I sold my travel trailer yesterday.
This is the travel trailer we purchased back in 2014, whose purchase marked the culmination of a series of life goals as well as the launching point for a new phase of life. We bought the trailer and shortly thereafter I switched industries and we hit the road as full time travelers. The camper served as our home, and kept us dry and warm (or cool, as appropriate) across 26 states over 2-3 years.
That travel trailer allowed us to feel at home no matter where we found ourselves. I have fond memories of waking up and stepping out of that camper, cup of coffee in hand, into the morning air in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Montana, California, and many other states.
In a certain manner of speaking, I loved that trailer.
I am so glad to see it gone.
It Was Time
Owning an RV means choosing to own a rapidly depreciating asset that poses a constant threat to suck money out of your wallet and time out of your schedule.
There was a time when I was happy to take on that risk because we were getting so much out of having the camper. It was enabling us to see the country!
However, for the last couple of years it’s only real utility has been to serve as my office, on-and-off, and to take us on two vacations in the last 12 months–vacations during which we became keenly aware of the fact that we’d outgrown it.
My wife was quite sad as we watched the camper drive away yesterday, and I understand that sentiment. To some degree, I was sad to see that chapter of our lives closing as well.
On the other hand, I was feeling a tremendous sense of relief that I won’t be spending any evenings or weekends this summer and fall performing maintenance on a travel trailer that we aren’t even using.
Eliminating a Point of Exposure
The way I explain my feelings on this matter to my wife is to talk about points of exposure. A point of exposure is anything that has the potential to (a) cost money, (b) cost time, or (c) cause stress.
My house is a point of exposure. I need a place to live, but it definitely costs money, costs time, and can cause stress. That’s ok though. I accept that risk because I enjoy living where I live and we have to live somewhere. The utility of living in my home outweighs the risks of owning it, at least as I perceive those risks.
A travel trailer is a point of exposure. Travel trailers need maintenance, things break that need to be repaired. Travel trailers cost both time and money. Anyone who has pulled a camper down the road can tell you that they also cause stress. You only have a loose a wheel bearing once to be terrified that it’s going to happen again.
When we were using the camper as our home, or using it on a regular basis, I was totally ok with it being a point of exposure. The utility it brought to our lives was sufficient to justify the burden of taking care of it. However, we weren’t using it anymore. So as soon as the utility was gone, the exposure created by owning it grated on me. Every time I saw it I saw a ticking time bomb that was going to go off and suck money out of my wallet and time out of my schedule.
Feeling the weight of that point of exposure roll off my shoulders was enough to offset the sadness of watching our former home pass into someone else’s hands. The new owners drove away, and I was glad to see them go.
So Long Old Friend
I really hope that camper is good to the family that bought it. I hope it enables them to form a lot of great memories and see a lot of new places. While it made sense for us, that camper was good to us, and I’ll always look back on it fondly.
So long old friend. I hope the road is good to you.