Author Topic: I want a camper.  (Read 6381 times)

the_fixer

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #50 on: February 15, 2020, 07:57:48 AM »
Cool, I did not read the entire thing so that is better


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GreenEggs

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #51 on: February 19, 2020, 08:06:00 AM »
I don't know if this link has been posted yet, but this is like the Air-bnb of RV rentals.


https://www.outdoorsy.com/?avad=233705_b1962a479&cam=58&subcam=183849_NA&utm_source=avantlink&utm_medium=affiliate

Queen Frugal

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2020, 06:10:43 PM »
Part of the desire for a camper is to have an easier place to work. I tend to enjoy the remote places with rather crappy cell service and I need internet to work so I haven't been sure that working from a camper is even possible for me. So....

I ditched my standard ATT plan for $54 per month - basic plan with the most basic data - 1GB or 2GB or something. And I switched to Visible, which is Verison's online type plan. It's like Google FI sort of. Anyway it sounded good because it had unlimited data, I could use it as a hotspot, etc., and it would work with my iPhone, all for $40 per month. So I gave it a try. So far, so good!

Tonight I am on a trial trip - just me and the dog - in the Prius.  I am in a remote area with 2 bars of service (just over the hill there was no service at all) and I was able to get a solid hour of work done online in the back seat of my car after a lovely hike. This is promising!

Tonight is a trial run for our big trip to Carlsbad-Zion-Arches to make sure that sleeping in the Prius in the cold will work. Tonight it should get down to the 30's which is what I would expect to experience on the trip. I have seen lots of youtube videos where people boast about running their Prius to keep warm/cool at night and the engine will only turn on "once every 30 minutes" or "once an hour". Well, mine is turning on every 5 minutes. So that isn't great. I have heard the Prius works much better at air conditioning with the engine off as it uses the warm engine to generate heat. That makes sense.

I cut out some reflective insulation for the front windows. I skipped the back windows because they are very tinted. Boy I can tell a difference in the cold creeping in! So tomorrow I'll cut up some more insulation to pad this baby up!

I am still on the fence about a camper. I have decided to stay on the fence until I finish this next trip in March.






use2betrix

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #53 on: February 23, 2020, 06:24:43 AM »
My wife and I lived full time in a 40’ 5th wheel for about 5 years. It was a good experience and living with two adults and a big dog in a space that size, was some effort. It allowed us to travel all over the country for my work in industrial construction, frequently moving for new projects/more money.

While we lived in a camper, we didn’t really “camp.” We just lived full time in RV parks.

We eventually wanted to do more traveling and camping so we bought an old off road military trailer below with a tent, added an awning, amongst other things. We did a two month, 8000 mile trip with this setup. We slept in it every night but 2 or 3.

We sold the large 5th wheel about a year and a half ago and got an apartment as I have a longer term contract job right now. As good as the military trailer/tent was at a lot of things, we live really close to the beach and the temperatures on the Gulf of Mexico are brutal much of the year. We wanted something with an A/C so we could camp during the 8-9 months of the year when it’s still too hot (for us) to camp in a tent.

Fast forward to last summer - and we got this Casita. It has been amazing. We bought it used, (it’s a 2016) from a lady that only used it for horse shows a few times year. It stayed in her large storage unit the rest of the time, and was in mint condition with a few thousand dollars in thoughtful upgrades.

We bought it mid last summer and have probably stayed in it 25 times or so. We can take it out to the beach and have full amenities (including AC with our little generator). It has a bathroom, kitchen, shower, etc. We live near a major city and when we have late events there, we’ll bring it up to an RV park in town and it saves us the long drive home, or a hotel. The RV park is about 1/3 the cost of a hotel, plus, we are able to bring our dog which we don’t like to board. It has a side dinette (that I’m sitting at on the interior picture) and the bed can also convert to a much larger dining room table.

Having lived in a “regular” stick built trailer, the fiberglass molded Casita is, in my opinion, most well built/reliable trailer of this size. Things break in life and on trailers, but there’s a reason the Casita’s hold their value.

All of that in mind, these are just our experiences and the joy and convenience this trailer has brought us. Due to my work, I get the opportunity for sabbaticals between jobs. This trailer will be perfect for the next sabbatical, whenever that comes.

They certainly aren’t cheap so it really depends on your financial situation, income, expected amount of use, etc. I work a ton (and make a lot) so it wasn’t a big dent to our savings.

We love our trailer and I couldn’t be happier with it. Not a single doubt of regret. They aren’t for everyone, but for those looking for something similar, I think it’s a very good option.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 06:54:35 AM by use2betrix »

Dicey

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #54 on: February 23, 2020, 07:10:51 AM »
I love that your big beautiful dog is sitting neatly in the corner, not sprawled all over the bed. Great pics!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 10:23:20 PM by Dicey »

Queen Frugal

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #55 on: February 23, 2020, 02:52:30 PM »
use2betrix - Thank you for this! It is very helpful to hear about your experiences - and your background. Your Casita is super cute! I have a good friend in Louisiana that I would love to go visit a few weeks out of the year. She lives very close to the beach and it would be so much fun to park and camp on the beach - just like in your picture!!! Although I suspect I would be camped outside of her house most of the time.

I am currently leaning towards a Toyota 4Runner to pull the Casita/Scamp.

I tried to post a picture of my own set up in the Prius from last night but I can't figure out how to post pictures on this forum.... Dicey, my pup was definitely on the bed!

I have these two competing thoughts when it comes to purchasing a camper.

On the one hand, I have been yearning for a camper to travel in for many years. And maybe yearning isn't the right word... it is something I worry about regretting if I don't do it. It is an itch that just won't go away. I love reading about how people take a few years or more to just travel. I would LOVE that. But I couldn't actually DO that without giving up the job I love. And I just don't see me giving up the job I love until my body is too used up to travel like I would like to. That could change at some point, but for now, I just don't see it happening. So I think about plan B...  I do think I can find a way to travel for shorter periods of time more frequently. For now, I could travel for the majority of the summer if I could find a way to work on the road. My gut tells me if I don't do this, I will regret it.

I know the consensus is to rent. But the more I think about it, the more I think renting is kind of pointless for me. I have spent way too much time thinking through what I want camping-wise. I have camped on trails, in plenty of campgrounds in a tent, in my car, in a great big 5th wheel with slides, I have pulled horse trailers all over the place and camped in plenty of those too. I am pretty confident I know what I want. If I just camped every once in a while, renting might make sense, but I'll camp more than every once in a while, and having my own set up with my own safe kitchen and a set routine means a lot to me that is hard to quantify with a dollar amount.

But the thing that holds me back is spending the money. It makes me sick to my stomach to spend so much money on a camper and especially a gas guzzling vehicle. Literally sick! As in I keep getting to the point where I say to myself "yes, I should do this!" And then I get sick to my stomach and can't spend the money to do it. And I am not sure that sick feeling is as rational as it should be. I went through a heck of a divorce 8 years ago and a big job change that involving starting a new business, all of which was rough financially. Hoarding money makes me feel SAFE and it is HARD to spend it. But the reality is I can afford it.









GreenEggs

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #56 on: February 23, 2020, 04:58:24 PM »
Queen Frugal,
You can't "follow your gut" because it's pulling you both ways.  So, the only option left is to"follow your heart".  You're in love with the camper idea, so just have a little chat with the fear in your gut and tell it "Thanks for looking out for me, but I've got to go with my heart on this one."  Your gut will understand and will also be happy to go camping with you and your heart. 


You can always sell it later if your heart was wrong, right?




Queen Frugal

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #57 on: February 23, 2020, 05:46:37 PM »
Queen Frugal,
You can't "follow your gut" because it's pulling you both ways.  So, the only option left is to"follow your heart".  You're in love with the camper idea, so just have a little chat with the fear in your gut and tell it "Thanks for looking out for me, but I've got to go with my heart on this one."  Your gut will understand and will also be happy to go camping with you and your heart. 


You can always sell it later if your heart was wrong, right?

Thank you for that! It made me a little teary! I think that means you nailed it!!!

Cassie

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #58 on: February 23, 2020, 07:51:49 PM »
Whether you buy a camper or motor home most parts are made of plastic and things break. Driving probably doesn’t help since it’s rattling stuff around. If you are handy that helps. We just sold ours Friday and are so happy. Even new ones have issues. Ours got 9 mpg so gas was expensive and if you need to pay for RV sites that isn’t cheap.  At Yellowstone National Park we paid 55/night and grand Tetons 75/night.

use2betrix

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2020, 08:18:29 PM »
@Queen Frugal - sounds like you need to listen to your heart!! We have a 4Runner and the 5th generation 4runners are one of the most reliable vehicles ever made. Ours has 63k miles and has never had anything but an oil change/tires. Not a lot of miles, but read some articles and reviews, they are great vehicles. Ours tows the Casita just fine, we lock out 5th gear and it cruises 70 no problem. We did a 2500ish mile road trip towing the Casita over Christmas and it went flawless.

@Cassie - trailers definitely have a penchant for breaking. It can be anything from AC’s, and all the little things that get annoying. With that in mind, I find the Casitas/Olivers to be way more durable than the standard “stick built” trailers with slides. First of all, there’s no rubber roof or open floor. The entire roof, shell, and floor are fiberglass. This means the chance of a leaking roof vs “regular” trailers is significantly lower. Also, since it doesn’t have slides, there’s no issues with slide motors, slides leaking, etc. If you look at our interior photo above, all the drawers, cabinets, and storage, is molded fiberglass. So instead of the crappy cabinets in normal trailers, these are all built into the fiberglass.

Not saying Casita’s are invincible, but they certainly seem leaps and bounds ahead of many other trailers.

Cassie

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2020, 09:46:05 AM »
Ours was a motor home and thankfully never leaked. It was 27 years old so no slide outs. It would be frustrating because something would work on one trip and then the next trip it wouldn’t.  Not sure how things break when it was just sitting in the driveway.

GreenEggs

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #61 on: February 24, 2020, 11:12:50 AM »
Quite a few folks are converting enclosed utility trailers into DIY campers because they are built sturdier and you can choose how to configure them.  But, I've heard some campgrounds don't allow them, but most of them will.  I'd think a nice RV looking decal or two would pacify their rules. 




Queen Frugal

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #62 on: March 02, 2020, 06:53:21 PM »
I decided to move my goal up to getting a camper this summer. I am following @GreenEgg's advice and listening to my heart.

Two really good things happened this week.

First, I bought a 2011 Toyota 4Runner with 160k on FB from a nice private party. My gut feels good about it. Now I just need to get the Prius sold and buy a camper before June. I feel like the first step of buying a vehicle was the biggest and it feels so good to stop analyzing this whole thing and do something about it.

Second, one of my colleagues was telling me today how she took a two month "vacation" and worked remotely and it went just fine. I have had some concerns about the practicality of working on the road and her experience gave me a lot of confidence that I could seriously make this work.

use2betrix

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #63 on: March 02, 2020, 07:27:03 PM »
Woohoo! Way to take the plunge @Queen Frugal !! Excited to hear how everything shakes out. The 4runners are bulletproof when we’ll cared for!

GreenEggs

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #64 on: March 02, 2020, 08:37:59 PM »
I decided to move my goal up to getting a camper this summer. I am following @GreenEgg's advice and listening to my heart.

Two really good things happened this week.

First, I bought a 2011 Toyota 4Runner with 160k on FB from a nice private party. My gut feels good about it. Now I just need to get the Prius sold and buy a camper before June. I feel like the first step of buying a vehicle was the biggest and it feels so good to stop analyzing this whole thing and do something about it.

Second, one of my colleagues was telling me today how she took a two month "vacation" and worked remotely and it went just fine. I have had some concerns about the practicality of working on the road and her experience gave me a lot of confidence that I could seriously make this work.




Congrats!  That's all great news.  Especially hearing about your colleague working remotely for two months.  Just imagine all the places you'll be able to experience with that much time. 


You'll have to start a camper travel journal here to show off your rig and the destinations.  Everybody enjoys a happy story about someone following their dreams.  :)

Queen Frugal

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #65 on: March 03, 2020, 05:15:45 PM »
So here is a question for you. Would you have a trailer professionally inspected?

I doubt I am going to find a Scamp/Casita in my neighborhood. I found one on FB that is about 6 hours from me that is the right age/price. Would you have it inspected before driving out to look? Would you even have it inspected in the first place? I am GUESSING an inspection would be $200ish.

With cars, I ALWAYS have them inspected before buying. But a trailer with no engine? I'm not sure I need that level of expertise. But admittedly, I don't really have experience with maintaining a camper. The Scamp/Casitas are not as likely to leak I know but they do still leak. I can look underneath and see if it has a bunch of rust. The camper that I am looking at doesn't have a bathroom. It's a standard 13' Scamp and part of what I like about it is that it does not have many gadgets. I have watched several youtube videos on what to look for damage-wise when looking at a camper (I'm a youtube expert camper inspector - what is that worth?) I figure I can look for rust, body damage, for leaks, test out all the stuff it does have (the fan, the fridge, etc). It has a 1 year old battery and 2 year old tires.

Professional inspection or not?

 

Cassie

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #66 on: March 04, 2020, 12:21:54 PM »
Look at the roof to search for leaks or possible repairs.

use2betrix

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #67 on: March 04, 2020, 07:59:36 PM »
A 13’ fiberglass camper will be much easier to an inspect than a larger, complex trailer. Like Cassie said, make sure to check the roof well. Bring a ladder or ensure that they have a ladder. If Scamps are like Casitas, with the fiberglass fully wrapping around the roof, leaks fortunately shouldn’t be a major issue.

On the inside, make sure to check all the floors and all areas for water damage. That is by far the biggest issue you could deal with. A soft spot in anywhere in the floor is a big red flag, some damage would be visible as well.

You need to check the dates on the tires, and also ask about the bearings. If they can’t guarantee the bearings have been replaced in the last couple years, it needs to be on the short list for a maintenance item.

Aside from that, and everything mentioned above, you need a chance to test out everything under power, water tank, sewage, water connections, holding tanks, etc. They should either be able to do it where it sits, or be willing to let you have it brought to a local RV park with full hookups to test everything out.

norajean

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #68 on: March 04, 2020, 08:51:51 PM »
RVs depreciate pretty fast, even if not used much. You can usually find decent ones on Craigslist for $8-10k. Nothing fancy but perfectly adequate for occasional and trips.

Cadman

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #69 on: March 05, 2020, 07:54:49 AM »
As a travel trailer owner and one that runs in several TT/RV circles, try to find one that's a year or two old. Not only will you avoid the obvious depreciation hit, but this way you won't have to deal with the recalls and warranty fixes that they -all- have. Plus you might get lucky and find one that's had some thoughtful upgrades done by the owner.

Unlike the automotive industry, TT/RV manufacture is unregulated. Construction is typically by unskilled employees using the lightest weight, cheapest materials available. Units are essentially hand made with no two being exactly the same. Leaks are inevitable, and if you read the fine print with most TT's, you'll find the onus is on you to inspect the integrity of the roof and siding every 30 days for potential leak points.

Some quality issues I've found on new units..... Exposed plywood backing in wheel well areas. Missing/cracked frame welds from the factory. Leaking plumbing. Wires that pull out of their crimps. Foam tape (instead of butyl) used by the manufacturer around windows, allowing interior leaks. Loose/missing exterior screws.

This ignores design issues that are also a problem, like incorrect tires installed from the factory for a trailer's load rating, or too narrow an axle used allowing sidewalls to rub through. (both issues on our TT)

Queen Frugal

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #70 on: March 06, 2020, 05:35:53 PM »
You all are great. Thank you for all of the tips!!! When I find the right trailer, I'll inspect it myself.



Dicey

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #71 on: March 06, 2020, 06:09:31 PM »
Hahaha, I came home this afternoon to discover DH's lower legs and shoes sticking out from under the RV.* We're taking it on our first overnight tomorrow and he's making sure everything is ship-shape. In his world, this means the rig has a new stabilizer bar, beefed up rear springs and all new filters and fluids. Because...of course. I love that man!

*And yes, that visual always reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. If he was a witch, he'd be a good kind, not the smushed dead under the house kind, lol.

Queen Frugal

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #72 on: March 09, 2020, 04:25:57 PM »
Hahaha, I came home this afternoon to discover DH's lower legs and shoes sticking out from under the RV.* We're taking it on our first overnight tomorrow and he's making sure everything is ship-shape. In his world, this means the rig has a new stabilizer bar, beefed up rear springs and all new filters and fluids. Because...of course. I love that man!

*And yes, that visual always reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. If he was a witch, he'd be a good kind, not the smushed dead under the house kind, lol.

How was your first overnight in your RV?

And, more importantly, can I borrow your husband sometime?

calimom

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2020, 08:45:21 PM »
Hahaha, I came home this afternoon to discover DH's lower legs and shoes sticking out from under the RV.* We're taking it on our first overnight tomorrow and he's making sure everything is ship-shape. In his world, this means the rig has a new stabilizer bar, beefed up rear springs and all new filters and fluids. Because...of course. I love that man!

*And yes, that visual always reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. If he was a witch, he'd be a good kind, not the smushed dead under the house kind, lol.

How was your first overnight in your RV?

And, more importantly, can I borrow your husband sometime?

Dicey's nice,  but she's not THAT nice. :)

Queen Frugal

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Re: I want a camper.
« Reply #74 on: March 10, 2020, 09:36:55 AM »
Hahaha, I came home this afternoon to discover DH's lower legs and shoes sticking out from under the RV.* We're taking it on our first overnight tomorrow and he's making sure everything is ship-shape. In his world, this means the rig has a new stabilizer bar, beefed up rear springs and all new filters and fluids. Because...of course. I love that man!

*And yes, that visual always reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. If he was a witch, he'd be a good kind, not the smushed dead under the house kind, lol.

How was your first overnight in your RV?

And, more importantly, can I borrow your husband sometime?

Dicey's nice,  but she's not THAT nice. :)

Lol!

Today I replaced the cabin filter and the back wiper blade on my new-to-me 4Runner. I saved a little money and gained a lot of self esteem in the process!