Thursday, May 5, 2016

Change is Good

Where to Next…

At this time of year, we really did not want to go further north into cooler temperatures, and south of us the weather would be a continual warm-up, so staying in Kingman, Arizona, for a while seemed like the best bet. Kingman was a very easy city in which to navigate.

The Chrysler mini-van had already sold according to schedule. In fact, if we had not already paid for a month at the Kingman KOA, we could have left March 1st.  We had gotten a call during the last week in February when we were back in Ehrenberg, and a buyer with cash in hand was waiting for us to return. We could have saved ourselves $25 for the paper ad, because it sold before the paper ever hit the stands, but when we placed the ad, we had no way of knowing that would happen.

In and Out Burger fast food restaurant and the unadvertised lunch box for $5 at Popeye’s Chicken at the TA truck stop were not the only specials in town. Del Taco had three tacos for $1.29 on Tuesday evenings. The Golden Corral had a nice restaurant here also. With a senior discount between 1 and 4, we could eat at Golden Corral for $7.59 each.  We would arrive around 3:30 and start eating lightly, so we would be ready for steak when they put it on the grill at 4PM. The rest of the time we made light meals on our own.

The KOA was a nice park with a reasonable monthly rate at $330, plus electric. My previous posts have already talked about some of the exploring we enjoyed. The cement pad and picnic table at our site made a great place to photograph items. The result was getting one entire box of organ music divided into six sets of six books each, listed, and sold on eBay.

Switching Gears

After living in the trailer for six months, we knew the time would come when we would want to get something a little bigger, but we were in no hurry. Our space was very limited, and every little corner was utilized. Finding things in the van was a nightmare, even though we had eliminated at least twelve large boxes.  We were moving and rearranging boxes every time we put those remaining back in the van.

Size was important because we did not want anything too big.  We had had a 40-foot motorhome with a tow car when we traveled out west in 1994, and even though it was very livable, that size would prohibit us from going places and doing things by the mere size of it. A unit small enough that we could use as our daily driver and keep our trailer to use as our studio seemed more appealing. Instead of stopping our life to downsize, our life goes on as we continue the process. Traveling full time in an RV does not mean we are constantly going and seeing things every day. Some days we are on the go because we do like to see the sights, while other days, we just enjoy our tiny house atmosphere.

As far as RVs go, we had looked at some but nothing seriously. John looked at various internet sites, and we also stopped to look at a few on sales lots. We had visited the Cranky Ape facility in Kingman. A number of cities throughout the country have Cranky Ape repo’s that appear on It was interesting to look, but for any number of reasons, nothing jumped out at us saying ‘take me home’.

Then one day while taking a break from other projects, I came across a unit on that had a lot of things going for it. It was offered by a dealer located in Quartzsite, so we made arrangements to go look at it.

Scenic Drive thru Lake Havasu and Parker, Arizona

Every time we made a trip to Ehrenberg to get things out of storage, or went to Quartzsite (in this case, to go look at an RV), we went through Lake Havasu where the famed London Bridge was located. John McCullough, known for the McCullough Chainsaws, was responsible for purchasing and bringing the London Bridge to Lake Havasu.  It was taken apart brick by brick with each brick marked, so it could be reassembled at Lake Havasu. Lake Havasu became a city in 1964.

As our road wound through the mountains and the town of Parker, besides regular homes, we saw many park model homes and RV lots along the water. Occasionally, we could catch a glimpse of a golf course green on both sides of the road in small clearings. Getting a photo of them was next to impossible. By the time we saw one of the beautiful greens and aimed the camera, the road was curving or a mountain hid it from view.

Photos of Parker, Arizona:

The Deal …

The RV we went to look at had many features that we liked. In fact, a week later, we returned to Quartzsite, traded in our Chevrolet hi-top van, closed the deal, and bought it.  As we retraced our steps through Parker and Lake Havasu this photo shows the climb on Highway 40 going into Kingman.

Flowers at the KOA

As winter gave way to Spring, the bushes separating many of the campsites at the Kingman KOA began to flower, some with rose-colored flowers and some with white. This one was taken through the window behind the sofa in our motorhome.

Flowering bushes separating campsites at Kingman KOA, taken thru window behind sofa.

Why this RV?

Many reasons, including its length, which is short enough that we can use it as a daily driver. The mileage is low compared to a lot of units. And are some photos.

It’s a 1996 Gulf Stream Sun Sport model on a 1995 Chevrolet chassis with a 454 engine.  It is a Class A and is only 27 feet, 8 inches long. Total height is 11’3”. We were familiar with the chevy 454 engine because it was the same one used in our 34-foot 1986 Honey motorhome. Gulf Stream coaches are manufactured in Nappanee, Indiana, my old stomping ground. Also, John knew and had personally done work, soon after we got married, for the owner of Gulf Stream at his residence.

Front and left side of motorhome
Rear view of motorhome

The tire cover on rear matched three others in the storage compartment used to cover tires when parking for extended periods. They gave us a new one specifically made to fit the rear spare, which we changed later.

Front and right side of motorhome
Floor is laminate. Dominant colors are blue, shades of which we both like. Layout has a sofa that makes into a bed. Behind it is the kitchen area with a coffee maker, microwave, stove, oven, and two-bowl stainless steel sink and more upper and lower cabinets.
Looking toward the back
With the side dinette already removed, my spinet piano (at some future time) will fit through the door and along the side which now has a two-door cabinet and a swivel, recliner rocker with footrest.

Piano will fit here.

Kitchen area with reflective tile squares in corner
Queen island bed in back is a lift and store bed with lots of storage.

The split bath is located between the kitchen and bedroom area with the sink and toilet to right of  aisle.

Across center aisle from toilet and sink area is shower with skylight.

Looking forward, upper cabinets are available throughout the coach.
Driver and passenger seats both turn around to provide extra seating.
Both seats have lumbar support.
It has 52,000 miles on it and there is an electric brake controller for the trailer in the cockpit area
Having completed the fun task of rearranging things between the motorhome and the trailer, it feels good to get back to a somewhat normal routine. Join us as we continue our journey of  traveling while living full time in an RV.

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