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John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
7 yrs and 6 days - end of the road

Our Camper - 2006 Bigfoot 25RQ

We no longer plan to go full time in our Bigfoot so we sold it.

Our Bigfoot at Three Rivers State Park, FloridaChoosing a home is a HUGE decision, and one we didn't enter into lightly. John spent months researching and we spent many a night discussing the pros and cons of different types and sizes of campers. We changed our minds multiple times, but eventually purchased a Bigfoot 25RQ travel trailer. We waffled back and forth between the 25RQ and the 21RB, but we found a used 25RQ in good condition a few hours away and couldn't pass it up.

We're so glad we did, we love it! For us, the 25RQ has multiple features that make it a perfect fit. The black water tank is large enough to last about a week as opposed to a few days, which will translate into fewer trips to the dump station during long stays. The living room is equipped with the optional jackknife sofa instead of the dinette; we are definitely couch people (especially since our 60 pound boxer likes to pile on top of us - she wouldn't stand for being relinquished to the floor). The walk-around bed is super convenient, there is ample built-in storage space, and there are no slides to maintain.

Choosing a Travel Trailer

There are so many options when choosing a camper, it really can be overwhelming. When determining what type of camper we wanted, John did a lot of internet research and we visited RV dealers and attended an RV show. We had previously camped in tents, a Coleman pop-up, and a Scamp 13' travel trailer, and at the time that we decided we wanted to go fulltime, we owned a high quality camper van. We enjoyed camping in each of these for different reasons, but for fulltime living, we determined that the options for us would likely include fifth-wheels, travel trailers, and class Cs. View from the couch of the galley and bedroom

As I have mentioned, we have a 60 pound boxer (Jolie) and she is quite a space hog. After putting up with Jolie's obvious attempts to smother me in the camper van, I thought we might want a fifth-wheel so that we would have ample room to spread out (to keep the arguments between Jolie and me to a minimum). We attended an RV show in Tampa, Florida, and I became especially enamored with a 35 foot model with an optional fireplace, integrated vacuum system, and an eye-poppingly large basement to store all our outdoorsy gear. We toyed with that idea for a little while, thinking that it would be nice to move practically everything we currently own into our camper and head out, but we could never get comfortable with the idea of towing and parking a camper of such height, length, and girth.

John and I have limited experience backing in towables which often ended up with me red-faced, arguing with him about how to give proper instructions and how close I should or should not be to a specific tree or water spigot, while he calmly expressed that he would not lead me astray. We didn't want to add stress to our routine so, because of the sheer size of them, we decided to eliminate fifth-wheels from our scope. Looking in from the door, couch is on the right

John and I discussed what types of spots we would want to reside at, weighing the benefits and drawbacks of National Parks, State Parks, RV Parks, Camp Wal-Mart, boondocking, etc., and determined that we definitely wanted to have National and State Parks as options. We speculate that (if the State Parks in Florida are any indication) some State Parks could be difficult to maneuver in a larger vehicle and John found, during his internet research, that the average maximum length of camper allowed in National Parks is 24 feet. Because of these factors and the aforementioned backing up incidents, we hoped to limit the length of our camper to close to 24 feet and figured why not try to eliminate slides while we're at it, one less thing to have to maintain and think about when positioning our camper in the campsite. With that, we began focusing on small Class C campers and travel trailers.

To drive or not to drive... that is the question we dwelled upon for a considerable time. Well, not really whether or not to drive (driving is inevitable), but whether we should drive the camper, drive the camper and an additional vehicle, or drive a vehicle with a camper in tow. We enjoy a lot of outdoor activities and don't relish the idea of having to drive a Class C camper to off-the-beaten-path destinations or, for that matter, the grocery store and laundromat, so we quickly eliminated the idea of owning only a driveable camper. John and I are very much attached at the hip so we thought we wouldn't want to spend all our driving time apart and, if we drove separately, someone would be designated to listen to the lovely serenade of Jolie's whining during the drive while the other person languished in the relative quiet of the second vehicle (I think we would rather suffer together than listen to the other person's complaining post-travel). Driving two vehicles also poses difficulties in navigation and communication, since both of us would be busy driving, and, based upon our cost comparison spreadsheet, would cost us additional money in maintenance and fuel. So, after much banter, we decided that a tow vehicle and travel trailer were the best fit for us.

Why Bigfoot?

View from the wardrobe of the couchAfter deciding to get a travel trailer, our attention was turned to which one. During his previous research, John had learned that not all RVs are created equal, or more importantly, warrantied equally. Huh? It turns out that most RV warranties are void if you live in them fulltime, which means there are two distinct types of RVs, recreational and fulltime capable. John searched near and far, but he couldn't find any fulltime capable travel trailers. John turned the focus of his research to determining which fulltime capable features were important to us and would provide a real benefit to life on the road. We found that we really liked the idea of well-insulated walls, thermo or dual pane windows, and heated and enclosed tanks. As it turned out, those seemed to be some of the major features of fulltime capable RVs since they are designed to be lived in year-round, including cold and hot conditions. We also liked the idea of a solid one-piece shower, which was standard or optional on the high-end fulltime capable fifth-wheel or class A brands.

After a couple of months, John found two travel trailer brands that have almost all of the major features found in the fulltime capable rigs with a comparable build quality. Ironically, he was familiar with both brands. When we were considering purchasing a Scamp camper, John joined fiberglass rv, an online forum devoted to fiberglass campers. In a twist of fate, his searches regarding fulltime capable travel trailers landed him back on that same forum. We had already owned and loved a fiberglass RV and were familiar with their advantages and longevity, so it was obvious to us which brand of trailer we would get, Bigfoot.

25RQ vs 21RB

B25RQ Floor planWell, we decided to go with a Bigfoot travel trailer, but which one? John was targeting the 21RB since it should fit everywhere we want to go but I liked the larger 25RQ. We zealously scoured the internet looking for any available units, but after a couple of months with no luck, the search kind of dropped into the shadows. Out of curiosity John contacted Bigfoot to see what a new one would cost. There was a bit of sticker shock, but we were looking for a home so we began looking at our budget to see how to make it all fit. As you have probably deduced by now, being an Accountant and a Programmer, we build spreadsheets for almost everything. We decided that purchasing a new camper and used truck would be a stretch and may move our launch date, but that getting the right camper was paramount, so we would continue to look for used, but would buy a new one if need be.

One evening, John decided to run some Bigfoot searches during his nightly internet browsing/researching and came across a used 25RQ about four hours south of us. Being that Bigfoots are made in Armstrong, BC, we never thought one would be available so close. It sounded too good to be true since it had all of the options we wanted, including the couch. We were planning to take a short trip south to go to my grandmother's funeral so we decided, if time permitted, we would make a stop on the way home to take a look at the camper. Bedroom from the foot of the bed

When we got home from the trip, we were goo-goo-eyed over the camper. John suggested we wait a couple days to discuss it so we could be reasonable about it. So we waited, as hard as it was, then sat down and did the traditional pros and cons and came to the conclusion that, for fulltime living, there were a few advantages the 25RQ had over the 21RB. We liked the idea of a separate bedroom, not just for sleeping but for those times when one of us is sick or just in need of some separate space. It also has an RV queen bed with room for a normal queen mattress so we can take our existing mattress which we love. The bathroom is larger and has a nice size vanity, but the biggest reason was the black water tank size. At 45 gallons it should last us an entire week.

Two weeks after we first saw it we were picking it up, thanks to our friend Eric who drove his F250 so we could get it home. Finding our used Bigfoot really helped us a lot and ultimately allowed us to get a new truck, all under budget!

We understand that everyone is different. Just because we decided to go fulltime in a Bigfoot 25RQ travel trailer doesn't mean it would be the right choice for everyone, or that it will be the right camper for us later on. We decided on the best camper for us at the current time and we realize that our wants and needs could change in the future. We think that Bigfoot makes one of the best travel trailers available and we will happily answer any questions about them.

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