Frustrated in my effort to come up with a plan to consolidate the RV situation, I stepped up my search for improving the situation.
My priorities: 1.) Have a place to sleep while on hunting and fishing trips. 2.) Have a second place where a guest can sleep if I’m taking somebody else hunting. This is mostly a problem with duck hunting, which is mostly done with at least one other hunter. The issue is compounded by the fact that the two main duck clubs on which I hunt often require an overnight stay. 3.)Be able to haul a variety of boats, atvs and other auxiliary equipment or gear. 4.)An RV that can be reasonably managed (stored) when not in use. 5.) An RV that can remain in an outdoors location for months at a time without being overrun by rodents and other critters. 6.) No net gain in vehicles or trailers to store in my side yard at home and better yet, a reduction of those types of items. (This is #1 on my wife’s list.)
Last year I rented a travel trailer to deal with #2 above. Then I towed it to the duck club behind my truck and camper. My guests were quite comfortable. But it was only a temporary fix and it cost over $1,000 to have the trailer available for about a month. Not a solution, just a quick fix.
A trip to a weekend RV show fired me up, the cost of solutions presented there was overwhelming. I checked out a four-wheel drive Mercedes van which would be a great tool, but the cost of the van without any improvements was over $60,000. Estimates for finished vans were $100,000 and up. Non-starter for me.
Then I spotted the Airstream “Base Camp” travel trailer. What I great toy. I sat in it and imagined my camp. Definite infatuation. But the Base Camp trailer cost over $40,000 and it created many new issues.
Next came a few days searching the internet. I was impressed by the numbers of RV’s I found. They didn’t solve my problem.
For years I’ve known about a friend of mine who used a cargo trailer for a place to sleep while camping alone in remote places. Unfortunately he had a very bad experience when a propane explosion destroyed his camper and seriously burned him.
However, the idea of converting a cargo trailer to a combo utility trailer, cargo trailer and RV sounded interesting. Finally I drove to Tracy and looked at cargo trailers. It was clear at once that I was on the right track.
The cargo trailer can haul any ATV or any boat I own. It stores equipment out of the weather. It is sixteen feet long and has a 5,000 lb double axle. The total out-the-door cost of the customized trailer will be under $15,000.
The picture above is not the trailer that I purchased, but it is close enough for display purposes. In order to make the cargo trailer versatile it had to be customized. That will be the subject of my last (I hope) RV post.