Big Boy Toys – The Side by Side

Old RV
The good old days?


Today’s retired Rvers seem to be more active compared to a few years back, when getting to a spot, setting up camp and relaxing (sitting around), was the norm. I’m not sure why Rving back then was more about relaxing than doing, maybe it was a lack of money, maybe they were older and didn’t have the energy or desire to do anything except take a short stroll around their immediate area.

Vintage camping
Ma & pa campin.


I’m thinking maybe the length of time we are spending in our Rvs has increased greatly, and we have evolved from the sedentary life of our parents.


Now Rvers are packing whatever they can to keep themselves active and to enjoy life to its fullest.
When we took our first extended winter trip it didn’t take long to get bored with the romantic hand in hand walks or a sauntering tour on the bicycles. I was always going too fast or someone was complaining that the seat on the bicycle was hurting some unmentionable area. Anyway you get the drift.

bicycles in desert
So I began to think of things we could bring that could interrupt the book reading, strolling and bicycle tours. Motorized riding vehicles of some sort was the answer.
On are next trip we were well equipped with 2 ATV’s for exploring the hills and washes, the bicycles, and a motorcycle for touring our new found towns.

Since then we tour pretty much with the same entertainment, but I have noticed others have joined the ride with all sorts of various wheeled vehicles.

The Side by Side.


I knew the side by side ATVs were becoming increasingly popular so, if I was going to write about them I needed to consult a local expert. I jumped on my motor bike and headed to the local ATV dealer, Ride Now in Surprise Az., there I met Blake.
Just a young fellow who has only been selling for a year, but is obviously hopelessly in love with these machines. He quickly filled my head with all the latest happenings in the world of ATVs.


If you have the chance drop in and see Blake, especially if you are in the market for anything in the ATV world, just say the website dork sent you.



Probably the most popular ATV these days is the side by side. Previously referred to as a dune buggy, these amazing machines have been transformed from the odd looking chopped design of the rear engine Volkswagen Beatle, with the bright colored fiberglass body, to something that looks like it belongs on some terrestrial rock racing astronauts across a barren waste land.

Dune buggy
Larger than a quad, and of course, the ability to sit beside your passenger. Not sure about this, she can see where you are going. Of course your buddies will not ride on a quad with you, definitely not cool.
The biggest advantage over a quad is the comfort & safety. Bucket seats, a roll over cage, and full body 4 point harnesses make for a more secure ride for the chickens.


Of course a stereo system, GPS navigation system, OMG handles through out, and a rear cargo area means you will probably not want for much on your tour.
The side by side has everything to make your Rving adventure a ton more fun. Anywhere off hwy travel is permitted you will see them and some areas where it is not permitted.
Blazing through the desert or gingerly climbing some seemingly impossible jagged slope, they make for great fun.

side by side climbing
Most of these machines are full automatic, 4 wheel drive, some have low and high range, with speeds to 70 mph. There are 4 passenger models and most can be equipped for sand.

You gotta Love Arizona
ATV fo Snow
SxS modified for the snow.


Believe it or not with a few minor alterations, like a rear view mirror, horn, and license plate light, your off road toy becomes street legal in Arizona. Although there may be some restrictions for freeways. Check ADOT for more info.
There are a couple of other states that also allow this type of vehicle on the roads, like Florida and Washington.

The Other SxS


We have probably all seen these flashy machines around but there is a lesser known version that is a the work horse model. Most of the large ATV manufacturers also make the working model. The UTV (utility).
Polaris probably makes the most popular, the Ranger. This is not as fancy as its brother but the versatile UTV is a gem to own. You will not see them screaming around, more like plodding.
The new Ranger 900cc with a fuel injected engine has a 1600 lb. payload capacity in the dump box as well as 2000 lb. towing capacity. These machines will work harder than you and still have the ability to go anywhere.

The Ranger Box 1600lb pay load

I have owned one for about a year, I would be lost without it. We live in a rural area where I use it to haul firewood, plow snow, haul rock or soil for landscaping. This winter I hauled several loads of landscaping block across our frozen lake for my neighbor’s beach project. I wasn’t that scared of going through the ice.
I wish I had bought one many years ago, my truck would not have so many dents.

You Gotta see This Machine
The Sling Shot


The last machine I have to mention is the sling shot, Polaris’ answer to the spider 3 wheeled motor bike. It’s a cross between a motor cycle and a Ferrari,  0 to 60 in a couple of seconds, wow, every guy should have one of these.



Blake says there is a dash board camera you-tube video of this machine going through it’s paces.

I have created a comprehensive list of equipment and items you may need for your RV travels click here to check out my list.


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I hope you enjoyed this article, I hope that you will leave a comment. I would love to read it.

Thanks for visiting.

Gord B.

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