Our Journey through RV's

It All Starts Here...

Our first camper was a 1992 24-foot Hi-Lo telescoping Travel Trailer.  We used this camper for family vacations and weekends away.  That first camper was very educational.  We learned we loved to be off the ground and out of a tent.  We are more likely to take off for a weekend by jumping in our camper than we are if we need to rent a hotel room... so we are spending more time together.

We paid approximately $28,000 for the Hi-Lo and made loan payments.  We sold this camper to eliminate the monthly loan payments.  It was the right decision financially--but maybe not emotionally.

After going several years with a camper, we purchased a 20-foot Excel Travel Trailer.  This camper had constant issues and so we sold it after a short time.

We then purchased a 1998 36-foot Terry 5th Wheel for $18,000.  This 5th wheel helped us continue to develop our love of camping.  It offered more space.

We gutted that 5th wheel, putting in new carpet and tile flooring, new counter tops, re-upholstered the sofa and dining room chairs and recovered the window valances.

We camped and vacationed in this 5th wheel for approximately four years.

After doing extensive research, we set up the Terry to tow our Wrangler Jeep.  We knew 4-wheeling would be a big part of our camping experiences.  We towed the Jeep behind the Terry the entire time we had the Terry.  It was great to have the Jeep with us wherever we were.
We upgraded from the 1998 Terry 5th wheel to a 2007 Keystone Montana 5th wheel; paying approximately $34,000.  We loved the 5th wheel and it was the one we started our full time adventure. 
The Montana had plenty of space for us and we loved the floor plan.

 This floorplan had a set of French doors that led from the kitchen area to the Living Room.  This was a nice option for us when people stayed with us—it worked as a 2nd bedroom.
We also towed our Jeep behind the Montana 5th wheel.  This has been a set up that we grew to love.  The Montana was a solid camper and it served us well.

When we started our full-time adventure, it became obvious that the Montana might not be exactly what we needed/wanted.  Plus, it started having some issues that would only continue to get worse.  So, we started thinking about—and looking for, a different RV.

We looked for more than 6 months at Motorhomes, expecting a Motorhome would be our new RV.  We just couldn’t find one that met all of our requirements.  Well, that is not entirely true… we could not find one that we liked that was also in our budget.  After walking in and out of SO many Motorhomes, it became obvious that would not be a good fit for us. 

In December 2013 after MUCH research we purchased a RAM 3500 Longhorn dually truck.  The Ram has a GVWR of 37,000 so we were confident that it would tow whatever we purchased.  

We did exhaustive research to narrow down the 5th wheel manufacturers that met our criteria—and were within our budget. 

Our criteria:
  • Good inside storage.  Although we knew we would be downsizing… Lisa LOVES clothes, shoes and handbags. 
  • Residential refrigerator
  • Sturdy frame (we liked the 12” I-beam design)
  • Large enough basement storage for George’s mountain bike and also for our tandem bike.
  • We wanted to be able to tow our jeep without voiding the manufacturer warranty and without compromising the integrity of the 5th wheel frame.
  • Fiberglass shower  (we have had issues with previous plastic showers)
  • Needed a banister rail going to bedroom (Lisa’s fibromyalgia can make steps a challenge on bad days)
  • It needs to feel like our HOME not our camper.
We fell in love with the Crossroads Redwood.  The Redwood started at about $128,000. The dealer gave us a significant trade-in on our Montana, we were blessed to get twice the amount in trade that we paid for the Montana.  We purchased our 2014 42-foot Redwood 5th Wheel in December in Colorado—perfect time to buy an RV! 

We wanted a simpler, smaller life—but we are happy to have life’s little luxuries wrapped up in our Redwood.  We really do not feel like we are missing much from our “Stick & Bricks” house with our Redwood.
Again, we are towing our 2011 Jeep Wrangler Sahara.  We use this for touring an area and regular 4-wheel adventures.   We use a Brake Buddy braking system for additional brakes when towing the jeep.  We also have mounted a back-up camera and are able to keep an eye on the jeep from the truck. 

In total our “RV Train” is 75 feet long from the front of the truck to the back bumper of the jeep. 

Our journey of campers starts in with a 1992 24-foot telescoping Hi-Lo Travel Trailer and has grown to a 2014 42-foot Redwood 5th wheel.  We could not be happier with our camper purchases.  Each one provided experiences and perfectly fit for where we were in life at the time.
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