The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. The next best time is today.
I didn’t start blogging ten years ago so today must do.
We started talking about full time RVing in 2002, the year we bought our first RV. Our Sunnybrook 24CKFS fifth wheel trailer was delivered in the summer. After two magical trips that year, we were hooked on RVing. We went to Ruidoso New Mexico in August and Fort Davis Texas at Christmas.
Over time we became aware of full time RVers. Linda, my wife, was especially intrigued by the full timer lifestyle. We considered quitting our jobs and work camping to make ends meet. Unable to let go of our lifestyle and jump into uncertainty, we just kept working away at our jobs.
In 2010 we sold our fifth wheel and in 2012 we bought Winibago Aspect 30C class B motorhome. The same year we bought a Jeep Wrangler to be our “toad” with an eye to exploring remote parts of Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. We started boondocking with the motorhome. After spending roughly $1,000 to repair the generator, we began to think that solar might be a better long term solution. We also wanted to be able to camp at the remote campsites which are only accessible with high ground clearance and 4 wheel drive. We also got to thinking that we would drive to Alaska and back over a summer or two.
Uncharacteristically, we only kept the motorhome for five years. We sold it this January and we replaced it with a big Ford 4 wheel drive dually and a Lance 850 truck camper. Princess Craft in Round Rock Texas took this picture of Linda and I in June 2017 when we picked up the camper. That is our Jeep hitched to the back of the truck.
Every RV we have ever had is a balance in trade offs between different competing values. Space, mobility, size, wieght, cost, tank size, storage, features, 4 seasons, parking, filling up with fuel and so on. I expected the adjustment to camping in a truck camper after the relative luxurious interior space in the fifth wheel and motorhome would be tough. I was surprised when it turned out to be easier than expected. I do find this truck to be much easier to drive than the motorhome and not that different from towing a fifth wheel. Back in parking is a breeze compared to the motorhome and especially when compared to backing any sort of trailer. Note that we never back up with the Jeep hitched. The tow rigging for the Jeep (Blue Ox) isn’t meant for backing up.
One thing I haven’t done yet is to take the camper off the truck. I’ve been told the first time I try to put it back on will take me three hours or more. Subsequent mountings will take less and less time. If I do it enough, I might be able to get the camper mounting time down to 30 minutes or less. We shall see (some day).
Next month we plan to drive the truck camper to Big Bend National Park to boondock in the Rio Grande Village Campground. This is a practice run for going to Alaska next summer. From this trip, we want to find out if:
- We can easily drive eight hours in a single day
- The solar chargers are sufficient for endless boondocking
- We can camp in a (relatively) tiny camper for two weeks without killing each other or our dogs
Hope to see you enjoying the road ahead.