In anticipation of retiring in 2020, we bought a recreational vehicle (a travel trailer) and a pickup truck for towing it. We chose to travel by RV because we can take our two dogs with us (almost all campgrounds welcome pets), and we chose the trailer (a Grand Design Imagine XLS 21BHE) for the way it accommodates all four of us, as well as for its practical layout and quality construction.
Bunk beds are designed for sleeping people (usually kids), but we converted the lower one to a "cavernous" dog crate (complete with a view out of what, to a dog, must seem like a huge picture window) and use the upper one for extra storage. At 25 feet long (including the tongue) it's short enough to maneuver around our property and in most campgrounds, while also being quite comfortable. Most RVs today have slide-outs to provide extra living space, but we opted instead for a simpler approach: a sofa with a Murphy Bed that stows fully made.
Here's our rig ready to go on our first trip in 2019. The truck is a RAM 1500 with a Quad Cab (again for the dogs!) and the Hemi 5.7L V8 engine. Manly yes, but we like it too. It's also four-wheel drive, which is great for when it snows and on steep gravel roads.
And here we are on that first trip. It was a short one to a new RV park in a neighboring county, but the journey still afforded numerous opportunites to learn and improve our skills, especially backing up as a team! From left to right is Leonard, Beau, Roger and Lana.
Here's our rig in Yosemite on the return trip from a Fall Colors tour on the East side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Our truck easily climbed the 8% grade to crest the Tioga Pass. At nearly 10,000 feet it’s the highest pass in California, so we now have greater confidence to go pretty much anywhere we want.
And here we are during our first trip after
retiring on California's West coast at the Kirk Creek Campground just off (the
narrow and windy!) Highway 1. So far we have found RVing to be a great way to
travel, and we look forward to enjoying many more trips in our "Golden Years"
throughout the Golden State and beyond.
Wishing you and yours happy trails...
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