Meet Mobi the Motorhome


We shared some big news this weekend on Facebook and Instagram! There’s a new member of the Wheeled and Free Family! A 1977 Dodge Sportsman Travel Mate!

This is the story of our little motorhome Mobi and how he came to be.

1977 Dodge Mobile Traveler_2

For most people, this idea will probably seem like it’s coming from left field. Why in the world would we ever think of getting something else when we have a spacious, comfy home on wheels? It almost seemed as crazy to me as when we first tossed around the idea of RVing full-time. In fact, in my initial research for full-timing, I read that people often feel they start out too small and end up going to a larger RV – not the opposite way around.

So why would we want to go smaller?

When we downsized last year to our 36′ fifth wheel, it was a life changing experience. Since I’ve been a horrible blogger, I haven’t really posted much of our journey, but the short story is that it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Full-time RVing has allowed us to experience life in a way we really never thought possible. As cliché as it might sound, we’re living life to gain experiences instead of things. Even though 2015 didn’t turn out as we had expected, it has grown each of us and our relationship with each other stronger. This past year also really sealed the deal that we can live with even less, since we spent several months living out of suitcases while staying with people who kindly accommodated us while I was incapacitated.

Initially, we started tossing around the idea of getting a smaller travel trailer a while back – something that would be easy to take on shorter, long trips – but then ultimately landed on a motorhome after also considering a slide in truck camper. One of the reasons we decided on a small class C is so I will be able to drive (since I’m not big on the idea of pulling Lucille) while giving Matt a space to comfortably work, thus opening up our days for travel to anytime instead of just the weekends. This got kicked into high gear once we realized instead of waiting a couple of years to try this crazy idea, we should give it a shot now and find something before our big trip out west in 2016. Once we made up our minds it was time to start searching.

We sifted through thousands of RVs nationwide just like we did when we were on the hunt for Lucille. Looking through so many RVs quickly narrows down what features you’re looking for and what you’re not interested in. Right off the bat we knew we wanted something shorter than 23′ for ease of mobility and something in good enough shape that we would be able to “quickly” renovate before heading out west. One of the big changes this time around was we were actually not looking for slides. We LOVE the three slides that Lucille has and it gives us a great amount of living space, but it also adds to the setup time and isn’t super great for quick overnight stops. Out of all the motorhomes we found, only a small fraction of them really piqued our interest. From that group there were probably about 15-20 that we thought might work for us and the pups. Then, on a Sunday, I found THE ONE.

1977 Dodge Mobile Traveler_3

I had been a little bummed because we had just had video walk through the day before with a cute little motorhome in Illinois that we were seriously considering. Even though it would have been a 14 hour drive round trip, it seemed promising and worth the effort. After the walk through though, it was pretty clear it was going to be more work than we initially thought, so we passed, knowing that something else would come along. The next day, I was doing my daily Craigslist search when I came across an ad only four hours old – in Little Rock of all places – for a small motorhome that looked absolutely perfect. The ad said, “1977 Dodge RV, Good Old Camper, too many new parts to mention. If you’re looking for a well-kept older camper at the right price; then look no further.”. The layout seemed to be just what we were looking for and the price was within our budget. I emailed the seller right away since there was no phone number listed and waited very impatiently for a reply. Almost 24 hours passed with no response. At this point I was feeling down, thinking it had already sold or maybe the seller had gotten so inundated with spam emails that somehow mine had gotten missed, so I sent another email in hopes that my urgency would spur a response. A few hours later there was still no reply but everything suddenly took a VERY interesting turn.

While Matt was on the phone with his mom that evening, his brother happened to overhear them talking and piped in asking if we were still looking for a motorhome. Earlier that day on the way to his in-laws, his brother happened to see a small RV for sale and thought we might be interested. It turns out as he was giving the description to Matt, it was in fact the exact one I had found on Craigslist. In all of Little Rock – which is not a small city – he happened to drive by the one motorhome that I just knew was perfect for us. As Frasier Crane would say, “It was kismet.” He proceeded to give us directions on how to get there and we hopped in the truck at almost 9:00pm to go grab the phone number off the sign so I could call them first thing the next day. When we arrived there was no number so I took my chances and went and knocked on the door. I was greeted by the nicest guy who was more than happy to give us a tour and let us take it for a spin. We were elated and made plans to come back the next day with Matt’s dad who is a mechanical genius, just so he could give us a thumbs up that everything seemed solid. After a thorough inspection we left a deposit and made plans to pick up our new bundle of joy this past weekend. I’m still blown away with how things worked out. It’s crazy how sometimes everything just falls into place and reassures you even more that you’re headed in the right direction.

1977 Dodge Mobile Traveler_4

So where do we go from here? Our current plan is to fix Mobi up and switch traveling between him and Lucille. We had so much fun with our last renovation we’re really excited to tackle a new one. Since Lucille will stay safely tucked away in storage, we’ll have a nice large home to come back to when we feel the need to spread out and have a little extra space. We’ve been joking that it’s almost like having a vacation home from our vacation home. 😉 Given the small size of 18 feet we will be able to travel and stay anywhere and everywhere and are looking forward to boondocking out west where public land is prevalent. Our goal is to get out, see even more, and spend time chasing delightful weather while exploring the great outdoors.  We’re thrilled for the new opportunities that this is going to bring!

Stay tuned for a photo tour later this week. We can’t wait to share every nook and cranny with you!


5 Comments on “Meet Mobi the Motorhome

  1. What a wonderful adventure to find your ‘vacation RV home’. I think you are the only couple that I know of with a second vacation home….I love it when people think outside the box and create something new. Looking forward to seeing the new project come to life.

  2. That’s one thing you realize when you start exploring this new way of life. There are no “have to’s.” You go with what suits you and what works. Period. Congratulations on Mobi, but be sure to let Lucille know she is not being abandoned. :)

    • Opps, I wrote that above but it says from “anonymous” It was from me Kate & Matt… Kathy Bauer from Costa Rica, I’m signed up for your blog, right? I love reading your stories!

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