In 2011 we were ready to hit the road in the new GMC van and the Flagstaff 246D. We were only able to do one major camping trip to South Carolina that summer due to the arrival of baby No. 3 earlier that year and some advanced work commitments. However our trip to the South was the first time we realized one of the major drawbacks of a pop-up (or tent camping in general): When there is severe weather you quickly begin evaluating the status of trees around your campsite. That summer and the next we spent several hours of several nights in the van, not the camper, due to severe storms. On our way home from our trip to Michigan in 2012, Kristin and I began talking about possibly looking for a full size travel trailer–if we could afford it.
Rig 3 (our current rig): 2010 GMC Savanna 2500 and 2012 Keystone Passport 2920BH
So after we unpacked from the Michigan trip and got the kids to bed, we collapsed on the couch with laptops to catch up on email. We decided just “to look” at camper floor plans and dream a bit. We liked what the Keystone 2920BH (and the comparable Dutchman) had to offer. It features:
- a bunkhouse for four
- weight under 7,000 pounds
- no outside kitchen (yes, I know they are all the rage, but we don’t like how much space you loose inside and how much they add to the weight)
- a “garage” for kids’ bikes
- a u-shaped dinette
- laminated gel coat exterior
- ducted AC/heat
- a bathtub (not just shower), so bathing kids would be an option
After honing in on this model, we decided to scroll Craigslist and, once again, “just look” at what was out there and what kind of prices we would be looking at. We decided that if we saw something that was a “great deal” and located not too far away we would consider at least going to look at it. Well, would you believe that the first camper on the search results page was … the Keystone 2920BH. The owners had only had it for a few months and decided that they did not like camping and just wanted to get rid of it. And the camper was parked at a campground only 30 minutes away!
So we went and looked at it two days later. The family had been somewhat hard on it (we later scrubbed ketchup off the ceiling, removed register vents to sweep out lots of food crumbs, and even discovered a corn dog stick under a bunk mattress). However, the price was right, and we were willing to exert some elbow grease to save some big money. With the help of a family member bankrolling us until we could get the pop-up sold, we officially upgraded to a travel trailer. Although many of our rustic camping friends now consider us glampers, not campers, we are so glad we took the plunge.
If you missed the first two parts to this series, you can check them out here: Rig 1 and Rig 2.
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