An Overdue RV Update

I should have written this post a week ago, but life has been really busy as we have prepped for and then performed the final concert in our series. It is interesting to realize that chapter has ended – and by Mid-February, I don’t anticipate adding many new dates so that may feel even more permanent.

But back to RV-Ing. Ross has been working his butt off driving the RV to various driveways and prepping it for storage. Unfortunately when he and his dad tried to winterize it, the plumbing leaked. We were hoping for an easy fix, but after taking it to a professional, we now know that there is indeed a problem with the plumbing. In addition, Campers Inn recommended we consider a new engine due to its age rather than fixing the exhaust leak in isolation, so we will need to shop around and get different opinions.

Oh the joys of ownership! But we have registered it, stored it, and come spring we will brace ourselves and see what we can do to get it drivable and usable. Worst case we will prioritize the engine over the plumbing, so we can get by at campgrounds and in driveways if we have a shower and a toilet to use. One step at a time!

I spent a morning parked at Mario’s with the generator running to run our lovely electric heater in case the leaks might have caused dampness or mold. (I didn’t find evidence of ANYTHING but better safe than sorry.) I cleaned the RV quite well – kitchen, bathroom, random left behind items, etc. – so while it isn’t perfect, I felt quite confident leaving it. I did forget about mouse traps though, so we may want to pick up a few and leave them as we get deeper into winter.

The good news? Since I spent a morning in the RV, I made sure to take lots of photos. It is a small RV so keeping it clean will be really important. Fun stuff? We don’t just have a spice rack- we also have a wine rack!

Enjoy the pictures, and thanks for stopping by! (I am still learning how to do this on the iPad, so bear with me!) And if you know of an RV mechanic interested in music lessons for their kid, let us know!

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Look Out World, Here We Come!

We did it! We totally are homeowners now. I was waiting to share the news until we had great inside photos, but that hasn’t happened yet so I will just go for it. (The photo below is of Ross and the RV – his dad took it.)

It is a 1986 model, and overall things went quite well. My mechanic had good feelings but couldn’t give it 100% without us getting a tuneup, but since those take weeks and Rainy didn’t want to wait that long, he offered us another $400 off which would probably cover a tuneup according to our mechanic. So for $4,600 we have an RV that is almost ready to pass an inspection. 🙂 And once the manifold leak is fixed, our mechanic will slap a sticker on it.

My dad and Karen loved it and were super-supportive, as have been our friends. (Thanks for letting us driveway sit, Nat, Anja and Mario!) Next up we register it – would have loved to wait, but the storage facility wants to see our registration – and then winterize it (Ross and dad gave it a shot but screwed something up…hopefully no damage was done, and the RV will be fine in the cold for a few more days) before we tuck it away for the winter. Wish we had more time to play with it, but we are allowed to visit it. 🙂

So if all goes according to plan – which it may not, of course – it goes into storage Saturday afternoon. It will be really nice to have all this complete and be able to move on. Planning what to pack will be so much easier knowing what our RV looks like!

Well, that is it for now. We have SO much to learn and because we did this as a low cost private sale, we will have to depend on RV repair places, friends and research to learn about our new purchase. But we are both so excited and I kind of feel like we could live in it without power if we had to. Just having something that is ours is so cool.

I also need to investigate insurance. I think it will be okay in storage empty but I should talk to the storage facility just in case.

Unfortunately my health is full of unknowns at the moment, but at least we have something to be excited about.

Until next time!

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An Unexpected RV Visit aka Being a Grownup is Hard

I have been debating writing this entry because I am simultaneously excited and scared of disappointment.

Last week, I passed an RV in a driveway in Derry that was for sale. It looked like a decent, small class C and had a posted asking price of $5,000. I knew enough from all my research (hard to believe, but we have been RV-shopping on some level for more than six months) to know that I would be extremely hard-pressed to get a working RV without really high mileage at that price. I also knew that our goal of only spending $10,000 on an RV would be really tough in NH – there doesn’t seem to be many selling for less than$12-15K on the private market, and dealers are usually asking $20+. So I told Ross about it, and within a couple of days, we made time to stop by.

First off, we are wusses. It is so nerve-wracking knocking on strangers’ doors and asking for something! Billy seemed like a super nice guy, helping out his friend by letting his RV sit there in the driveway for sale. He didn’t know much about it- for instance, he quoted us 1998 as the year of this Minnie Winnie, but I was convinced it was from the eighties and looking at a few pictures of paint jobs confirmed that. But he couldn’t have been nicer and told us his friend Rainy was the second owner, had bought it to go to a music festival this year,and everything worked great.

After the research I have done, phone calls with Rainy, etc., I think this is a Minnie Winnie with a 24R floor plan from 1988 or so. It is 24′ 1″ long according to Winnebago, and it should have an A/C in the truck, heat and cold air, enclosed shower, marine toilet and little sink, dinette, chair, captain chairs that swivel and a full bed. It has fantastic storage, including a spice rack and a magazine rack, but it is really tiny of course so even having a few wardrobe spaces can’t make up for that. No slide outs, which makes it easy, over cab storage, which is where most of our gear would need to live, at least while parked, and it has a new fridge, an oven, microwave, stove etc.

It is smaller than the RVs we have preferred thus far, but that simplification may mean better gas mileage, and more importantly, it means if we find it isn’t practical to travel with a car, it will be manageable in cities. Not easy, but it can be done. I am sure that we would ditch the dinette and replace it with a compact desk for the two of us – perhaps something that can double as a table if needed, or perhaps we buy a folding table. Other extras I forgot about include a grill, a Honda generator, and I think he might be throwing in camping chairs and such too. There is also a CD player that has been added, tire replaced recently, etc. Some sort of exhaust manifold leak needs fixing.

We can really see ourselves in this for year 1. We know we would eventually want to move up, but by all accounts RV repairs are inevitable, old or new, so this price point is really appealing. We would spend another 1.5K for covered storage this winter – a good chunk of change, but given the fact that I haven’t found any vehicles I would remotely consider in NH under 9K and the fact that once we have our RV, we can stop wasting time/money/gas looking for one, I think it would be worth it.

So we are trying to go into this open-minded, but it is really hard to keep perspective and not get our hopes up. It is a really old vehicle. If my mechanic finds other issues and wouldn’t recommend it, I don’t want to be hassled with it for sure given our plans. If we take it to the campground and things aren’t as we had been told, ditto. I said to Ross, “Wow, this is like buying a house!” And he said “Yeah, it kind of is”. Duh, as we used to say!

I am thankful our mechanic will humor me and take a look. I am also thankful my dad was so supportive of our plans when I called him – he and hopefully his wife Karen, who has owned trailers, can join us to check it out. I have transferred 5K to my account so it will be ready to go. Just need Ross to confirm if we are going cash, check or what. And I need to research and calculate – already found the manual – to figure out how much we can load this thing up without killing our tires or RV.

Wednesday is the day. Stay tuned and keep us in your thoughts!