|Meriwether Lewis Campground on Natchez Trace Parkway|
In the fall of 2010 we traded our Everest 5th wheel for a Class C motor home. Being full time RVers, this was not a decision made lightly. It was one a long time in coming, but one we have never regretted.
Long before we ever thought about an RV of any type, we were tent campers and backpackers. We went to National and State parks, forest service campgrounds, or just out in the woods. We never thought about the roads leading to a campsite, we never thought about how close the trees were or how level a site was. We pitched our tent, we drug out the lawn chairs, and we enjoyed the simplicity of life in a natural setting.
Admittedly, car camping is a lot of work and certainly not optimal in all weather conditions. We sought to remedy this by purchasing a pop-up camper. The pop-up worked great. We had a drawer for our clothes instead of a pile in the tent corner, we had a small refrigerator instead of a cooler requiring a daily ice deposit, we had a stove top instead of cooking in the rain, and we had electricity (at least battery powered) to read by at night instead of a headlamp. So the comforts of life had improved and it was less work to set up, but we still could go to the national and state parks and forest service campgrounds. We never worried about roads leading to a campsite, how close the trees were or how level a site was.
When we switched from pop-up camper to 5th wheel, life as we knew it changed. We bought a truckers atlas and route planning became a major part of any trip. On the road we were on the lookout for mailboxes, soft shoulders, and tree limbs. We bought a campground directory because most National and State park campgrounds would not accommodate our rigs--38 feet long Montana or the 40 foot long Everest each with opposing slides.
Living in a 5th wheel was like living in a small apartment. We had everything we needed for comfort--plenty of storage, a double refrigerator, big screen TV and a fireplace. What we were missing and what we craved was the simplicity of life in a natural setting. Additionally, even after 5 years of full-timing, towing the 5th wheel was still stressful and backing up still challenging. What we longed for was a compromise between the basic simplicity of tent camping and the space and luxury of the 5th wheel.
The minute we test drove our 32 foot (bumper to bumper) Four Winds Class C, we knew this was for us. The ease of handling on the road was a big selling point. It was so easy to drive. Adjusting to the shorter living space (24 feet compared to 40 ft of our Everest) took some time. We made several trips to Goodwill in an effort to fit into a smaller space.
We’ve been living in our Four Winds for a year and we still love it. On our trip to Alaska I don’t think we consulted the Truckers Atlas even once. We were more often on the blue roads instead of the red ones. We boondocked often and with or without the slides out, we were comfortable. We don’t have the two recliners, we don’t have the fireplace, we don’t have the double refrigerator or the convection oven, and we don’t have the large closet, but we can go to most National and State Parks and forest service campgrounds again. We’re back to traveling and living more in the fashion that we love and have missed for too long.
Let me hasten to add--this is what we want. For many folks, the RV Resort and luxury and space of a Class A or large 5th wheel is the lifestyle for them. We have many friends who would never considered going in anything but a tent and still others who travel extensively without tent or RV. Isn’t it wonderful we all get to choose what is just right for us.