Monday, March 21, 2016

The beginning... Selecting the right motor home and preparing for our odyssey.

Actually Bill already had a 2013 Coachmen Encounter 36KS and a 2015 Ford Focus SE TOAD, but it was more a single man's pad, so we opted to trade it in for a new motor home that was more what the both of us wanted in terms of closet/drawer space, kitchen facilities, washer and dryer, residential refrigerator, king size bed and even a bath and a half (which also includes an extra 40 gals of black and 40 gals of gray water capacity. Technically the new coach is only 6" longer in length, but has much more room and livability, partly due to a full side slide-out, plus the bedroom slide (opposite). Bill's Focus was also small for him as he is a tall guy, so since Mary has 'Edith' (her 2015 Ford Explorer) which has already explored 15 States and had over 14,000 miles in such trips, Bill also traded-in his Focus, and we will take 'Edith' with us, as she is much more comfortable for us both and can also serve as a tent for short camping trips as well.

We selected a 2016 Thor Challenger 37LX (Gas) as our motor home of choice and even found the perfect one at Independence RV, but even at the Orlando (Citrus Bowl) RV Show they were unwilling to meet our price by a  $10,000 difference. Then looking through the Internet at RV dealers outside of Florida, we found the exact same coach (minus 'double-pane windows') for $12,000 less than the Independence RV one. So we decided that such savings merited the drive to Ringgold, VA, and we drove up there with the Coachmen Encounter and Ford Focus to trade.

When we got there, the problems began, as usually happens with new motor homes. In this case among other less critical things the furnace and water heater did not work... in 28 degree (F) temperatures. To make a long story short it took us about 6 days to resolve but we did resolve it and opted to make an appointment at Lazydays in Tampa to get the rest of the Warranty work done, which will be done this week.

So then started the Getting Ready Phase. We have added a macerator, tow plates on Edith, and a Brake Buddy (Stealth) and obtained just the right bins and baskets with strict measurements for perfect fits and comfortable living. Unfortunately Mary's subdivision (Wekiva Run) like many, does not allow a motor home to park in front of the house for more than 4 hours (and apparently the neighbors will complain), so we have to run back and forth every 2-3 days to take stuff to get ready, but it is a fun and exciting part  of the getting ready for our upcoming trip.

Here are a few photos of our NEW HOME on the road:




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