Where Did Julius Come From?
First of all, I feel the need to start with a disclaimer: Ken does not approve of the moniker “Julius” for our 2012 Open Range 375BHS. So for all those cute full-time RVers who lovingly refer to their homes by name, power to you, but that’s not us. (He cringes when I say it…but I am no more dissuaded by that than I was by his disdain for my naming our former TrailManor “Jess”, in honor of my favorite show at the time, “The New Girl.”) I chose the name Julius because it’s an Open Range, which naturally abbreviates to O-Range, which sounds like the word orange, which reminds me of Orange Julius (a drink I am particularly fond of), or just Julius for short. Any questions?
Anyway, Julius was an unplanned RV. I mean, we had decided to get one, after doing some research, but this particular one was nowhere on the radar.
First we looked at Class-As (AKA ‘motorhomes’) on the RVTrader website. The selection was overwhelming and confusing…and did we really want to travel in what is essentially a tour bus? We visited our local Camping World store and our kind salesman (who had never personally owned a camper of any type—um???) walked us through several sizes and layouts. Even the older ones’ price tags were higher than we wanted to pay, and I felt like an unfulfilled Goldilocks: some were too large, some too small, but none struck me as just right.
The following week, we returned to look at some 5th wheels, just to get a feel for them. They seemed to be a better option because of the availability of a bunkhouse for us to convert into an office, without sacrificing too much space for the kitchen. (Since I enjoy cooking, the kitchen was always the first thing I looked at). I liked that we could have three or four slides, to make the camper feel so much wider.
We decided that we’d try to find a decent, affordable 5th wheel in about a year or so, once we’d finished our home renovation and downsized properly. We were happy with that decision, but then the cart came way before that horse…
Facebook Marketplace had picked up on my browsing history and dutifully notified me that there was a new listing, for a truck and 5th wheel combination. “Rare floorplan,” it said, and it even had a fold-down patio. (We once saw an RV with a patio at a park we were staying at and I coveted, hard). The owner wanted to sell them as a package deal, which was great for us, since Ken’s truck wouldn’t have been big enough to tow the camper.
We drove a few short miles to see it, and I thought it was pretty cool. Okay, that’s glossing over what I actually thought, which was, “Really? People really live in these things as homes? Can I do that? Will I do that? Are we really going to do that? How? Where am I gonna put my STUFF?” My frugal side liked that we could get Julius and the dually for less than the cost of many of the 5th wheels we liked online, so I said, “Yeah, let’s get it,” even though I was more than a little nervous.
When we bought it, I told the guy, “Your wife can have her towel racks back.” You see, Julius is Western-themed, and the bathroom boasts horseshoe and stirrup towel—and toilet paper—holders, NOT my taste whatsoever. But it came like that, and they match the other little ‘country-with-a-K’ n
ods around the camper: a cross, stallions running, a horseshoe, a heart, and a cattle skull. Above Ken’s office is a cutout that says “bunkhouse” in a cowboy font. The door to his office used to say, “Little Buckaroos,” but for some reason, he insisted we peel it off. He’s just not a (pardon the pun) campy guy!
Once we finally–almost eight months later–had the time and the nice weather to steam clean the carpets and furniture, and to scrub the whole thing from top to bottom (it was more than a little neglected), I really started to see the positive features Julius has. It has a big master closet, full-sized shower, eat-at island, recliners, a fake fireplace (heater) and plenty of storage. Unlike many, many used RVs, it does not have gaudy florals or quirky colors; everything is nice and neutral. I know RV makeovers are all the rage, but after adding some new bedding, curtains, and pillows, I’m perfectly satisfied with Julius, and happy to live in her…er, him…I mean, it.