Agreed: there is no such thing as the "perfect RV." There's always something you don't want, some issue you have with quality or construction, some part of it that doesn't work quite right, some "perfect" combination of features or floorplan that absolutely no one makes. Sigh. Such is life.
Another thing that you may not understand, Josh, is that owning an RV is like owning a car, in the sense that it doesn't give you "something to show for it" - it depreciates. You'd be throwing money away, and whether your own or money you have begged from other people, it's not a good scenario. Stick with the apartment, try to find another job - a better one or a second part-time one, apply for food stamps, and try to save a little bit each month from that second job to help yourselves, in time, move to a more comfortable place. Nothing wrong with renting.
Sounds like you need to look for a bunkhouse model, though I don't think you'll find any that are quite as light as you're looking for. If you want 3 fixed beds,that's about the only way you'll get that in a trailer.
We enjoy watching the "tiny house" shows (and there are quite a few of them!) However, we always think they would be much better off in an RV, since storage and plumbing are so much easier to work with in standard RVs. I think the movement grew out of some of the younger folks finding homebuying too expensive, but not wanting to be seen as living in a "trailer." I'm sure it's a passing fad; for one thing, as more and more of them show up, communities are going to start passing more restrictive zoning laws.
Most idiots see the geyser as just another tourist attraction like an animated stop at Disneyland. It makes me almost cry when they clap at Nature's majesty.
On the other hand, perhaps we are expressing appreciation to the One who created it. :) (Or just being funny - which I was when I was 22.)
On another tack, a lot of people get Old Faithful Inn and Old Faithful Lodge mixed up. Both of them exist: Old Faithful Inn is the iconic log structure - and I agree, it is worth seeing just on its own. So glad the firefighters (with help from Idaho farmers) were able to save it from the fires in 1988!! It's irreplaceable. Built in 1904, it's the second-oldest continuously operating hotel in the park.
As previously mentioned, there is no campground near Old Faithful - depending on your definition of "near." The closest gateway community is West Yellowstone, and Grizzly RV Park there has pullthru sites that will fit a rig that large. Very nice CG, only a few blocks to the west entrance of the park. As mentioned previously, expect to do a LOT of driving inside the park. Distances between features to see are not large, but lower speed limits, tourist traffic and wildlife jams make it a relatively slow ride. There is MUCH more than Old Faithful to see in the park; plan to spend several days.
Yes, you will need to winterize, and probably before you get to central Oregon.
Weather is a definite concern that time of year, especially in Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa & Minnesota. If you can take your time, you may be able to get there in time for closing on the new house with a minimum of stress, and some extra days for layovers in case of bad weather. Not just snow but ice (sometimes black ice, which is dangerous because you don't see it until you're on it) and wind are your enemies during the cold months on the plains.
80 is out of your way but more likely than 90 to have a bit warmer temperatures, perhaps. Along I-80, just checking KOAs, there are a few that are open in late November, noting that they offer "limited services" during the winter months: West Omaha NE, Cheyenne WY, Rock Springs WY, & Laramie WY. Others that might lie along your route(s) that are open all year: Boise/Meridian and Pocatello ID, Redmond OR, Waterloo IA, Sioux City North (SD), and one that might be near where you are moving to, Hixton-Alma Center WI. That's just KOAs; there may very well be other private campgrounds open as well, though the majority will not. State parks will most likely be closed all along the way.
Congrats, Robrob! Nice little unit. I'm curious which campground you were at in those pic's.
OK, now that I know, I can see it. Interesting - did they rename the park after Adeline recently? Boy, she was in office a LONG time!
Not sure if any campgrounds will be open by then except Mammoth, which is open all year (no hookups). Significant snowfall this week; most park roads are closed right now. They officially close for the season on November 6; Snow Lodge has the Geyser Grill open (food but no lodging) at Old Faithful until that date. Everything else (lodging, food) is closed as of this past Sunday. (We left there Saturday.) Overnight temps significantly below freezing. You'll need to check with each campground in West Yellowstone individually to see if any are open; Grizzly RV just closed and the original KOA and Buffalo Run CG were already closed before last week. Good luck!
3 campsites in western Colorado, all at KOAs:
Grand Junction KOA, site C3 (FHU pullthru)
Carbondale/Crystal River KOA, site 2 (back-in electric/water)
Montrose KOA, site 27 (FHU pullthru)
Yes, Yellowstone is crowded, and there are a lot of foreign tourists who are less familiar with our wildlife, rules and language than they perhaps should be. However, it's still a marvelous place. What you want to spend your time seeing will depend on your interests, or you could focus on different things different days - spend a day at Old Faithful area, walk the boardwalks & try to catch an eruption of some of the other geysers there; spend another day in Lamar or Hayden Valley watching wildlife; take picnics for lunch and find a spot (there are a lot of picnic areas). Make sure to visit the visitor centers - each "area" (where lodging, food, etc. are offered) has one, and each one focuses on different aspects of Yellowstone. If you want to see the quieter side of Yellowstone, visit Lake area and/or Grant Village, and be sure to walk around West Thumb. The parking lot is a pain but the thermal area is IMO the prettiest in the park.
For when you want to buy an inexpensive meal in the park (relatively speaking :) ), check out the deli in Lake Hotel, the cafeterias in Lake Lodge or Canyon, and the larger "General Stores"often have burgers, hot dogs, and ice cream (and the ice cream is especially good!) Dinner in Lake Hotel & Old Faithful Inn will require advance reservations, and are expensive, but the food is quite good (trust me, it didn't used to be, some 40+ years ago - I know from serving it back then. :) )
It's quite a ways; if you are prepared for it to be a long day, and not to have more than a few hours to spend in Cody, it's do-able, though not ideal. The "big grade" isn't so much grade as it is a winding mountain road over Sylvan Pass (East Entrance Road). Beautiful drive, but the driver shouldn't try to enjoy it too much - let the passengers watch the scenery! :)