This is the story of how our life as “trailer folk” came to be.
Today I started to run through the last couple of years and how far my family has come and gone in miles. The one thing that really has made a difference in our lives was the decision to buy a travel trailer. From the start I was the one behind the whole idea and my husband thought that I was crazy at first. Although that may be true : ), my trailer idea has turned out to be a turning point in our lives, and a very positive one at that!
The big factor that won my husband over to buying the trailer was Disney. Living in Ohio it’s quite a trip to get to Orlando. We’d been to Disney before for “short” trips of a week or so but that was pricey and as a household of two teachers we don’t have a ton of spare change lying around. We liked to camp which makes traveling much less expensive, but camping in a tent in 90 plus temps with 100% humidity did not seem like any fun to me.
We looked at a number of different trailer models and really started out looking at pop ups. We needed to find something that our Honda van could tow and yet something that would fit our family’s needs. After looking for a while and going to our local RV supershow we decided on a Jayco hybrid model. It was a cross between a pop up because it had fold down ends with beds, but a hard side center that could be used without the beds on the ends if needed. But after we had both falllen in love with the idea of traveling in our trailer we found out that our Honda van would not be able to tow it after all. We decided to not give up on our idea and ended up trading in our van for a Toyota Sequoia…
Wow this story is longer than I thought!! Anyhow, we bought that first trailer and we loved it! It made our drives to vacation spots better because when we needed to stop to rest we could just hop in the back and sleep. So this model was within our budget but had what we thought we needed. None of this would have ever happened without Disney, because it was my husband’s love for the parks and wanting to go more often that really made it happen.
It came down to the numbers. If we went to Disney for a week it would cost us at least $2,000 to cover the hotel at the lowest tier of Disney properties, gas, food and park tickets. When we started the great trailer debate, we found that there were a couple of “campgrounds” around Orlando that had monthly rates of only about $600. That was less than a week staying on property at Disney. Quite honestly I LOVE staying on property, but when we talked about the possibility of going for a week or going for a month the decision was an easy one. That led to the park ticket talk…Tickets are really expensive and the price seems to rise yearly these days. We started looking into annual passes and found that they would be about double what we would spend for a week long trip but would allow us to go whenever we wanted for a WHOLE YEAR!
I also wanted to go other places in the USA like Yellowstone and camping is hands down the best way to experience those places in my opinion. After lots and lots of talking we bought our first trailer in March of 2013. It was a Jayco hybrid with fold down ends for sleeping and a hard sided center. It was a great way to get us into the world of trailers. A week after we bought it we hitched up and went to the Smokies for Easter. We stayed at Pine Mountain RV park in Pigeon Forge and it was just fantastic.
Only a couple of months later in early June we took our trailer for a short weekend trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We visited the sights and had a relaxing home away from home to come back to. On this trip we stayed at Gettysburg Battlefield Resort. We had time to relax by the fire and had great family time together.
Those were a fast few months with our new home on wheels. We all loved it, but the next trip would be much bigger and longer. Our next trip would be to Florida and Disney. We had a lot of planning to do to get ready to be away from home for so long. That will be part 2 of our story.