Why We Chose Safari
When we started on our “road” to RV ownership, we knew nothing about RVs, brands or even what we wanted. We also didn’t know what we didn’t know. Click here to read our blog on What You Ask When Buying An RV.
So we figured the best way to find our RV is to start looking at as many as possible. Floor-plan is very important, especially if you are going to be on the road for any length of time, so finding a floor-plan that worked for us was top priority!
Good Interior Height- I'm 6'1 and I didn't want to be crouching for a year
Spacious Floor plan- We definitely wanted to have designated living space so it felt more like an apartment rather than a car
- A Designated bathroom with enough space for a regular toilet, sink and shower
- Appropriate Length- Long enough to feel roomy, but short enough that we can fit at most National Park campgrounds
- Good Condition of Mechanical Systems- We are not mechanically inclined, so we wanted a brand that was low maintenance and had a great track record
- Good Quality of construction- We wanted to find something that was not just another mass produced rig, but was also standardized so if any parts needed to be fixed, they could be easily found
- No slides- We didn’t want slides in case one failed while camping in a remote area
No washer/dryer- We thought we wanted a unit until we learned that they are really too small to wash anything other than a load of underwear and there is the chance the unit could spring a leak, which could be very expensive
Bus like appearance- Ali started to get obsessed with the creative Skoolies(old school buses that have been converted into RVs) and wanted something that looked like a bus rather than a motorhome
- A Motorhome- Check out our blog on Motorhome vs. Trailer
We went to a few new RV sales lots, to see what was out there and to see if they had any used RVs. We quickly learned that a brand new RV would be out of our price range, with many of these rigs costing anywhere from $80,000 to $400,000.
We wanted to stay in the range of about $20,000 and then put some money into renovations, so we opted to focus on used RVs.
We returned to the Internet, looking for something that would at least meet most of our desires. We found a 1996 Safari Sahara for sale just a few miles from our house that looked like it could be exactly what we were looking for!
We did some research on the Safari brand born in the 80's. They prided themselves on being luxury coachbuilders, using high quality materials like hardwood floors and real wood cabinets instead of fiberboard. They used Caterpillar diesel engines and Allison transmissions, both known for being highly reliable and doing hundreds of thousands of miles in semi-trucks.
The brand eventually was bought out by Monaco which went out of business in the 2000's. Through our research, we started realizing that Safari has a semi-fanatical following. People love their Safaris and usually keep them for many years. We were intrigued and excited to see our first Safari.
After our first Safari walk through, we were convinced this brand and the Sahara model was the RV for us as it fulfilled all of our wishlist items! We didn't end up buying that specific one for a few reasons, but nonetheless we now knew exactly what we were searching for! After another week of combing the internet, we found our dream RV in Reno! Read the adventure here.
Why We Love The Sahara Safari
- Our Safari Sahara is 35 feet long and 8.5 feet wide. The width makes the inside feel so spacious that you actually think there are slides, even though there aren't any. This is great for two adults and two dogs!
- It's tall enough for me to not crouch. I can stand up and don't hit my head.
- The length works for us perfectly, especially because we are towing a car. We haven't had an issue whatsoever with being too long in any of the sites we've camped at.
- The entire basement of the rig is an open space for tons of storage! Also the interior ceiling is lined with cabinets throughout so we have lots of storage inside as well.
- It's very bus like with the entry door on the front end leading into a cockpit area. The exterior paint also looks like an Airstream bus with aluminum and rivets!
- The layout is divided into 5 very distinct areas: Driving, Living Room, Kitchen & Dining, Bathroom, Bedroom.
- The bathroom is very spacious and the closet is big enough for both of us.
- The engine and transmission are the same ones used on semi trucks, so we've got power and durability in all kinds of conditions.
- We love our rig and highly recommend it for a first timer RVer! We couldn’t be happier with our Beast!