T@DA

So many decisions to make about our mobile retirement.  Being avid campers, it was important for us to be able to spend our retirement exploring the national and state parks, on foot and by bike.  Leaving Jezzy behind was not an option – we had to find a way to be able to camp with her.  We checked out all sorts of vehicles and campers – popups, A-liners, really tiny campers, and mediums-sized rigs.  New and used – we wanted to get a fair idea of what was available, while trying to define our needs. So many choices.

We came across a used Dutchman T@DA early in our search in AZ.  I was in love, John somewhat less so.  The search continued – Scamp, Casita, T@B…back to yet another used T@DA on a consignment lot in Phoenix.  John is slowly warming up to the idea…

I want this. OURS!

We made a lowball offer, and somewhat to our surprise became owners.  We had yet to own a tow vehicle, and the T@DA was 2000 miles from home.  What have we done?

But, we bought a used 1994 S10 pickup (39,000 miles!), and John got the Fireball, as we affectionately call her, back to Michigan.  (Don’t ask him about Amarillo.)

Probably the best improvement we made was our Pahaque Visor.  We LOVE it.

Probably the best improvement we made was our Pahaque Visor. We LOVE it.

We’ve made a few modifications, and have upgraded the underpowered S10 to a 2012 Silverado.  Now we’ve got all the power we need, elbow room for the three of us, and room for bikes, hiking boots, and whatnot in the back of the truck.

Bring retirement on!

running with the big rigs

running with the big rigs

dinette and bed.  We've upgraded the cushions to a real mattress.  Huge improvement.

view from the bed

view from the bed

galley

galley

 

12 thoughts on “T@DA

    • Hope you do find the T@DA of your dreams. Although we’ve certainly had some challenges, we love our camper. Have looked, but not found anything else out there that would work as well for us.

      If we ever get up to Vancouver, we will certainly look you up.

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  1. Nice to see you are adjusting to your tiny RV lifestyle choice. My husband and I have two RVs. A 31 ft Gulfstream, our home base, and a 20 ft Airstream. Of the two, the tiny Airstream is our favorite by far! Winter camping is never an issue ~ simply snuggle in like two mice in our little mouse house ~ love it! We have been full-timing for 15 years, by choice. You couldn’t get either of us back into a ~real house~ again, lol. No yard work that takes up the weekends, little-to-no home repairs needed, our money goes for hobby stuff instead of a mortgage !big plus! And top it off that our tiny rig fits on about any site even during busy holiday times. Yes, for us it works and works great. Without the tiny RV lifestyle choices we could not do and see the things we can now. Daytona Race Week, Panama City Beach Rides, Motor Scooter Camping, State and National Parks, and the list goes on. We even love to cook outdoors with Cast Iron and A Solo Wood Burning Stove. Best part of it all is this ~ never settle for Cabin Fever. There’s a Big Outdoors right outside! Go Do And Explore It. Capture it to photos and then return to your tiny RV and relax in the cozy comfort of your chosen lifestyle! Enjoy it all!
    May The ROAD be good to You and Yours Always!
    Pamela K and husband Klemper and our Golden Retriever…Her Bearness…who has her own tent when we tent camp, lol! So spoiled!

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    • Sounds like you make the most of your RV life. Don’t think we are even remotely ready to go full time yet. I would really miss having a yard, garden, and all the house-y stuff. But, having said that, I’m very happy with how easily we adjust to the small space our T@DA has. When we get back home after an extended trip, I’m always motivated to throw a bunch of crap out of the house. That can’t be bad..

      So many great places to visit. I want to see them all! Spent most of my working years actually working, so the USA is mostly a mystery to me. I’m loving the National Parks, especially. Such a privilege to have these at our disposal.

      Sounds like you’ve already figured out a lot of this. We are still novices.

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  2. Thanks Judy, but don’t think we can make it. Be sure to get out to the rim for sunrise or sunset. My greatest concern with the T@da is the head room. How tall is your husband and does his profile look like a question mark??? Let us know if you come back through Sedona.

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  3. Hi Judy: I stumbled across your blog while looking for info on the T@da. It sounds like you are enjoying a great trip and like to travel the way we do. My wife and I have had several RV’s, most of them relatively small. We did a 6 month trip around the US in a VW Westphalia, another one several years later in a 17 ft Casita, spent 4 months in an old 22′ Class C, and another 4 months in an 18 ft Summerland. The later at 8 feet wide was like towing a billboard and necessitated selling our Honda Ridgeline and buy an F-150 with a V-8 to tow it. Even then we only got 10 mpg, which beat the 7.5 mpg the Honda V-6 got! We are ready to hit the road again and are looking for the right small trailer. The Casita was great, but the inside appearance is rather uninspiring. The T@da looks interesting but I have a few questions if you wouldn’t mind answering them. First I am over 6 ft tall and see the headroom is only 5-10. I thought I could possibly do all necessary tasks (like cooking) sitting down. Is that realistic with the layout? Also, most only have an electric fridge and we dry camp a lot, preferring open space to RV parking lots. Any insights there? And does the T@da have a built in black water tank? Thanks for your help, and happy traveling. Too bad I didn’t find your blog while you were still in AZ as we live in Sedona. Rob

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    • Not realistic to shoot down and do tasks, IMO. But, john us 5’11” and he’s bit bothered by a little cock of the head. We do our cooking outside, so that’s not an issue.

      We dry camp too. Use 120 watt solar to augment dual battery. We turn fridge off at night cuz we keep ice packs in freezer. Also have cooler in truck for overflow.

      T@DA has cassette toilet,which has its own 5 gallon tank.We have 8 gallon greywater. Can go three or four days easy between dump.

      We love our T@DA. Have made many mods to help out storage wise. Most are in blog somewhere, but I’m not very good at sorting things out.

      Way better than Casita!

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    • Rob, this John replying about headroom… I just stood up and walked around in the T@da with my shoes on to re-experience the headroom because I never think about it anymore when inside even when using the galley where the headroom is least. I even unconsciously avoid the vent fan knob now. At one time I was going the re-engineer the knob to make it flush with the ceiling to minimize bumps but don’t need to anymore. So for me the headroom turned out to be a non-issue. Bet it would for you too.

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  4. Hi Judy,
    I am LOVING you blog. You are living my dream. We have a t@b & are also biking/hiking/state/national park enthusiasts. We’ve been out as long as 10 days. It seems you are out or a bit longer. How is it in the small space? I read you sold your mobile home so I assume you stay in your t@da full time when on the road?

    Anyway, keep up the great writing & photos!!!

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    • Thanks Lin. The T@DA experiment is pretty new for us – we bought it about this time last year. The longest we’ve been in it is just less than three weeks. When we leave Green Valley this weekend, it will be a six-week trek home. A true test of our commitment to live in a small space. So far, so good. It takes us a couple of days to get snapped in to the smaller space, then it’s perfect. Long trips are better than short ones! We’re getting together with a few T@bbers in Pahrump on the 21st and 22nd, and again with at least one T@B on April 5,-7. When we’re in such tiny company, we almost feel guilty about having so much space. (almost, but not quite) ;-) Thanks for reading – hope to see you on the road sometime.

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