The Imagine 17MKE… Our New Tiny Home: Plus Halloween

Our new 2021 Ford 150 and 2022 Grand Design Imagine 17MKE. Are we ready to hit the road, or what! We are camped in Bend, Oregon as I write this blog. We came here to pick up our trailer from Blue Dog RV in Redmond, just north of Bend.

It’s not hard for Peggy and me to imagine a life of wandering. After all, we full-timed it for four years in our two Pleasure Way vans, Xanadu and Quivera. The first time we took a year off from work and travelled in Xanadu. The second time, we celebrated Peggy’s retirement with three years of exploring North America in Quivera. We are veterans of the open road, you might say, with a quarter of million miles crisscrossing the continent behind us.

But wandering with a trailer is a totally different kettle of fish, a virgin experience as our friend Leslie Lake would say. She also likes to note that virgin experiences are few and far between at our age and should be treasured.

I tend to agree but had serious second thoughts when Peggy and I mistakenly turned into a tiny parking lot yesterday and had to turn the trailer around while dodging parked cars. It quickly ramped up from virgin experience to Halloween nightmare. “Turn the other way!” my faithful traveling companion yelled at me from safely outside the truck as I was backing up. “No, the other way!” she yelled. Hmmm. After two or three times of that, pardon my French, I was beginning to wonder how many frigging ways a trailer can turn. And yes, I am well aware that the truck goes one direction and the trailer the other when you are backing up.

Aside from a very steep learning curve, we are really enjoying our new, tiny home and pickup. I decided to share a few photos of the Imagine 17 MKE. We haven’t named her yet, but the truck’s name is Iorik (pronounced Yorik). If you aren’t familiar with Iorik, he was the large, armored polar bear in the book/movie, The Golden Compass.

Murphy bed couch in an Imagine 17MKE.
A Murphy bed was close to a requirement in our new trailer because it frees up valuable living space, which is at a premium in a small trailer. When not down, the bed morphs into a couch, perfect for entertaining guests.
Alaks quilt made by Peggy Mekemson.
We decided to use one of Peggy’s quilts as a backdrop to add color and a personal touch. This is our ‘Alaskan quilt.’
Peggy serves as my model. The kitchen’s counter top is on the right.
African quilt by Peggy Mekemson.
Here is what the Murphy bed looks like when it is down. Here we are using Peggy’s African quilt as a comforter. It’s quite cozy. Note the small reading lights. They work quite well.
Mood lighting over Murphy bed in and Imagine 17MKE trailer.
The bed comes with blue, mood lighting. I don’t expect we will use it much but it is fun. I noticed that Peggy’s brown eyes turn golden under the light! A lioness, perhaps? One can only wonder.
This is our other couch, the one Peggy and I will use most. It is housed in a small slide out that also adds space to the trailer. The middle section can be converted to a side table for snacks. A larger fold up table comes with the 2022 Imagine but will live in our truck unless we are entertaining or working on projects. We are also trying out our various quilts on the couch.
Each unit of the couch can be turned into a recliner that goes all the way back if we want to take a nap. Note the lights on the drink cup. One of them simply lights up the cup holder. The one on the right turns the recliner into a massage chair. The one on the left heats the chair. This definitely isn’t a trailer of yore.
A comfy chair deserves a good book. Baldacci can always be trusted to spin a good tale. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
What I wasn’t expecting in a small trailer was the counter space. A large, stainless steel sink is in the middle. Its cover is made of slotted steel and rolls out, doubling as a dish dryer. Beyond that is our stove and then more counter space. Off to the right is a humongous refrigerator. Solar power runs the refrigerator when we are boon docking. Our TV is above the window.
Our three burner stove. A small oven is under the stove and a microwave above it. Add our Insta-Pot and air fryer and we will be able to cook just about anything on the road.
One of our major concerns in picking out a new trailer was the amount of storage space. Now we are wondering how we are going to fill all of the space we have. (I’m sure we will mange. Grin.) Anyway, I just counted 28 drawers and cabinets. Most are very generous in space. The five you see here are mine. All mine. That’s mine, Peggy. You have your own five.
There is also ample storage in the bathroom, but what really impressed me is that I fit easily into the shower!
Now you’ve seen the inside of our trailer, imagine moving in. Again, think scary Halloween. It’s just like moving into anywhere else when faced with the severe challenge of downsizing. Fortunately our 20 years of traveling in Quivera and Xanadu prepared us for the experience. We simply unpacked Quivera into our truck and then loaded our trailer from that while camped in Bend.
Bend has a lot to offer including great outdoor recreation… and beer. There are several brew pubs but the granddaddy of them all is Deschutes Brewery. Peggy snapped this photo of me at the brewpub celebrating time off from cramming for Trailer/Truck 101. A table of pirates sat next to us, but they had forgotten their parrot…
In the spirit of the season, I decided that this black vulture from the Florida Everglades (photo taken several years ago) would make a good substitute. Happy Halloween!

54 thoughts on “The Imagine 17MKE… Our New Tiny Home: Plus Halloween

    • Thanks, Manja. Actually, it seems spacious in comparison to our small travel van but in reality, it isn’t all that much bigger. It’s perfect for Peggy and me. Easy to pull and small enough to fit into most campgrounds. Its solar power will enable us to boondock in decent weather.:) –Curt

  1. Hahaha…. 😂 My late husband once got us in a big empty parking lot and tried to teach me how to maneuver a trailer. I think my lesson lasted maybe 15 minutes before I walked away saying “I DO NOT DO TRAILERS!” I still don’t! I generally prefer not to drive the pickup as well. (Though I might do that in a pinch.) Having been a devoted VW bug fan… trying to herd anything larger down a road or highway simply doesn’t cut it. I leave that to those braver or more coordinated than the likes of me. 🥺

  2. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything. Despite haven given up trailers for motels some time ago, I still get “trailer envy” when I see one. I hope you enjoy yours as much as we did ours.

    • The big one with motelling it is not having to deal with pulling the trailer plus set up/take down Ray. It is nice having your own ‘home’ on the road, however, plus considerably less expensive, especially considering we will be boon docking for free and using our Golden Age Passports at USFS and Corps of Engineer campgrounds. Our thoughts now when we are on the road for extended time is to drive to the next attractive spot, park it for a week, and explore the surrounding area in our pickup. Of course we will be able to move on sooner or extend our stay. 🙂 Anyway, it is going to be an interesting experience. Thanks. –Curt

    • It’s much better built than trailers of yore, Andrew, and of most modern trailers not counting Airstream. The proof will be in using it on the road for a few months, however. We’re excited. –Curt

  3. Loved the tour… so comfy and spacious looking. Wishing you fun, safe travels, and blessings from the parking gods!
    I think of Richmond as “trailer capital of the world”. I’ve always liked Bend and thought of moving there once. Great off road bike rides. The climate feels too dry for me, glad to be living by the ocean again!

    • It’s our tiny home, Arati. Except it travels. Kind of like a gypsy wagon. 🙂 Thanks.
      Bend is high desert country, no doubt about that. But the Three Sister mountains are nearby (we’ve backpacked through them) and the Deschutes flows through the heart of the town. And if you like beer… 🙂 I’ve always loved the ocean as well, escaping to it whenever possible. But I’ve never lived on it. I expect our tiny, traveling home will allow us to spend much more time there. –Curt

    • I was like your husband, once, Lexi, disdainful of RVs. But persuading Peggy to take a year off from work and wander North America, caused me to upgrade my concept of camping. Grin. I’ve never looked back. We have kept our rigs small. And we have continued to backpack, kayak, hike, etc. as we travel. We really do think of our trailer as a tiny home. Thanks. –Curt

  4. Glad to see your new digs. I know you’ll enjoy it — and share the stories with us! As for backing things, there can be equally great entertainment to be had down at the bait camps, watching people backing their boats down the ramps. Even when you want to go straight, there can be — complications.

  5. Love your new home! Peggy your quilts are amazing! Alaskan backdrop is just perfectly made for your new home! Congratulations and enjoy! 🙂

  6. I am soooooo excited for you all!!! Your new home looks awesome and you both look pretty happy – great to see. The quilts are gorgeous. I do hear the learning curve is kind of a drag as you have experienced! I have a friend who bought a boat and a trailer – their stories are hysterical. I’m sure you’ll have a few also. LOL. Happy trails! Looking forward to the stories. Cheers to you both!

  7. It looks so roomy! And I love how Peggy’s quilts add color. I hope you enjoyed your stay in Bend and look forward to hearing more about your travels, Curt.
    (And I remember the challenges with backing up during the short time we owned a boat. You’ll get better at it. 🙂 )

    • Thanks, D. We enjoyed our stay in Bend and have now added Pt. Reyes and the Fort Bragg area to our maiden voyage. 🙂 I know the backing up will get better. Practice, practice, practice. There will be blogs on both areas coming up… –Curt

  8. what cozy new digs with your beautiful quilt and a good book.. The travel bugs continue their adventures.. good for you!
    Take an after pic with all of your souvenirs filling up the place.. lol 🌷❤️

  9. Iorik is a perfect name!! One of my favourite series of all time, too. These photos really show the inside of your new tiny home. It is an exciting new chapter of your life, and I can see that both of you are eagerly leaping toward it. You both make life a non-stop adventure, and that is wonderful. I think things like getting stuck in a tiny parking lot are what make the stories later on even better to tell! I am eager to follow your journey and watch the new home develop character and grow into its new role.

    • Glad you like the names, Crystal… and the series. Coming up with the name was fun for us. And you are right about our love of adventure, even if it means learning to back up a trailer! Grin. Glad you will be with us on our journey. Thanks. –Curt

  10. Nice trailer, it looks so big inside! You have pretty much everything, and the massage chair is a bonus😊 I love Peggy’s quilts, they add such much colour❤️
    Happy wandering!!

      • I’m am so happy for your upcoming wanderings! Let me know if you come up close to Toronto🙂
        I believe you used to have a motorhome, correct? Why did you chose a trailer this time? Maybe you want to comment one day the pros and cons motorhome vs trailer. We were having some debates with some friends lol, and there are so many factors to consider, but wanted to ask someone who experienced them both. Thank you!

      • Thanks on the Toronto invite, Christie. Having lunch or dinner together would be great fun.
        We had a small , 22 foot Pleasure Way, actually made in Canada (and now beaucoup expensive if you buy new). Part of our decision was based on changing our approach to travel… going a relatively short distance, parking the trailer for 1-2 weeks and using our new Ford 150 to explore the surrounding country before moving on. If you bought a larger motorhome, you could pull a vehicle to do the same thing. Cost-wise, the new trailer and F-150 costs about half as much as a new Pleasure Way. 🙂 I may take your advice and do a post once we have spent more time in the trailer. Have a great Holiday! –Curt

      • Yeah, life in Canada can be quite ‘trop’ expensive LOL I’ve learned recently we do even import eggs, which are cheaper, from our neighbours from south🙂
        Merry Christmas!!

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