The Birth of Raven

After traveling many years in various Volkswagen Westfalia camper vans, we had come to the point of wanting something a bit larger.  Not too big, because we want to keep it very maneuverable, but we wanted something with a few more creature comforts than the VWs.  Here’s the story of the purchase of our 2019 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed camper van.  (And yes, we did sell our last VW after we took possession of this van, who we call Raven.  I want to keep this a photography related blog, but don’t be surprised if Raven shows up in some of my future posts, because he has a lot to do with where we travel and the photos I capture.  I thought about creating a separate blog for Raven’s travels, but soon abandoned that idea as too much work.

November 9, 2017 we attended the Portland RV show with the intention of viewing different models of the Leisure Travel Vans.  We ended up ordering a 2018 FX model that afternoon.  We were told the wait time would be about 6 months, so May or June.

After arriving home and thinking about it a few days, we called back on the 13th to say we had changed our minds and that we wanted to switch our order to the Twin Bed model.  We decided we didn’t want a slide out with a Murphy bed and we also were surprised to find that the FX had the least amount of storage of any of the models.  We drove back to Johnson RV the next day to redo our paperwork.

By May, we still had not heard anything about our build date, so it was apparent that we weren’t going to see it by June.  We learned that on June 6, Triple E was switching over to the new year builds – a 2019 house on a 2018 chassis.  That was great news for us because for 2019 they were adding the option for Equalizer Systems leveling jacks.  We quickly added that to our order.  About this same time we learned our build date would be sometime just after the end of July.  Since it takes about 6 weeks to build a van, we hoped that meant we’d have it by about mid September.

As it turned out, we missed a couple delivery predictions in September – supposedly because of a shortage on awnings.  On Monday, October 8, we finally got word that our van had arrived at Johnson RV in Sandy, Oregon.  We arranged to pick it up on Thursday, October 11.  By now it had been a 11 months since we placed our order.  We were so excited to finally “meet” our new LTV.

Here are some photos of a Unity twin bed model being manufactured in Winkler, Manitoba. I wasn’t able to get photos of our own rig, but this one looks just like our’s would have, except it was being built in the winter.


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