Thursday, July 18, 2013

2007 Skyline Weekender 150





This is the trailer I have now.  The name, I suppose, represents the modest ambitions of the manufacturer.  Guaranteed to last a weekend.  After that, you’re on your own.  They don’t make them any more, to my knowledge, though the name is sometimes applied to other floor plans. 

The Weekender 150 is distinguished, if that is the proper word, by a rear entry, somewhat like a truck camper.  It is 17 feet long from nose to tail, like the Casita.  Though not near as pretty outside, it beats the Casita all hollow inside.  At 76 inches, I can stand up in it, for one thing, though I might have to dodge the air conditioner.  It has a full oven, a complete bath with stand alone shower and a bath sink and mirror with storage beneath.  It has pass-through storage beneath the couch, and a 40 gallon fresh water tank.  It weighs half as much as my previous trailer, the XT-200.

And it cost me all of $5500, baking in the sun on a caliche lot outside Johnson City, Texas.

P1000601



P1000328

I made a number of moderately expensive improvements, including a TV and stereo, 2 golf cart batteries and a 1500 Watt inverter, upgraded wheels and 8 ply tires, and even a Wilson Sleek Cell Amplifier with a Yagi cell antenna.  I modeled my antenna after Andy Baird’s, though I used a different adjustable height painter’s pole and turning mechanism. 

http://www.andybaird.com/Eureka/pages/phones.htm

P1000607

With this antenna and the Sleek I can fairly reliably turn "No Service” into 3G with 3 bars on my Iphone 4.  It’s not “Internet Anywhere”, but it is a vast improvement over driving 30 miles to talk a business owner into letting me use my modem with his landline.  Which is what I had to do circa 2001, when I started RVing in earnest. 

O Ancient of Days.

So there you have my current home.  In a nutshell.  It ain’t much, but it’ll insert into many a place I’d like to be, sometimes with a little coaxing.  And in a pinch I could abandon it to rising flood waters without much of a pang.  Though I’d probably yell a lot in a manner unsuitable in a family blog.

I have come to believe that 17 feet is the minimum size for a trailer with full amenities, and of course you don’t always get them even then.  Below 17 feet, something really has got to give.

As an aside, I saw one 14 foot trailer I liked - the Carson Kalispell.  But it gave up the oven, bath vanity, pass-through storage, TV antenna, awning, even the spare tire carrier.  What you got in return was a full sized fridge, a fiberglass exterior, and a 5000 lb. axle, all of which are good to have.  Plus an absent 3 feet of additional maneuvering room.  I would like to have had it, but I could not get the owner to come down even close to the cost of the Weekender.  Here is a similar Kalispell:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-kERpnFNKA

Life is full of compromises.  Some of them even make sense.

Perhaps it is my imagination, but I can almost hear a question forming in the minds of people new to this stuff, looking for a shortcut.  "So, Bob.  After all these RVs - popup, truck camper, 5th wheel, motorhome, various trailers - which is the best RV?"

The best RV for you personally is the one that will get you off your ass and on the road. Of course there are differences, and they matter somewhat.  And some are better than others for particular tasks.

But as I see it, RVing, despite what the manufacturers might like you to believe, is not about the vehicle.  It is not about the money, or the equipment.  It is about the experience.  

And that, my friends, is what you make of it.





5 comments:

Jack Nimble said...

I lived comfortably for 6 months in my 21-22 foot trailer. It was just the right size for Jack (my Lab) and me.

I'm so glad I ran across you, again, Bob. Makes me lust for parking myself, again, in a natural setting and just enjoying being old. Well, that's giving you a little too much credit, I've been lusting for a long time.

In my humble opinion, you have been and always will be one of the best writers on the web. I enjoyed your philosophy back in rv.rec or whatever it was called, and you've only gotten better. In three words, I've missed you. I'm sure any who have made the discovery that you're still kicking around will utter those same three words.

Jack Nimble said...

I lived comfortably for 6 months in my 21-22 foot trailer. It was just the right size for Jack (my Lab) and me.

I'm so glad I ran across you, again, Bob. Makes me lust for parking myself, again, in a natural setting and just enjoying being old. Well, that's giving you a little too much credit, I've been lusting for a long time.

In my humble opinion, you have been and always will be one of the best writers on the web. I enjoyed your philosophy back in rv.rec or whatever it was called, and you've only gotten better. In three words, I've missed you. I'm sure any who have made the discovery that you're still kicking around will utter those same three words.

Bob Giddings said...

Well, thanks, Nimble. I'm still hanging in there, but not traveling for the winter. Maybe by July.

Hello to Jack, who looks like a noble dog.

Ed said...

Howdy! Sent you an email the other day. After communicating with Andy and picking up your link on his site, I've been catching up on your writings. Wondering how you and your ticker are doing.

Bob Giddings said...

Hey, Ed. Don't know why I didn't get your email. I found this one by making a much belated visit to the comments. I'd like not to moderate them, but then I get hundreds of spam invitations to send money to Russia, and cleaning that up would be tough.