Most people, when they decide to start the RV life, start small. And get bigger and bigger. You know what I mean. They may start out with a small trailer and work up to a class C motorhome then a class A coach, relishing in the room each upgrade gives them.
Then there's me.
In 2009, after a few years of thinking about, and looking at RV's, I found a beautiful Class A diesel pusher in Tucson, Arizona while on vacation out there. Again, we were just (kind of) looking for the fun of it, not really thinking that seriously.
I saw a Fleetwood Providence 39 foot coach with a Caterpillar C7 diesel engine. Tan, 3 slide-outs, loads of room and fun to drive. This RV dealership was in it's last death throes before going bankrupt though I didn't know it at the time. After 2 days of negotiations I got them down $40,000 from the asking price and we proceeded with the deal. We went to 23 different states with that RV. We towed our Chevy Suburban behind us all over the country and had a blast with it. We named her Tumbleweed. We towed a race trailer for a couple years also going to sports car races for some weekend racing action.
Times change, of course, and a few years later we were not traveling as a family in the RV as much. There was traveling, but more flying and hotels than anything else. So the Providence went up for sale.
Problem was, I still loved the open road and traveling around the country, especially out west. I decided to trade the Providence in on a Class B RV. I got what I paid for out of the Providence and downsized to the van. Class B's are van based RVs that are usually based on a Ford, Chevy or Mercedes-Benz chassis. I had my eye on a Winnebago ERA conversion on a Mercedes Sprinter platform. It would be perfect for my photo trips since the whole family was not coming on the road anymore. It had a 3.0 liter turbo diesel engine that gave me about 20 mpg on the highway compared to the 5 or 6 on the big Providence. Plus a galley kitchen, small bathroom with shower, etc. Many more trips were taken for photo shoots in Tumbleweed Jr.
Why? Many times out west I wished I could go down some of the roads that were too much for an RV but now a 4x4 truck. After being in Moab last summer I really got to thinking about that even more.
You see, I don't really camp. I use my RV's as mobile crash pads basically. I like to explore the open road and shoot photos. I don't like to sit in one place very long. I find it boring to just sit by a fire and cook out beyond one evening. And it's even more mind numbing to drive a few miles from home and sit in a campground for a weekend. So I don't need much. It's great to have all the nice things of home but for travel sometimes it's just all about the adventure.
And, even with a nice RV I still like to hit the motels and hotels, the older and more historic the better. When the family would come along they preferred a nice hotel anyway. So that's even more reason to not need a fancy rig to live in right now.
Of course, my thinking might all change again in a few years. I can see myself getting into a 4x4 van down the road to have more room for my older self but still go off-road. Life changes and sometimes it's time for something a little different.