I used my Classic GMC Motorhome for business and pleasure for some 300,000+ miles in the 20+ years I owned it. Before the GMC I had a straight Van Conversion, a Wide-body Conversion and eventually the 1976 Classic GMC Motorhome that served me well for many years and miles. Of course prior to that I spent many nights in rest areas making use of my reclining seats in full-sized sedans of the time. Mind you that was a while ago when cars were a bit bigger and being young helped one to sleep almost anywhere, anyhow and any-which-way.
With advent of the Internet my need to travel on business diminished to the point where the GMC was used less and less. Less use also translated to increased maintenance.
During my GMC time I towed a Mazda for a while, but while it was great having a vehicle at the destination if was a real pain not to be able to back up as I was towing 4 wheels down. During the latter years I used a Scooter as my local and emergency transportation.
I truly thought my RV’ing days were over. Quite voluntarily mind you. It simply didn’t make sense to keep pouring money into maintaining the GMC when we really didn’t have plans for much travel.
A bit of a rethink occurred when I did a trip to California in my recently acquired Lincoln MKZ. Very comfortable. I enjoyed driving the MKZ as it was a bit more relaxing than driving a Motorhome. On top of that, it was a bit more current with Technology compared to a 1976 GMC Motorhome.
The best thing about having your bed with you is that when you’re tired you pull into the next Rest Area and in no time flat you’re asleep. Compare that to driving without your bed, meaning you now have to get to a Motel and by the time you get checked in, etc. you’re wide awake. At least that’s how it works for me. That’s when I started to look for alternatives to Motels for en-route accommodations. I also started to miss the occasional camping trip.
My first thought was to tow with the MKZ but that went by the wayside when I found that the Ford Owners Manual had no tow rating for the MKZ. While lost of hitches were offered by eTrailer, Hidden Hitch, etc. since it was not sanctioned by Ford/Lincoln I did not want to give them an out should some warranty work be required in future. The MKZ was eventually replaced with a Hyundai Santa Fe.
I had developed a rather simple set of requirements, in no particular order:
- Small in size, large in features and comfort
- Room to sit and sleep
- Narrow enough to not need mirror extensions
- Light in weight
- No setup to be required to facilitate quick naps at Rest Area during travel
I considered the Alto, but it was too big. Very nice rig though.
I took a drive to Seattle to look at a BackPacker 2 and it was definitely in the running.
Also looked at the Eco-12 from Pro-Lite, but it too was bigger than needed.
I eventually had a look at a ProLine Suite in Edmonton and liked it. Ultimately I ordered the Suite Deluxe as it had a few extras, like TV, small sink, etc. It meant that more wires would be buried versus me adding everything later.
Whether I actually made the right choice remains to be seen.