Elephant Butte Lake

Elephant Butte Lake
Elephant Butte Lake

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

From the beginning

I have been reading so many great blogs from people who RV, camp, fulltime or do the weekend thing like we do. I thought I would try my hand at telling our story and give an accounting of our experiences as we begin our camping/RV lifestyle. We talked for years about getting a camper and enjoying the great outdoors in a little more style than in a tent(Glenda just won't do that). So we went to the Chicago RV show last February in Rosemont, IL and saw just about every type of camper, RV, trailer, toy hauler at the show. We didn't want to spend alot of money(I know that is a relative term) so we decided to go with a small hybrid trailer from Starcraft.

We purchased it in July and had a hitch put on our 2006 Mitsubishi Outlander(towing capacity 3500lbs) and off we went from the dealer. Well right away we could tell the Outlander was working very hard and that worried us a little. After a couple of short trips within 50 miles of our home we knew we loved camping and also knew we were going to have to invest in a bigger tow vehicle.

Fortunately we had saved some money and were able to buy a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 L Hemi and 4 wheel drive. It had the tow package and sure enough what a difference. We felt much better about going out and traveling the roads with our truck. Well because we bought a small camper so we could tow behind the small SUV we found out that with a small camper there is very little holding tank capacity and storage. However we were happy. Then we joined a local chapter camping club through Good Sam Club. Everyone in the club had 5th wheels or 30 to 35 foot travel trailers. We had a 15 foot camper. We looked like midgets next to these homes on wheels.  Being a hybrid the bed was a bunk out on the rear of the camper. At least we were off the ground and we had a bathroom however it was pretty noisy at night with nearby road noise, wind and general activity outside. So, of course, since we now had a truck we began talking about more space and more storage which meant we could get a larger camper.

Long story short when we took the camper in to be winterized we saw a Jayco 22FB. Bed inside, pass through storage, 3 times the holding tank capacity, large refigerator and a sink in the bathroom . We bought it and brought it home the next week. I must say the dealer gave us back in trade everything we had paid for the smaller camper. Easy to do since the new camper was twice the price. We took the new camper to a local county campground overnight so we could get familiar with the amenities and then over to the storage facility until we can get it out again when spring begins to call us. That's the beginning and we are just getting started.

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