Putting In The Work

Making our dream a reality

June 19, 2020

Our minds were made up. We were actually going through with it – trading in our traditional sedentary lifestyle for a life out on the open road. Now we just had to go do it!

First things first, we had to get ourselves an RV. We quickly decided that a travel trailer was the way to go. Not only was this option cheaper than a motorhome, but it also gave us more flexibility to get around once we made it to our future campsites. We also briefly considered a towable “fifth-wheel” camper but concluded that these were simply more space than we needed.

Regarding size, we initially had our sights set on travel trailers in the 25-foot range. We figured a trailer that size would be easy to maneuver and had the added benefit of being towable with a half-ton truck. However, our trial run with the rental RV made us realize how much we valued having somewhere to kick our feet up at the end of the day and enjoy a drink (or two). We searched and searched yet were unable to find anything in that size with a sizeable couch or recliners, so we began broadening our search. Next thing we knew, we were looking at trailers north of 29 feet long, which vastly exceeded our original budget and weighed well over the towing capacity of most half-ton pickups. These were turning out to be some expensive recliners, but we just had to have them!

After a few weeks of searching online and at local RV dealerships, we were beginning to worry if we would ever find a suitable rig. But just as the pessimism started creeping in, we struck gold in the form of a beautiful, slightly used 29-foot Grand Design Imagine 2600RB that we came across while cruising the private listings on RVtrader.com late one evening. We promptly reached out to the owner and set up a viewing for the next evening.

It was love at first sight. We thanked the owner for showcasing it and told him we had a few others to look at, but deep down we both already knew that this was the one. We called back the next night and after some brief haggling, the deal was done – we were now the proud owners of our own RV (recliners and all)! Unfortunately, the celebration was short lived as we still had plenty of work to do. After all, what good is a travel trailer without a truck to tow it?

Thankfully, we weren’t without a truck for too long – just one day to be exact. The entire time we were looking for trailers, we were also researching viable tow vehicles, and, as fate would have it, we zeroed in on a used 2019 RAM 2500 Big Horn at the Colorado Springs Dodge dealership that very next day. Strangely enough, what drew us to this truck was its lack of features. Anyone familiar with the truck market knows that they are remarkably expensive these days (especially three-quarter tons), so to save a bit on the final price we set our sights on those with neither bells nor whistles – except a backup camera, Sam had to have that.

After a trip down to Colorado Springs, a brief test drive to make sure everything was in working order, and a slightly contentious negotiation our rig was finally complete. We now had our big-ass truck to go along with our big-ass trailer!

With the truck and trailer in our possession, the next step was figuring out where the heck we wanted to go. We knew that we wanted to make it to Sam’s parents’ house in Eagle, Idaho by early August for a small family reunion, now we just had to decide where we wanted to stop and stay along the way. Ultimately, we decided to head west through Colorado and into Utah before heading north through the Salt Lake area on our way towards Boise, of which Eagle is a suburb. This route planning exercise also taught us a valuable lesson which has served us well throughout our travels – plan and book campsites well in advance because they fill up quickly (especially in the COVID era). Luckily, we were able to find an RV park with availability in early July near Grand Junction in Palisade, Colorado and promptly booked our stay. With our first waypoint secured, our big trip was truly becoming a reality!

But before we could hit the road, there were a few lose ends to tie up such as dealing with the DMV, organizing our new home, putting some excess stuff in storage, and donating/selling the rest (including Clay’s car). Thankfully, Clay’s dad flew into town and was a major help when it came to some of the bigger tasks like setting up the cellular antenna/router and other electrical components.

This final stretch nearly pushed us to our limits, but at this point the finish line was within sight. “Just wait ‘til Grand Junction!” became our rallying cry and just when everything seemed too daunting, we were able to lean on this vision of our future – sitting back, feet kicked up in our fancy new recliners with the bright western Colorado sun pouring through the windows.

After weeks of hard work, stress, and tears, the big day was finally upon us. We were finally embarking on our new life! In the next blog, we will detail our inaugural journey over the mountains and down the western slope towards beautiful Grand Junction and our stay at the Palisade Basecamp RV Resort.