We found Clyde (a 2013 Newmar Dutch Star 4018) in Fort Meyers Florida. The former owners (Steve and Lisa) had taken great care of this awesome rig and shared all his history with us. Clyde was well traveled with almost 50,000 miles under his belt.
The beauty of buying a used rig (aside from depreciation) is that most of the issues have been addressed. And since Steve was an engineer, he had added quite a few nice enhancements in Clyde’s early years.
We drove Clyde back to California from Florida and added a few upgrades ourselves, such as a Renogy 800W solar setup, a cell signal booster, a wifi antenna and booster, a tire pressure monitoring system for our 10 tires (including Bonnie’s – our 2013 Cadillac SRX), and various other minor things.
On Bonnie (our tow vehicle – a 2013 Caddilac SRX), we added a tow bar receiver (Blue Ox) https://www.etrailer.com/Base-Plates/Cadillac/SRX/2013/BX1690.html?vehicleid=2013955493 converted to work with the used tow bar we got for Clyde (a Roadmaster All Terrain) https://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bars/Roadmaster/RM-576.html. We liked how the Blue Ox base plate on the car is hidden behind the front bumper, and with the connection conversion, the hook-up/detach procedure is pretty simple. The DIY installation was a bit more difficult as it required the front end of Bonnie to be removed! If interested, see the videos on etrailer.com. They do make it look a bit easier than it actually is. We also installed an Airforce1 supplemental braking unit to Bonnie, along with a wiring kit for lights and brakes. https://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bar-Braking-Systems/SMI/SM99251.html. https://www.etrailer.com/tbwiring-2013_Cadillac_SRX.htm. Both were fairly easy installations albeit a bit time consuming.
All this was done with a DIY install, helped by videos on Youtube and etrailer.com. And off course (those who know me well will understand) most of the items we added were found on Craigslist for a bargain.
We outfitted Bonnie with several craigslist items such as a Yakima Rocket box https://www.yakima.com/rocketbox-pro-14 to hold our SeaEagle two person inflatable kayak, paddles, and seats. If you are looking for an awesome easily transportable kayak, be sure to check out the SeaEagle 435 Paddleski https://www.seaeagle.com/PaddleSkiKayaks/435ps. Inside Bonnie we carry two foldable e-bikes, Trail Vipers by SSR motorsports. http://www.ssrmotorsports.com/store/electric/trailviper.php. They fit snugly in the back, while still allowing for a third occupant (Nik) to ride in our small SUV. On the back of Bonnie we have an old bike rack, with my 20-year-old mountain bike for solo rides.
Why Bonnie and Clyde? When we searches for a vehicle that could be towed 4-wheels down and could be an automatic, the choices were somewhat limited. So we found a killer deal on a 2013 Cadillac SRX, only problem was that is was a gold caddy…. when we brought it home Nik was mortified and claimed we were far too young to drive a gold caddy. He went as far as to say that a much older lady, named Bonnie, with curlers in her hair, should be driving this vehicle. So the Caddy was named Bonnie. And what else would you name the RV that would be pulling Bonnie through our beautiful country….