I live in a Dutchmen "Sport" travel trailer. It may not be perfect, but it comes closer than you might think.
A Need for Housing
Last year I lived in Dallas, Texas, in an apartment. I worked my butt off all spring and summer repairing air conditioning in the homes of the wealthy people of the Park Cities within the city of Dallas.
I lived cheaply. I saved my money. But my summer job ran out. We were running low on service calls, and I was the new guy. I looked for a job after that. ANY JOB. I couldn't find one, so I had to move home.
Life in a Recreational Vehicle
I live in a Dutchman "Sport" RV now. I didn't know that was what was going to happen, but it did. My Dad, in his infinite wisdom, bought it for me to live in.
I've loaded images from the net. These aren't images of my specific recreational trailer, or "travel trailer," but they are images that are very similar to my travel trailer, both inside and out.
First off, you see the bed. It's a full-size bed, and the only one inside the trailer. This isn't one of those that you would use to take the family, or several of your hunting buddies off on vacation in. This trailer is a one-person or couple's trailer.
Being a single man, I'm greatly pleased by this. The first travel trailer that my Father owned had about six beds in it. That is a lot of space that is taken up that you'd prefer to have been used elsewhere, unless you have a family.
My bed couldn't be any more comfortable. There is storage under the head of the bed that is accessible from locking doors on either side of the trailer on the outside. On the inside, there is some storage under the mattress at the end of the bed.
I'm afraid that the picture didn't make it clear how much shelving and cabinet space there is above the bed, and to either side of it.
I'm sitting on my bed when I'm on the internet. My keyboard is on my lap, and my tower and monitor are just to my left.
In the second picture, you can see the kitchen/dining area. In my trailer, there is a couch just past the end of the bed, behind a curtain divider that is just before a half sized wall. That couch CAN fold out into another bed, and there is storage underneath it.
The kitchen/dining area shown has slightly more shelving than mine but otherwise is very similar. You can see the gas stove, but not the four stove-top burners, and the stove is just past the sink. Just past the stove, is a refrigerator and freezer that we'll call, "half size." For one person, it's more than enough provided you can make it to a town for groceries about once a week.
Above the sink, there is ample room for storage, and this is where I keep my canned goods and spices. What you can NOT see—on the OTHER wall, opposite the sink—is a dining table for two, and above that, more storage. That storage cabinet contains my dishes.
Lest I forget, I should mention that there is ample storage for silverware, cutting boards, knives, etc, between the stove and the sink.
I should also mention that I have a full sized dresser just past my dining table.
On a side note: I could never, ever keep all of my clothing in this trailer. I'm rather spoiled in that my Mother loves to buy me clothes. I CAN, however, keep all that I'm going to wear regularly for a given season in here.
The next picture should be the view of the trailer from the outside. Again, this is NOT my trailer-but as far as I can tell, the photo from the outside is a trailer that is identical to mine. You can see from the top, above the door, the pull-out canopy that is there.
Personally, I do not use this—mine is parked under a metal awning, and on concrete. I've also been very blessed by having mine connected directly to sewage via a septic tank. Of course, power and water are connected to it permanently, and so is a phone line from which I've got DSL internet. I am, after all, living in here, and not traveling.
Lastly, you should be able to see the bathroom. This is identical to mine as well, but the picture doesn't show the large closet to the left of the toilet, or the medicine cabinet and mirror that exists above the bathroom sink.
Being male, I'm pretty "low maintenance" when it comes to hygiene and beauty products. I have all the storage space for those that I need. It doesn't hurt that I'm dashingly handsome already. LOL!
You can see the tile floor in front of the sink? Well, this can be dangerous when stepping out of the shower. I plan to install some grip tape on that floor to ensure that I never tragically bust my ass (!) when I step out of the shower.
Of course, there is a door that can be closed to the bathroom, and a shower curtain as well.
Another thing that might take a little bit of getting used to is that the toilet uses a lever to flush, and operates off of gravity. Waste falls straight down, rather than flush in the traditional manner.
I don't use grey, or potable wastewater storage tanks to hold anything, but again, I'm hooked directly to a septic tank. If you are just a little bit crafty, or lucky even-then your connecting hose will form a natural "P" trap, which will protect the trailer from any odors coming back in.
Anyway, should you be in the market for an RV, or are considering living in one—then I highly recommend the Dutchmen "Sport" for singles or even a couple.
If anyone should have any questions, then feel free to ask! :-D
A Review of the Dutchman Sport Recreational Vehicle
September 23, 2010: I'm still cozy in my Dutchman Sport, and there have been no problems to speak of save the mattress. The mattress, you see, is the original; and I don't think anyone envisioned someone actually living in one of these things when they put the mattress in. I'm either going to have to buy a new one at some point, or buy a good mattress cover. I'll probably buy a cover.
Over a Year Later
It's been over a year since I moved into my Dutchman Sport Travel Trailer. I love my home, and the mattress has been the only real issue here. For one man, I have everything that I could possibly need. The other issue that has come up has been that the light fixtures, just like the mattress, probably were fitted with the idea in mind that they could be manufactured cheaper than are standard home light fixtures. The fixtures sometimes fail and have to be replaced. They typically cost about $20.00 per fixture. Of course, they weren't designed for someone to be using all of the time. Luckily it's fairly simple to replace them and would be for someone who didn't much know what they were doing either. All we are talking about here is four screws and two wires. I'm hoping the after market ones are superior.
A Tip for Southerners Living in Recreational Vehicles
Of course my Dutchman Sport travel trailer has a hot water heater, and it works perfectly well, but I live in this thing, and I like buying propane about as much as I like paying the IRS to murder people overseas for corporate profits. During the spring and summer, I do not run my hot water heater, I've got a water hose hooked to my trailer, and it's very exposed in the sunshine here in North East Texas. That provides me with just about all the WARM water that I could want to take a quick shower in the trailer's small shower. Were I to buy another hundred-foot roll of water hose, connect it, and leave it coiled in the sunshine, I'd get several more gallons of warm bathing water every day. Of course, not everyone lives in Texas, but if you are living in any kind of RV in the southern part of the United States, or some other nation with a warm climate, then that little tip, when employed, could save you plenty of money so far as propane consumption goes.
© 2010 Wesman Todd Shaw