Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Movin' on up

I call this post "Movin' on up" because we just took delivery of a 2007 Thor Wave 27' travel trailer, a definite move upward from our popup. We've been camping together for 26 years - since before we were married; it's been a dream of mine to keep on camping the rest of my life.

Our first camping trips were in tents-we started at Garmisch, Germany, and found a few other places such as the Rhein-Main Air Base Rod and Gun Club. (Situated at the eastern edge of Frankfurt International Airport, we dealt with the low-flying jets that came in for landings every few minutes. Sleep could be had in the wee hours of the morning, before the early flights started up.) After we married and had children, the camping trips continued, and it wasn't until around 1995 or so that we bought our first popup. It was an old Coleman, and it lasted one year, I think. we traded it in for a '79 Grasshopper, a rare rear-entry trailer similar to a very small toy-hauler. I can't believe that all four of us slept in that thing! Theresa and me on the bed, once we dismantled the dinette, Kenny on the narrow bench sofa, and Don on the floor. One summer later, we traded it in for a brand new Coleman, one of the larger ones. Don decided after one year that it was too big, so it was traded in for a smaller Venture. That Venture has been hauled to Montana, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as all over California.

Last week, at the beginning of our Thanksgiving break, Don and I decided it would be nice to go look for a fifth wheel or trailer that we could tow with our F150. I had resisted looking at newer trailers, because I hate looking if I can't buy. It makes me depressed and envious! But for some reason, Don felt the time had come, and without any argument from me, we drove down to Banning Discount RV Center.

Tim Perkins was our saleperson, and after we told him of our wishes and showed him the truck, he took us around the lot and educated us on why we didn't have enough power for a fifth wheel, but did have enough for a good-sized travel trailer. The third one he showed us was the one I fell in love with.

We knew that we needed to do some more shopping, to make sure we'd made the right choice, so we visited several other dealerships. Nowhere did we see a trailer that was as nice, as light, and as affordable. The only one that came close was a Rockwood, but it didn't have as much kitchen storage space, and cost several thousand dollars more. Another one at a very large dealership in Colton that was fairly comparable in features cost $28,800. The Thor Wave was on sale - $15,995. We drove back to Banning and made the deal, and took delivery two days later.

When you step into the door of the Wave (the door closest to the rear of the trailer), you step in to a rear kitchen. Not many trailers come with a rear kitchen, and that feature became one of my favorites. The door closest to the front opens into the bedroom, which has a queen-sized bed, two closets, and two large cabinets, plus access to the large pass-through storage area underneath the bed.

My kitchen has all the comforts of a great kitchen: 3-burner stove, microwave, oven, refrigerator, freezer, 2-basin sink, 10 drawers (!), and tons of cabinets and shelves. Our "living room" has a dinette that makes into a bed if we have guests, a sofa that makes into a bed, more cabinets, and a place for a tv. The tv can work off the antenna that came with the trailer, or we can hook into cable tv if a campground has it.

The hallway between the living room and the bedroom has more drawers and cabinets, plus a large closet in which to hang clothes. This is also where the bathroom is–with a toilet, sink, and a roomy bathtub/shower. There's even a medicine cabinet, and more drawers and storage. (I'll never fill up all the storage!)

We're taking the Wave out on a shakedown trip this coming weekend. We were able to get sites at Lake Perris State Park - a very large campground in Moreno Valley, about 15 miles from Yucaipa, where we have it parked in a friend's back yard. Lake Perris is a place we've camped before several times, and during the winter it's wonderful. It's much quieter than in the summer, and much cooler, too. I'll be close to March Air Base and the commissary/BX in case there's something I forgot to get, and Don will be able to fish the lake all weekend.

I'll be sure to post photos!

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