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.