A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Begining a New Chapter

With the Box gone we needed a replacement.  Once you've experienced life on the road in a motor home there's no going back.  Naturally for some time we had been noticing other RV's while traveling and imagined how nice they must be with air conditioning, a heater, windows that shut dust tight, and the ability to carry on a conversation at 55 mph.  And gee, maybe we could appreciate a bit better gas mileage too in driving something other than the shape of a brick.  One of the RV's that I really liked from an exterior point of view was the Gulfstream BT Crusier with it's sloping front aerodynamic design. 
Here is a picture of one I pulled off the Internet. 

Right away on Craigslist I located one in Sonoma, about an hour's drive from where we lived at the time.  I also noticed a one year old 2006 Winnebago View listed at a dealer in Santa Rosa along the way to Sonoma.  We lusted for one of them but knew they were too pricey for us.  Nevertheless I told my wife I would torment myself and stop to look at it on the way. 

At the lot there it sat.  A salesman in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals walked up to me. I asked if I could see inside.  He had just returned from vacation in Hawaii and wasn't even working that day.  When I said I saw it on Craigslist he didn't even know it had been listed.  They had just got it in on a trade-in from a local Santa Rosa owner for the new 2007 model View.  Inside it looked like new. The salesman said they hadn't even detailed it yet, that some other people were coming to look at it later that day and he doubted it would last through the weekend.  I knew he was right. Views are Mercedes diesel engines and drive line on a Dodge Sprinter chassis.  I had never owned a diesel before and expected the loud obnoxious sounding and smelling engine like we are all too familiar with in those Dodge Ram and Ford pick-up trucks.  He fired it up and the engine purred along quietly.  I was shocked.  I walked around to the exhaust and it was...for the lack of a better description, sweet smelling. 
I got interested.

We went for a test drive and it was like driving a van. Nothing at all like the Box.  The price was $20,000 less than a brand new one (there is a new 2007 in the back ground of the above photo)  but still twice as much as the used BT Cruiser I was going to see.  I needed time to think and the salesman left me to my anguish.  What to do? Should I? If I don't do this I'll regret it forever.  I called the wife.  In all our years together we've never made a purchase without the other being there too.  A piece of furniture, an appliance and most certainly a vehicle, it was always a collaboration. I told her all about it.  She was familiar with how they looked inside for we had drooled over them at an RV show earlier in the year.  I said how other people were coming later that day to look.  That it wouldn't last long.  But the most important thing I told her was, that I wasn't feeling sick to my stomach about this as I would normally do.  For the first time in my life, I have a good feeling about this. That it is the right thing to do. She said okay then do it. 

Now almost 5 years later (October 3; eight days after selling the Box) I think about how this was the best investment I have ever made. 
And that is what I tell people when they come up to me and ask about the
Little House on the Highway.


  1. I enjoyed this so much, John. I am glad you love it - we are hoping to be able to spend more time on the road again, if Dan's surgery is successful. Of course, it will be next year probably - he won't be able to drive and tow the trailer for at least 6 weeks, then we are into our busy time.

  2. Finally, your just reward... Am sure you spent many years dreaming of the freedom to roam... I myself, used to look out at some puffy clouds from the store windows where I worked and mutter; "on a day like this Ansel Adams would be out photographing"...

  3. oh I hadn't realized you were working up to the latest purchase. I thought what you were showing before this (think I might've missed one too), was your current mobile home. Well there you go; VERY classy John; lots of fund days and nights....

  4. I am curious how many campers are following. It is a nice way to drive around in your own house.

  5. it sure is a great looking vehicle. much more aerodynamic than the box. :)

  6. Yeah, glad you got the one you dreamed about. It is a handsome vehicle too.


  7. Good story. I was right there with you agonizing about the purchase. Hooray, it has a happy ending! Would love to see some inside shots.

  8. Its a beauty, when do we get the grand tour of it? Must be great fun to travel in.

  9. Now that must be fun! Time to hit the road.

  10. Very nice! I checked 'em out after your post and was surprised to see their gas mileage is as good as my Jeep Cherokee. That's pretty amazing.


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