Why we chose a truck camper and travel trailer combo for full-time RV living

It’s been a little over two months since we bought our Casita travel trailer and nearly as long since we moved in to it full-time (combined with our Four Wheel Camper).  The setup may be unique but it couldn’t be working out better.  I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you guys how we’re using everything and a few more details about why we ended up going this route.

It all started with the one thing we knew to be true: 

There was no way we were giving up our Four Wheel Camper.  Here’s why:

  •  We loved our FWC setup so much we wanted to add on to that idea rather than start over from scratch.
  •  We loved the idea of two separate spaces.  When you’re with your spouse 24/7, it’s nice to have a division of space.
  • We loved the idea of still having our FWC to take places the Casita can’t go if we ever wanted to leave the Casita behind for such a trip.  For instance, we would love to go to Baja someday and for that we would want to leave the Casita behind.
  • We owned a 30′ travel trailer in the past and hated towing it.  We knew we wanted a trailer much smaller, so keeping our sleeping space, among other things, in the bed of our truck allowed us to shop for the smallest trailer possible.
  • Just because we loved the idea of living on the road full-time didn’t mean it was going to work.  If in 6 months or a year we decided it wasn’t for us, we wanted to be able to sell the Casita and still have the FWC.
  • The whole idea to live on the road full-time arose from loving our FWC so much so selling it just didn’t make any sense!

For our extended trips (4-6 weeks) that we previously took, our utility trailer worked perfectly.  However, for full-timing, we desired something different because:

  •  It doesn’t have climate control.  Although we planned on following the weather, we wanted the ability to be comfortable in any conditions.
  •  It’s not weather sealed.  We spend a lot of time in the desert and everything inside that trailer would get covered in dirt.  We wanted a space that would be better protected from the wind and rain.
  • We had to cook and bathe outside.  No problem for vacations but not ideal for full-time living.
Our utility trailer that we used prior to purchasing the Casita.

It took close to a month for everything to find its place in the casita but we’re finding our groove and it’s really feeling like home.  Here’s how we’re using each space:

The Four Wheel Camper (truck camper):  The truck camper is primarily used for sleeping, clothing and storage.  Since it’s a shell model with a dinette setup, we have a fair amount of storage space and don’t have a kitchen that’s not getting used.  We’re also using our ARB refrigerator in the camper instead of the refrigerator in the Casita.  We love that refrigerator because it’s 100% solar powered (we’ve not yet setup solar on the Casita) and find that the top-loading refrigerators hold so much more than a traditional front-loading refrigerator.  The fridge in the Casita is used as a pantry.

The Casita (travel trailer):  We shower, cook and work in the Casita.  Some of the things I’m loving that make the Casita the perfect upgrade for us:

  •  Running water!
  •  A shower that doesn’t require setup, teardown and being outside.
  • The ability to cook inside.  I do miss cooking outside, however, there have been some really windy and cold days that have made me so appreciative of the indoor kitchen.
  • The windows!  I am all about windows.  If I’m inside, I want to be able to see outside.  This is one of my only qualms about the FWC.  The placement of the window is such that when you’re sitting at the dinette, the window is lower than you so you can only see the ground, not the view.  Sitting at the dinette in the Casita with 3 big windows surrounding me makes me very happy!
  •  It’s extremely cozy during bad weather.
  •  The separate space where Mark can stay up late and I can get up and go to early is just as nice as we thought it would be.
  •  It’s easy to tow and takes very little time to set up and teardown.

So far we are absolutely loving our new setup and the full-time RV lifestyle!  As of now, is there anything we would do differently?  No.  Is it the perfect setup?  No, but it’s very close to it.  At this point, we feel like the only thing that’s missing is some utility space to store dirty, outdoor items like tools, hoses and firewood but Mark is currently working on a remedy for that!

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By Michele


Hi, I'm Michele, a nomadic wedding photographer and lover of the great outdoors. I live on the road full-time and document my adventures daily. This is my personal blog where I share and record my thoughts on living simply and intentionally with less stress and more joy. Check out my wedding and portrait photography at http://www.oncwest.com


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