Who the hell is “Barney”?

Start referring to your house by his name in conversation with non-RVers and they’re apt to give you a sideways glance or two. Of course, a lot of non-RVers already think we’re lunatics for living in a tiny tin can on wheels. So there’s that.

Whatever the case may be, our RV has a name, and his name is Barney. And unless you feel like reading through everything I’ve written on this blog, you might want a quick overview of where we live.

We’re about 55 feet long when our tow car, a 2002 Nissan Xterra, is attached to our rig.

First, why did we choose the name “Barney”? Well, the color scheme we chose used to have a very strong purple tint to it. So, when I thought about driving around in a giant purple bus, my first thought was Barney the purple dinosaur….


(Really, these logical paths are not all that complicated….)

So, who IS Barney?

Barney is a 2016 Tiffin Allegro 36LA. He is 37′ 10″ long, 12′ 10″ tall, and he weighed a svelte 20,496 pounds before we crammed him full of our stuff. He is powered by a Ford 6.8 liter, V10, 362 HP gas engine. He has a 70 gallon fresh water tank, a 66 gallon gray water tank, and a 50 gallon black tank. He carries a 7000 watt Onan generator, two rooftop air conditioners (one with a heat pump), and 30 gallons of propane. He has two slides on the driver’s side – one long hydraulic one that covers almost the entire living area, and a smaller electric one for the bedroom. He has 1.5 bathrooms, a washer/dryer combination unit, a residential refrigerator, convection microwave, two televisions, and an electric fireplace.

Ownership Day! We are like proud (completely freaked out) parents!!

The Grand Tour

These are photos from the day we took possession, so everything is pristine. It is less so now, because we live in it with a hairball roommate who refuses to wipe her paws, even though we have a doormat that specifically says: “Wipe Your Paws!”

You can’t beat the view, driving down the road…
Kitchen – there are removable panels that hide the sink and the stove top. We opted for additional storage below the stove top instead of an oven. We rely on the convection microwave instead.
The L part of the sofa collapses down for travel. The small dinette area behind the couch extends to accommodate more people.
We got rid of the recliner and put the dog’s bed there.
The “RV queen” size bed is the width of a normal queen bed but it’s 5 inches shorter. The bedding pictured here came with the RV. We got rid of the leather pillows as soon as we could because they are truly terrible.
Hanging closet and drawers. There is additional storage space in cabinets over the bed.
Full bath in the back of the rig. The combo washer/dryer is in the lower cabinet on the right.
Relatively large shower and lots of additional storage space.

The best thing about Barney was actually sort of a happy accident. When researching RVs, we learned that, by request, we could have our chassis upgraded from a 24,000 pound chassis to a 26,000 pound chassis. It wasn’t something the company was advertising, but if you asked, they could do it.

We got the upgraded chassis and what that has meant for us is that we have an additional 2,000 pounds of cargo carrying capacity, which makes an enormous difference, especially since we are full-timers. To this day, even though we barely watch what we carry, we still have hundreds of pounds of capacity to use.  Not that we want to weigh more than we need to, but it’s nice to have the flexibility.

Overall, we have been very happy with our purchase. We dealt with lots of “shakedown” issues early on, which is to be expected with a new RV purchase, but since then, all systems have been operating quite well and we have all the creature comforts we need.