Fleetwood Evolution E2
Yesterday we picked up a beautiful condition Fleetwood Evolution E2 popup.
Was just about to pull the trigger on a small class c motorhome on Friday, but the prepurchase engine test was a fail, so I went back to my other first choice, which was still available.
The E2 is in immaculate condition. The roof has been sealed with Rhino - there was apparently a factory leakage problem, so there are minor rust stains but no mildew stains on the canvas, but the roof itself was completely redone. The guy we bought it from was very meticulous - I doubt it will ever be as clean and damage-free as it is before we do our first campout.
Not having used it yet, I love it. My wife isn't sure yet, but I'm hoping it'll grow on her (she really liked the $40,000 motorhomes we looked at - which wouldn't have gone off-road. I really liked the Fuso Earthcruiser that you can't get in the US: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvVYQkrTxbA) I've camped in popups before, and I love the space and the smaller towing profile. My (one of many!) concession to her will be to an electric lift, if I can find one. I'm getting a brake controller installed before I take it anywhere - though it only weighs 3500lbs loaded, I understand they're indispensable.
Most of my travel is to "festivals" - Burning Man and other similar events throughout the year. Mostly weekends, some 4-days, one 10-day. The gear platform on the front was a huge selling point for both of us, since the frequent question seems to be "where are we going to put our costume bins and bikes?" Sometimes I go by myself; occasionally she goes by herself. We also live in San Diego, so there's a huge number of nice places to overnight, beach/mountains/desert. Lately I've been procrastinating camping because of all the effort to get gear together.
I'm glad to stop shopping for a while - have been at this for over a year, going back and forth between trailers and tents and popups and small motorhomes. Craigslist has lots of stuff - but it's generally either cheap-for-a-reason or overpriced. The motorhome was $10K, Chevy Tioga 22' with 120K miles, previous El Monte RV rental, showing Check Engine light and half-a-dozen tuneup codes; the ceiling stains didn't scare me away that much, but the possibility of engine repairs did.
I'm also planning on building my own RTT of sorts - marine plywood platform, camping mats, PVC shade/moisture cover - for the top of the Rover. The Rover rack has always been painful to use, since the bars are spaced so far apart and it isn't flat, so this should help (and if it doesn't I'm only out $50 of lumber!). Would be used as observation platform, and camping deck when I'm by myself, or occasional gear schleppage.
Someday the Rover is going to need to be replaced - she hates riding in it, we both hate the mileage; I like sticking with a medium SUV so I'm looking at Jeep Grand Cherokee (2011+) or 4Runner (2009+) or maybe Volvo XC90.
Photos on Flickr, haven't figured how to post those here.
Those trailers are sweet.
I'm in love with the Fleetwood/Coleman Cobalt.