by Janine Pettit

This Girl Camper is making a big change in the way I camp. I don’t want to give up quiet nights by the campfire, grilling burgers with family and friends or falling asleep to the sounds of nature, but with a full-time job and three new grandchildren, I want to spend as much time with them as possible, I am willing to give up hitching, towing, setting up and repeating that two days later to get myself and my RV back home. I shared with my friends at Keystone that I was thinking of going seasonal and they offered to lease me one of their fifth wheels to test out. I was on board with that and have this Cougar 29 BHL at the top of my list. It has so many of the features I want in a family-friendly unit that will do double duty as an office, girlfriend getaway and midweek retreat when I just want to run away for a few days. 

One of my top priorities in choosing an RV is the living space and this model does a lot with that area. I have given a lot of thought to how we function as a family and the booth in this RV makes sense for us. We love board games, puzzles, late night rounds of Rummy 500 and long Sunday breakfasts. The booth allows kids to climb around, and you can’t stop that, trust me. It also folds down for another sleeping area so if we are packing in the cousins, we can make it work. The booth also has a cool bench that is added storage and can be moved around to function as an ottoman for the couch or seating in the bunkroom. 

I also really like the option of the tri-fold sofa and it is what I would choose for this stage of my life. It allows three adults and a few babies to all sit together and has the bonus feature of opening up to provide another bed. It’s situated across from the TV so I can imagine movie night here where everyone is comfy and cozy. The large slide allows for lots of floor space and the kitchen has so much counter space with a big double sink and large refrigerator. I like that the sofa and booth are at a 45 degree angle so everyone feels connected. Just like a house, this space needs to function for family life and I just love this layout. 

The bunkhouse in this unit also hits lots of high notes for me. It can function as an office as the full bed folds up and becomes a full-length desk. Roll the booth bench in there and two people can use it simultaneously. Above the full bed that converts to a workstation are two perpendicular single beds with a large window, wardrobe closet, lighting and ladder for access. These make great storage if you don’t need them for sleeping. The bunk also has a hatch door which is very handy for storing things like my ebike when you’re leaving after the weekend. The bunk has its own door to close it off which is ideal for napping babes and working grandmas. It’s been so well thought out and I love the idea that I can simply use it as an office and keep my work stuff out of the main living area when I am using it alone. 

The primary bedroom here has a queen bed, slide with built in closet and drawers, side cabinets, plugs and shelf space next to the bed as well as under the bed storage for the things you don’t use all the time but want to have ‘just in case’. The bathroom is also adjacent and quite large with a full bright shower with skylight, lots of storage and a door that separates it from the main bedroom. This model really feels like a great choice for me for many of these reasons as well as the great price point. If I decide to purchase it at the end of my lease, it is affordable but offers all of the things that the larger models do. At 33’ and 8,500 pounds, it is manageable for a first timer like me. You can find out more about Keystone here

Janine Pettit, founder of Girl Camper, turned her passion for camping into a movement, inspiring women through podcasts, a magazine, and partnerships with Go RVing and Camco. Leading the largest female outdoor adventure group in the US, she champions the idea, “There’s no wrong way to camp like a girl.”

Girl Camper is all about camping, adventure, and friendship for women. We bring you the award-winning Girl Camper Magazine, engaging blogs, fun EVENTS, and vibrant social communities. Connect with your state chapter on Facebook, and follow us on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram for more!

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