Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Shopping for a Toad

I've been wanting a scooter for quite a long time, so when I'm parked for a few days, I can do some running around and sightseeing. After a lot of discussion with my RV advisors, they finally changed my mind on the wisdom of that.
  • My Minnie has a moderately short wheel base and the rear end sticks out about 8 feet, which swings wide when I turn. I've already had one fender bender because of it. The extra length and weight of a scooter on the back will add to that stress on the rear end.
  • I'd want a small scooter, but one that I could go up to 45-50 mph on a highway. Intimidating!
  • I couldn't ride anyone with me; particularly my grandkids when they are camping with me.
A small car also has drawbacks.
  • Can't back up while hitched. I will have to constantly be aware of where I am and where I am going, especially in parking lots and gas stations, so I don't get into a predicament and have to hop out and deal with ...
  • Unhitching - hitching up
  • Cost - initial and ongoing. Purchase price of car & tow hitch, plus gas, license and insurance are more than a scooter.
But a small car has a lot of advantages and I think the challenges are outweighed by them. It will give me a lot of freedom to see more places and stay in camp spots that I fall in love with for a lot longer. This summer, I plan to camp for about five weeks near Glacier National Park and northern Idaho, and having a car will really allow for settling in and exploring.

Another part of my summer plans include taking my grandsons, Nathan and Steven, to South Dakota and exploring the areas near Mt. Rushmore and Badlands National Park. I already have a reservation at an RV campground (with hookups) for several nights, and we will be able to drive to the sights from there.

I can't believe where my change of attitudes have taken me already in life, and particularly in retirement. Ten years ago, I was lamenting that being an older single woman meant I could never camp again in my life. Then my family encouraged me to read blogs of other women who RV on their own and I came to realize "if they could do it, I could do it!"

I thought I would only travel the main highways and stay in populated campgrounds and RV parks. After a few experiences boondocking with Dale, I came to realize there's a whole world out there when you get off the road, and actually, the lovely, lonely woods are a lot safer than being in a locked up house in the city. (As long as there is cell phone signal!)

I've always said I would never want to deal with the hassle of a tow car, and would just plan my routes to see what I wanted to see as I drove past on my way to those (populated) campgrounds. Now, here I am shopping for a toad!

Once again, I've sought the advice of those experts, and they are helping me find a small used car and seek out a shop for installing the tow bar equipment. We haven't found the exact car yet, but I am confident something is out there. I have lots of possibilities to consider judging from the CraigsList links filling up my texting feed. Once we've found "the one", I'll be sure to post an entry here.


  1. How long before you'll be able to take Andrew too?

  2. I think you will enjoy the freedom of having a car to see the sights easier while camping. It is the way I will probably go in another year or so.

  3. It'll be several years before I take Andrew on any longer trips than one or two nights. He still has to be entertained most of the time, but will become more independent with age.

  4. One advantage of pulling a trailer -- the car comes automatically. As long as you're going to have two vehicles, you really only need one to have an engine.

    Or am I missing something?

  5. There is a good argument for that, Daryl, and some folks subscribe to that mindset. It was my original desire (see my earliest posts on this blog). But I became a little intimidated with the idea of towing a big trailer and thought I would just get along with the motor home. I could, of course, sell my Minnie and start over with buying a new rig, or try this for a while. I'll see how it goes.