Our RV History

Our RV experience is similar to what a lot of people do I expect. We started with a tent and the family car. Once we started having kids (mid-70s) the tent got pretty small, so we moved to pop-up trailers towed by the family Volvo. 

The popups worked well for us and our two kids, it was really nice to be up off the ground and more rain-resistant. Our old Volvo wagons didn't like towing them though. We had some kind of car problem pretty much every trip, mostly exhaust breakage but including broken alternator bolts and a transmission meltdown.

We finally bought a new 1986 Chev 3/4 ton cargo van and started using it as a family travel vehicle, first towing a tent trailer, then as a VERY basic camper for Cath and I. As you might expect, the van with its small 305 V8 had no trouble towing the small trailers we had over its lifetime with us. 

We later progressed through a number of small trailers - a 15 ft Eddie, a Palomino crank-up (sort of a crude HiLo), an Aliner popup, and a 22 ft HiLo, towed by various vehicles. The trailers did the job, but more and more we felt that some kind of small motorhome would fit our needs better.

We looked at new and used small Class C and conversion vans off and on for years. We wanted to keep it as small as possible, and kept coming back to the smaller Sprinter van. Too expensive for us for a new conversion though, and the prices were/are also high for any good used conversions. Also, the factory conversion vans generally have more "stuff" on them than what we wanted. The RV industry has been slow to make real change to their products, and I didn't want the standard RV-ware we had in our various trailers.

We finally got serious in 2013, and ended up ordering a new 2014 Sprinter cargo van. The factory options we got were rotating seat bases, a second battery, and windows in the sliding door and in the rear doors. We were able to buy a new vehicle and finish it ourselves for less than any decent used conversion van we found.

I worked on the van through the summer of 2014, and we took our first real trip in September that year. It's the end of 2017 as I write this, and it still feels like the right RV for us.

See the tab "2014 Sprinter Van" if you'd like to see more detail on the van DIY.

An example of why we like our little grey van. We can park almost anywhere.

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