The Emotional Side of RV Selection and More on Hiker Trailer

If you missed Tuesday’s big announcements about the rig purchase and Amazon Affiliate account termination, read that first!

Given our love in this day and age for solutions that are practical and orderly, I’m sure everyone would like a nice, sound, scientific reason why I chose a teardrop over other RV types when I decided to change rigs. There is certainly research and reasoning behind my decision.

Two Hiker Trailer rental units. Foreground unit has two solar panels on roof, background unit has a roof rack cargo box and awning.

Writing out the positives and negatives for the RV types that you’re interested in a good way to narrow it down.

I like how a teardrop still lets me keep my house separate from my vehicle. That a teardrop will be able to get to more remote boondocking locations than my larger trailer can. That being both mechanically challenged, and not finding any joy in the learning of how to not be mechanically challenged, that a teardrop is so much simpler and less likely to have issues than larger or more complex campers. That being on a budget, a teardrop is something that I can actually afford new without debt.

5×8 trailer interior looking towards back with default cabinetry, there’s a pass-through door to reach the large middle galley shelf from inside.

On the other hand, I will not be able to stand upright in the Hiker Trailer. It does not have a built-in toilet (I’ll be getting a port a-potty). To access much of the galley in back, I’ll have to be exposed to the elements. Some pretty hefty negatives, but for me the pluses outweigh the minuses.

But there’s an emotional element to the decision too that is hard to put into words.

Foreground unit (the owner’s trailer) has optional front window, 40watts of solar, and the two ports to either side of the window are to hook up a combo AC/heating unit.

For me, the teardrop seems right for this stage of my life. And while I can state the positives in the second paragraph as my reasoning for why this is so, it’s not entirely a logical choice, it’s an emotional one as well. The logical brain can look at the pros and cons of every RV type laid out in neat little lists, and not come up with an obvious solution.

Because there isn’t one.

Front view of one of the rental units, 80 watts of solar on front box

As someone who does a lot of writing about going RVing, who likes to help newbies to the lifestyle make informed decisions, it can be frustrating to not be able to come up with a proven formula that’ll always lead people to their ideal RV. Thorough research of the options is very, very important. But listening to your intuition plays a role as well.

The best I can say is, when I think about picking up my teardrop in September, it makes me very excited. Much like how the idea to go full-timing in the first place felt like something I had to do, trying teardrop life for a while feels like something I have to do. Maybe I won’t end up doing it for as long as I’ve lived in Cas, but that doesn’t matter. The teardrop just feels correct right now. And I have a suspicion that every RV owner out there used more than just cold logic to come to their decision. I don’t know, if you’re an RV owner, feel free to chime in on this one.

Looking inside the front box at how electrical stuff is set up.

* * *

Switching gears, I know everyone is curious to know about the brand of teardrop I chose, Hiker Trailer.

So, there are a surprising number of teardrop manufacturers out there. I started by looking at the big names such as Little Guy and nuCamp, but in the process discovered numerous small family-run operations making teardrops. I’m guessing teardrops are small and simple enough to make that it’s feasible for smaller businesses to compete in the market, unlike with the larger trailer brands.

A row of Hikers

Once I got serious about researching it didn’t take long to discover that, size and features being the same, the traditional teardrop shaped trailers cost more than the box shaped ones on average. I’m not sure if this is a build issue where it takes more money to get those curved lines, or if it’s a marketing thing where it’s known that people will pay more for the aesthetics. I suspect it’s probably some of both.

Aesthetics matter to me to some extent, but getting the most bang for my buck was more important, so pretty quickly I discarded options like the T@G, Camp-Inn, Teardrops NW, Moby1, and Rustic Trail to focus on the less expensive boxy brands.

Rear galley cabinetry example. The two pull-out drawers on the bottom are an upgrade that costs more. This one also has LED taillights.

Even then, there were still a few options. Near the end I was between Hiker Trailer and Runaway, both of which start cheap and allow for a lot of customization. For first-time owners, the high customization might be seen as a negative, because they wouldn’t know exactly what they wanted in a trailer and would be overwhelmed by the options and afraid of making a mistake, but having lived in mine for five years, I had a good sense of what I did and didn’t want. While impossible to do an exact price comparison because their options are a little different, I believe Runaway comes out to be slightly less expensive.

There are several standard monochrome colors to choose from for the exterior (white is cheapest), but if you’re willing to pay you can get custom stuff ordered in. This one also has diamond plating on sides and rear. This photo was pulled from the HT Facebook page with permission.

Runaway had A/C standard on second-tier models, Hiker Trailer had simple cabinetry standard on second-tier models (and a vent instead of A/C). For sizes, Runaway had 4×8, 6×8, motorcycle (3.87’x6.5′), and a stand-up model. Hiker had 4×8, 5×8, 5×9, and 5×10 sizes. For the longest time, Hiker had a high-end (and pricier) off-road model with a heftier axle, bigger wheels, and suspension. But recently Runaway announced a new model with similar specs.

Interior of an Extreme model looking towards front, with storage under the floor. This one has the front window and a second side door.

In the end, I decided that I liked the 5×8 size best, so Hiker it was. It also didn’t hurt that the Hiker factory was more conveniently located to where I was camping.

As for options, I’m going to wait a bit to release all that because I haven’t finalized the build yet. When I placed my order I was told to have the finalized build in within one month (which would be November 24th) as Hiker batch orders parts well ahead of the actual building to keep costs down. It only takes a few weeks to build a trailer this size, but the brand is popular enough that there’s a backlog of trailers waiting to be built, hence the 10 month wait. For options I know for sure I’m having a roof rack, electric system (110 and 12volt), Fantastic Fan, electric brakes, and LED tail lights added, but there are a couple things I’m still working out.

No, I didn’t order the crazy off-road model. I’ll admit they’re pretty cool looking, but out of my price range and I don’t have an interest in extreme off-roading.

Extreme Off-road model with a lot of upgrades. But not the water tank, which can also be an option on these.

Which brings me to Bertha. She’s worth so little at this point that financially it makes the most sense to hang onto her for as long as she’s running well. When it’s time to replace her (which will come at some point after I’ve switched trailers with any luck) I will be switching to a smaller tow vehicle that has 4-wheel drive, as that’s one thing I’ve really found myself wishing I had since I started boondocking.

* * *

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Next up: Leaving Colorado and an underground journey!

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67 Responses to The Emotional Side of RV Selection and More on Hiker Trailer

  1. Greg November 3, 2017 at 10:10 pm #

    I admire your guts in downsizing and the need to go off-road a bit. I solved my own needs with a foldable trailer from Forest River. My unit was a year old, used once, bought it for 10k. It features a queen bed, workspace/dinette, full kitchen, heat pump AC, hot water, furnace, and lots of storage. Plus….I have the ability to stand up in it. (I’m 6 foot tall.) What I left out was the bathroom, I do have a porta potty and outdoor shower. It tows easily with my Jeep. Kinda wondering why you didn’t consider one of those.

    • Becky November 4, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

      Trust me Greg, I’ve looked at everything over the years.

      By folding trailer do you mean a hybrid that has canvas? I didn’t want one of those because the canvas provides no insulation, it could be a problem boondocking in bear country, and the canvas requires more maintenance and will give out eventually. If by folding trailer you mean something like an a-liner, those seams are prone to leaks. I intentionally avoided those things with a Casita and want to continue to have as simple as rig as possible as like I said last post – I hate fixing stuff and any moving part is going to break sooner or later when you’re a full-timer.

      As for the rest of the perks you listed: no need for a queen bed when you’re my size, the pass-through to the rear galley of the Hiker is large enough for my laptop to sit on (instant desk), never used my hot water heater in the Casita and no desire for plumbing that could freeze (I want to cold-weather camp!), never had nor wanted a furnace – they guzzle more propane than my Little Buddy heater.

      But like I keep saying, there is no best RV and I’m glad you found what works for you!

      • Greg November 15, 2017 at 7:24 am #

        Thanks for your reply. Again I really respect your decision and so admire your guts. I meant a foldable, hard side trailer. I would never stay long term in a canvas tent trailer. The brands that make them are a liner/chalet/flagstaff. Mine is the 21 footer. You flip a switch and the roof raises. Push open the two walls and you’re done. It tows beautifully behind my Wrangler, which only has a 3500 lb towing capacity. I’m in Arizona and it can get quite windy but it’s done fine without a sway bar. On my particular model, I have a ton of storage in the front of the trailer. That’s where I keep solar panels, firewood, tools etc. and I should still have plenty of room left over. I also store a generator/inverter so that I can use the coffee maker and microwave. I be glampin baybee! 🙂

        • Becky November 15, 2017 at 8:47 am #

          Sounds like you’ve got it figured out Greg! Have fun!

  2. Judy November 3, 2017 at 10:39 pm #

    Good for you! We are looking but with 2 of us, there are difference in opinions. Your future looks bright! Congrats!!!’

    • Becky November 4, 2017 at 6:39 pm #

      Thanks Judy! I’m sure you’ll come to a compromise that both people can be happy with.

  3. Cherie November 3, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

    How exciting for you! We loved our beginning full timing days in a teardrop and the places we could go. You’re right, every RV decision generally has some compromises.

    • Becky November 4, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

      Thanks Cherie! I’m very excited to see where this takes me. 🙂

  4. Robin England November 4, 2017 at 6:07 am #

    Glad you are happy with your new choice, hate to see your Casita go! We just bought one, we keep it on private Mt land, so it makes sense for us! I do like the portablility of your smaller trailer thou! Best wishes for more happy travels!

    • Becky November 4, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

      Enjoy your Casita Robin! They’re still great little trailers and I have no regrets having lived in one for five years, it’s just time for the next adventure. Thanks!

  5. MnDreamer November 4, 2017 at 6:21 am #

    Hi Becky- I’m excited for you and know that you’ve made the right decision. Your writing show you to be a thoughtful and practical person, and you seem to know yourself so well. I bet you can hardly wait. It will be fun to follow your adventures in the Hiker.
    I’m happy to tell you that I, too, have finally found my perfect fit, and you were a part of getting that figured out. Two weeks ago, I purchased a used Casita Liberty Deluxe! My “kids” in Texas helped me by picking it up and pulling it to their land in Texas where they will “babysit” for awhile. I have to wait until Christmas to see it, and that part isn’t easy, but when the right trailer for the right price in the right location surfaced, I knew it was time. I will retire in June, head to Texas, and spend some time getting ready for the road– then I’ll be off. Thanks for helping me make this decision and inspiring me to move forward with my dream.
    Take care and please keep blogging– your followers need your wisdom and sense of adventure!

    • MnDreamer November 4, 2017 at 8:50 am #

      Oh Becky, my age is showing as I just called you by the name of my other favorite RV living touchstone, Carolyn! I am embarrassed to find that I can’t “fix” my mistake and hope you will forgive me. You are definitely you and no one else!

    • Becky November 4, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

      How exciting Mn! Congrats on the purchase and I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun in your Casita! I know you’ve been working towards this for a while and it makes me happy to see you take one step closer to fulfilling your dream. Christmas probably seems a long ways off right now, but I found it makes the wait more bearable to imagine all the great adventures you’ll have come June!

  6. Margaret November 4, 2017 at 6:29 am #

    I would worry that someone might easily steal the solar panels .
    Looks like a fun trailer.
    I enjoy reading about your adventures. I like a small trailer. Less is more.

    • Becky November 4, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

      Their bolted on really well, it’s more likely someone would try to steal the whole trailer, but there are ways to minimize that risk which I’ll talk more about once I have mine. Thanks for following along!

  7. Terri November 4, 2017 at 6:37 am #

    I believe the phrase a lot of folks say now is “You do you.” And Becky, you’re definitely doing that! I admire you so much. And i really love the way you put it – not being mechanically inclined and not being comfortable with learning how to be mechanically inclined. Girl, I am the same way!!

    Have you ever seen Rob Greenfield on youtube? He used to have a 50 sq ft house called the Teeny Greeny. You might like how he did the inside! (Of course, it was stationary.)

    And yes, that off road version is super cool looking! I was wondering if you had considered the runaway too. Of course, it’s in Florida – a bit further away than Colorado!

    I am so happy for you that you are happy with your choice. That’s the important thing. You’re buying it for you and your life. No one else’s. And I remember your saying that how you used Cas was more like camping anyway – not using the shower, and not having a heater. You know yourself better than anyone else. I’m not telling you something you don’t know.

    And to be able to afford your home without debt?! And be able to continue doing things you love such as writing, videos, etc, hiking. That’s priceless right there.
    A big hug to you!!
    Terri recently posted..You only see the ugly up close. Or do you?My Profile

    • Becky November 4, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

      Aww, thanks Terri! You’re right I sure do march to the beat of my own drummer, haha. I heard a quote once: “If you can make no one else happy, make yourself happy.” No matter what I choose to do with my life, it’ll make someone unhappy. So I’ve been honoring myself since I hit the road, and I feel like a much happier and more fulfilled person for doing so.

      Haven’t heard of Rob Greenfield, been so busy making my own videos that I don’t have time for watching other peoples’. I’ll add it to the list of things to look up when I have time.

      Hugs!

  8. Susan Hicks November 4, 2017 at 6:41 am #

    Hi Becky!

    Congratulations on your new home!

    Got a name? 😉

    You are correct. We are all different and there is a “fit” for everyone. We love our Casita I’D, “Happy”.

    Love reading about your adventures! We are giving ourselves a year of retirement yo decide on fulltiming.

    Hope to meet you on the road!
    Have fun and safe Travels!
    Ark

    • Becky November 4, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

      Thanks! No name yet, I’ll wait until I pick it up, I’m sure it’ll come to me the way Cas did after a while traveling in it.

      Enjoy your Casita, and I’m glad you’re enjoying IO. Thanks for following along!

  9. RGupnorth November 4, 2017 at 6:48 am #

    My CI is an older TD and I did convert to the LED tail-lights – much brighter than standard. SInce you are driving gravel/dirt roads – diamond plating might come in handy.

    • Becky November 4, 2017 at 7:16 pm #

      Yes, it’s good for kicked-up gravel for sure.

      • RGupnorth November 5, 2017 at 4:31 am #

        I guess I am curious about 5×8 versus 5×10 as in a well designed TD – that extra 2’ can have good use.

  10. Diane November 4, 2017 at 6:58 am #

    I always enjoy reading and learning through your adventures. Teardrops have been on my mind lately as a more weatherproof way to get a good nights sleep. I would not be a fulltimer, but knowing that you are, I should learn a bunch more and apply it to my weekday warrior status.

    Life is fluid and when it becomes stuck, it can be less fun. I think you give people encouragement to have confidence to make change and make change again and again when they feel it is time to do so, I thank you for that.

    • Becky November 4, 2017 at 7:18 pm #

      You’re welcome Diane, and I’d glad IO has inspired you. I know a lot of weekenders who upgraded from a tent to a teardrop for just the reason you listed.

  11. Angie November 4, 2017 at 7:06 am #

    I always enjoy reading your posts for your insights and authencity. It’s wonderful you choose your own path and live your dream and journey. Congratulations on your new home! I’ve learned to listen to the voice, the emotional pull that says “ this is the one” congrats on your choice and for following your heart….thanks for sharing it!

    • Becky November 5, 2017 at 9:02 am #

      Thanks Angie!

  12. Rhonda November 4, 2017 at 7:21 am #

    When it comes to rv choice everyone knows that old adage “Buy your third rv first.” I didn’t heed that advice. I am on my fourth rv in four years. Have I regretted any of the purchases? Nope. I had fun with each unit and with each transition I learned more about myself, my style of travel and my “wants vs needs”. With each purchase I made sure I selected quality so that I could get most of my investment back at resale time, which I have. I’ve lost very little money while gaining valuable experience and knowledge.

    Like you, Becky, I prefer small spaces with less stuff which might require costly repairs so that narrowed down my search in the beginning to small travel trailers. My first three rigs were a T@G (8′ interior), a Parkliner (14′ interior), then a vintage ’69 Shasta Compact (10′ interior). My current rv is the smallest Jayco made with 13 linear feet of interior space. I think I’ve finally found that magical sweet spot where my wants and needs have melded together into a nice little unit which works for me at this time in my life.

    But, as you said, circumstances change, so I might very well have a different rv in the next few years. Does that make me flighty and unsure of what will best suit my needs? Not at all. It makes me flexible and open to new ideas, floor plans and amenities.

    I have found this path of rv choice and acquisition to be a fun and exciting one. I am happy for you that you are traveling down this same path, embracing transition. I look forward to hearing more about your final choice and the places your sweet little rig will take you.

    Congrats and best wishes to exciting times ahead!

    • Becky November 5, 2017 at 9:04 am #

      Thanks for sharing Rhonda. I never believed that advice, how is a newbie suppose to know for sure what they want until they’re living in an RV for a while? That’s why I recommend go used and inexpensive for a first RV – less of a hit on trading if it’s not the best!

  13. Mr Wheat November 4, 2017 at 9:08 am #

    Curious if part of the decision was the reduced weight and thus lower requirement for towing? As you say, when Bertha goes you can tow one of these with a SUV. Was that and maybe reduced fuel during towing part of the decision? Looking forward to hearing about how you like your new rig.

    • Becky November 5, 2017 at 9:05 am #

      As mentioned, all of the positives of teardrops were things I was drawn to, and yes less gas money will be nice.

  14. S. Kaeeseman November 4, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    Hi Becky, love how you live your life and you don’t worry too much about what people may or may not say about the decisions you make for yourself. The Hiker trailer sure looks good in my book. Not for me, I will need more than a porta pottie when I get my trailer. But I do LOVE the idea of just having a teardrop trailer but life being what it is, a Casita, Scamp or if God continues to Bless us a Oliver is the dream.
    Looking forward to reading about the final build specs of your Hiker. Do you have a name rolling around for it in your head yet for it? I look forward to hearing what you do name it.
    Understand for wanting 4WD for going out further to boon dock. We are looking at getting a fully 4WD Van as our tow vehicle. For the extra storage space and ability to go off road. Just will have to make sure whatever trailer we get can also handle going on rougher roads.
    Thanks as always for letting us enjoy reading about your wonderful life.
    Respectfully,
    Steve Kaeseman
    Be safe as always and continue to live life to the fullest.

    • Becky November 5, 2017 at 9:06 am #

      No name yet, won’t until after picking it up probably. Hope you get your Oliver! Thanks Steve.

  15. Kit November 4, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    Hi Becky, congrats on the new rig. I hope the wait doesn’t drive you crazy. I like the new choice and am so glad you can get yourself a 4wd tow vehicle. Being able to unhook and drive down sandy washes and jeep roads in the mountains was part of my reasoning for selecting a TT. I have an 18 footer. I learned that sometimes I just want to keep it simple and car camp so I load up a rocket box and my go anywhere toilet and art supplies and head out. I sleep in the car or in a tent, and since I’m over 60 I have a plush 4 inches of sleeping pad (dreamtime). You’ve done so much in Cas as I have in my Saturn. My next rig might be a full sized van that I convert. Good luck.
    Kit recently posted..Capitol Reef National ParkMy Profile

    • Becky November 5, 2017 at 9:08 am #

      The wait will probably drive me a little crazy, but in a way it’s building anticipation so that’s kind of nice. Good for you for going back-roading!

  16. Pamelab November 4, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

    So excited for you, Becky! What fun. Was wondering about Bertha. Thanks for the update. Curious about insulation in the Hiker. Does it have some insulation on all sides?
    Happy Travels.
    Pamela

    • Becky November 5, 2017 at 9:09 am #

      Never asked about insulation, I doubt it. Won’t be any different from the Casita which has none (I don’t think the carpet really counts).

  17. Brent November 4, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    Hi there Becky,
    Knowing how I go back and forth on my next rig, I find it very interesting to see/hear your decision process as I am also planning to downsize. I was thinking of building out a van, but like the simplicity of the Hicker. Less is better. Looking forward to your future posts.

  18. David November 4, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

    Does it have a fold down table inside to eat at? I didn’t notice it if it did. My wife and I tried leaving our dinette folded into the sofa/couch configuration, but found it too hard to “hold your food” / “where to set our drink” during meals. We converted it back to a dinette the next day. Maybe a fold up “lap desk” would work as well. Should be exciting where you can now go vs. where before you could only think about.

    • Becky November 5, 2017 at 9:11 am #

      It’s an option David, not standard. But the passthrough is big enough to put my laptop and mouse in, which gives me sort of a desk. I’ve lived in Cas for long periods of time before without a table (when Julie traveled with me), and I can deal with it.

  19. Linda Sand November 4, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

    If you plan to get a bucket toilet, I urge you to consider one that sits inside another container. A bucket’s narrow diameter makes me worry that they will tip too easily. I don’t know if Hefty still makes Steel Sack bags but that’s what we used with confidence in our bucket toilet. We put the extra bags in the outer container so they were always handy. We also hung a deodorizer thing between the two buckets so we didn’t have to empty it after every use. But we only deposited liquids in it; solids required a walk to the outhouse.

    • Becky November 5, 2017 at 9:12 am #

      I’ll be getting something a bit fancier than that, but thanks for thinking of me Linda. 🙂

    • Deb November 15, 2017 at 5:32 am #

      Linda, we live in a parked rv and have an rv van for travel. A few years back, i decided that if he could pee standing up, so i should be able to also. I cut the spout out of a large laundry jug, the ones with the 2.5-3 inch diameter lid, leaving the tnreads for the cap. It works perfectly, which is usually at night. Perks: cap seals tight, storage is little to no space, emptying in any toilet and rinsing with a dash of soap is quick and simple and a laundry jug never calls attention to you. I rarely toss a laundry jug anymore so there is always a new if you accidentally leave one behind. I only set them on the restroom floors and i have walked off and forgotten. No bulky, tippy items to contend with.

  20. Pat Hall November 4, 2017 at 6:26 pm #

    We upgraded from a tent to a teardrop trailer when we started spending winters in the southwest. We spent two winters in it before trading again for a 19 foot airstream-mostly for the bathroom. I loved the fact that a teardrop is still really outdoor living… with an indoor bedroom and it was a bittersweet moment when we watched our Little Guy Silver Shadow roll away with its new owners.

  21. Anne November 4, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

    Becky I am SO happy for you. Ordering exactly what you want is a terrific experience. Cheers to you for following your own path. Right now I am in the high desert of Arizona, and my neighbor at the next site over is a woman in her own Casita. I knew it couldn’t be you (unless you mastered space/time travel), but it made me feel warm and happy nonetheless. Here’s to us all finding the rig that works for us!

    • Becky November 5, 2017 at 9:13 am #

      Still working on teleportation and time travel Anne. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  22. Furry Gnome November 4, 2017 at 8:35 pm #

    I think part of it is just the excitement of trying something different for a few years. Same with houses, some people move on and others stay put. Going for new experiences is always an adventure. Hope you enjoy it!
    Furry Gnome recently posted..Ring-billed GullsMy Profile

  23. Paula Frazee November 4, 2017 at 11:40 pm #

    We have used a five gallon bucket with Magellan toilet seat for canoeing for years and found it stable even on Ozark gravel bars. We use it in our van now with the heavy duty drum liners from Sam’s (very large for the bucket, but cheap, so I just fold them all the way down the outside so everything stays clean. For absorption I sometimes use non-perfumed kitty litter, but we empty it everyday when not on the river so it really isn’t an issue. On the river we definitely use the kitty litter, tying the used part of the bag off with a ziptie daily and adding new kitty litter on top. We’ve gone as long as 4 day trips this way with little odor. The idea of emptying a holding tank creeps me out, so much easier to dump a black trash bag in a dumpster.

    • Becky November 5, 2017 at 9:14 am #

      Thanks for sharing Paula!

  24. Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets November 5, 2017 at 8:16 am #

    Howdy Becky! I certainly cannot and will not walk in your mocassins. You know what’s best for you. And I’m truly happy for you in your purchase.
    You have asked fellow RVers to comment. As you know, we are also full-timers. My first thought is that every RV requires SOME mechanical knowledge, regardless of new or old, big or small. One should embrace it, as opposed to trying to avoid it. Just my opinion. I know that after five years on the road, you have gained some expertise, mechanically and otherwise. But even a simple set of batteries in any rig, and the ins and outs of a solar set-up can require some minimal “mechanical” know-how. I know you “know” this stuff. I’m just trying to make the point that someone new to this should not think that a purchase of a RV, new or used, comes without a need for some level of expertise. RVs will need fixing. Usually, at an inconvenient time and place.

    You spoke of the emotional side of decision making. I think there has to be a balance. And emotion should not be overriding. I’m older than you by a large margin. And every time emotion has been the largest factor in any decision I have made, it generally turned out to be a bad decision.

    Just a couple of thoughts for anyone new or in the process.
    Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets recently posted..Making a Beeline for OregonMy Profile

  25. Jodee Gravel November 5, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    This option tells me you’re ready for more adventure that includes getting farther off grid in more natural areas. You’re prepared for less convenience and more intimate experience. I’m excited to see where you take this little gem – or perhaps where it takes you 🙂 It’s going to be hard to wait so long!!
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Getting Back to SoCalMy Profile

  26. Darren November 6, 2017 at 4:43 am #

    Like I commented before,,, what works for some, won’t work for another. Seems like a big change and I am really interested to see how it works for you!. We live in our travel trailer but we still have a storage building with a whole house load of furniture and appliances in it. We are planning on building a small home with some land for large animals, but for now we enjoy the compactness and charm of the travel trailer. Not sure even with extreme traveling if we could make it in such a small space like your purchasing. Even if I was alone,,,wow,, I don’t know if I could do it! You are a brave and unique soul !!! Be sure an advise us if you start to have any apprehensions or second thoughts. Take care and safe travels Becky!!

    • Becky November 6, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

      Thanks Darren, you take care as well.

  27. Terry November 6, 2017 at 9:44 am #

    Hi Becky,
    As soon as you made public your decision to go smaller with the Hiker trailer I wondered if you would change your tow vehicle to something more suitable to going off road or rough road. I have been towing a small trailer with my 3/4 ton pickup which is breeze, I hardly know the trailer is there and I like the storage it provides. However, once I get to my camping spot I like to go exploring and that usually means on dirt roads. The truck bounces and rattles so much it is very unpleasant. So I fixed up my Jeep Grand Cherokee with a trailer brake, tow mirrors, and added a weight distributing hitch with sway bar. The Jeep will go anywhere I want to go. I won’t really get to try this setup until next summer, but it drove home just fine. I live and camp in Colorado where I always have at least one pass to drive over. I have the 6 cylinder Grand Cherokee, wish now I had an 8 cylinder, but mine is rated to tow 6200 lbs. I know Marshall has a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but don’t know if he has a 6 or 8 cylinder. I’d love to know his experience towing with it. You’ll likely make a pros and cons list for tow vehicles also! Whatever you choose, I am happy for you and look forward to reading about your adventures in your new home!

    • Becky November 6, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

      I’m not sure if Marshall’s is a 6 or 8 cylinder, but I would guess 8 cylinder given the size of his trailer. I have rode in it before and it was a pretty smooth ride even on bumpy dirt roads. He calls it Lady Jeep though (LJ for short) because it’s not as good at offroading as a ‘real’ Jeep. I remember he had trouble towing in slippery conditions one time, he wasn’t able to get his trailer up a snowy road in the Tetons and had someone with a truck tow the trailer. But that was only once and he’s boondocked in some pretty amazing locations so it must work pretty well.

      • Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets November 6, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

        Becky, unless your looking at new, I would suggest that you take a look at a Jeep Liberty 4×4. They are not made anymore, but they are better than what is That’s our “toad ” and, with a V-6, it has taken us anywhere we have wanted to go, whether highest Colorado jeep trails or Southern Utah deserts and canyons. Unlike a Wrangler, the Liberty is quite comfortable and the 4-wheel drive is among the best. When our 2002 finally dies, we will get, another newer one. We love it.
        Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets recently posted..Making a Beeline for OregonMy Profile

        • Deb November 15, 2017 at 5:48 am #

          Jeep? FYI caution! I am 68, had an 04 Wrangler…..love love loved it till…..the death wobble! We tried new tires, new shocks, new EVERYTHING THAT WAS RECOMMENDED and it always came back. I finally gave up. My caution is your jeep will be your only vehicle. Be very very aware and research AND get a jeep experts opinion. Check the web. It can be a nightmare. I know!

  28. mike german November 6, 2017 at 9:50 am #

    Becky congrats and you are right different RV,s for different times in our lives is a good thing. I was married for 25 years and my wife passed away but we started with a pop up tent trailer as our first RV. We loved RVing and decided to go all in and bought a used Revcon motor home that we loved and had for several years and then we bought a new Revcon and we loved it. After Ruthie was gone I decided that I did not need such a large RV and went to a Casita which I have had since 2007 and have loved it. But time goes on and situations change and i am now a jet ski fanatic and the problem with the Casita is that I can’t take my skis on camping trips so last week I traded my 1500 ram for a 4 wheel drive 2500 ram and bought a small truck camper (Travel Lite) to go on it so I can take my skis anywhere I go. Also big snow skier and will work nice for camping in the ski areas parking lot so can be first on slopes and have a girlfriend now with a son that loves skiing as much as me so should work out nice for us. After all that my question to you is what are you going to do with your Casita. I am also looking at selling mine and wondering how we can get the best deal on our Casita’s. Love Interstellar Orchard keep up the good work and have a great time with your new rig.

    • Becky November 6, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

      That’s a great example of how needs and wants in an RV change over time Mike, thanks for sharing.

      I stated in my last post that I’ll be posting Cas for sale here on IO first to give readers first dibs before offering elsewhere. There are several Casita and fiberglass trailer forums where you can post sales and if that fails, I bought mine off Craigslist so I’m sure that would work too.

  29. MoHobyDick November 7, 2017 at 7:36 pm #

    Becky:

    Coming out of lurk mode to say I’m excited for your new adventures! After five years on the road, and the ever-increasing number of new full-time (or part-time) RV travelers, it’s getting a bit more difficult to get camp sites, either “dry” or paid for.

    I’m happy that people of all ages are following their dreams and spending either full-time or part-time exploring this country of theirs

    You’ll be able to go even further into the wild, away from the growing crowds, and you’ll provide us with some amazing videos and blog posts from Sept. 2018 and forward! 🙂

    • Becky November 8, 2017 at 10:38 am #

      I’m glad you decided to comment MoHoby! Yes, I’m very much looking forward to camping in even more remote locations with this trailer.

  30. Lucy November 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    I am wondering how you might handle seasonal work without air conditioning in the trailer.

    • Becky November 9, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

      As mentioned in the article, these CAN be outfitted with combo AC/heat units and I will be getting the prep work on mine. But I haven’t worked a summer work-camping job in a couple years now, it’s not a huge priority for me.

  31. Cosmo Weems November 10, 2017 at 1:13 am #

    Congratulation on the teardrop. I was considering something larger but for my needs I started with a teardrop.

    It is defiantly for the lover of the outdoors. You are as much outside as inside!. Occasional I wish I had something larger. But overall I love it. Hiker Trailer is a great choice with maximum configurability and delivers huge performance for the price.

    So have a blast. I am looking forward to mor details on your transition to the new trailer.
    One resource I find useful is http://www.tnttt.com/viewforum.php?f=2&sid=20b4c3cd24b05d2ce46191610f84ab3a

    Finally for someone like me who is about to retire and hit the road with a teardrop. How can i “absorb” the GPS coordinates of places you have camped so when I hit an area I have some possible destinations in advance (besides what I can find by myself)?

    I enjoy your videos and am looking forward to more about the teardrop.

    Regards
    Cosmo

    • Becky November 10, 2017 at 11:50 am #

      Thanks Cosmo. Yes, that’s one of the draws for me is spending more time outdoors. I tell people frequently that I consider myself more of a camper than a RVer because that’s more the style I prefer. I do without a lot of the comforts of an RV, even now.

      I find 95% of my boondocking spots through http://www.campendium.com and http://www.freecampsites.net, it’s easy to look up places by typing in the nearest city to the area you want to camp at. They’ll give GPS coordinates right in there. Congrats on your upcoming retirement. Safe travels and happy trails.

      • Cosmo November 10, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

        Thanks for the tips. Only time I miss a larger RV is in foul weather or when the bladder alarm goes off at a not so private locations. But so far I have been able to cope with every situation. You could consider downsizing further 🙂
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2EgMCk0sts

        =Cosmo

  32. Tim November 11, 2017 at 8:26 am #

    I like the way you balanced the logical with the emotional. For me at least the emotional usually wins out. I could afford both the 13′ and the 16′ Scamp at the time I purchased my trailer. Most people said to get the 16, but my emotional self said to get the 13. It fits just about anywhere and it’s just so darn cute. I haven’t regretted it .. yet.. but I realize I can change it up at anytime.

    I like the boxy teardrop model! I think it will take advantage of every inch of space – things will fit better. It will be fun reading about how you adapt. And, yeah I had to wait 8 months for my Scamp too – that’s the hard part 🙂

    • Becky November 11, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Tim!

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