The adventure begins!
Starting with the purchase of an RV trailer in August, 2016, and then, after that, the purchase of a seriously sturdy Dodge Ram pickup truck, I began my RVing adventures. You may have noticed that I said I purchased the trailer before purchasing the truck. That’s correct, and yes maybe that was a little backwards. For a few weeks, I had no way to move the trailer. I couldn’t even move it off the dealer’s lot, much less tow it on public roads to take it camping. But the dealer who sold me the trailer was kind enough to tow it to the covered, fenced and gated, 24×7 secure storage that I had rented south of Puyallup, The Stor-House, so the trailer was then safe and sound.
I spent the first month of ownership exploring every nook and cranny in the trailer .. the brakes, the awning, the roof, the trailer’s base frame, the windows, the tanks underneath, and every electrical and plumbing and propane device and system in the trailer in order to learn as much as I could.
In September, 2016, I purchased the truck and then needed to figure out how to connect the two. Since they were both used, it turned out they had different hitch configurations, different electrical connections, and some other stuff that was simply missing from one or the other. More stuff to learn and buy and I was having a blast!
How I decided what to buy.
But let’s back up a minute and talk about how I got to this point of purchasing an RV in the first place. There is all manner of advice online about how to purchase your first RV (recreational vehicle) .. buy something small and less expensive to make sure you like RVing, buy the biggest and best you can afford right off the bat, rent several different RVs before you buy, do lots of research online and crawl through lots of RVs on dealers’ lots and go to all the RV shows, listen to people you know, don’t listen to people you know, etc. In the end, each of us has to follow the path before us, especially since there is a down-side to each one of those pieces of advice. I’ve met people who bought too big, bought too small, spent too much money renting, didn’t do enough research, did too much research and wasted time when they could have been out exploring the world in an RV including one couple who ended up not buying anything (after literally years of research) because one of them developed a medical condition such that they then couldn’t go at all.
For several months, I’d been looking at used camping trailers in sales lots all around the greater Tacoma area in Washington State, and up north in Everett, WA, researching what was out there and trying to determine if something might fit for me, or at least fit what I thought was right for me. I also spent an inordinate number of hours online, looking at layouts, interior and exterior photographs, reading reviews and owners’ forums, looking at for sale ads and lists of standard items and lists of options, looking at costs, maintenance requirements and future repair projections, quality of construction, etc., ad nauseam. I started with a list of over 300 trailers in the size range that seemed right and I narrowed that down to 5 finalists. The Rockwood MiniLite 20-footer was one of the finalists.
A decision gets made.
So then one day in August, 2016, while I was still in the research stage (or so I thought), a friend of mine and I drove to a used RV dealer (who also rented RVs) simply to ask what sort of RVs they had for rent. Well, there sat this lovely Rockwood MiniLite 20-footer for sale on their lot .. four years old, very clean, the price was right, and she was just begging for a new owner. What could I do? I bought her that very same day and made her mine. And the rest, as they say, is history. Well, not quite .. “history” goes backward in time and I was on my way forward!
In my next post, I’ll talk about how I decided which vehicle to buy as a tow vehicle. Stay tuned!