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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What to Buy?

This is not our RV, but it illustrates our search.  Always start with the best and then try to see what you can afford!  At a cool million, this one was out of our price range (see more about it at:  We really weren't even sure we wanted a motorhome ...perhaps a fifth wheel trailer would fit the bill?

We looked at fifth wheels ... some are really nice!  How about that new Alpine by Keystone (seen to the right) or the Majestic by New Horizon (on the left)

 The drawback of the fifth wheel for us turned out to be pulling it.  At first we thought ... this will be easy!  We'll simply buy a pickup truck, put a hitch in the bed and away we'll go.  Given the price of fifth wheel trailers (on average much less than motorhomes) this seemed a great option.  Further research, however, revealed a bit more information.  Apparently the weight of the trailer makes some difference .... who knew?  And we soon were looking at driving a F550 or the equivalent (priced at 55-70K or so depending on options.  Then there was a bit of customizing to make it really functional and whamo presto ...  before you know it you've spent 150K on truck and fifth wheel!  Besides we didn't really like the idea of a big truck with dual rear axles becoming the family car for sight seeing and adventuring.  It would get bad gas mileage and would be cumbersome to park (see pic below).

For you truck folks ... this is undoubtedly a beauty, but for the uninitiated, it was just too big ... think about parallel parking ... uhg!

So we were  back to the idea of a motorhome.   A nice self-contained unit that we can drive from campground to resort and park for a week, or a month and go out and explore the area in a much smaller vehicle.

We did a lot of research online and looked at both new and used coaches.  We discovered that most coaches lose about 18% of their value in the first year, 12% in the second year, and 8% in each of the next two years.  In addition, most owners of RVs are occasional users and don't really put enough mileage on to properly break in the diesel engine.  However, the owners usually drive the RV enough to deal with all of the "new RV" bugs and get them worked out ... Yep, we were definitely in the market for a used coach!

At the dealerships it was up the RV stairs ... down the RV stairs ... up the stairs ... down the stairs.  It seemed we looked at a 100 units (it was probably a dozen ...  but 100 sounds a lot more dramatic!).  We finally settled on the top of the line Winnebago ... four years ago.  A nice used 2007 Winnebago Tour.  So far we are really happy with it!  It had a little over 19K miles on it and came with some really nice upgrades (Pics below).

The plastic on the carpet was there to protect it ...  now removed.  We are really happy with our new home and looking forward to our wild ride ...  Stay tuned .... more to come.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why an RV?

This started out as a picture of a boat. I imagined myself standing feet apart and hand to forehead gazing at the sandy shoreline just off the bow. Lynda is sunning herself on the deck, margarita in hand, the crystal clinking of the ice cubes blending nicely with the quiet movement of the ocean.

Unfortunately, Lynda suffers from acute sea sickness and the reality would have been much different than my vision. One sniff of the margarita would have sent Lynda to rail for the fifth time in so many minutes. The motor of the craft would, undoubtedly would begin to sputter, and when it comes to mechanics, let's just say that if mechanical ability were the test of intelligence, I would be institutionalized.

The dream would become nightmare. Lynda would be heaving and we would be adrift with a stalled engine. Perhaps some previously unknown sea monster sensing the easy prey would swoop in and put us out of our misery ... I'm on the radio ... May Day, May Day!

So we opted for an RV. We will see the world instead from the comfort of our home on wheels. Lynda does not get car sick, and if we have mechanical problems, we can watch TV until the repairman arrives. There is plenty of shoreline to see from the RV and with our Jeep in tow we can stop and look at all the beach we want. Yes, an RV would definitely make a better choice. So off we went shopping to see all of the options.