How I got here from there

OK. So I hope that I have already established that I was not expecting to actually buy a travel trailer. This, however, does not mean that I wasn’t ready to. My SWMBO and I have always believed that things happen to us for a reason. And that is how the trail to our new travel trailer began a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. (1yr, Huntington Beach, CA.)

My wife was driving a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica that was a perfect car. In my world, perfect car = no payment. But there was trouble in paradise. The Pacifica was starting to show it’s age, with all the pains and breakdowns that go along with a lot of mileage. I knew that she was not happy with it, but remember, it was a perfect car. But I also knew that we were living on borrowed time, with a big repair bill just waiting to bite us in the patootie. So I started looking around, just to see what was available. I was in no particular hurry to find another vehicle, because we also owned a 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser. Can you tell that I like Mopar? If the Pacifica bit the big one, she could always drive the PT.

But the PT was not a perfect car. And if I had to own a car that was not perfect, I wanted it to be something that had a little more cajones than the PT Cruiser. So I window shopped. I looked at quite a few used vehicles, but then I came upon “the” truck. A 2011 Dodge Durango Crew. This thing had everything, but the most important thing to me was the factory installed Class IV tow package with a 5.7 liter Hemi. I knew that someday we might want to buy a small travel trailer, something to try out the camping lifestyle.


The Durango has a decent towing capacity, about 7550 Lbs. I knew that we could find us a small trailer well under that weight when we decided to look. I even thought that I might build myself a teardrop trailer. My dad owned one for a while, but I can’t ever remember us taking it anywhere camping. We always camped in tents. My younger brother Rocky and I would play inside the teardrop in the garage, kind of using it as our fort. But I digress. I was talking about how we ended up in the position to buy the trailer we did.

My SWMBO was really not too keen on buying a new truck, but I finally talked her into just going and taking a look, maybe a test drive. It turned out that it was a pretty sweet truck, with all of the bells and whistles that I knew she would love. We took it for a test drive, and wouldn’t you know it, we ran ¬†out of gas during the test drive. I thought, “well that’s it, we won’t be buying this truck.” But the SWMBO fell in love with it, and the dealer gave us a great trade in value on our PT Cruiser. So once again, we were driving home another Mopar vehicle, a new to us Dodge Durango with only 18,000 miles on it. And little did I know that it was only a matter of time before my trailer dreams would become a reality.

How the heck did that happen?

So, where do I start. One morning while out shopping for shoes with my wife and daughter, I suggested on our way home that we stop and look at some Travel Trailers at the dealer near our home. You have to understand, this is not something unusual. I am a consummate window shopper. I love to look, dance around with the sales person, then leave them hanging. My wife has tolerated this about me since we have been married. Cars, houses, trailers you name it, many a sales rep has thought the sale was in the bag when I left them high and dry.

I was living full time in an older RV when my wife and I started dating, so I am no stranger to the vagabond lifestyle. I like the feeling of warmth and security that I get when I am cocooned safe and sound in a small space. But we got married, and it was going to be a little difficult to fit her and all five of our kids into the RV, so we bought a house. That was over ten years ago. But I never escaped the trailer bug, and always looked longingly at the trailers zipping by on the freeway everywhere that I traveled, wondering if they were heading out on the open road, or returning tired but rested from a recent adventure out in their “tin can”.

Thanks to the internet I was able to fulfill my daydreams all that I wanted, looking at RV and trailer websites, keeping abreast of the new models, always thinking that one day, when the kids were all gone, and we were close to the end of our responsibilities, maybe, just maybe we might get a trailer and do some traveling. So stopping and looking every now and then was something that we just did.

This time started out like all the others, pulling into the parking spot of Family RV, and being greeted by the sales guy almost before we could get out of the car. “We’re just looking” said I.
“What would it take to get you to buy today?” came the usual reply. A miracle I thought to myself, but out loud I started the dance by saying “depends on the price and terms.” Always good to give the sales guy hope.

We looked at the model that had caught my eye a few months before, a 23 foot Forest River T231RKXL. We had seen it before and liked it, and after all, we were just browsing with no intention of actually buying a trailer. While looking at this trailer the sales guy asks my wife, “what if I could get you in a newer model, just came out with a little more room for the same price as this beauty?” Playing along my wife said sure, why not? So we went and looked at a 2015 T225RLXL. I think my wife fell in love with it immediately, but that was fine with me because I knew we were just “browsing”, with no intention of buying.

Little did I know……………