All Around The Campfire

Choosing the lovely Lola (or why we picked a Sprinter C)

Since I grew up camping in a motorhome, tent camping never really became my thing. I spent  years and years and years pestering my husband for a camper. He had no interest until we moved to Central Oregon in 2004 and he bought dirt bikes for himself an the boys. We vaguely discussed a toy hauler, but that never went anywhere.

I still wanted a camper, so I started researching. In 2009 we made an offer on a pop up trailer, and after negotiations didn’t go our way, we stopped the camper search. Well, he stopped, but i kept looking and researching and pestering him. I can be pretty relentless when necessary.

At a charity auction in 2012 we bid on a motorhome rental weekend. We were the high bidders, received the certificate, and let it sit for nearly a year. We finally picked a weekend, made campground reservations, packed, organized, and shopped, and then headed out for the weekend.

It was a disaster! The two youngest boys and I left to head to the campground while my husband was at work (he planned to meet us later). Not even 5 miles from the house and we went through a a giant cloud of what sounded like gravel. It was bees. We had the windows down. How I managed to pull over on the side of the road amidst all the screaming (mine) is beyond me. We chased all the bees out (still screaming), check for stings (still screaming), and then decided to brave it and continue on our way even though the entire front of that little Chinook was covered in bee guts.

We got to the campground, set up camp, and everything was fine. Husband showed up, we had a fire and s’mores, and had a great evening. In the middle of the night, it started raining, and it rained and it rained. The boys were sleeping in a tent, because they insisted on that was real camping. Except for a mid afternoon sun break, it rained the whole rest of the trip. It was awful. However, there was one bright, shining moment. My husband realized he could curl up on a nice warm bed, watch a movie, and play on his phone. The search for the perfect camper began anew.

I started looking at pop ups. We decided they weren’t for us (although I still secretly want one!), so we started looking at small trailers. We knew we would have to buy a town vehicle, but we also knew that we had a kid that would be getting his license soon, and the plan was to give him my little car and buy something bigger. We went to a couple of RV shows and decided a trailer wasn’t for us. Somehow we went from looking at small trailers to looking at Class A motorhomes. We didn’t want to go too large, but my husband really wanted diesel. We had our hearts set on a Tiffin Allegro Breeze. It was beautiful! Then we measured our barn. It was going to be tight. Too tight. It was time to start looking again.

My husband still wanted diesel, and we decided that we would prefer to be under 26 feet, because we camp in a lot of forest service campgrounds with small sites. A Sprinter C would be perfect. We looked at them all. We studied brands and floor plans, and then we went to yet another RV show.

When we walked into the Forest River Solera 24R, we knew that was the rig for us.

The floorpan of our 24R

The floorpan of our 24R

Sure it’s a little tight, but we a bedroom with a door (not a curtain) and a queen sized bed. We have an overhead bed for any kid we can convince to come along. We have more storage than we could ever use. Is she perfect? No. I could use a little more kitchen space, a bigger bathroom, and a little more room in the bedroom. I’d prefer a sofa over the dinette, and I’ve started looking into replacement instructions. But you know what? She is perfect for right now, and I enjoy every minute of my time spent traveling and camping in my lovely Lola.

2014 Forest River Solera

2014 Forest River Solera


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