We are a Big Rig looking for a Tent Experience.
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All this happened this month. From not buying a MH. To buying a MH.
Yep we went and did it.
Found one online and after some e-mails back and forth decided we needed to take a trip and go see this thing.
So off to Las Vegas we went. That was on Monday March 12th.
Made reservations at Fiesta Henderson Hotel and Casino
Used my AARP card for a nice discount.
They had a great bufett. So good we went back the next night.
Tuesday we looked at it and went for a test drive. They made us an offer we couldn't refuse so it was a done deal.
Wednesday transferred money at the bank did all the paperwork and by Thursday noon was on the road learning how to drive this beast.
Cayman Monaco 36 PDQ
It's has 4 slides so it really opens it up.
Looks like it just came right off the showroom floor.
Samsung RF18 residential fridge. Just like the one we put in our 5th wheel.
The first place we headed to was Quartzsite, AZ and Discount Solar to get 4 solar panels with Blue Sky controller
and 4 12 V AGM batteries installed. You have to have your priorities.
After all our tag line is a Big Rig Looking for a Tent Experience.
That was good when we had a large 5th wheel and now for this as well.
This MH has a 2000 W Xantrex inverter but it is not pure sine wave so am replacing it with a 2000 W Magum PSW unit.
The 5th wheel has the Magnum and it has better control panel options so want the better unit in the MH. also
Another couple thousand out the window.
BTW still have the 5th wheel so if you are looking, it is for sale.
See my ad https://tucson.craigslist.org/rvs/6538667099.html
We have upgraded the 5th wheel to the max. Please check it out. Did I say we are motivated to sell it.
We spent the weekend in Q as they had an opening on Monday. $4200 later.
On Tuesday we were off to Benson, AZ and our winter vacation spot to settle down and try to figure what we have done.
Well that didn't go so well as usual I had to screw up big time right when we got there. As we were maneuvering this monster through our gate I backed up to get a straight shot and backed into a pole and scraped the right rear back edge. You can imagine how I felt after doing that. Of course I had to blame Terry on his drections he was giving me but in the end I did it.
NO Pictures as I could barely even look at it.
Now it is in Benson at the body shop getting repaired so out of sight out of mind. Est. $1200.
The body shop owner used to live right across from us here so we know him and he does good work.
He has worked on my other screw ups in the past, so he knows what I am capable of.
Next up getting registration and title taken care of. Sent all thatto Bruce at MyHomeAddressInc.com in South Dakota.
As a service he takes care of it and sends us Lic plates, etc. After we send him a bunch of money to cover sales tax and registrtion. 4% tax on the sale price of a MH Ouch. Thank goodness we don't call Nevada home where we bought this as sale tax there is over 8%
As we will want to take our car with us and pull it behind the MH a tow dolly is in order. Can't tow our car 4 wheels down.
Spent much time researching all that. The dollies that have a center pivit require a locked steering wheel.
Our car a 2016 Buick Encore does not have a locking sterring wheel. So went with Acme Car Tow whcih is shipping it to us. Called and it should get to us long before we need to hit the road.
Their unit is made for cars with steering wheels that still trun when key is turned off and it has auto surge disk brakes
unlike the others with drums. Is all welded so can pull it without the car on it.
Also can lock out the brakes.
Got a special deal as they are including a spare tire and rim for free.
Watch a video at this link
We are not done spending money yet as we wanted to get Warranty Insurance in case of breakdowns.
Do yo have any idea what a replacement Cummins 300 HP diesel engine goes for in one of these. Not to think of the air suspension and big Allison transmission. It has about 54,000 miles and should be a go for a long time as it should be only be getting broken in at that mileage.
We went with Wholsale Warranties after much head scratching and asking questions. Both Escapees and RV-Dreams recommend them. So hope we made the right choice. Our policy will be good for 4 years/unlimited milege.
They come to us to inspect the MH as part of the deal. About $1K a year but will sleep a little better with it.
Good Sam was much more expensive and with them assoiciated with Camping World... no thanks.
For road service we have had Allsttre Motor Club for many years and they have worked well the few times we needed them. I made sure as we had a trailer before that they covered our MH needs and they do. Been with them since 1999.
So now to get eye exams done so I can get my SD drivers lic renewed. All I need is a signed form of eye exam (since I'm over 65) and then can go online and renew. Then annual Dr visits and we will be ready to get oursleves to Idaho in early May.
On the way stopping in Gitbert, AZ souhteast of Phoenix to get the trailing suspension arms replaced on the MH. Yep found out they are prone to craking and there is a new design out that will take care of that. Aouther couple of thousand. Who sez this isn't a boat. Like they say you love your boat on the first day you own it, and especially on the last day when sold. Hope that isn't our case with this.
Remember I had the idea off getting a motor home.
Well that idea didn't work out so well.
I knew things were in trouble within the first minute of meeting the owner and walking up to the RV.
It was advertised as full body paint and I saw right off the bat that it wasn't. It was paint on the lower valance but vinyl decals on the upper sides. I right away I said this isn't full body paint and the reply was Yes it was, as that is how they did it that year. We went on from there and looked over more of the RV as we were already there. Talks went back and forth for a few days as they wanted earnest money and we would not agree to that. They also wanted us to pay off their lien up front. We suggested a bridge loan. They also needed to get the water heater fixed and take care of the recall on the Norcold fridge which they didn't want to do at first. That was a safety issue so they then would do that.
Back to the deal... We almost got to the point that we would pay off the lien but when I checked the VIN on the Arazona DOT and CarFax sites it came back as year 2006 and they had it listed as 2007. That killed it.
To think what would have happened if I had paid off the lien and then later found out the year was different
They said Winnebago and Camping World sold it to them as a 2007 and marketed it as that. So looks like the motor and frame were built in 2006 and then the upper coach was added later. For insurance and everything else it's the VIN information that counts in my book.
The best part is the statement Full Body Paint has been removed from the listings. The price has not changed to reflect the difference in value.
So anyway we took the time and found out all was not up our expectations.
So we are going to continue to use our 2009 NuWa HitchHiker Discover America 348SB
We have big plans for the summer again as we are going back and camp host in the
Blackfoot Reservior BLM campground in Idaho.
We have pulled our ad and of course not selling our 5th wheel now.
Here were the details...
Nu Wa 2009 Discover America 348 SB built for extended use and full-timers.
All set up for full timing and boondocking.
Magnum 2000 W PSW Inverter, w/full remote control/settings panel.
Extra 12V outlets wired in bedroom and rear cabinets
Three solar panels w/Solar Boost 2521iX controller (full sun 25 A out)
Remote V/Amp status monitor on kitchen wall
4 12V AGM batteries
Honda 3000i generator w/remote start (extra)
Roof 15,000 BTU AC w/Heat pump with digital thermostat
Propane plumbed for snap on inside Blue Flame Heater
Fantastic Vent with wall mounted control
LED lighting upgrades
Solid Surface Integrated sinks (kitchen and vanity)
30” OTR Microwave
Fabric ceiling exchanged for vinyl panel ceiling
Regal Decor fabrics
Upgraded Goodyear G614 LT235 /85 R16 126 G BSW tires /Aluminum Wheels
Surround Sound w/AM FM CD
TV lead in basement with w/110v outlet Swivel TV mount in basement for outside TV
Lazy Boy recliner
Stand-alone table and chairs
Sony 32" LCD flat screen TV
Brand New Ceiling fan in living/ kitchen area
Brand New 20 ft Shade Pro Awning
Brand New bathroom fixtures
Brand New Atwood range w/sealed burners
Brand New Samsung RF 18 residential refrigerator
Brand New slide seals were replaced as needed
HiGloss automotive fiberglass laminated sidewalls
Full set of Brand New OEM Factory Decals (Paid $800 ready to be installed. Still in shipping box)
January - Febuary 2018
A new year and time to get back into blogging.
Last year we made big changes in our travels and became campground hosts for the BLM in Idaho.
Read my blog post about it here. And a general article about the campground with aerial views.
I didn't post much after my first few reports on the location last summer. We were new to the campground and as first time hosts I didn't know what would be acceptable about reporting our experiences. How much do I relate the day to day activities and the actions of the campers and boaters. What is general info and what could be considered reporting on the public actions of individual visitors. There is much discussion on what is out there on social media tracking and on search engines. People go camping to get away from some of that. So it is not our place to report on people or the actions that they could be identified from.
Me, now thinks if you don't relay personal info about any one person and just frame our experiences as to what it is like to be a campgond host and use it for the education for others who may wonder what it is like to deal with the public in this situation.
We learned never to under estimate what people will come up with to explain their actions. Going into this with our backgrounds we just assumed all people we honest and rule followers. Not so. Being a camp host has been an education to be sure. By definition we are only to explain the regulations and are not in an enforcement capacity. That is what Police and BLM Rangers are for. But as any camp host will find out, you are the front line, and the enforcement officers are many miles away. So it's up to power of persuasion, that gets you through the day and night. Now saaying that 99% of people are just great but it is the few that ruins it for us all.
Our job is to treat everyone with respect and to help them enjoy their outdoor adventures. After all these public lands are owned by us, all for recreation and fulfillment.
Some of the challenges here were that this used to be a free use area and then was upgraded to a FEE day use area, boat ramp and improved campground. 16 sites are electric with water and dump station available on the grounds. With another 14 dry non improved sites. So it makes it nice if the improved sites are taken on a first served basis there is always room in the dry camping area. We have never had to turn anyone away. There are no reservations, so that can be a problem when people try to hold sites for popular holiday weekends but other times this campground is mostly empty. And it des have several huge big rig pull through sites. And with the popular use of ATVs we have the duty to explain riders that the BLM has banned their use in the campground area. There are a lot of local seasonal cabins in the area right before the park entrance and people do seem not to understand they can't just ride on in for pleasure or that there is a day use fee.
Now you ask why would you want to be a camp host. And not olny that we are committed to going back in May 2018 and do it all over again for this summer. We learned from our first stint and should be better able to handle the experience.
And it is the best fun to be the one who can make camping fun for others. It is better to give than receive....
When a family pulls up with kids and are rushing around on their limited vacation time to see it all, and the kids want a campfire and they don't have any. They come over asking if they can buy some and we explain we are not a FS campground run by a private concessionaire and we don't sell it. But we just take some of the leftover firewood we have collected from other campsites to them. Happy Campers are the best.
We found a firewood dealer in Soda Springs, ID where we can get a nice load for a great price (see the light colored wood be bought in town) even if not much is leftover in the sites. (the dark chunks)
So as many of you know I LOVE my campfires and want to share them with others.
More later as I add to thsi post as we did go to Quartzsite in January this year for a couple of weeks.