Thursday, April 9, 2015

Our Moment of Discovery

In my first blog post, I talk through some of the benefits of a teardrop over a traditional RV. So with this post, I thought I would share how we came to our decision to buy a teardrop camper. Most of my family is scattered around the west coast and with my wife and I residing in Texas, we don't always get a lot of time together. A few years ago, my sister started hosting a family gathering over Thanksgiving weekend on the Colorado River. My dad, brothers, nieces & their husbands and their husbands family, etc. all get together and enjoy a few days together. We sit around the campfire, play games, go riding in the desert, eat great food, and have a good time.
Back in 2013, we drove out from Texas to join the annual family camping trip. My sister was there in her Class A motor home, my dad showed up in his Class C. My younger brother and step dad came in their Class C, my older brother pulled up in his Class A and there we were in our little tent with an air mattress. Now, it's late November on the California/Arizona border and we are in a tent with sleeping bags and a dog...what could go wrong? Well, the air mattress developed a slow leak, the temperature dropped to the mid 30s at night and the dog barked at every sound she heard outside the tent.  Needless to say, it made for some long nights.

The Search Begins...
Upon returning home from that trip, we knew that tent camping was just not viable any more. We are too old and I am way too crabby when I don't get a good nights rest. So, we started our search an appropriate camping vehicle.

Since all my family had motor homes, that is where we started. Looking at Class C RVs and travel trailers was fun, but the more we looked, the less we felt it was the right solution for us. They were quite expensive new and buying used can be hit or miss. There were some cheap travel trailers, but it was clear as to why they were cheap. They all had that glue factory smell which gave my wife a headache. Furthermore, both would require off site storage which is inconvenient, can be expensive and would not get used as much as something that I could keep in my garage.

So, with motor homes and travel trailers ruled out, we started looking for something smaller. We checked out tent trailers and the A-Liner trailer. Both are very nice, fairly light weight and can be stowed in my garage. However, both require some level of set up before you can climb inside to sleep. Some of our trips can be very long hauls (like 1500 miles to California) and even though some trailers set up quickly in just a few minutes, you still have to set them up. We wanted something that we could pull into a rest area, climb inside and go to sleep, no setting up pop outs or pop up roofs, no setting up beds, just climb in and sleep.

Teardrop Discovery 
One day while scouring Youtube for camping videos, I stumbled across a teardrop trailer video. I had no idea these were still being made. When I was a kid, our neighbor had one that he pulled behind his Rambler station wagon. I remember playing in it with my friends, turning it into a fort. These trailers opened my eyes to a whole new set of options.

To my surprise, there were quite a few different manufacturers producing these little gems. The more we looked, the more we liked. It was light weight so easy on gas mileage. It was small enough to fit in our garage. It had hard sides and small enough cabin on the inside that was easy to keep warm. It did not require any set up to use. These trailers provide enough conveniences to make camping easy to set up and enjoy like an RV yet still allow us to get close to nature like a tent. It was as though a light went was exactly what we were looking for and we knew in that instant we had our moment of discovery.

We are thrilled with our little camper and have done more camping in the past 6 months than we have in the last 10 years. Our family camping trip the following year was a vastly different experience and our little trailer was the hit of the campground. It was quite funny to see this small little trailer sandwiched between the big Class A motor homes of my sister and my dad. In our case, less was more and it worked out perfectly. 

In a future blog, I will share why we selected Camp-Inn and the story of how we purchased our trailer, it's another fun story. So, are you still searching for your perfect camper? Have you already found the perfect solution for you?  If so, please share your moment of discovery?

Till we meet again,

Jay T.