We finally tow our T@B camper / travel trailer!

 

We finally get everything to where we are comfortable to tow a trailer for the first time.  I wish it was on some grand adventure, but it was just about 35 miles to our home from the campground in Monroe, WA.  We did stop a couple of times to make sure nothing was being destroyed and just to check on things.  The first thing we heard was the safety chains dragging on the gravel road.  Then we heard this plastic sound as we went over our first speed bump.  Yup, that was the gray tank plastic cover that had come off and was skipping across the gravel.

Luckily no sway at all!  The little T@B trailer tracked like a champ.  We did have some up and down bouncing (more than just bumps in the road)  We decided that we did not need the 2-inch drop on the hitch as the previous owners had with their taller SUV.  So we need to flip that hitch over.  That way the hitch will only have a 3/4-inch rise instead of the two-inch drop. We do however need to now add an adapter piece since the sway bar will have nothing to attach to.  (Sway bar adapter)

Check out the video!  Can’t wait for our upcoming trip 1 month out.

-Mara

Our Little Teardrop Camper – T@B

Here it is the big reveal!

We found this great 2014 T@B camper/travel trailer.  We totally fell in love with its cuteness and versatility.  It is lightweight (about 1600 lbs) to tow but still has all of the amenities of a full-size RV. We have a kitchen, hot water, propane stove, air conditioning, and even a commode/shower combo.

Check out the latest video of our little teardrop being delivered….did I mention that it is the coolest shade of blue?

-Mara

RV Living – How to make a heated Water Hose

The temperatures in Western Washington have been really cold.  We decided it was time to start thinking about making a heated hose to prevent frozen pipes in our RV.  We had problems last year in Albuquerque when the hose bib itself froze and we luckily had enough in our fresh water tank until that unfroze the next day.

Here is a pretty detailed video of he we made our own heated water hose.

-Mara

Don’t forget to subscribe to FiresideTraveler on Instagram and YouTube for all of the latest information!

 

Oh YEAH! Motorhome Shopping- 2015

Our Motorhome Thor

2013 Thor Hurricane 29X – BYE BYE THOR – Hello 2015 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 36LA

We just purchased our second Class A Motorhome and are by means no experts, but wanted to write about our experience and what we have learned.  So here it goes…

We spent about eight or so years shopping and educating ourselves on all types of RVs from travel trailers to 5th wheels to Class B and C and finally Class A Motorhomes.  In 2013, we decided we were ready to take the plunge while living in California and the Bay area.  We were renting an apartment in San Jose and decided that prices for a home were ridiculous and the process of buying in that area was even more ridiculous.  So after dreaming of having a camper for years we decided to seriously start shopping. With an RV, we can have whatever view we wanted in the mountains or on the beach or anything in between. If we didn’t like our neighbors we could just drive away!

We thought we wanted a Class C RV no bedroom just the basics. We found something perfect! It was a 26 foot Itasca Spirit. We put a money down to hold it and low and behold the dealership sold it out from under us!  We searched all over to find another one of the same year and floor plan. Unfortunately, no luck so the search resumed.  We really didn’t consider Class A motorhomes at the time….there was a “special” on a 2013 Thor Hurricane 29X which was not much bigger than the Spirit…because of the price we decided to take it on a test drive.  We were convinced after the panoramic view out of that huge front window that a Class A was for us. That day we bought the Hurricane in Davis California and began our RVing adventures across the western United States.

We have always been those people who are hard to sell to because we are non-emotional buyers.  Making the process a business transaction until the process is done then allowing ourselves to become attached.  We have purchased one new and one used.

Here are some of my suggestions on buying:

  • Know your budget ahead of time (how much do you want to put as your down payment if you are financing the purchase we make it a point to get the best interest rate)
  • What is your ideal floor plan? (you may need to shop around for a while to know what this means … maybe just a dinette will not work for you…do you want a dedicated bedroom?)
  • Test drive (does the coach sway back and forth on the road when you are at full speed?)
  • Make sure to shop around for the best trade in value if you already own an RV.  This amount can vary greatly.
  • If it’s used … get it checked out!
  • What is the warranty if any?  Sometimes buying the extra warranty makes sense sometimes it doesn’t.
  • Don’t feel pressured to buy something right now.  It’s OK to walk away.
  • The process should be easy…if sales staff is making it too hard…it’s OK to walk away. You may find that that dealer is the best deal and are willing to deal with them and decide to buy anyway… I always question why some dealers want the buyer to take all of the sacrifices.  We run from these places.  It is a huge red flag.

On Friday we traded in our Hurricane for a slightly longer used 2015 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 36LA. brochure 2015 Allegro   It is a much more livable floor plan for our needs.  Instead of just having a dinette and a reclining chair like the Hurricane we had, We now have an L-shaped Sofa and an RV with amazing quality.  Everything feels great inside and the ride is quiet and the handling is even better!  More to come on an inside video! Stay tuned.  We could not be more excited!

Hello Tiffin Allegro Open Road!
Hello Tiffin Allegro Open Road!
Our 2015 Tiffin Allegro Open Road
Our 2015 Tiffin Allegro Open Road

Here is a great series on buying a Motorhome from one of our favorite resources!  The Wynns… http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/go-rv-shopping-together

We always name our vehicles…So far this one has stumped us…Any Suggestions? Leave in the comments below or on Facebook Fireside Traveler!

-Mara