We bought a camper……
When we first started thinking about Eating Up The Road, we had no intention of buying a new camper. We have a camper that we were given by Jake’s dad, Dutch, about a year ago and it was like the Taj Mahal the first time that we traveled with it. Prior to that, we were true-blue tent people and scoffed at the idea of ever needing anything more. It made us feel old to think of living in a box on a truck because after all, we had tented our way through Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, California, Alaska, Yukon, Alberta, British Columbia, and of course Washington. And I’m talking a 2-person tent here…not one of those huge things with multiple rooms.
The decision to purchase a new camper came upon us gradually. We started thinking about spending a year in a camper without a bathroom, not to mention a year in a camper that is 16 years old and certainly has seen better days as the picture shows. It was Jake, really, who made the convincing argument that if we are going to do EUTR for a year, we would be better off with a camper that offered a few more creature comforts. More comfort and less set-up and take-down time would lead to more happiness. And being happier will let us enjoy the experience a lot more.
Of course, money is always an issue. Spending $18,000 on a new camper was not in the budget when we first started thinking about EUTR and we are far from rich people. Here’s how we rationalized the purchase to ourselves:
With a new camper, we would:
· Be far less tempted to spend nights in a hotel; we have a shower, hot water, and a more comfortable bed than in the old camper. (Saving $$$!)
· Be less tempted to eat out because we don’t have to pop-the-top of the old camper to get inside to make a sandwich or heat up some soup. We also have an oven so creative cooking will be easier. (Saving $$$!)
· Not have to worry as much about something going wrong (the water pump, the fridge, the fan, the pop-up track, etc, etc, etc.) We have a year-long warranty to help us sleep at night. (Potentially saving $$$!)
· Be able to have a TV. I know, I know, we’re supposed to be camping. But we aren’t complete barbarians. We know this one’s completely hedonistic but hey, its not like we’re taking the Wii.
· Looks more reputable (less shady) when pulling into new towns. (Nothing to do with $ but psychologically helpful.)
So we went to the local RV show this weekend thinking that we would continue our research and potentially walk out the proud owners of a new camper. RV shows are a great way to look at a lot of different things and a valuable source of information to decide for your self what best fits your needs and budget. Surprisingly to us there were only four or five campers to look at and all from the same dealer we had talked to before.
The show was not a complete bust, though. We did buy a really cool solar powered flashlight with adaptors to recharge cell phones and the like. We also learned that you can have a “dome” installed on top of a camper to get TV reception and that this is commonly thrown in as a bargaining chip by the dealer. Who knew?
Since we were a mere four miles away (45 minutes and a great Quick Pick burger) from the camper dealership that we had pretty much decided on buying from, we headed in that direction so that the day was not for naught. We checked out the Pastime camper again to be “sure” and then started the purchasing process. I don’t know about you, but I always feel a little ill when spending a lot of money, and this experience was no different. But Rick the salesman did a good job by us. The camper listed at $17,750. Rick was able to add in the TV satellite, an awning for over the door, installation of the TV on a articulating bracket (after market) and to have a stabilizing air system permanently mounted to the frame of our Tundra by Les Schwab. Minus the $1,000 trade-in for Dutch’s camper, our cost was $18,200 including tax out the door.
Making progress every day. Some progress is more expensive than others; Top Ramen and hot dogs for dinner tonight.~Laurel