I’ve owned a MINI for 10 years now and have been to many events. I motored for seven years in my first MINI, a 2006 Cooper Convertible that was and still is the original MINIBee. I think it was my first trip to MINIs on the Dragon, in 2007, when I saw my first MINI pulling a teardrop trailer and knew I had to have one. It seemed like the perfect combination of retro and modern, and I imagined that pulling a portable hotel room would provide for a very cool level of freedom for future motoring adventures. Originally I was looking at simple teardrops weighing around 800 pounds and the more I looked the more I realized I would want a more powerful MINI to pull the kind of teardrop I really wanted. Years passed and alas, no teardrop was in my immediate future, but patiently I waited.
In 2012 I had a career change and became a Motoring Advisor. At the time MINIBee was 7 years old and was approaching 150,000 miles. I decided to retire her, and taking advantage of the discounts afforded to me through my job, I adopted MightyBee, a 2013 JCW Roadster in October of 2012. It was another step in the right direction.
I continued to do research and dream about the perfect teardrop and found many that were beautiful but too heavy and too expensive. A new trailer came out, called the T@G Max, and it had everything I wanted with a price that was reasonable. In mid 2015 I started to make a plan.
With MINI Takes the States on the horizon for July of 2016 and plans to motor all the way for the first time, I wondered what it would be like to use that event as the reason to finally get the teardrop. It seemed like we would save a lot of money by camping instead of using hotels, and the money saved could be applied to the purchase of the trailer. I visited a local T@G dealer and spent a few hours exploring the trailer. The retail price was $14,500 so I made an offer based on a lower price advertised by a dealer in Wilmington, NC but my local dealer would not budge. A trip to North Carolina was in my near future.
On November 11, 2015 I came home from work around 8 PM, slept until about 2 AM and then made a “Smokey and the Bandit” run to Wilmington to get the teardrop. It was a fun trip and I posted many photos on Facebook along the way. I arrived there around noon and by 4 PM I was ready to pull out. The Beehive was finally mine!
The guys at Wilmington RV (Keven and Matt) were fantastic and they made the pickup process very easy. I got a fantastic deal on my T@G Max ($11,900) and since getting mine I have sent several people to them who have had similar experiences.
Pulling it home was so easy! It’s just 1,100 pounds but on the highway I could barely feel it. Around Savannah I was really tired, so I stopped for dinner, then found a rest area and crawled into the hive to sleep for a few hours before motoring the rest of the way home.
With about six months to go before MTTS, I began planning some camping trips to get experience. So in my next few posts I will share with you what I have learned after six camping trips over the last five months, as we get ready for the epic cross-country journey that is MTTS.