Showing posts with label Motor homes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Motor homes. Show all posts

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Meandering blogger

Ally our 2016 American Allegiance
I have not been posting to this blog but happened here after getting a notification about a comment.  So I have updated with a photo on the sidebar of our now new, to us, 2016 American Allegiance Coach, our new vacation home on wheels.  We acquired Ally, her name,  end of February, 2017 at Lazy Days in Seffner Florida where we wintered  some of our 2016-17 snowbird south. Since I did create this blog to record our RV adventures long ago, I thought I should get busy with posting the new addition.

This was not my idea, I was quite satisfied with our Excursion, but Jerry wanted newer, better,  it had under 62,000 miles which is nothing on a diesel, but he  wanted this upgrade, tag axle and a hundred other things, newer.  He began to develop a litany of things that would have to be done to fix the Excursion, and admitted it would cost way less than the new coach, but that he felt it was time to upgrade . 
2008 Excursion which we traded in for Ally

2017 February Florida, moving out of Excursion into Allegiance
what a siege and chore unloading and loading.  We were loaded up
for winter, so it took days to transfer stuff. 
Yes Ally is ultra luxurious but what a siege.  I could write the longest blog post ever about the entire process, but I have already done that on Facebook, so not repeating everything here for non Facebook people.  I fear spending big sums of money in retirement because I have a phobia of ending up a bag lady.  I always have had that, maybe it started  with warnings from my Polish grandma, "always have a way to take care of yourself and earn money so you do not end up old and poor"  something like that she told me in Polish.  Jerry who is not a spendthrift by any means, though, reminds me that we can't take it with us and we just as well enjoy while we can.  We have no one that close to us to leave sums of money too and most of what we leave will be going to various charities and organizations that we support.  While they will likely put our names on a plaque somewhere in gratitude, we should reap the rewards of the working we both did in our careers.  Further, he knows while I shudder,  that no way are we approaching financial destitution in fact, we are part of the better off retirees, we own our home. no bills, some months do not spend all our income and we do not need to save and pinch pennies and debate about purchases.  When we see something we want, we buy it.    

Back to Ally, Jerry spotted this American Coach and had been on the lookout to upgrade, even though we really liked our 2008 Excursion.  I was reluctant to do this, spending really big buck$ and then some, but I should have known that once he starts on looking at a new vehicle, it is going to happen.  Well while we were in Sefner, he couldn't get the right deal on the price of this new coach nor on trade in for ours. I was relieved but his mental wheels kept on churning and turning.  So we went on to Texas, Port Isabel where we intended to spend the rest of February and early March.  That is another story entirely and although the weather was fabulous there along the gulf, that border area is just not a place I care to revisit.  The RV Park was old and very cramped, so that we couldn't look out our windows without seeing the wall of another coach or trailer squeezed right next to us.  That is  jut not the way we like to live, so  we  were waiting out February and wiser for the experience. 

Allegiance hall way, residential refrigerator.
Behind the closed doors to the left are the separate washer and dryer. 
Jerry began making phone calls back to Florida to the sales consultant at Lazy Days and learned the American Coach was still there.  They thought they had sold it but the potential buyers couldn't qualify for financing.  We were paying cash.  For the life of me I cannot understand people financing motor homes, especially as vacation homes.  We have never charge a vacation in our lives, if we couldn't pay for it we  didn't go.  The Allegiance had barely had a first owner who kept it only 4 months and then upgraded to something bigger, a bus. Well that first owner took the depreciation, because just like automobiles, these babies depreciate the minute they leave the lot.  The Allegiance is 42 ft, but what a difference those 2 feet more than the 40 ft. Excursion make.  We gained a half bath which I really appreciate when Jerry is in the shower and the main bathroom is occupied.  We gained a residential refrigerator and a stacked separate washer and dryer, unlike the all in one combo we had in the Excursion.  I really like all these amenities, the beautiful dark cherry high gloss  luxurious cabinets and the new microwave convection oven, the all induction cook top and the dishwasher!  I never thought I would want a dishwasher in the coach, but when we winter for months, I was missing that.  I still prefer my own cooking a lot of the time when we are traveling, so despite eating out when we chose to, I cook most meals in our home.  I have always dislike washing dishes and although it isn't that bad for two people, I am much happier with a dishwasher. We have 3 smart tv's inside, one is going to come out and become cabinet space and we have an external TV for watching outside. 

Living room area sofa, not fully pulled out, there is an extension,
to the sofa which is white leather. That's why a cushion is on the
kitchen  counter, sink area to the right
King size bed
There have been some minor fixes needed, stuff the former owner never found or perhaps didn't have the acuity that Jerry has for all things electronic and mechanical.  We have an appointment in August at the factory in Decatur Indiana for some slide warranty work. That fits with our planned trip to my PA home area for my 55th high school class reunion.  Although he vowed that it would fit into it's own house that we have here at our home in MN, sure enough when we got home in March he called a contractor to have some roof beams elevated.  With each newer, bigger coach, he has enlarged the shop/house for coaches.  It is now fully extended and can go no bigger, but the beams were a bit too low for this coach, so there was an adjustment needed. Did I mention the bed is king size, which I dislike and so does he.  We are accustomed to queen size and this meant buying new linens too.  So although this is more comfortable with ability to raise feet and hear, etc. similar to the  luxury bed we have at home, with massage features, etc, we both would have opted for a queen size.  But the new coaches all have King size, likely that works well for big people, or those who are king sized themselves. We are not. We talk about replacing this King with a queen, making this bed is  hassle because there is barely enough room for hands to fit between the head and the wall. And the pillows, too  many all nicely decorative, but have to be removed for sleeping and then stored across the room.  We took several pillows out and have them in a big  bag stored at home, they will likely visit Goodwill store soon.  

We traveled  to Goshen Indiana in May to a Pushers annual event that Jerry has wanted to attend for some time. Another long story and one chronicled on Facebook.  We have some home projects under way including taking down 3 of our magnificent big ash trees from out back, victims of the emerald ash borer that has devastated this region.  I had new quartz counter tops put into the kitchen and am still waiting on the tile for the backsplash.  After I debated and pondered and made my decision, the contractor later advised that the tile was on backorder and there would be a 8 to 10 week delay.  So although  the counters were done end of April, we are waiting.  Surely this will end, but I decided to wait,  After all it took me 3 years to do this project that I have been thinking about and took me a month to decide on both counters and backsplash.  So waiting and keeping busy at home, gardening, weeding, and life. This is the update for today, last photo of the happy man in our new vacation home. 
Jerry watching one of the 3 inside TV;s from the sofa.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Home Again Shortly and then off again (Click here for Story tellers)

This has to be a tale of words, as I did not take photos of this episode.  We just returned  from our quick trip of five days west to Utah where Jerry thought he had found the upgrade diesel motor home that he has had his eye on over  the Internet, on the lot of General RV in Draper.  I had finally resigned myself to his "needing" a diesel for longer trips which God alone knows when we will be taking the way  life seems to change our plans.  Nevertheless when we got there and saw it, I had an instant dislike to the interior layout and to the colors.  I guess I was expecting to be wowed as I was in November 2007 when we got our current and then new Southwind, upgrading from our old one which we'd bought used and which had many miles logged between CA and MN.  Jerry  had negotiated for the new Southwind over the Internet too, with an RV dealer in Arizona, but this time it just did not work.  As he said, "well you can't win all the time."

We knew that we did not want the two sofas this Providence had but figured that could be easily changed out, or one sofa could be replaced with two Euro style recliners. That  would turn out to be a more cumbersome and costly project than we anticipated.   The coach was really more for a traveling family than two empty nesters.  As I sat on one couch, I looked at the to me wasted big floor space and lamented the lack of kitchen storage although it came with a dishwasher.  Now at home the dishwasher is a must have for me, but on the road in the RV not so much.  The dishwasher has been the first appliance added when we remodeled kitchens in CA, preceding a stove or oven.  But in the motor home, it replaced areas I  now enjoy in our Southwind for storage.  Besides I cook differently in the RV.

The gold tone carpet was not at all to my liking and I began to  figure that would mean a visit to the factory in Decatur, IN to redo as the carpet trim is under the dashboard and up the stairs as well as  along the sofas to the back bedroom.  But the bedroom had the most heinous of all to me--a bedspread of a burnished drab gold  taffeta like  fabric with hundreds of tiny tassels hanging all along the bottom.  Oh NO!  That would have to go immediately!  The RV salesman gasped when I remarked that it looked like it belonged in a whorehouse!  He tried to tone that down with, "well maybe a casino."  No, to me it was typical brothel furnishing!  I've watched  Miss Kitty on  Gunsmoke, and old westerns, I recall the decorative bordellos!

I  did not like the small step down from the bedroom to the hallway either.  I figured on my multiple nightly bathroom calls, I'd forget about the step which we do no have in our current motor home, and end up falling on my kiester at best and breaking my nose at worst! I wasn't saying too much because I could not  tell if I was just being too picky, finicky, ornery,  or was tired from the quick two days we'd spent on the road driving  the 1360 miles.  While Jerry has to have been a long haul truck driver in another life, he loves the road and driving, I have never been good on the road for long miles.  At least in the motor home I can get up and down but there is something about sitting confined as the miles roll by that will get to me.  I read, I use my Blackberry and I work puzzles and write, still I am fidgety.  So I sat on the edge of the sofa and said a quick prayer adding to those I'd had going  through out this process,  "well God, I don't know what to think but I don't think I like it. Now what?"

Jerry had determined a diesel is necessary for more power, towing our  vehicle and climbing some of the hills and mountains   and he has decided a larger motor home will have better liveability.  His first reason was quite comical in that he wants a bigger bathroom shower, saying he   bumps his shoulders on the shower walls!  Now he is not a big guy and that made me laugh.  Although when I do see the bigger Euro style showers in these  bigger motor homes, I admire those too. 

After he looked around and in and out he took a long look at the gold carpet and  shuddered as he said to me, " I don't know about this, what do you think?"  I told him I flat  was not impressed with decor and layout, I prefer the kitchen dinette across from the stove/sink in the kitchen area and for sure I did not want two sofas that made into beds.  We calculated  it would take another $20,000 to get interior and decor changes and realized that besides the $$big bucks we were going to fork over for this one and  trade ours  in as well (which by the way they already had a buyer on hold for) it was just not something we wanted to do.  He liked the model and the engine and does not want a 2010 as there are  emission additives/standards  that are not to his liking. He knows mechanics after a lifelong career.  But he admitted that he did not like the interior either and said, "the carpet has to go..." So it was a no go on the 2009 Providence.

The RV dealer showed us another model , a diesel, a 2010 and with the layout we wanted.  But that is not the model Jerry wants.  He knows mechanical things very well and will not be sidetracked  from what he wants in engines and horsepower.  All that is most  boring to me!  Nor will he deviate  from Fleetwood , as he is impressed with their service and quality.  So we left, feeling a bit disappointed but relieved. 

It was back home and  back to square one for Jerry. We plan a couple months  trip to Alaska next year, GLW%CDR. (*)  We spent five days on the road, drove 2,791 miles, used 361.8 gallons of  gas at $971.18, spent $41.50 for food, $49 for overnight RV fees, and $4.08 for some oil he added as it needed an oil change which he did not want to do  if we were trading it in.   I do love having our food available for a quick bite to eat and even in the  evenings after a day on the road.   As I said, I think he wanted to go for a ride!  Or, maybe it was the travelin' bears who were complaining that they had been confined to quarters for a couple months.  That's it, we agreed, the Bears wanted a ride! 

Now we have a few days to clear up and repack to get back to PA where my 92 year old uncle Carl is failing somewhat.  He no longer is walking  after falling in his room in the assisted living center.  Although he was checked over at the hospital and found nothing broken or damaged, he is using a wheel chair.  His doctor had  him admitted for tests and found no physical reason for him not to walk.  However the nurse & hospital social worker told me he may not walk again.  His doctor wants him to get intense therapy at the Skilled facility and they have classified him as risk of falling.   I am blessed to know the  doctor, nursing facility as well as the  folks at the assisted living center where he has been.  We've spent so much time in PA last year that I have a handle on all of that.    But this is the next step.  We'd been planning a PA trip to winterize his home which I could not get cleared and sold yet this year.  It's always something, as RoseAnneAnnaDanna said!  At least I have friends to see in PA.

If you wondered (*) GLW&CDR= Good Lord Willing and Creek Don't Rise, which waters in many rivers  out west and Midwest are quite high now from rains! And that's my true life story, life as we are living it for this week.  Click here to go to the Story teller site and read others.  Or click above on  my title to this post which will direct you there.