Originally Posted by 3togo
Sorry, "testing the waters" was a sloppy choice of words on my part. Before buying something like this, you definitely want your confidence level to be in the mid to high 90s that you will enjoy MH ownership. Basically, I was referring to all of the details that make your MH feel more like home. Meeting or exceeding your standard list of needs/wants. Example: We have a friend that bought a DP for full-time living a few years ago, but figured out she didn't have enough living space and didn't need some of the "extras" that got thrown into the package. She recently traded up to a larger but less pricey model and couldn't be happier. Like anything else, you never really know what you want/need until you are in a position for it to be used.
For us, it was like buying a house-car package. Obsessively research engines, reliability, maintenance, safety, etc. THEN obsessing over what amenities would make us happier in the MH. For example, there's a little less counter space in our kitchen than we would like but there's more living area... Is this going to be enough square footage for us to be comfortable... Can I turn around in the shower without knocking stuff off the shelf... Basically the same thought processes you go through when house shopping. It never fails, though, that when you move in you always find something you want to upgrade to better suit your needs.
I can agree with the testing of the coach.
IMO you friend would have been farther ahead to spend several hours in a coach(s) at the dealers "playing house". Standing there testing the amount of counter space or trying to get around while DH was relaxing in the recliner, or seeing if she could lay out her hobbies while DH cooked dinner, or seeing if one was in the washroom and the other had to go. This would have gone a long ways to choosing the right unit the first time and avoiding the cost of trading up.