Armada Time

DSCN3768Well as mentioned before we finally decided to go ahead with our plan to travel the country. The next step for us was research, research, research! First we had to figure out what sort of living arrangements we would prefer. A good friend of ours had two class A RV’s, so I immediately asked him for advice. He actually recommended against an RV and suggested a travel trailer. He thought the insurance and registration too much, plus you have to tow a vehicle to be able to explore the surrounding area. Our current car couldn’t be towed without a full tow trailer, so I thought his advice sage and we started looking at towables.

The first trailers we looked at were tent trailers and we quickly realized that they would work if we were going for the weekend, but not for a year on the road. We did like the hybrids and started going back to look at a Roo hybrid with two pop-outs containing beds. Rockwood makes the Roo and it is very well built and light weight. The only problem we had with it was that the beds were heated due to lack of insulation. Since we live in the high desert and the temperature drops at night, we knew that temperature shifts were going to happen. This lead us to larger trailers until we were at the largest of the travel trailers with a substantial weight.

Originally we wanted to keep the trailer below 25 feet, so that we could have access to all the national and state parks in the country. Unfortunately the small travel trailers were not ideal for living in full time for a year. Once again we thought they would work for a weekend excursion, but would be cramped and difficult to live in full time. All the super large travel trailers were spacious and definitely would make a nice home, but seemed difficult to tow. In the end the middle won and we decided to try to keep it under 30 feet, but if a floor plan worked then we would go as large as 35 feet. This put the weight at between 6500 to 10,000 lbs. Now we could figure out what to tow with!

I immediately went for trucks due to the weight we wanted to tow. It must be a guy thing, because my wife wanted anything but a truck. So like any successful married couple we compromised and found a vehicle that would please us both. Nissan makes an SUV with the truck frame, suspension and engine from a Titan. The Armada seemed the perfect answer with a tow rate of over 9,000 lbs. She diligently researched which year had the fewest problems and what price we should expect to pay. Turns out most people love their Armada’s and our area had few for sale, especially with the tow package. An older one with lots of miles seemed good due to the price tag, but we wanted reliability and the 2011 had the least amount of recalls or complaints. So we did the car shopping experience (never a fun thing) and purchased a 2011 Nissan Armada with a tow package. Now we were ready to get our trailer and see America. Just one problem, the house wasn’t ready to sell and we had to sell it to purchase the travel trailer. Sounds simple and easy, but it wasn’t!

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