Starter RV, a 1990 Winnebago Chieftan


Starter RV and basic tailgating setup

Starter RVIt’s STARTER RV. That’s what Kimberly calls her RV. It’s a 1990 Winnebago Chieftan. No slides, pretty short, basic RV. Everything mostly works on it – the plumbing, the electrical, the engine. But it is still a 1990 RV, so there’s always something to fix on it.

Kimberly on the Starter RV

This is my first RV. I’ve been around the RV tailgate for a long time now, but I needed to see if I could take care of this thing. I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money so this is the best thing $4,000 could buy you. I bought Starter RV from another Tech tailgater that was upgrading, so I knew about some of the history and had a great resource to learn about taking care of the beast.

“This is the best thing $4,000 could buy you.”One of the great and underappreciated things about Starter RV is that it is literally a basic RV. With no slides, minimal electrical components, etc., there are fewer things to go wrong. I’ve learned in the two three seasons I have owned it to drive it, dump the tanks, and general maintenance. I’ve also learned more about the electrical system than a non-electrical engineer really wants to know. Fortunately, when it comes time to implement any changes, I have the assistance of my father, a real life engineer. Nobody got time to go to the hospital because you fried yourself working on an RV!

Now that I’ve got the basics down, I’ll start thinking about the next RV. (Doesn’t every RVer think about the “next” RV?) Maybe Amanda will take Starter RV when I upgrade.

I don’t live my life in my RV. I’ve got the house in the close-in suburbs. You’ll probably get to hear about some of the interesting stories of still living in the city with an RV. Everything from gassing up, dumping tanks, storage and everything in between. Sorry neighbors for the eyesore. Hopefully I’ll upgrade soon. Nevertheless, things are different for a part-timer versus a full-timer. I am not as worried about storage for lots of food or clothing, since I can always pick something up at the end of the weekend. At this point, I don’t even have to worry about towing a car since I park where I’ll be spending the weekend. The few times I’ve needed to go somewhere, I’ve been in cities or near college campuses where taxis and Uber are common.

Here’s to more RV adventures!


Check out the modifications that I’ve made to Starter RV. And learn from my mistakes – here’s what to do and what to avoid on Pinterest for your RV.