Well, we did it. I’ll immediately just go ahead and note that we’re a little ashamed of our ultimate desire and decision to upgrade since we have taken so much pride in our other trailer. We’re so ashamed, in fact, that Melissa didn’t even want to let the world know. So, that’s why I’m here! The decision didn’t come lightly because it’s been time consuming, stressful, and of course expensive. Ultimately our needs to upgrade were important for sanity moving forward with our trip and stemmed from the following:
- We barely had counter top space to keep anyone sane while cooking
- The living room was ultimately the office, the kids play room, the TV and hangout room, and the school house. It stems from the next two items that help play a part in this fact
- The master bedroom had little room to move around. It was practically only a place to sleep and even less room to store clothes.
- The bunk area didn’t allow the kids to have any space and therefore it was impossible to shut them out
Humor me while I explain how this whole process played out. Because of the need to have just a little more space and provide ourselves some ability to not be touching shoulders all the time, we started scouring the internet for hours on end (self proclaiming we are OCD shoppers) on what would be the ideal trailer. Luckily we did decide relatively quickly we didn’t want anything but a 5th Wheel. So we looked at just about every model out there that was a bunk house, created a spreadsheet with details of each one that fit our needs, and started to weight out how we’d get as much as we wanted within the price and length we determined.
We first started looking at only 5th wheels that were in the 35′ foot range. Of course sales reps show you the big ones and you start to drool but we didn’t want to go too big. There are much more limitations on anything over 35′ in length. Through the process, it was also quickly changed to something that was going to be longer and it inched all the way up to what we ended up with. Through all the searching this was our new criteria to find the trailer we all would enjoy. Ultimately we decided that if we were going to upgrade, we needed to just go ahead and upgrade to what we wanted now so that we’re not stuck wondering “What if?”
- The new trailer needed to have a bunk house with a couch or dinete so that one kid and parent could go and teach while the other would stay in the living area. A door ended up being part of the design that made this happen so that’s a huge bonus
- The living area needed to have a good setup for watching TV and ideally a “fireplace” heater
- Needed an outdoor kitchen
- Needed the self leveling system – for those that don’t know, the best invention ever for trailers to this date
- Counter top space
- A larger fridge – and we learned we couldn’t do a residential fridge because we needed the ability to do LP with it.
- A bedroom that you could actually move around in and get dressed with a emphasis on the slide containing the head of the bed versus the closet
- A pantry, or as it turned out, enough cabinets and storage for everything. Not as easy as one might think to find in a lot of the trailers of these sizes.
- A size that was still towable by my truck
- A price that didn’t destroy us more than we could handle.
Moving along, we decided on a trailer that met most of those with the floorplan we liked. We started negotiating with a Camping World in St. Augustine for a Keystone 336BHS. We got pretty much no where and decided we were going to get ripped off and we just wouldn’t do any upgrade afterall. A day went by and we were on the phone again with other dealerships working out details with another possibility, the Keystone 369BHS, which is what we ultimately ended up with at pretty much a lower price than the smaller trailer.
Like I mentioned earlier, the length kept inching up. We started looking at 36′, then 38′ with the 336 and in doing more research, it didn’t really matter if the trailer was 38 or 40, we were still relegated to pretty much the same camp site requirements and the weight didn’t increase dramatically. We did our due diligence in looking through many different options again to make sure it was what we wanted. Melissa put her game face on and went to work with negotiating with 3 different dealerships across 3 states to get our best bottom line and the one we wanted. Who does that!? That girl does! So, we ultimately decided through all the details that our trailer was in Myrtle Beach.
We moved our way up North from Charleston, SC on Monday to purchase the trailer and actually purchased the trailer on Wednesday. We knew of some things that needed fixed so we were willing to wait for it, but it turns out they weren’t done (go figure). It turned out it wasn’t the easiest process. We were stuck waiting a couple more days for the trailer to go back into the shop and get worked on, my truck got the new hitch installed, and we ended up borrowing back our “old trailer” until our new trailer was fixed and hunkered down in it while it rained. Obviously it was very bittersweet to buy a new trailer and expect to have it on one day and be stuck waiting for it. We spent all afternoon moving from one trailer to the other in the rain and cold and finished up about 5:45pm. Now, the work continues as we organize and place everything in their new spots. But, here we are, in our new home, about to be moving South again and happy!
Here is the 360 view supplied by Keystone for the trailer. Ours is pretty much the same.