Finally, finally, after years of hesitating, looking, researching, and wasted gas and time, we found a motorhome. Oddly enough, I found the ad on Craigslist not minutes after we left an RV dealer’s lot. The ad was only about an hour old, and I jumped on it like a duck on a June bug. It is a 1994 Pace Arrow (by Fleetwood) motorhome. The couple selling it had lived in it for over 2 years while building their home. Fortunately, it was well-maintained, and seems to be in very good condition so far. The downside to a motorhome is that there are a LOT of different systems contained in a single vehicle and you have to go through each and every one of them. So far, we know we need:
New air cylinders for front suspension (think: The WeebleWobble Mobile while driving!)
Remove and reinstall the refrigerator (hits trim on the interior and also the water drain tube broke into a zillion pieces
Reseal and assess roof.
Check the LP alarm and the LP system to see if it is functioning and if it leaks or not
Test all appliances
Check dates on rear tires (I looked at new tire prices…shudder)
Check all belts and hoses
Get water tank and pump sanitized and running
If I weren’t married to Mr. Fix-It, it’s likely that I would have been much more apprehensive about buying this rig. Ideally, you want to check out ALL systems before buying an RV, but we were happy that it ran, the body is in great shape, and the a/c worked. Also, the price was right for what we got. I have seen similar, if not almost identical rigs going for double what we paid, which is hard to imagine, especially for being a 20 year old mass-produced motorhome.
Anyway, after doing some serious upholstery/carpet cleaning on the interior, I have vowed (yet again) to never live in a house with carpet. Ugh. I finally have my equilibrium back after 3 days of working in an unlevel ‘house’. I kept on running into walls on my RIGHT to try and compensate for leaning to the LEFT. The night before we moved it indoors to another location, Jason checked the leveling system. The man had not used this system at all and used aftermarket jacks to keep it stable. Well, we found that the fuse for the leveling system wasn’t even in the fusebox at all, so after replacing that and hitting a few switches, the 4 leveling cylinders popped out of their places and leveled us right up! Sure wish we would have done that a few days sooner so my right arm wasn’t so bruised…
Looking forward to NOT setting up a tent in a downpour any more. We’ve taken a whopping 2 vacations, and both have been in the pouring rain and both were spent in a tent. It’s not really “fun” doing the “Wet Tent Dive” to get in and out of your tent. Nor is it fun to get up at 3am and walk to a toilet where bears lurk, or breaking camp in the rain, and shoving your stuff as quickly as you can in the back of a truck without forgetting anything or anyone. That’s the part of camping that I admittedly, will NOT be missing. I’ll enjoy having my own potty, my cooktop, and a roof more solid than just nylon. Oh and a heater…let’s not forget the heater. Most of all, I will not miss being crammed in a small compartment with 4 people, and having to stop for pee breaks and food. Who knew kids’ bladders were the size of a pea, or that they could rapid-fire questions for 4 straight hours? Did I mention that the driver and passenger’s seats are like La-Z-Boy chairs? It’s literally like driving a huge recliner down the road.
Looking forward to traveling in Big Bertha and seeing what there is to see!
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