Thursday, June 29, 2006
June 28, 2006
Browsing internet ads, I found this Motorhome that sounded really a lot like what I was looking for. Except that I was in Virginia and it was in New Jersey. Probably it was sold already anyhow, but I sent an email to the seller asking if it was still on the market. A day or so later, he called me. We discussed the Motorhome and it sounded really a lot like what I wanted. Plus he’d lowered the price from the advertised price. I asked for, and got, pictures by email and it was quite a photogenic Motorhome. Road trip!
I called my daughter, who had a (most unusual) free weekend, and asked if she was up for a Road Trip. Yes. I called my aunt, who lives in New Jersey and whom I hadn’t seen in AGES, and she was home and would love to have company. OK: can’t lose. If the Motorhome sucks, I’ve still had a good long visit with my kid and grandkid, and we all get a visit with my aunt!
Off we went, armed with directions, in my daughter’s car. We arrived at my aunt’s at about 1 am and she pointed us at bedrooms after an enthusiastic reunion. We spent the day visiting and catching up, then when the seller got home from work we went to see the Motorhome. It looked as good as the pictures. I poked into nooks and crannies and was mostly quite pleased. Darn those cabovers – there was some water damage in the platform. But it had all those things I was looking for and it drove beautifully. The dash air compressor was seized up, which made an ugly noise, but other than that it purred.
I know that when one is buying an older car, home or especially Motorhome, for not a heck of a lot of money, one is going to do some repairs. The trick is to have them be minor and worth the effort and expense. I have not had the best track record in this regard, but I have also had Real Mechanics inspect my prospective purchases and they haven’t fared any better than I have. So I took a deep breath, decided to trust my intuition, and wrote a check. Called my insurance company and road service company and off we went, back to my aunt’s house to spend the night.
I couldn’t sleep in it: her driveway is very steep and her town gives tickets to folks foolish enough to park on the street. But I showed it off, we got a good but short night’s sleep, and 5:30 am saw us on our way south. My daughter made it home to Richmond in 6 hours; I took considerably longer. Familiar SUV vs unfamiliar Motorhome.
The belt that runs the a/c and power steering broke before I got out of NJ. I expected this, the compressor being seized up. It was a relief! No more ugly noise, and yes the engine did purr beautifully with that gone. Of course, it now drove like a truck. Not a problem unless I wanted to turn slowly.
By the time I got south of Washington DC, I was SO glad to get on 5 and 301 and be out of the land of incredible traffic and over $3/gallon gas. I-95 has never been my favorite road and I like it less and less each time I use it. I reached my daughter’s place and parked. Now I had 2 vehicles there, and my work assignment for the week was also there – a major blessing. Tuesday, I drove my car home and my honey drove me back to Richmond. I drove the new-to-me Motorhome the rest of the week, put 4 new tires on the rear, and drove it home to my regular mechanic. My honey had picked up his Motorhome the day before and left my car there for me, so I dropped off the Motorhome and drove the car home. Next day I picked up the Motorhome with a new inspection sticker and operating power steering. My mechanic gave me an estimate for fixing the a/c – well, it won’t be this summer – and for replacing the sending unit in the gas tank. OK, when I can afford it. Off I went to the RV shop to have max-air vent covers installed on the roof. They were frantically busy, but they squeezed me in and that got done.
There are, of course, plenty of other things to do. Those were the urgent ones that I could take care of right then. There was a puncture in the side wall – someone had a run in with a branch – and that water damage in the cabover, which would need immediate attention. The rest of the list I printed and posted on my bulletin board.