There it sits, wheels chocked, stabilizing jacks down, power cord plugged into the garage, and looking much much larger than it did on the lot at the Camping World RV dealership. As I gaze at our Starcraft AR-ONE travel trailer, I reflect on the long road that brought us to RV ownership.
Sherry and I have been talking about traveling and owning an RV for years. We always laughed about selling the house, buying one of those huge fancy motor homes and living full time “on the road”. As the years went by and our five kids began to graduate college and move on with their lives we realized we would eventually be empty nesters. I would say that when our last two kids were enrolled in college we got serious in our search for an RV.
What kind of RV? Class A motor home? Travel trailer? Fifth wheel? Pop-up camper? Class C mini motor home? So many choices were available. The big Class A units all had price tags in the six figure range. Don’t think so. We looked at Class C mini motor homes. We even took a test drive in one about 2 ½ years ago. But with two kids still in college at the time, well, we were not ready to pull the trigger.
However, that test drive in the Class C coach really prompted some serious contemplation. Sure it sounded great to have an RV. But would it be practical? We knew we wanted to travel, but would travel in an RV of some kind open up or restrict traveling plans? We pushed the pencil all over the spread sheets. Cost of hotels vs. campground fees? Cost of gas? (How do you figure that these days?) Would we save preparing our meals instead of eating out all the time? What if one of the kids moved to the west coast? That would be a long RV trip from Indiana.
OK, about a year ago our search became very serious. My work, though full time, is only scheduled four days a week. Thus the idea of three day weekends opened up some real opportunities. Hmmm, leave Thursday afternoon, and need not be back until Sunday night. Our vehicle, a 2009 Ford Flex, was capable of towing a smaller travel trailer. We decided to look for an RV that the Flex would tow.
Pop-up campers were inexpensive, but required fairly extensive set up time at a campground. I could envision yours truly struggling to set up during a pouring rain, Sherry waiting in the Flex. Think we’ll pass on the pop-up.
What we discovered was a decent variety of smaller, light weight travel trailers that our Ford Flex could tow. The problem with most was the limited number of sleeping spots, usually only two or three. We did hope to have beds for at least five. Then we found the Starcraft AR-ONE. This slick unit is designed to NOT require a full sized truck for the tow vehicle. It is touted by Starcraft as perfect to tow behind even a minivan. With a drop down extra bed, the Model 15RB hybrid would sleep five. Worked for us.
Oh, and our kids, their spouses, and our grandkids? Well, two are close by, one family in Ohio, one family on the East coast in Virginia, and, you guessed it, one family in Seattle. We see some long RV trips on the horizon.