Monday, March 10, 2008
Time to Quit Sleeping on the Ground
The time has finally come; I am tired of crawling around on the floor of a tent. I am tired of setting up the tent, pounding stakes in the ground, adjusting and then adjusting some more, hauling gear from the van to the tent, getting wet, being cold, night-time peeing, hauling gear from the tent to the van, pulling up stakes...you get the picture. We have been looking for a small RV, an older one, but well-kept, and, after nine months, a salesman (George Waters) at a local Missoula RV dealer, Gull Boats and RV, called us and said he had something coming in on a trade that we might be interested in. This was about the fifth call from various salesmen in the past nine months, and none of the other offerings panned out, but still, from George'ss description, "37,000 miles, with only 82 hours on the generator, and has been kept in a heated garage the past three years," I was moderately hopeful. OK, maybe a little more than "hopeful."
So we looked, we drove, we took the kids and grandkids for a ride, we climbed Evaro Hill at full speed, stopped for fast food and ate in the RV, talked it over, bargained and wheeled and dealed (my wife is the BEST!), and we PURCHASED.
We will take delivery in a couple of weeks, and plan to try it out right away, with a near-by camp-out on Easter weekend. We don't plan to drive too far the first time out. We do need to learn a lot of new terminology, and find out just how stuff works. LP gas, 120V generator, gray water, fresh water, black water, etc....
The test drive was the FIRST time I had ever driven an RV, although I have driven a 24-foot U-Haul truck in town. I have to admit to being nervous the first few miles. So we are going to travel! And...we can take the dogs! (Something we couldn't do with our van already filled to overflowing with gear and "stuff." We even had to buy a Yakima Skybox from BackCountryRacks in Missoula to haul all the stuff. I think we will still use the all-wheel-drive van and Skybox when we need to get up in the wild country, but the RV will give us another option when we will primarily travel on the highways, and of course, need a place to sleep. By the way, I have found that parking (to sleep) in a large motel parking lot raises no suspician at all, since those lots are filled with cars all night anyway. So, unlike a shopping center or theater or restaurant parking lot, the cops and crazies don't come around to see what's up. So I will post just a couple of photos here.
Have a great Montana day!