“No. No way.”
I had just proposed my latest great idea to my husband. We were planning a family vacation in Yellowstone this summer, and rather than take multiple flights and deal with a rental car, I suggested we take an epic road trip around the US to get there. The three of us — me, my husband, and our 1-year-old son — would camp in parks along the way and sleep in a tent. We’d cook our meals over a campfire and hike every day. If the weather got really bad somewhere, I conceded, we’d fold the seats down and sleep in the car. It sounded fantastic to me.
My husband was not convinced.
“Why not?” I wheedled. “What’s the problem?”
“It just… doesn’t sound like fun. No one will sleep well. And I want to be able to shower every day.”
I understood. My husband is a creature of habit. He likes his comfy bed, his hot shower, his climate control. And with a toddler, this kind of trip would not be as easy as the sorts of spartan backpacking trips I used to take. But I, the consummate adventurer, am used to hearing the word “no” when dealing with my husband, the forever pragmatist. He wasn’t protesting the idea of the trip; just the logistics of where we would sleep.
So I quietly backed off, formulating a plan. I did my research, looking for a trailer that could sleep three and be towed by our car. I contacted Little Guy. And now here I am, the new brand ambassador for Liberty Outdoors, about to embark on a 6,000 mile adventure with my happy hubby and toddler in tow.
We’ll have air conditioning. A fridge to store our kid’s snacks. A bathroom and a shower. And, best of all, a separate bed for our son, who likes to roll around like a Super Mario boss while he’s sleeping and deliver a flurry of ninja kicks to anyone who has the misfortune to get in his way. The Little Guy Max will be the perfect adventure companion for us — our home on wheels.
Our trip begins at the end of May. We’ll leave from our home in Alabama, driving west through Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, arriving at our first big destination: the Grand Canyon. We’ll take a long route through Utah, hitting up those incredible national parks, and meet some of our extended family for a week in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. From there, we’ll make our way back to Utah and drive east, exploring Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Tennessee before we finally get back to sweet home Alabama. The entire trip will take about 6 weeks. And I’ll have my camera in hand, documenting every day of it.
We took a shakedown trip to beautiful Hunting Island, SC, just to get our bearings and make sure we were comfortable operating every aspect of the trailer. It could not have gone better. The Max was a dream to tow with our SUV (a VW Touareg) and we had no problems on the 5 hour drive there and back. There was more storage than we could fill, even with our bevy of beach and toddler necessities: toys, diapers, chairs, umbrella, towels, cooler, folding table, stroller, bike, and ALL the snacks. I was worried about how well we would potentially sleep, but the air conditioner provided the perfect amount of white noise and the shades kept us all sleeping well past sunrise (which NEVER happens at home).
We did make a few modifications to make our trip with a kid a little easier. I opted to take out the dinette cushions and replace them with a foam mattress (trimmed to size) to make sure our little guy would be completely comfortable sleeping there. The space is slightly narrower than a typical twin at 32 inches wide, so we added some sheet suspenders under the mattress to keep the pad and fitted sheet taut. We also did a little bit of child proofing to ensure that our son wouldn’t spend the entire trip pushing every button and switch within reach. To cover the monitor, stereo, and light switches, I took a blank canvas, stapled a pretty tea towel over it, and hung it on the side of the cabinet to hide everything from curious fingers. I also added some blank outlet covers to the TV switch and outlet near the convertible dinette using removable adhesive. I can remove everything to access those areas, but they keep those tempting buttons hidden the rest of the time.
Trial run completed, we’re currently repacking the Max and getting ready to leave on the big trip. We’re feeling confident about towing and setting up the trailer and we can’t wait to get going. First stop: Memphis, TN to my favorite hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint.
Hope to see you on the road!
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