Upgrading your rig—is it worth it??? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Guest blogger, Christy Rogers, keeps her camper on a seasonal site at Logan Martin Lake in Alabama.

Friend and guest blogger, Christy Rogers shares about her experience of upgrading her camper.  She made the decision to move to a bigger and more accommodating floor plan this year.  Christy keeps her RV on a seasonal site and loves everything about the lake life.  Find out more about why she felt like upgrading was the best decision for her.

At the beginning of 2018, I was afforded the opportunity to lease an annual RV spot at my favorite place in the world—Lake Logan Martin in Cropwell, Alabama. It was an easy decision for me and one I had considered for many months prior to it becoming a reality. Once the perfect spot was secured, the search for the perfect camper was on! For me, the most important considerations were livability while I was at the lake—most often with friends and family—not transportability or any of the considerations one would have with a camper they were pulling from campground to campground. My rig was literally going into a spot and staying there—hopefully for many years!

Christy's new 5th wheel checked all of her boxes!

I found my first camper after a long and frustrating search filled with disappointing campers that were not in the shape they were advertised to be. I traveled across the state and was about to give up on finding a decent used camper when I came across a gem! It was a large bumper-pull camper with a bunkhouse and a super slide. I loved it! But unfortunately, the day before I was to take possession, the dealership called me and rescinded the sale—the floor in the slide was rotten. They worked hard to find another (better) camper at the same cost and they did! It was about the same size, but the slide out was a kitchen (1/2) slide—not the full super slide. It had more bells and whistles than my first choice, like an outdoor kitchen and a built-in gas grill, but as it turned out, the ½ slide was just not enough room. When I would have people stay with me, it was so tight inside the camper that we really couldn’t relax in a fashion that made for comfortable conversation. It was fine for sleeping—but what I found out that first summer in my camper at the lake was that I wanted a comfortable, roomy, inside space with a view of the water. As it turns out, after being out on the lake all day, I didn’t want to just sit outside the deck all night—I wanted to be inside in the air conditioning in a comfortable chair. My friends (and all of our dogs) agreed!

The view on the lake is great!

In October of this past year, I went to Camping World with some friends to buy some RV supplies. For fun, we decided to “look around” a bit. Of course, immediately upon entering the store, we met with a sales guy who I quickly told, “I’m not buying anything today!” He was very nice and agreed to show us some bumper pull models that ticked off some of my boxes: rear living floor plan (ie-view of the lake), recliner(s), super slide—or two, sleep 4-6 adults comfortably, well-appointed storage and living spaces, to name a few. We looked at 3-4 models. I loved one and liked another one. But not enough to pull the trigger; just enough to feel motivated. One of my friends there insisted we look at a 5th wheel model. I refused! I couldn’t afford a 5th wheel and would be dependent on hiring a “hot shot driver” should it ever need to be moved. I just couldn’t get over those 2 ideas in my head. My friend continued to insist we just check one out while we were tooling around the parking lot on the golf cart and the salesman agreed! We went to see a 5th wheel model that checked every box on my list—except it was shorter than I thought I wanted. Shows how much I know! The minute I walked into the RV I knew I was about to be broke! (JK—I wasn’t actually broke, thankfully!) It was PERFECT. It was literally everything I wanted and more: opposing super slides meant that I had more floor space in the camper than my home! The view was unbelievable because the back wall and the slide walls had large windows! There were opposing recliners and a tri-fold (not jackknife!) couch. The dinette was HUGE! The kitchen was beautiful with lots and lots of counter space and cabinets for storage. The bathroom had a residential size toilet and shower which meant so much room! The bedroom had a 3rd slide out—the closet—which was a huge amount of space. The only thing it didn’t have that I have missed is the outdoor kitchen. But what I got in its place is immeasurable!

Christy purchased her 5th wheel at Camping World and had a great experience.

So despite my best efforts NOT to buy a new camper that day, I purchased my 2019 Keystone Springdale 235FWRE (on sale!) on Halloween night of 2018. I caught the legendary “Fall Sale” at Camping World and saved over $14,000 off the sticker price of my camper. And thanks to the fact that you can get a very low-interest rate for financing for a very long time (204 months-17 years) at 6.7%, I was able to buy much more camper than I thought I could afford at a monthly payment that was barely more than what I was paying for my 2013 Springdale bumper pull camper.

The interior had everything she needs for great weekends with friends and family.

Full disclosure: I know not everyone has had a good experience with Camping World. I had a great one. But they don’t service my RV nor do I ever need to go back there regularly since I have a local RV service guy who comes to my spot at the lake to do everything. Service considerations were not something I factored in. Price was a BIG factor. I live in a townhouse and have had a roommate for years to keep costs low for me (plus I travel extensively for work and it’s nice to have someone who can feed the cat!) which enables me to keep my place at the lake affordable for my budget. I don’t ever recommend that anyone carry debt—especially more than you can afford! And it is a large goal for me to pay off my camper as quickly as possible!
The spacious floor plan is perfect for entertaining and having guests at the lake.

I started with a camper at the lake knowing that I wanted to be there for many, many years. It took one summer to narrow down my “must haves” and “can’t stands” and to know that a new camper was what I was looking for! I don’t regret my first camper purchase at all! I did the same thing when I bought my boat. I wanted to know for sure that I would use it and get my money’s worth before I invested in the long term, more expensive option. I was hooked the very first night in the first camper. And now in the new camper, I am hooked even more! I love everything about it! And the most encouraging thing to me so far has been this: in January I went with friends to the RV show in Birmingham. It is a HUGE show! They have every kind of camper you can imagine! Lots of sales and lots of options. But there was not one single camper I liked more than my own! That was a very good feeling.

If you’re considering an upgrade and can afford it, take the plunge! I haven’t regretted it for one minute! But make a list—check it off. Don’t compromise on any of your “must haves” or “can’t stands.” There are entirely too many campers out there and there is one that is perfect for you!

Until next time...

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