Why don't you just get a regular RV?

I have a friend who owns a 40-foot fifth wheel. This thing is pure luxury: it has a propane fireplace, a washer and dryer, a king sized bed, a pull-out and two comfy lounge chairs where you can watch the flat screen TV. It barely leaves their driveway.

Taken at Mammoth Lakes ranger station in California. I can never resist a shot like this.

They realized very quickly after purchasing the trailer that it's a real pain to hook up, to drive and to take down many country roads. The fuel cost is astronomical and they've only been able to take it a couple hundred miles from their home. They also have to be very selective when choosing a campground since many national parks don't have spaces for an RV that large. I was talking to her one day about how I was thinking of upgrading to a larger trailer when my husband and I get older and she said, "Don't do it!"

Why do most campers choose a larger RV? Many times it's because the smaller campers are very difficult to find. I searched for three years for the Sunflower and had to have it shipped to me from Florida. Also, after talking to other campers, I think a lot of them feel they will be missing out on creature comforts if they choose a smaller trailer. While it can get cramped in my little teardrop on bad weather days, on good and fair days our creature comforts extend out to the trees, the night sky and the roaring campfire.

We don't need a flat screen TV when we have the stars.

Photo by Christina Nellemann


  1. Just found your site through a link from "Boat Bits." I love it!

    My lovely wife and I used to spend up to half the year camping. We lived out of a tent. A tear drop would have been a big step up. I always had to check them out when in campgrounds.

    If you go small, you can go all the time. That's the advantage of a tear drop over a big RV. My wife and I actually refused a free motorhome in good condition as we figured it would be more trouble that it's worth.

    Now we spend less time camping and more time sailing on a 19 foot Oday sailboat. Just like your teardrop, we get to to sail all the time. Those with bigger boats rarely leave the dock or go very far.

    Recently I converted a decommissioned ambulance into a mini camper. It's a place to sleep and pulls the boat too.

    Glad to have found your site.

  2. Thanks Sixbears! Yes, my husband and I went camping once in a cousin's Winnebago and we felt so detached from nature and the fresh air. It was so cramped in there! :-)

    I also write for the Tiny House Blog and would love to do a feature on your sailboat or your ambulance camper. Could I contact you?

    1. Sure. I've covered the ambulance project in the blog, along with some of my sailing adventures.


      e-mail: sixbears@hotmail.com

  3. Just found your blog, good job.
    Although I must comment on the diesel pusher reference, sorry your friend doesn't use the Class A more, shame.
    I have been full timing for about 15 years.
    Started in an Airstream, to a 5er, to my 40 ft pusher. I drive from south Florida in winter to Tennessee in spring Colorado and Wisconsin in summer and New England in the fall every year.
    I love it, wouldn't trade it for anything. After all the cost, it is still less that owning a house that would provide the comfort I have. It has a smaller foot print as well.
    That being said, I have been camping out of a backback for 28 years, have a small trailer (10 FT) and a truck camper.
    I have moved from a pack to a 40ft rolling home in 28 years.
    Some turtles have nice shells. I still camp at 8,000 feet with no tent in February and love every moment.
    Don't be so harsh about people in big RV's.
    Like I said I love the site. Keep up the good work.

    1. Hi J,

      Thank you for your comment. I really admire and I'm kinda jealous of full-timers. It seems like a wonderful lifestyle that I hope to experience one day. Don't get me wrong about my comment on larger RVs. There are some larger trailers that I think are really sweet (I love camping trailers in general), and I covet an Airstream Bambi. Teardroppers are an interesting group, and while I am generalizing here, they tend to be more social and outdoors-oriented than many "larger RV" types. This is from my own experience.

      However, I do think that campers are the nicest people in the world.

    2. In addition, I backpacked and camped out of a tent for about 10 years before jumping into the world of teardrops. There's something positive and negative to be said about any type of camping.