Friday, March 12, 2010


In a moment of weakness we bought a camper/trailer. We were convinced that with a dog and three cats we would never leave home again if we didn’t find a way to take the kids with us and since lugging them all in and out of hotels was always a bit of a pain in the ass, our slightly twisted logic made us believe that the only way that we could vacation and actually enjoy it with all kids in tow, was if we had a camper/trailer/conversion van. So we bought one.

Off to the dealership we went looking for the perfect conversion van. You can see it can’t you? The whole family cruising in style and never having to stop to pee. What a deal. Well come to find out that conversion vans are unbelievably expensive considering what they are. It’s a van with a bed in it. Come on now they are not worth $80,000. Ok, clearly they are since that’s what they cost: on the low end. So we immediately eliminated that idea and moved onto the next best thing. A trailer. In fact, we moved to a really good idea, a toy hauler trailer. One in which we could not only travel in style with the kids, but also travel in style with the motorcycles. Yes, yes, you read right. We had the best intentions of traveling the country with the dog, the cats and the motorcycles. A romantic notion, no?

After looking at a variety of vans (we had to look despite the cost), trailers and busses, we settled on a 19 ft Weekend Warrior (the FB1900: the FB stands for Front Bath). We figured 19 ft was a good sized “starter trailer”. Since we were new to the trailer world we didn’t want anything too large. After all we had to tow the thing, park it, back it up and hook it up. We definitely didn’t want something that was too large to handle with some semblance of dignity. So we ended up with a Weekend Warrior Super Lite. Lite in this case means approximately 6600 lbs. not really very light, but since I wasn’t carrying it on my back, it was lite enough.

The back of the Weekend Warrior is a ramp up which you can drive your motorcycles. There are rings in the floor to which you ratchet your bikes. The rings are cleverly hidden under the carpet which covers the floor of the living space when you are choosing to live in it. The carpet easily rolls up and can be stored to the side for motorcycle-toting purposes.

There is both a gas pump and an outdoor shower from which you can fill up and clean off your 2-wheeled baby. There are propane tanks for power and cooking, a canopy for shelter from too much sun or light rain, a television with a DVD player, a cable for, well cable, a stereo with outdoor speakers and our chosen model had a really nice sized shower. Clearly the people who design these things also use them, because everything you could ever need for sleeping/eating/cooking/toting/showering/lugging was taken care of.

I can tell you that I have never been so impressed with the inside of anything. Every single inch is used for multiple purposes. The beds (yes I said beds. Plural) are on tracks which allows them to drop down into what amounts to queen sized bunk beds or lift up so you can park your motorcycles under the space where they (and the carpet) once were.

The counter doubles as a stove, the oven as a convection oven and microwave oven (not sure how that works, but mine is not to question why or how) the couch doubles as a third bed (so you can sleep 6 people), the refrigerator is small and somehow the shelving is more efficiently configured than my refrigerator at home. I mean there is no reason that I should be able to fit as much food in a traveling fridge that is half the size of the one in my full sized kitchen and yet…There is air conditioning and heat (albeit a little loud, but they are both fully functional). The bathroom and clothing storage is spacious, the pantry roomy and the chairs strangely cushy. All in all it’s a great product with a lot of features that really make it user friendly, comfortable and good for a long, motorcycle oriented trip.

So now let me tell you what this fabulous vehicle didn’t have. No lug wrench, and no jack. This apparently isn’t an issue with the product itself but seems to be one of those little hidden secrets of the trailer world which forces you to buy extra insurance and extra services (such as the inevitably needed roadside assistance). Suffice it to say that after a relatively expensive trip to Walmart and the purchase of a much needed hydraulic jack (and multiple other tire related items), we were in business. Now, I don’t necessarily mind not having a jack or a lug wrench, but I mind not knowing that I don’t have a lug wrench or a jack. I mean after all, trailers are for vacation and vacation is for fun, finding out that you have no jack or lug wrench when you need one is not fun and therefore does not count as vacation. In fact that qualifies as something that you need a vacation from.

All in all the Weekend Warrior is a great product, but before you hit the road, make sure you take stock of what you have and more importantly, what you don’t have. Now that I have let you in on the best kept secret of the trailer world, you are already a step ahead. But please note that before you pull out of the driveway, make sure one of the things you do have is a good sense of humor. Without that, you could find yourself in need of a vacation immediately upon your return home.

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