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So, I am planning to buy a travel trailer. I was going to wait until July 2014, which is my 60th birthday. However, the van is feeling cramped and cold. I want to make hot coffee without shivering outside. I would like something more than a port-a-potty.

For a long time I loved to rough it- setting up a small tent, eating camp grub by the fire, sleeping outside in grizzly country (Yellowstone, Tetons, Glacier National Parks). I kind of smirked silently at those old folks in trailers with generators. So, how ironic, that as I approach 60  I want more camping comfort. I guess it is the normal progression of things. The alternative is to just stay home ….. definitely not an option. I still have exploring to do. When I retire I want to do LOTS of exploring, maybe even full time for awhile. 

When I first  moved on from tents, I bought a little pick-up with a topper. About 4 years ago I bought an Econoline cargo van and set it up as a little camper. It has been awesome. Last month, when I had to make coffee in a snow storm, I decided it is time for the next level!

At first I planned on a Class C RV, like a Minnie Winnie. However, as I read, researched, and contemplated my needs, I began to think that a travel trailer is a better option. For one thing, I already have the van and it is in good shape. It is a 2006 with only 80,000 miles. Also, I love to wander, so being able to unhitch a trailer gives me more options.

There is one big problem: I have never driven a trailer of any kind. It scares me a bit. Yet I know other women who drive them, and they say it is fine once you get the hang of it. Also, my son is not keen on the idea of a travel trailer, but he offered some good advice about driving with a small trailer of some kind to see what it feels like.

I have spent hours looking at used RV ads, trying to learn about floor plans and prices. I have created my first “must have” list, as follows:

  • separate sofa/chair and a separate bed
  • heater, AC
  • electric hitch
  • stabilizer bars
  • double axle
  • ultra light

Sample Floor Plan:

floor plan

That is all I know for now. I am still learning. Trailers 24 feet long are perfect but I am thinking that for a “first” trailer, that is a bit long. So I am thinking around 20 feet. Any advice?

I have a big road trip coming up in the van (to pack up mom and help her move) so I won’t buy before then. Sometime this summer (after getting the van ready) I will hop onto I-25 and just head south, stopping at all the RV places along the way (Cheyenne, Longmont, Denver, Colorado Springs, Albuquerque). When I find something suitable, I will hitch it up and come home.

I welcome all thoughts, ideas, suggestions!

For blog followers who were expecting a humorous tale I don’t want to leave you without a laugh, so here it is

old

Maxine speaks to me! I love her dog, they remind me of Tango and myself

 

10 thoughts on “Travel Trailer Tribulations

  1. I’ve spent a lot of time in a 16 or 17′ Casita trailer. It’s great. I like having the small table set up while the big bed is left down.

  2. I highly recommend Stalkups in Casper WY (307) 577-9350, We just bought one up there and they were so nice to work with!!!! If you would like to look at ours come up sometime, ours is 29′ Dutchman but we are using it also for our hunting camp. But it has a lot of room and nice lay out. They have a lot of used and new models to choose from. 🙂

    • Thanks…I didn’t realize they had a dealer up there. I will head north on I-25 before heading south! Would rather stay in WY if I can. Do they have a good “used” inventory??? I would love to see yours, when the snow melts!

  3. Hi Jane:
    I am new to your blog and so glad I found someone “close to my age” that feels and is experiencing similar life changes. I do have a few years on you, though. 🙂
    Currently I am in the Peace Corps in Mongolia and complete my service in June 2013. WooHoo ~ but would do it all over again. I am a lifelong learner!
    I have a small R-pod sitting in my drive at home in Texas and am so “itching” to spend a year revisiting America. Just like you I have trepidations about pulling a trailer! Currently a companion has traveled with me and I have “allowed him” to “hook up, back up, and check it all out.” However, this fall I will be pulling it back from Idaho solo. I did own a used Casita before I bought this new small 151 R-pod. They don’t make the small ones any more. The Casita, believe it or not, was more than I needed. I love the R-pod and it still smells new. Just like you I have considered a Minnie Winnie or similar Class C, but know that having my truck and its camper top is part of my nomading. Even though the R-pod is small I do have the covered truck bed for extra stuff like my outdoor room, dog fence, etc.
    I will remain interested in your blog and choices. Have driven through Kansas many times from Texas as I had my family in Iowa.
    Your new friend,
    joan
    P.S. Haven’t started my blog yet, but it is on my “to do list,” just like living in a treehouse is! Za……

    • Oh dear, I realize now that you are in Wyoming. I apologize for thinking you were in Kansas….guess the “wheat” pulled up my Kansas schema automatically.

      • Joan,

        I am so happy to meet you. Thanks so much for writing. I look forward to hearing about your Peace Corps experience and your homecoming and all that. If you want to email I am: wyomingrev@gmail.com. I don’t really have any friends with the “wanderlust” bug so this is a real joy!!!

        I know what you mean about “wheat” in Wyoming! I was confused when I first visited here nearly six years ago! I learned all about “dry land” wheat farming. It’s a winter wheat that is planted in the fall, goes dormant in the winter and produces in July. No irrigation. It is interesting.

        Take care, please write again soon – Jane

  4. Like you I’m planning on a small TT, I’ve hauled everything from sailboats to horse trailers and it’s not that difficult. I’ve looked long and hard at Casitas and follow RVSUE, but I do know I want a dry bath. I’m really looking at a Nash 17k or Arctic Fox 22 from all reviews they are well made and are true 4 season trailers. They are made in NE Oregon so you should be able to find a dealer near you. I’m not much for desert dwelling like RVSue so I want something that will keep me warm at night when I get caught out in some weather. I’m from Oregon and hope to move back soon when the real estate market gets better where I’m at right now.

    • I looked into Casitas yesterday and decided the bathroom doesn’t fit my needs. The rest of the floorplan is just awesome..I love the double table setup in the 17′ models. Thanks for recommendation on Nash and Artic Fox and encouragement about towing. I lived in Ariz for about 10 years so would enjoy at least some desert camping. I am also used to mountains and rivers. So much to see! Hope your transition to Oregon unfolds in a timely manner!

      • Wow, the Artic Fox 22 would be PERFECT for me. It went right up to the top of my list. Thanks for introducing me to the term “4-season” trailer. That is now on my Must Have List, since I live and camp often in the high country. There is a 2005 listed on RV Trader. Great pix. Do you know if they all have the barrel chair??? I love that feature.

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