You may ask yourself what makes me qualified to give you information about RVs. Here’s what I can say on the topic…
I’ve camped since before I can remember. My family started out tent camping. From there we got a pop-up camper. After that we got a truck camper (one that goes on the back of a truck). At around this point, my brother and I started sleeping in tents again while Mom and Dad upgraded to a Class A motor-home. I continued camping in a tent through college and shortly after. Once I moved into my own apartment I bought my first RV. It was a R-Vision Trail Sport. This was in the mid 2000’s when new RV companies were springing up making very cheap and poor quality campers. My camper was no exception to that rule.
My Trail Sport from the first day I got it had a chipped counter-top. After a couple trips, the range pulled away from counter due to poor anchoring. Around that same time the staples that were used to hold up sliding dish pan drawers (yeah, this was bad) pulled out and all the drawers collapsed onto the floor. I was able to screw everything back together at least for future trips. Also experienced a poor caulking job around my water heater so when it rained, water would come inside the camper and run across the floor. This made for a particular poor camping trip in the fall as it rained almost the entire week. Lastly, all the ends of the Velcro strips that were used to secure the bunk canvas to the bed came unraveled as the stitching was never tied off and/or glued properly. I only had the camper for 2 winters before my parents convinced me to purchase either a Class A or C motor-home. I sold that camper and ended up getting my used 2000 Winnebago Brave 33v.
I loved my Winnebago even though I was continually harassed (in a fun loving way) by friends and co-workers about me only being in my late 20’s to early 30’s with one. It was great though. I got an amazing deal on it, performed many upgrades (and repairs), and made a lot of good memories in it. When I met my future wife, she fell in love with it too as she was excited not to be out in a tent with all that nature. As time progressed, we started having to put $2k to $3k into it each year to get it going in the spring for the next camping season. In the end, after owning it for about 8 years, we decided to get a new/different camper.
In the spring of 2016, after much discussion and hearing from my wife’s aunt and uncle about how much they liked their new camper we ended up getting a 2017 Rockwood Mini-Lite 2109s. For them, they were upgrading from tenting their whole lives and wanted something with a little more plushness to it. For us, we liked the idea of having something new (since we had a used and somewhat older Winnebago previously) and also came to terms with downsizing due mainly to the fact that all we had to tow with was my wife Heidi’s 2013 Ford Explorer. Also, we knew that we were trying to have kids at this point and figured that we would at least get a couple year’s use out of the new camper before we would need to upgrade to something larger. Lastly, heaven forbid, if something wasn’t going right in the kid department, we didn’t want something larger that would be a constant reminder of any failure out of our control. We ended up going to Universal Marine and RV in Rochester, MN and found a great deal on this camper.
The Mini-Lite has been a really good camper for us. Everyone who has said that Rockwood is a great manufacturer and has a quality product is right. We only had one problem with a speaker that didn’t work (dealer fixed it) and a couple other really minor things I was able to fix myself. The camper made it through being winterized and opened up for it’s second camping season. Low and behold though, we had a baby (she’s great), and now this floor plan doesn’t really fit our needs anymore. We figure it will continue to suit us the rest of this year but come next year we will be desperately low on room. This is where I currently stand and why I feel I’m qualified to discuss/blog about my RV research.