We thought that we would give you some insight on why we chose the camper we did and a little about our tow vehicle. We recently purchased a new 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.
We love the Jeep, but knew from the get-go that it had a very low towing capacity of 3500 lbs. This meant that any camper we would purchase had to be lightweight to accommodate the weight of the camper, as well as the things we stock it with. We initially looked at the tear drop types of campers, like the T@b. At a local show, we fell in love with the Winnebago Winnie Drops, which were low in weight, but high in style (*and price*).
After going back and forth between a couple type of campers, we decided on the Starcraft Lauch Extreme 16RB. The weight is around 3,000 unloaded, which means we can bring along around 500 lbs. of “stuff” with us. We liked the cheaper price, as well as the the fact it can grow with our family, as we are currently expecting our first child in September. What made us really fall in love with it was the Extreme package, which included at extra 5″ of ground clearance with larger off-road mud tires and an enclosed underbelly for when we want to to a little more off the beaten path type of camping. Here are two photos – one with the sides closed and one with them popped out, creating two queen sized beds. The main reason we picked this type of camper is that the back pop-out will be our “master bedroom”. The bed is hidden behind the wall for the bathroom with a small curtain where we would enter the bed. This will be nice if one of us (like Chad) wakes up in the morning and hangs out in camper with the dogs while the other sleeps. We plan on popping out the front bed for extra light/ventilation.
On the outside, there is an electric awning with LED lights. Most of the smaller campers did not even come with an awning, let along an electric one, so this was a huge plus for us. We also like the colors of the outside, where it is not so “campery” (yes, that is a word I just made up). We hate the boring typical colors and stickers most campers have and wanted something different.
When we purchased the camper, we had the service department add a sway bar to it for easier stabilization and an electronic brake controller in the Jeep, since the camper comes with brakes already installed on it.
As you can see from the floorplan, the camper contains a bathroom – a toilet was a must-have on Stacy’s camping list. The shower is actually quite large, though I am not sure how often we will utilize it other than drying out swimsuits and storage when we are traveling. There is a four-person dinette table that folds down into a bed and a sofa for extra sitting/sleeping. The kitchen includes a refrigerator with small freezer, small sink, two-burner gas range, and microwave. There are plenty of places for storage throughout the camper. We also have an air conditioner, furnace, TV hook-up (cable and satellite, and music system with speakers throughout. Here are some inside shots of the camper from the Starcraft website (please note that while we loved the new Star Wars movie, we would not have that much memorabilia in our camper)! The openness of the inside makes it feel way larger than it looks. The camper can also sleep 6-7 people.
Some things we plan to add or renovate on the camper already:
- Add an additional battery.
- Add solar panels to trickle charge the battery and maybe an inverter to possibly run more to camp without hook-ups longer.
- Reupholster the fabric for the couch and dinette – we are not huge fans of the colors now and I can see the bench fabric ripping the first time one of the dogs jumps up on there.
- Add extra padding to the master bed – the pad it comes with is pretty small, so we might try to double it to make it more confortable.
- Hook-up our new Coleman grill to the outside propane tank for less hauling of propane bottles.
- Add a bike rack to the back, but we have to strengthen the back bumper to hold additional weight.
We are busy shopping around for all of the things we need to take with us on our first camping trip, which we hope will be soon! Our next post will include some of the common things you need to stock your camper and where we purchased everything.