That's right I finally purchased a nice older model RV. It is a 1987 Coachmen Classic. It's 34 feet long and has many nice features. It was not a bottom of the line RV when it was new. Now it's my driving abilities and that 34 foot length that has caused me heartaches. Perhaps I should start at the beginning. . . . .
. . . . .I purchased the motor home on June 16th and proudly drove it home. I spent the next few days cleaning and checking out the features. I found the gas over electric fridge did not work like I was promised it did. Dang! A little frustrating because I have heard the horror stories about how expensive they are to replace. But, most everything else worked including the generator, although it is in serious need of a carburetor adjustment. The RV has a nice long awning that needed a little coaxing to work, but now works perfectly. All in all I was very proud of my decision to purchase the Coachmen and began moving my stuff from my small tag-along camper to the RV. I found places for everything and was ready to pull out last Wednesday morning to attend the Sedalia Bluegrass Festival in Big Island, VA. I was ready to pull out at 8:15AM. All I had left to do was to buy ice for the weekend. I started the engine and pulled to the end of my driveway and nosed out into the road to look to my left to be sure nothing was coming. The way was clear, so I began to accelerate when I heard this awful loud crashing/crunching noise over to my right and behind me. I stopped the RV and got out of my seat and walked to open the door to see what was wrong. The door would not open. It was jammed. I looked out the window and there it was. I was sick as I surveyed the damage I had inflicted on my RV. I had failed to consider my mailbox and the 34 foot length of the RV and didn't pull out nearly far enough to clear it. The box dropped right off the post, but the post raked the side of the RV and inflicted serious damage. (About the mailbox post. Years ago when my street was actually US Route 460, our mailbox was routinely hit and knocked down. My dad and I decided to put up a strong steel post and really sink it deep into the ground. The next person to hit our mailbox would pay. Yes I will!) I drove down the road and turned around and back into my yard. I forced the entry door open and found the exit steps were completely destroyed and were only hanging on by some electrical wires. The fiberglass side of the RV was ripped off for about 8 or 9 feet and I narrowly missed breaking a valve off the propane tack located right next to the entry steps. As it was I did break the pot metal knob on the valve in half. Unknown to me at the time I had two pilot lights that were lit. Had I burst the tank there would have been a horrendous fire. So, while I was disgusted with myself for my lousy driving technique, I was very happy to still be alive.
I got busy with my knife and cut the wires holding what remained of the entry steps and cast them aside. I found a bungee cord to hold the door closed and proceeded to drive the the festival in Big Island. I knew as I drove toward the festival that there were many friends and acquaintances there and they would razz at me endlessly about my idiocy. They did not let me down! While I did receive sympathy from most of my friends they simply could not resist raking me over the coals and explaining how I should have turned out of my driveway. Thanks to all of you. I know you love me, but you really don't have to show it so strongly.
If you're wondering, I do plan to repair the RV. It is simply too nice to abandon, plus I've got money sunk into it that I simply cannot afford to lose.
I had a very nice time at Sedalia (sans the ribbing, etc.) and enjoyed a very hot weekend of Bluegrass. There were jams each night and we ate as if there would never be another meal in our lifetimes. My super quiet Honda 3000 watt generator handled my AC just fine and I had a nice cool RV to sleep in. This was the first time in all my years of camping at festivals that I actually had a shower in my own camper. The water heater worked flawlessly and I enjoyed 4 nice showers over the course of the weekend. Also, I tend to take along much more than I need for any camping trip and my old tag-along camper was so small that it was simply piled high with all this stuff. I found places for most everything in the RV and simply left behind those things which I found I never use. In other words I enjoyed a very nice camping experience except for having to use a step ladder to enter and leave my RV. Also there was a large hole at the entry where the steps had been. I covered it with a piece of cardboard each night to keep the varmints outside. Oh yeah, there was that bungee cord door thing.
My email address is at the top of the blog, so if you feel I need more instructions about driving or simply a bit more ribbing and harassment then drop me a note. However for now.........