Traveling Days On The Horizon; Meet Our “New” RV Challenger

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Mike and me and our RV

We have been looking for a camper for our retirement years for a long time. What took so long? We looked for quality condition, appeal, and the right price. Funny how those three qualifications hardly ever come together at the right time and the right place.

Mike spent a good part of his free time checking out the ‘net for good buys. A couple of weeks ago he spotted two at Barry’s Campers in Summerville, Georgia. Since he had a job going the next day in Ft. Payne, Alabama, we decided I would ride with him, since it was on the way to Summerville. We would do lunch, head for Georgia, and check out the two campers.

The first camper was a cheap fixer upper that looked better online than in person. So Mike suggested we might check out the second one, even though it was a couple of thousand above our price range. When we walked in the door, we both knew it was love at first sight. It smelled heavenly. It was bright and cheery. Lots of windows. It was in pristine condition. There was plenty of cabinets, closet space, and overall storage. The woodwork gleamed. The furniture looked great and was comfortable. The window treatments struck me as beautifully draped in soothing colors. In other words, the whole thing could be summed up in one word. Homey.

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While I checked out all the woman stuff, Mike checked out everything from stem to stern. He checked the corners for dampness. We didn’t think there would be any. The ceiling absolutely gleamed. Outside, there was no delamination (fiberglass separation), and the tires were in great shape. Barry said this was a one-owner unit, a 2000 bought for $34,500. The owner was a scrupulous military man. And inside the unit was the paperwork to prove it. The guy had ordered all the nice extras when he bought it, and kept everything shipshape and Bristol fashion. Including keeping it under a shed out of the weather.

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DSCN1135The asking price was $7900. We decided to brave the business office and Barry. First thing, Mike asked. “What’s your bottom line?” Right back at us, no hesitation, came $6,500. We tried not to look startled. We were wearing our poker faces (I hope). But, to make a long story longer, we did the deal and a little over another week later we were pulling it home in wintry, windy weather. But the unit pulled beautifully. Praise the Lord for all His blessings.

It took a little over a week for Mike to do all the prep work before it could be backed into our drive. Which means, for one, our Bradford pear trees look a little shivery and skimpy right now. The limbs had grown out over the drive. Which were lovely, but there was no way to get the camper by them. And for another, Mike had to order the proper rearview mirrors. They did get here in record time.

Just before we got home, I called Henry and Tammy (son/dtr-in-law), and told them our ETA. They were right behind us when we pulled into the circle. Tammy had her phone camera out and, later, with our camera, took the first picture at the top of this post. All of us helped Mike with the . . .  ‘m on backs. Although, I have to admit, it turned into somewhat of a Keystone Cop type situation. We got in each other’s way. Got mixed signals. Okay. You know the drill. But when all was said and done, Mike parked it with nary a scratch — in spite of us.

Henry helped Mike with the leveling and hook ups, and no sooner was the slide-out in place than I hit the road walking. I went around dragging neighbors out of their houses for a visit. Mike said I was such a hick. Okay. But so are my neighbors. They are also friends and they totally understood. Especially since one set of neighbors is my sister Katie and bro-in-law Randy. Everybody had a great time, And, okay. So they all know me by now. The neighborhood nut.

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Neighbors William and Angie

 

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Lots of head room for 6ft 5 in. brother-in-law Randy

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Montana Thanksgiving Day, first time inside

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Daughter Michelle, relaxed and comfortable. Michelle is on oxygen 24/7 now.

           

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Granddaughter Montana doing some photography of her own.

 Here’s an early era traveling song I love called “Freeborn Men of the Traveling People”,  by the Celtic group “Cherish the Ladies”.  I especially love the phrases like “every tinker, rolling stone, and gypsy rover“, and “when time was not our master“. But I hope our own traveling days will last a while. The song speaks of those old traveling days, and that era, coming to an end. However, the singers are speaking of the horse and wagon days coming to a close.

But now we have a new era of travel in every conceivable type of RV and motor home. They have given much pleasure, freedom, and life-affirmation to many people, retired and otherwise, who want “no fixed abode, with nomads I have wandered“. I found a copy of the song, but I apologize for the ugly image that goes with it. That’s the only way I could get it. But I just scroll past it and look at the pictures while the song plays. Here are the lyrics if the Irish brogue makes some words a little difficult to understand.

 

I’m a freeborn man of the traveling people
Got no fixed abode, with nomads I have wandered
Country lanes and byways were always my ways
I never fancied being numbered

Oh we knew the woods and the resting places
And the small birds sang when winter days were over
Then we’d pack our load and be on the road
Those were good old days for the rover

All you freeborn men of the traveling people
Every tinker, rolling stone and gypsy rover
Winds of change are blowing, old ways are going
Your traveling days will soon be over

There was open ground where a man could linger
For a week or two, for time was not our master
Then away we’d jog with our horse and dog
Nice and easy, no need to go faster

Well, I’ve known life hard and I’ve known it easy
And I’ve cursed the life when winter days were dawning
But I’ve laughed and sung through the whole night long
Seen the summer sunrise in the morning

All you freeborn men of the traveling people
Every tinker, rolling stone and gypsy rover
Winds of change are blowing, old ways are going
Your traveling days will soon be over
Your traveling days will soon be over

 

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7 thoughts on “Traveling Days On The Horizon; Meet Our “New” RV Challenger

  1. Wow! It’s gorgeous! And what a fantastic price you got. I am guessing there are some great times ahead for you and Mike.

    Is this self-propelled or do you tow it? I hope you have a good powerful truck if it’s the latter.

    Congratulations! Well done, you two.

    • Thank you so much! We waited a long time for it. It’s a fifth-wheel, which is not like one towed behind. The top portion has a big thingy that attaches to the thingy mounted in the back of the truck over the axle. Don’t you love my technical language? Mike’s outside right now and he’s my man for mechanics and all words thereof. Anyway. It pulled beautifully all the way home, even in windy weather. That’s doing very well.

      • i know what a fifth wheel camper is so I got a chucke out of your “thingy” explanation.

        I’m so sorry to hear about Randy’s brother. Randy is your SIL, right? Since you said he died “suddenly” I take that to mean he hadn’t been ill. It’s somehow more shocking and unexpected when that’s the case. My thoughts are with all of you.

  2. Tell Randy that we are praying for him and all his family. The pictures are great and the story even better. we love you all and wish you Happy Trails to You!

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