Finally, after months of visiting local dealerships, and scouring websites, forums, Pinterest and books, we think we found the one. Our First Camper.
I honestly don’t remember if I was this happy when we closed on our first house. Maybe I was. But I can tell you there was definitely happy dancing going on in the parking lot of the RV dealership when we decided this was going to be our first camper home.
We decided on a (used) 2017 Coachmen Apex Nano 193bhs.
Why did we choose this model? Several reasons:
1.Our current tow vehicle was not really built to, um, tow things. We have gone ahead and installed the requisite tow package, transmission cooler, brake control panel and sway bar/weight distribution components. But even with all that, our Gross Weight Rating (GWR) tops out at 4,500 lbs. Pretty small by travel trailer standards.
The Coachmen Apex Nano Dry Weight comes in around 3,600 lbs, so we figure if we pack strategically, we should be able to make this work for our family of four.
2. The Coachmen Apex Nano 193bhs is a bunkhouse model. We have two boys. So the queen bed in front/bunks in the rear floor plan was perfect for our family. Plus the dinette table comfortably sat all four of us (we’ll see how we do as the boys grow into teenagers). But for now, we felt we could all sit there together and play a game or eat a meal.
3. The Coachmen Apex Nano 193bhs has a slide out, which for us, felt like a drastic improvement in space. Several of the other similar models we look at from other brands had all of the above features, but no slide out. It felt like we were all right on top of each other if we were standing in the dinette area. For us, the slide out was one of the key deciding factors in our decision.
I’m posting some pictures of the interior below, because if you’re like me when I was in the throes of travel trailer shopping, I wanted to see pictures of all kinds of camper layouts!!
For us, we knew we needed our first camper to be like a “starter home.” We didn’t want to sink a ton of money into a huge camper and/or a new tow vehicle without taking the time to learn the ropes of the RV road. We agreed to start small, learn a lot, and grow into other travel trailers over time.
Our next step is to return to the dealership for our “travel trailer training,” (aka RV 101). Thanks to you all, we’ve already got a running list of questions to ask and inspections to check. But fingers crossed, it will go smoothly and we’ll be off to the camp sites.
What was your first camper/RV/travel trailer? Do you still have it? Do you remember it fondly, or was it a cautionary tale? We’d love to get feedback from all of you out there in the RV community.
We’ll keep you posted as we progress in our Family Glamper experience. More pictures to come as we get it decorated and decked out. We’re ready for camping season!