At first I’m crazy for Class Cs.
Note: This post is how I arrive at the decision to purchase a travel trailer. My reasoning may not make much sense to you and may be erroneous, but there you have it. Nothing written here should be taken as derogatory of other types of rigs. Different strokes for different folks. This is an account of how I found the right rig for me and my crew.
My role model, Tioga George, has a Class C.
Every day I read about his wonderful life and at the center of it all is his beloved Tioga. I envision myself and my dogs living in a Class C and soon I begin to question whether it’s the best rig for us.
Do I want to climb up a ladder to go to bed?
What about Bridget and Spike? Do I carry them up there, too? Will I like having to drive my home everywhere? What happens when I leave a campsite on public lands? How do I hold our site? Will I decide not to explore back roads or go to out-of-the-way places because my mode of transportation is big? Will the Class C take us to a vet clinic fast in an emergency? What about fuel efficiency?
I move on to other types of rigs.
Immediately I cross Class As off my list.
Very pretty, luxurious, expensive. Class As don’t appeal to me. I can’t envision driving one. Maybe because I once was a bus driver? I don’t know. Good thing, because I can’t afford a classy Class A!
I take a look at Class Bs.
Hmm… easy to maneuver, go anywhere, stylish… I look at the prices of Roadtreks and other vehicles of that class. Gee, that’s a lot of money for a limited amount of space. Will I feel like I’m at home in a Class B?
What about a van?
I could be happy living in a van for a road trip. I could make one work for full-time living. They’re great for stealth camping, good maneuverability, go pretty much anywhere, and not necessarily expensive to purchase and relatively inexpensive to maintain and run. On the down side . . . Finding one equipped the way I want it for full-time living is not going to be easy. I don’t have the skills or the ambition to remodel a van, and it’s not really what I want anyway.
What about a truck camper?
The lack of storage space bothers me. (In hindsight, now that I’ve full-timed a couple years, truck campers have risen on my personal rating scale.) Truck campers seem inadequate for me and two dogs.
That leaves a travel trailer.
(I don’t like the way fifth wheels look so I don’t consider them. Aesthetics are important to me.)
One Saturday I drive a few hours to an RV dealer. Travel trailers are on sale. The salesman opens up a 28-footer. Well, this is nice. I sit on the couch and look from one end to the other. Too big. It’s the shortest one he’s got. I go home.
I browse travel trailers online. I read classifieds for used trailers. I read comments on forums. A common remark is “Make sure you look for hidden leaks when shopping for a travel trailer.”
By this time I’m convinced I want a travel trailer. I’ll need lots of storage space and I can get that with the tow vehicle. I want the freedom to drive off in a regular vehicle, leaving my home behind. I want to return to my home, not return to a vacant spot with my home. Irrational, illogical, but, hey, that’s the way I think. I want to purchase a travel trailer that I can live in for a very long time, and I don’t want leaks!
Online I stumble upon fiberglass travel trailers.
Oh boy, now yer talkin.’ Small, lightweight, not too costly, and no roof seams for leaks to form! This looks good!
(I’m skipping the time I spent looking for the perfect used trailer.)
I narrow my choices down to an Oliver, a Casita, or a Scamp.
The Oliver factory is in Tennessee and I’m in Georgia. I’ll drive up there and tour the factory! I’m very excited as the Oliver is a quality product. Well, a few days before my planned excursion, the Oliver factory discontinues sales of travel trailers due to the economy going into the toilet. Dang! Oh well, they are kind of pricey for me anyway . . .
Now it’s between a Casita or a Scamp.
Here’s where logistics comes into play. Scamps are manufactured in Minnesota. Other fiberglass eggs are manufactured too far away.
Casitas are in Texas. Halfway between Georgia and Texas is my sister’s home in Mississippi.
Of course, there are many reasons why I choose Casita, but the logistics of picking up the trailer point me in their direction.
The Casita website intrigues me. I read blogs of Casita owners. This could be it!
I contact the Casita factory and express my interest.
Shortly thereafter I receive a color brochure, specs sheet and price list. I wear that little brochure to tatters studying the photos of the Patriot, Freedom, Spirit, and Liberty models. The Patriot is only 13-feet so that’s out. The Freedom has two swivel, captains chairs. I hate swivel captains chairs.
Well, maybe the Spirit model . . .
First thing I notice is it has a two-seat dinette. Hmm . . . very cute. (I’m always suspicious of cuteness.) Why do I need two seats? Why do I need a dinette, for that matter? I’ll probably eat outside most of the time.
I read on forums that some Spirit owners remove the center partition (located at the back of the seat next to bed). That’s a pain. I don’t want to remodel anything. I notice the stove is next to the bed. I don’t want to cook next to my bed.
(If the print on diagrams is too small, press the ctrl key and click the + key to enlarge.)
I take a close look at the Liberty.
An “open” plan, can be put in several different bed configurations, no partition, cooking is away from the bed, I can watch the stove from outside the door, it has two seats that could easily be replaced with something else, like a storage cabinet, three different-sized tables to choose from, . . . Flexibility, I like it!
I place the order.
It’s November. I won’t retire until the following June. Turns out I have to wait until August — ten months after I placed the order — to see a Casita for the first time!
In the next installment of “The Road to Vagabond Living,” I’ll discuss the options I choose for my home.
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