Before we launched on this adventure, I’d spent a sum total of 2 nights in anything that could even be considered some sort of rig. I was about 12, and got to tag along to a Native American pow-wow with a family friend. We slept in what I now know is a pop-up – which is little more than a tent you can fold down into a trailer and pull behind your vehicle, with the added benefit that it has a built-in dinette, foam beds and maybe even cooking capacity.
As fun as that trip was, we knew a pop-up just wasn’t going to do it this time. But the problem was, we didn’t know what WOULD. We’d planned to fulltime travel and worldschool our kids ” eventually”, and had done a lot of research, but hadn’t specifically focused in on the details of selecting or buying an actual RV.
We didn’t even know if we’d like RVing. Heck, in 20 years together we’d never even gone camping! (Up until recently we were luxury travel kind of peeps. Yay for expense accounts!) Not to mention I had no idea what we wanted or needed, or if we’d even want an RV longer term, especially when traveling internationally, as roads can be iffy and it can be cheaper to rent apartments in each town.
I toured a few rigs, asked other families for advice, looked up ads online…and quickly got stressed out of my gourd. On top of everything else on my plate, including my ill husband and a special needs toddler, this was just the straw that was breaking the camel’s back (and potentially the budget!). I just couldn’t fathom spending tens of thousands of dollars, or taking out a high interest loan on a depreciating asset, before we’d even put this idea to the test!
Enter our saviors – my cousins Joe and Lisa. They’re an amazing couple who has weathered (more than) their fair share of storms, and so they completely empathized with my predicament. That alone would have been priceless, but they did even better – they offered us the use of their RV – a mint condition 1989 Mallard Sprinter C-Class Ford Cutaway with only 18,000 miles- under the condition we “buy” and insure it. If we hated RVing, we could give it back. If we loved RVing but needed a bigger rig we could sell it. Or, we could keep it and pay them what it was worth. Perfect!
It’s hard to convey just what a difference this had on my state of mind. To know that, no matter what else, we had a rolling home to move into when the new tenant arrived changed everything. With that locked in, and with the help of local friends, I was able to check off the rest of the items on our launch list just in the nick of time. We bid a fond farewell to Arizona, and our road legs have been getting stronger ever since!
We’ve slowly figured out how to fit 5 people and a very furry dog into the rig, by adding organizational solutions that really make a difference. We’ve done a few things to make it a little more homey as time has passed. Stay tuned and I’ll post interior pics, if I ever get a day when the rest of the gang is gone…
We absolutely love our rolling home, and a few months back informed my cousin that we want to keep her forever! At this point I feel more attached to this home than all of the other home we’ve had, and it isn’t just because we can clean the whole place in 5 minutes flat. 🙂
Photo by Mich Lundgren, rambleandrevel.com
We’ve replaced the ottoman and done a few other minor improvements since this, but this is our most recent video now that the RV is stored. We loved our little rolling home!