Well, we have officially begun the 2015 Chicken Whisperer Fall Tour! We are now in Alabama and Andy's first event will be on Saturday. We look forward to traveling around the country meeting new friends and spreading the Chicken Love! You can learn more about the stops we will be making by CLICKING HERE!
I'm excited to be traveling around in our new 36 ft Jayco Jay Flight 32TSBH with 3 slides! We've had it for about a month now and love it! After traveling around in our first camper, a 24 foot Coachmen Travel Trailer with no slides, for 3 years, we began making a mental list of all the things we liked and what we didn't. We decided to upgrade a year ago which is why we bought the Beast, our truck. We had to upgrade to something that would tow more. I made a list of all the things I really wanted in a camper. I figured it was just a wish list since I didn't expect to actually find a camper with everything on our list. Below is the list of what we wanted.
First off, we decided we wanted to stay with a travel trailer, a camper that we could tow behind our vehicle because we wanted to get a camper top for our truck so we could have more storage. While most fifth wheels, campers that are towed by a hitch in the bed of the truck, typically have large storage areas, we wanted to be able to store Andy's Chicken Whisperer materials for the tour in the truck so he didn't have to continually move what he needed back and forth for each event. A Class A or motorhome and a Class C, which has a van chassis, wouldn't work for our family's needs either.
My Wish List:
- A bigger camper with slides.The 24 foot travel trailer with no slides was a little cramped since we were spending so much time in our camper. Because Caleb's bed was made on the dinette and he was still taking naps, I rarely changed the bed to the dinette. Unless we ate outside at a picnic table, we scrounged around for spots in the camper to eat and there was not a couch so there wasn't a place to just sit and relax except on our bed or Caleb's. We were looking for something that was between 30 - 36 feet and two or three slides.
- Real doors to our bedroom. In our previous camper, we had one door to our bedroom, but we rarely used it because it was an accordion door that the kids would often push right through when it was closed.
- A bathtub. I have small children and it's just easier to have a combined small bathtub and shower. I know there are a lot of full-time families out there that have showers and use rubber bins or other things to give their children a bath in their shower, but I just didn't want to do that if I didn't have to.
- At least one slide in the bunkhouse, preferably two! I wanted an area for the kids to have room to play and learn in their own space. We had little floor space in the Coachman and Caleb would often end up playing on the wood under his mattress on rainy days when we were stuck inside.
- 2 lower bunks in the bunkhouse and I preferred one to be the fold up futon kind. My children are young and I wasn't ready to put either one of them on a top bunk. I liked the idea of the fold up futon because I could lift it to be stored on the top bunk and give the kids more floor space to play.
- More storage inside and storage space that was big enough to fit the bins we already had. Everyone always believes their home has a lack of storage, but there was hardly enough space to put away food, clothes, towels, and toys in our previous camper. Our new camper has all the storage we had, but storage under the couch, under the u-shaped dinette bench all the way around, a pantry, and you should see the storage in the bunkhouse all the way across the back wall.
Here's a picture of the bunkhouse. Check out the massive storage on back wall, ample floor space, and foldable futons.
- Storage space in the bathroom. This is kind of an extension to the above, but it was important enough to give it its own spot on the list. Many of the bathrooms that we looked at had half a counter. Some had a cabinet area or a medicine cabinet while others had none.
- Large storage bay doors outside that would fit the plastic bins we already had. In our search, we were finding that many of the bay doors on the campers we were looking at were much smaller than the ones on our Coachman and that was disappointing.
- 2 air conditioner units. We travel all over the country, often in hot temperatures. We didn't feel that one air conditioner unit would effectively cool a unit as large as we wanted.
- A ladder to climb up on the roof. We wanted easy access for cleaning and maintenance. It's kind of hard to carry around a ladder that tall when you're traveling.
- An outdoor kitchen was a bonus, but not a deal breaker. Often we'd find a double slide bunkhouse, but it wouldn't have an outdoor kitchen.
- Stayed within our budget. Everyone needs a realistic budget. Preferably something you can afford to pay cash for, but at least something that you can pay off quickly and doesn't stretch your finances.
After visiting several RV dealerships, I was about ready to relax some of my standards. It seemed that if we found one with a bathtub, it didn't have two bunks on the bottom level or if we found one that had the perfect bunkhouse, it had a shower, and so on.
One day we were out and about walking through RV after RV. Andy called one last dealership that day and asked a few questions. The answers gave us some hope. We walked through a camper with two slides and I was in awe of it. I couldn't believe how many of my wish list items were there. The RV that we walked through was actually a Jayco with 2 slides, but the dealer showed us floor plans of the Jayco with 3 slides.
After searching online a few months more, we finally found what we wanted. Now, I am excited to be going on our first Chicken Whisperer tour with our new camper! We love it! I'm so glad we figured out what we really wanted and didn't give up until we found it!
I'm looking forward to roadschooling in our new camper! I can't wait to share with you our new roadschooling set up when we get down to Florida, so look for that post in November.
God Bless your Learning Journey~