My husband and I love to travel, but traveling as we have done in the past is quite expensive and we could only afford a limited amount of that kind of travel. I just did not see anything in my future that would fill the kind of time I would have on my hands.
A friend had recently begun camping with her husband and suggested we give it a try. I had only been camping a couple of times in my entire life and that was tent camping. I dismissed the idea at first, but she kept bringing it up. Occasionally, she would send me pictures of campers. At some point, miraculously, the idea became appealing. We began to consider it an option and my husband and I did some research on line. We had a few must haves:
- A large bed. My husband is 6’3″ and we are both miserable in anything less than a queen.
- An air conditioner. Neither of us can sleep if it is too hot and we keep our home very cold at night.
- We have an Acura MDX and wanted something it would pull without any issues. We did not want to purchase another vehicle just to pull a camper.
- A toilet, and preferably a full bathroom.
- A high-quality product that would hold up well to our travel plans.
Our requirement for a lightweight camper eliminated the majority of campers. Even most of the pop-ups were quite heavy and we felt they would not hold up well over time. It also takes a good bit of time to set them up. Of those that were lightweight, many did not have an air conditioner or a toilet. We finally settled on a Forest River R-Pod 179. It was perfect, with its queen bed, wet bath, and air conditioner. It was pushing it a little on the weight, but if we adjusted the towing package on our vehicle, it would work.
However, we did not consider storage of the camper when we decided on the R-Pod. The R-Pod is too tall to fit into our basement and we live in a neighborhood with covenants. To have an R-Pod, we would have to build a place for storage or pay rent for storage off-site. That seemed like too much for a couple who were not sure they would like to do very much camping.
Our research had also identified the Little Guy Tag. I loved it when I first saw it, but when I suggested that we might purchase it, most everyone looked at me as if I were crazy. (I did mention that my husband is 6’3″). Also, it has no toilet and I am a professional woman not known for “roughing it”.
Once we had to consider trailer height into our search, the Little Guy was the only one left standing. Anything else required construction or ongoing rent. My husband came around and was even enthusiastic. One thing that did help with the decision was seeing where a couple of other tall men had bought the TAG.
We had to give up some conveniences, a toilet in particular, but it enabled us to have a camper that met all of our other requirements and it weighs just under 1,000 pounds. You can move it around manually. That ultra light weight means that gas mileage is only minimally impacted and our Acura is well equipped to pull it.
We purchased a new TAG XL from Southland RV in September 2016. They had a great selection of small campers and Shonn, our salesperson, was great.
A big plus with the TAG XL is that it has a king-sized bed. In fact, it is basically a bed on wheels with a galley in the back. The interior is really nice with multi levels of lighting, a TV, air conditioner, storage under the bed, cabinets, a stereo/DVD player, and windows with shades and screens. The galley in the back has an electric ice chest, microwave, two-burner stove, storage cabinet, and sink.
One great thing about the Little Guy TAG is its “cuteness factor”. It is adorable. Everyone that sees it, remarks how cute it is. In a world of big RVs and pop-ups, it is uncommon in the Southeast, which is our area of the country.
I have named this blog, “Teardrop Camping Adventures” because it will be a real adjustment for us and adventure sounds so much better than adjustment. For my husband, the adjustment is because it is so little and he is so big. For me, not having a personal bathroom or even a toilet for days at a time will be challenging. However, I am sure that with our level of commitment, we will make those adjustments and have wonderful adventures!
More to come….