Early in 2022, Will and I came to two very important realizations: 1) we are not ready to end this adventure, and 2) Cate was just not cutting it anymore. Obviously, we made the travel trailer work for well over a year and a half, but with Bird continuing to grow, our goals to be stationary for longer durations, and me taking on a full-time position, our needs had drastically changed since we started this adventure. Also, there was simply no way I could do another winter in such a small space.
While we were in Georgia, we decided that we needed to see a couple of fifth wheels in person to help us determine the best floor plan and overall setup for us. Once we stepped into the first one we looked at, we knew there was no going back. We definitely needed to upgrade.
Early in our research, we decided we wanted a mid-bunk floor plan to give Bird her own space and give us all a large, open family, kitchen, and dining area. While making sure Bird has room to grow was high on our priority list, having a family space was even more important. We wanted places for all of us to sit comfortably, we wanted a dining table with chairs, and we wanted to not feel completely cooped up on rainy, snowy, cold days when going outside just isn’t appealing.
So while we had other criteria that helped weed lots of plans out, we also knew that having a dedicated workspace for me (with a door!) would be crucial to our future success. And we knew this would require some creativity.
In the months leading up to our purchase, I think I looked at every floor plan of every fifth wheel on the market and took every available 360° online tour. I initially thought I had found “the one,” but when we saw it in person outside of Atlanta, it was clear it was not at all built to last (not that any of them are, but this one was off-the-charts cheap). Unfortunately, that was the only one I could find that had a built-in desk in the master bedroom. But it gave us ideas.
Ultimately, we knew we just needed the space for a desk, and luckily for us, many of the master bedrooms have space for a washer and dryer. Obviously, we would LOVE to have a washer and dryer of our very own, but having a desk was much more important.
After looking at literally everything out there, I finally stumbled on the brand new Coachmen Brookstone 398 MBL. This floor plan was so new that there was no 360° tour online and they were next to impossible to locate on dealer lots up and down the East Coast. However, after pouring over the floor plan, tracking down YouTube tours of sneak peeks, and comparing everything else that was even close to meeting our criteria, there was no doubt that this was the one for us.
We tried to see it in person in Georgia and Tennessee, and we called to put a downpayment on one we found in Ohio. But seemingly every time we called to confirm availability, the one in stock was being pulled off the lot at that very moment. Finally, we were down to one in Bedford, Pennsylvania. Without hesitation, we put a downpayment down over the phone and promised we would be there to pick it up in a few weeks. (We are so grateful for the team at East Coast RVs and had the absolute best experience working with them!)
Buying our new house sight unseen was not what we had in mind, and while everything on paper was clearly pointing toward this being exactly what we were looking for, the nerves set in as we made our way from Pittsburgh to Bedford. I even made Will call to make sure we could see it the day before we were scheduled to take it off the lot just so I could sleep better at the hotel that night.
Thankfully, the moment we pulled into the dealership and saw Beulah sitting there waiting for us, we knew we had made the right decision. With a few minor adjustments to create Bird a safe bed and some demolition and creativity to make me an office, it was everything we had hoped it would be and more.
Stepping foot into our new 42′ long fifth wheel truly felt like coming home. Now that we are 6 months into calling this our home, there is not a day that goes by that I question our decision to upgrade. Mostly, I find myself questioning our sanity and how we managed to make the travel trailer last as long as we did.
With the space we have gained and the comfort that it allows, it is easy to forget sometimes that we are still technically camping. Instead, it feels like we are just living.
3 thoughts on “Introducing Beulah: Our Fifth Wheel”
Congratulations on your new home! The storage looks amazing! My family bought a fifth wheel when I was in college and my parents and siblings and our growing families LOVED it!
Love it! When are you getting a HDT to haul that monster?
Awesome! If you guys ever get up to Western NY area – give us a shout!
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