A large decked out pickup truck was something I always liked the thought of, but never bought. I knew that friends always wanted me to buy one, only to be used for hauling. Once we decided on a travel trailer as our load we needed a truck capable of pulling such a massive trailer. Days of searching led us to a Dodge dealer where we were introduced to the sporty and decked out Rebel that we eventually bought. It filled the truck need I never knew l had, much to Kimmie’s chagrin.
2016 Dodge Ram Rebel
We quickly dubbed her Athena, goddess of battle strategy and wisdom. She could haul 10k pounds and had just enough maroon trim to have a non douchey swagger. A few weeks later we had settled on a 2017 Cruiser Funfinder Signature Edition RV to be towed by our new grey and black goddess. It was a 37 feet long 8 feet wide and 11 and a half feet tall of I have never driven a trailer of ANY size in my life kinda RV. Water? Sewer? Electricity? Yep, knew it had those but knew none of the logistical issues like draining my poo and getting the rig set and leveled on the ground.
Kimmie quickly dubbed our home on wheels (snail shell) Serena, an homage to her father’s boat, A Little Serenity. Meaning clear, tranquil and serene, a great pairing to the warrior truck. It satisfied all the needs we were looking for, specifically a bunk house for the kids. It made sense to have a private spot for them instead of rearranging the furniture every night to sleep in. During the previous months we had been reading blogs, watching videos, and absorbing anything we could learn about RV life and trailer maintenance. The learning curve was very steep and often things we bought were primarily by RV veteran recommendations. I knew many things perfectly in theory only. I had only driven the truck locally for three weeks before having to hook her up to Serena.
I had researched towing systems and fell in love with one designed with a sway bar system. Designed to help reduce sway and help control the trailer. I’ve gotta say, after setting down and reattaching it about 10 times and driving nearly 2,000 miles with it attached I’m a fan of my “training wheels” as I call them. I got my driving chops quickly averaging 400 miles in 8-10 hour days. On fat highways I found myself approaching 75 at times, the truck pulling easily. Tight slow country roads I found easier than I thought when turning. It wasn’t until I reached the downhills of the Rocky Mountains that I got really nervous. Six and a half degree downhill grades were nerve racking enough but when it began to rain in the most dangerous turns I was white knuckled with the hazards on.
I’ve become very comfortable driving the truck and RV now after only a week of pure driving. Glad to put down for a while now though. We made it through the tight turns of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest to make it to our private community residence where I accomplished a repeated goal and RV requirement; backing the trailer in.