Finding a Camper

My first thought was to rent an RV for our road school trip. However, it quickly became evident that the cost to do so would be prohibitive. So I decided to look into used campers. I thought a bus style RV might be our best option knowing that our budget would likely put us into a “Cousin Eddie” style ride. Playing this option out, I realized that I would need to get a small vehicle for Jennifer and the kids to conduct their road school activities while I worked.  I pictured Cousin Eddie’s poor children and the state we might be in with this further depletion of the budget.  So I scrapped that idea and went back to the drawing board.

Since we already have a suburban sized Yukon XL with a 1/2-ton towing capacity I decided it might be worthwhile to look at travel trailers to see if one might fit the bill. I wanted something that would have dedicated beds for all five of us so that no one would need to sleep on the couch, the folded down dinette, or in the lavatory.

Our preferred bunkhouse floorplan

I did a search nationwide and found several “bunkhouse” models available for sale dating back from the early 2000s to current models. After lots of digging, a particular model bubbled to the surface. This model really stood out because it had two separate bedrooms, a master at the front and one with 3 beds  at the rear, and a fantastic outdoor kitchen.  The rear bunk room was separate from the rest of the camper and provided what seemed to be an optimal space for me to office. The only problem was that this camper was located in Michigan.  I thought this might work for us since we purchased our pop-up sight-unseen in Atlanta; a comparable distance from Dallas.  Wisdom won out and I did more searching.  I found the same model camper a few years older but located somewhere in Texas. A town named Joshua. I bookmarked the listing, but decided I needed to look for things closer to home.

One weekend in January, Jennifer went to a retreat while the kids and I stayed home. After eighteen years of marriage, she should know that these conditions provide the environment where large amounts of savings tend to evaporate… I found a consignment style dealership in a town  south of Fort Worth named Cleburne. It had several campers that looked interesting, so I decided to drive down with the kids and check them out. At this point, I remembered the Joshua camper and checked to see where in Texas that might be. Much to my surprise it was right next to Cleburne.

We drove to Cleburne and checked out many of the campers at this dealership. Some smelled of smoke; some were musty; the layout of some just didn’t make sense, and… some were completely out of bounds budget-wise… even with Jennifer out of town. I continued to ponder the one for sale by owner in Joshua.

I was able to reach the owner of the camper in Joshua, so we went to take a look on our way back home. We fell in love right away.  It required a bit of TLC as it was nearly a decade old, but was just the layout we were wanting. We came back the next weekend with Jennifer and walked away poorer, but happy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *