I usually get a few seconds of stunned silence when I announce, “We’re selling all of our possessions to live in a trailer and travel the country!” Some folks truly can’t wrap their heads around the concept (more on that in a future blog post).

Now, we’re not selling EVERYthing. Some items will be going into storage – at least for the short term – and some things are coming with us. I mean, c’mon, we still need clothing, pots & pans, computers, food, dog toys, lawn chairs, and so on, and so on.

But to fit all of that STUFF, we’re going to need an upgrade from our current 5th wheel. It seems very spacious in the short term, but it doesn’t have the storage we need to live 24/7/365.

Photo from Roadtrek’s website

Now, I love the self-contained sufficiency and flexibility of a Class B RV like the Roadtrek pictured here.

  • They fit in any RV campsite with room to spare, including BLM, National Forests, state parks, and so on.
  • You won’t be trimming trees driving down the road!
  • They are easy to maneuver through city streets.
  • You can camp incognito on those same city streets, if needed.
  • Parking, drive-thrus, drive-INs — all a breeze.
  • No worries about low bridges or narrow tunnels.

But there is no way that the three of us (dog counts too!) can transition into a Class B lifestyle full time. We need to ease into the lifestyle. We may never be able to downsize to a rig that small, but it’s still a dream of mine.

So: I have given Shawn pretty much full control of our drive train and living quarters. He deserves it. The ability to travel in this fashion is/was really more my dream than his. In exchange for the variety of life on the road, he is creating stability by doing research and finding a platform that best suits our needs.

Friends have been teasing us, posting photos on Facebook of extreme rigs. Surprise: we will soon be traveling the country in something similar to this:

I was pretty shocked when Shawn brought up the concept of the heavy hauler (HDT – heavy duty truck). But it makes sense in more ways than one:

  • HDTs are designed for heavy loads. They are heavy themselves, and have a lot more pulling and – more importantly – a lot more stopping power when hauling a 22,000 pound trailer full of STUFF.
  • HDTs have 4-million-mile engines. We will be purchasing a used one with under 500,000 miles and expect to drive it for a decade or more.
  • They cost less than medium-duty trucks like the F450/550/650!  At least when you buy them used, as we plan to.
  • HDTs have 200+ gallon fuel tanks, which is great for eventual boondocking (living off-grid) and dramatically increases our range for long hauls like that drive to Alaska.
  • The back of the truck cab includes a bed, a table/desk, refrigerator, and even a port-a-potty. So not only can I make Shawn a sammich while we’re driving down the road, but I can take a nap or spread out papers and maps.
  • That rear living space can even be an overnight sleeper. We can take the truck on short overnight side trips instead of taking the whole camper. Whee!
  • The truck will have an auxiliary power unit which provides heat/cooling. Not only for our comfort, but we can leave it running to keep Elvis comfortable when we attend events at non-dog-friendly venues.
  • As you can see form the pic, there’s enough room on the back of the truck to add a platform for a Smart Car, or a giant storage box. Yay, more storage!

The trailer won’t look too different from our current 5th wheel. But it will be what’s called a toy hauler: the back 1/3 is actually a garage, with a ramp for loading our motorcycles. Once we reach our destination, the motorcycles will be moved outside and the garage area becomes Shawn’s office and mancave. AND the ramp turns into an outside patio – bonus living space when the weather’s nice.  I’m practically giddy with all of the possibilities.

One possible setup of the garage of the DRV Mobil Suites Full House toy hauler. That’s a bed up at the ceiling which can be lowered to access it for sleeping.

We’re moving on up, baby!