In my opinion, based upon your original post it looks to me like the Lance 2185 will be ideal for you and your family. I would take a close look at them to make sure which layout is the best for you all. Happy RVing.....
RV:2012 Montana 3625RE Quad Slide SKP#108921 TV:2004.5 Dodge Dually 3500 HD Favorite Quote:''Life's tough, pilgrim, and it's even tougher if you're stupid.''-- John Wayne
Over the years the years we have camped with canvas, aluminum, and fiberglass. Enjoyed it all.
The most important item for a RV is the floor plan and how it suites your family.
I really recommend that you pick a unit with a slide out. The extra room that a slide out provides will really be apprecitated on a storm day when all are sitting inside waiting for the weather to clear.
Also, take the entire family along when you narrow down your selection. Have them try out sitting, pretend to eat, try out the bathroom, lay on the beds, etc. Because if one or more is not happy then soon everyone will not be happy.
Good example, go into the bathroom and close the door. Can you turn around without banging your elbows on something? Try sitting down and see how hard it is to stand back up. We had a TT that when the door was closed it hit the knees of anyone sitting. When shopping we had just looked in the door and did not go inside with the door closed.
2001 2500 Silverado LS 4x4 6.0, 4.10
2007 Jayco Eagle 288RLS
Cocktails for 6, Dinner for 4, Sleeps 2
End of dirt road, no signs in sight, sun going down: I am not lost, just getting ready to go camping.
I would be looking for trailers that fit the camping style you are used to. I've found that we've gotten away from outdoor 'camping' activities since it's too easy to complain about the heat/cold and sit around watching TV. Minimizing the comforts of your camper should allow you to continue to enjoy the outdoors, as opposed to dragging the camper around just to sit inside it...
Also, I'm with you regarding getting the smallest camper that fits your needs. It's way too easy to see all the comforts of larger trailers and decide to go bigger. We fell into that trap. Now its sometimes a hassle to drag that big of a camper around.
You mentioned dutch oven cooking. One of the biggest complaints I have about cooking while camping is cleaning up, a camper doesn't necessarily make this easier. In fact the woefully undersized sink can be a hassle. It is nice that you have water with you, but definitely consider how you like to cook/clean when choosing functionalities of the camper.
Consider additional storage options as well, our Jayco came with a slide-out bike rack under the rear, this gives me more storage options for grills, firewood, generator, bikes, etc.
Hope this helps.
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD CC Duramax/Allison Waldoch Conversion
2009 Jayco Eagle Super-Lite 30.5 DBSA
I have a KZ and have been happy with it. They made some slightly larger models starting with the 2012 season and I was a little bummed to find out if I had just waited a year, I could have had a walk around bed - of course I wouldn't have had that year of camping.
Sportsmen Classic 16BH
2002 F150 Supercrew 4.6 L V8
We have 3 children and an 18' Crossroads. It's way too small. We inherited it and have thought of it as a "trial run". We now know ALOT more about what we really want through the experience we've gained over the past 2 years. We've been window shopping and feel somewhere in the 25-29' range is appropriate for our family size (and desire for a little more privacy!). We also will need a TV upgrade...the gears on my sierra don't allow a step up.
2005 Crossroads Zinger ZT18RB
2009 GMC Sierra 1500 4.8L, P3 BC