Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Goodbye, Rocky

Donna and I said goodbye to a good friend yesterday. We sold our Rockwood ("Rocky") travel trailer.

We really enjoyed our trailer, and it was difficult to let it go. It took us to a lot of exciting places, and it provided us with a security blanket of sorts. If we ever lost our home for some reason, we always had Rocky to fall back on.

But Rocky was also a temptation to us, begging us to give up our brick and mortar home and live like gypsies. We enjoyed doing that for a time, but we really need to concentrate on settling in one place for a while.

Then there are the economic issues of keeping a travel trailer to consider. Since we now live in a patio home, we have no place to keep a trailer, so we would have to store it. That fee, combined with insurance, is a regular outpay month after month whether you use the trailer or not.

And Rocky is old enough now that problems were beginning to crop up. Some of the problems are minimal, such as window blinds needing to be restrung, while others are larger and more costly. And keeping a trailer in a storage facility makes it hard to perform maintenance, such as washing and making repairs.

Now that we no longer have the trailer to tow, we will soon downsize our vehicle from our Tundra to a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle, perhaps a Toyota RAV4 or a Ford Escape. The truck is useful, no doubt, but it does guzzle the gas and it is rather bulky to drive around in tight spots.

Some people think that traveling is cheaper with an RV. When the total cost of ownership is taken into consideration, as well as increased fuel costs and nightly site fees, you can really stay just as economically in hotels with a lot less hassle. I have kept records of all of our travels in our trailer, including mileage, nightly site rental fees, and fuel costs, and we averaged just about $40 per night in the trailer when all costs were taken into consideration. When you add in the initial cost of the RV and the tow vehicle (if one is necessary), then that nightly fee jumps up considerably.

So, we will continue traveling, but we'll use hotels and other accommodations. I'm not going to say that we will never have an RV again, but for now, I'm happy to travel faster and lighter.

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