We picked up Fleetwood Mac late on a Thursday afternoon. By about 7 p.m. that night, I was ready to return it or set it on fire.
Let me catch you up.
In life, there are people who should be renters and those who should be owners. I should be a renter. Luckily, I married an owner.
Fleetwood Mac is the 11-year-old motorhome that we recently purchased. It’s in good shape, but obviously used. The first night we had her, C. had to replace the battery and we discovered a leak in a window above the front bed, and that the refrigerator wasn’t working, and we couldn’t figure out how to get the slides in and out.
But being a magician, C. was able to fix the leak in about four seconds. We figured we’d try to fix the rest as we can.
With all of these hiccups, I wanted wherever we took our first trip to be local and a state park where we knew we’d have electrical and water hookups. Because what better place to discover something else wrong than in the middle of nowhere?
Luckily, a quick overnight trip to Champoeg State Heritage Area was when the bad parts of purchasing a used camper started to be outweighed by the good.
First, pulling in to our parking spot was a dream. Normally, this is one of the most stressful parts of camping as C. is trying to pull into a tight parking spot while the dogs are barking because they’re excited and I’m pretending to give him hand signals so he doesn’t hit a tree or the water spigot while simultaneously trying not to get run over. This time, C. used the backup cam and parked without having to make any corrections and no arguments broke out. Glorious!
Next, we discovered that both the refrigerator works (on propane only — but much better than a $1000+ replacement) and that the heater works on both propane and electric. Woo woo!
The next weekend, we decided to take Fleetwood out to the woods to do what’s called boondocking or dry/dispersed camping. What this essentially means is that you’re typically camping for free or using a permit on public land with no water or electrical hookups.
I researched a spot to camp by using a website and app called Campendium. People leave reviews and upload photos so that you can see if your camper will fit, etc.
It ended up being a beautiful spot and we were doubly thrilled to discover that the generator that came with our camper works like a champ. We were able to run it for a few hours each evening so that we could watch TV for a bit and charge our batteries. We turned off the generator before bedtime and the batteries lasted all night to keep the propane heater working — even thought it was hovering below freezing!
Here’s a little preview of our trip. We’re looking forward to many, many more!
Nearly three years ago — much to the shock of anyone who knows me, let alone myself — we purchased our first camper. We took it on many adventures, including an epic trip to the Redwoods and an adventure to Petaluma, San Francisco, and Pinnacles National Park. It was a great camper for a while, but it was tiny and not super well laid out. The walls started closing in on us, and we sold it to a lovely empty nester couple earlier this year after we purchased Dale.
C. kind of accidentally on purpose purchased a vintage camper during an auction. We drove to Wyoming to pick up Dale in the middle of February. It was going to be a great project and would make a beautiful camper with an open layout and great lighting, but it’s going to be so much work. With C.’s job change earlier this year and wanting to have a life, we made the decision to sell it.
But we really enjoy camping. Yes, even me too. So we did a lot of brainstorming about what we want in our next camper. C. wanted something that we can take dry camping/boondocking in the middle of nowhere. I wanted something that was less work and less stress. Because if you’ve ever had a travel trailer, you’ll probably get this shirt.
So we settled on buying a used, small-ish motorhome. Used because we can afford it. A motorhome because it will (hopefully) be less stress to park and drive. Something big enough that we can keep jackets and blankets and other things in it so it’s less work to go camping and less to put away when we get home.
After a lot of searching, we found one that was in seemingly good shape and a reasonable price.
Meet Fleetwood Mac
She’s a beaut, but she’s used. We’ve had a few small leaks, replaced a battery, and a few other issues, but I think she’ll do the job just fine. We’ve taken her out camping two times so far. One night at a state park and two nights dry camping without electrical or water hookups.
We’ve made a few changes and plan to make a few more.
But that face? Worth it.
Check back for more of our adventures in Fleetwood Mac!