren’t aware of prior to purchasing.
Prior to purchasing, we weren’t aware that LTVs aren’t winter ready. Given that we’re not RV experts and we didn’t know to ask (since we never had to worry about this in our Class A), it was pretty difficult to accept as we moved into our RV in the middle of winter. It turns out that traveling in freezing temperatures comes with limitations with needing to winterize. We found that with the heater on, the humidity can climb in the unit. It’s something to be aware of, if you’re planning to full-time and include travel in freezing temperatures. Fortunately for us, we were able to make some cold-weather modifications. We also enjoy chasing the warm weather anyway, so we haven’t experienced too many limitations over the past 2 years.
From a livability standpoint, the FX has everything we need. It’s got all of the essentials – we can cook, we can shower, we can eat, we can sleep, we can work, and we can drive from destination to destination. It has gifted us with incredible memories that will last forever! From a comfort standpoint, however, it could improve. My opinion may be different if we only took weekend or short-term trips, because when you’re vacationing, the goal isn’t really to stay indoors – it’s to go out and explore! Like most vacationers, we do spend a lot of time out exploring, but given that this is our home, we spend quite a bit of time inside, too.
We’ve found that the lounge couch in the back is more comfortable than the theater seating for lying down or getting comfy for long periods of time. Because of that, when we want to relax after a long day for extended periods of time, Jamie and I take turns on who gets to lie on the lounge couch. For short-term use or to simply visit with family or friends, the theater seating is fine – only snuggling and longer-term comfort is harder to achieve up here!
We originally liked the concept of having a roll-out ottoman/desk in the L-shaped couch, due to its space-saving mechanism. We’ve found that it works well as an ottoman when we both want to sit back there to relax. However, we’ve found that it’s not as a great as a desk because space gets really tight back there when it’s out. If someone needs to go to the bathroom, it can be a fiasco trying to maneuver around it! Due to the hassle, we ended up finding a different solution for a desk, which is much more compact and can be put away like a notebook when it’s not in use. So, we did find a work around! The FX concept was nice, but it’s not as functional as we would have liked.
The only other cons that stick out to me are very minor, but worth a mention. First, we never thought that the lack of seatbelts in the living area of the unit would affect us. However, we’ve found that when we meet up with family and friends during our travels, it would be nice if they could ride with us in the back.
Another small complaint is that, due to the Murphy bed and the bathroom being on the right side of the rig, there are no windows on that side unless the bed is down. I love windows and the feeling of openness, and sometimes it can get a little gloomy when we’re indoors, depending on where the sun shines down in any given area we visit.
Lastly – and this is no fault to LTV – as full-time RVers, we have way more stuff than we need, and a little more storage space would sometimes come in handy! We knew that the FX had the smallest amount of storage space, but we loved the layout enough that it trumped this fact. We also knew we’d be able to find ways to make it work. As a full-timer, every bit of space matters, but for anyone planning to purchase an FX for short-term travel, I can say that there’s definitely more than enough space for two!
Our Enhanced Modifications
Despite some of the limitations mentioned above, the pros definitely outweigh the cons, and the cons are manageable – even solvable, if you’re solutions-oriented! To enhance upon the original manufacturer’s specs, we’ve also added quite a bit to personalize our living space, in order to best suit our needs.
Outside the unit, we added a Let’s Go Aero Big Box Slideout Enclosed Carrier for extra storage. We also use it to store and protect our fat tire Pedego electric bikes. This add-on has helped us greatly as full-timers – the extra space has been incredibly beneficial!
We had a winter package professionally installed, so we no longer have to worry about pipes and tanks freezing in the winter. All of the heating elements installed outside are controlled from inside our RV. We also purchased a small dehumidifier that works perfectly to prevent our windows from fogging up when we turn on the heater.
To assist in driving, we upgraded our head unit with a touchscreen that includes a Garmin GPS, Apple Car Play, and satellite radio. This way, we’re able to utilize our preferred GPS and easily listen to our all of our favorite tunes and podcasts while we’re on the road. We also installed blind spot cameras that display the left and right rearview mirrors on our head unit screen, to assist with merging and changing lanes.
In the unit, we upgraded the standard kitchen faucet to one that has a pull-down sprayer and three different stream settings for easier cleaning. We upgraded the standard fan in both the living area and bathroom to a Maxxair Ventillation Fan that incorporates a vent, fan, and rain shield all in the unit. To enhance our TV’s sound system, we added a Bose Sound Bar speaker that fits perfectly under the front TV and is safely secured while driving. We upgraded the standard smoke alarm with a Nest smoke and carbon dioxide detector. We even installed a Ring Alarm system for our safety at night, and so we can watch our pup, Chloe, when we take day trips! (My husband’s a techy, if you couldn’t tell.)
And lastly, there are just the little miscellaneous things that we added to make our RV feel more like home and make everyday tasks a little easier. We had fun hanging pictures and our scratch-off map in the back lounge. We added key holders that are conveniently placed next to the door. We added child-locks to the drawers so they don’t fly out while driving. We added nice bed/desk side hooks to display our headphones. We found nice towel hooks for the bathroom, miniature trash bins to hang from the cabinet, and a laundry bag that is out of sight. It’s often the little things that we don’t always think about that make a big difference!
Our Overall Thoughts
Overall, we really do love our Unity FX! As full-timers, there are some challenges, but nothing major that we have not been able to combat. We love the layout, the design is modern and beautiful, it’s got everything we need to live, and most importantly, it takes us anywhere and everywhere our wandering hearts desire to go! For anyone interested in the FX, I think it’s the perfect Class B+, especially for short-term travel. But as you can see, full-timing living in an LTV can definitely be done too!
Note: Full-time RVing (in any type or make of RV) may have implications on policies including, but not limited to, warranty and insurance policies. Please do your own research before making the decision to live in an RV on a full-time basis.