Personally, I started out as a tent camper, with family and friends. I got to see a few different sorts of RVs (truck campers, motorhomes, a few travel trailers) and see some of the pros and cons of those various rigs.
As time passed, I got tired of some of the limitations of tent camping. A large part of it was just getting tired of sleeping on the ground...hehe
I knew I didn't want some monstrous 'Taj Mahal' on wheels. I had already selected my vehicle of choice, my Honda CRV, and one of the deciding factors was that it did have a towing capacity, though small.
What were my major requirements for a rig? After much kicking around, I decided on these things:
1. A refrigerator
of some sort-I'm not real crazy about having to deal with ice all the time, or your food goes bad. Its one thing if you're camped close to an ice source, but what if you're way out in the boondocks?
2. A bathroom of some sort-I've done my share of hiking out to a 'bush', or digging holes, and was pretty tired of that...lol I don't mind walking to the campground bathroom, even just a pit toilet, but at night, a bathroom is a wonderful thing.
3. A bed of some sort, hopefully not one that I have to inflate, or that can go flat in the middle of the night! hehe
First I considered a teardrop trailer. There were some great pros with a teardrop:
1. Small total weight
, depending on how you equip it.
2. Very customizable, especially since many are homebuilt.
3. Again with the homebuilt factor, they can be pretty affordable, downright cheap sometimes!.
4. One would fit in my garage, negating the need for paid storage.
But on the con side, I'd still have to get dressed laying down, and there was no bathroom. Also, a refrigerator
would be just about impossible. So what was my next option?
Well I'd seen a few tent trailers over the years. I knew I'd seen a few being towed by CRV's, so I looked into those rigs.
The reality was that ones small enough to be within my tow capacity were pretty rare, very seldom had a refrigerator
, and never had permanent bathrooms. You just sort of hide your porta potty somewhere, and bring it out when you need it...
I did actually end up buying a tent trailer within my tow capacity, though it needed some work. It was actually quite a basket case, but I learned a lot about tent trailers from tinkering with it.
1. The lift systems, cable, chain, or whatever, can be rather fragile.
2. The canvas tent itself can be easily damaged by moisture in storage, and expensive to replace.
Overall, it just didn't seem like the rig I was hoping for after all.
And then, a friend of mine pointed out a Scamp
, and how small tow vehicles seemed to tow these little marshmallow-looking trailers around without problems... So I did some research online, learned some about fiberglass rigs in general, and I liked what I saw. Granted, I still couldn't have a HUGE trailer, but there were some possibilities in my tow capacity. So I started looking...
I actually found my Compact II on Craigslist in the Sacramento area. Honestly I wasn't looking for a Compact at first, but (as a LOT of other people can agree with I'm sure!) there just didn't seem to be any rigs in my area that were anything near to what I wanted, or when there was one it was gone almost instantaneously... So I jumped on the ad for my Compact, and it was mine! It's really grown on me since I've had it, and I really enjoy it. It's not perfect of course, like so many of our rigs it's a work in progress, but it's a good little rig, and it's ALL MINE! hehe