Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Well, if anyone is still around, here is an update to a long quiet blog.

My last post was two years ago. That was when we were on Plan A. We have gotten to Plan D by now, and finally it's happened. We have an RV!

We've had the house on the market two times with different Realtors, with not one serious buyer showing up. That's discouraging! So we thought we'd try "For Sale by Owner." Just before we started advertising the house, a neighbor told us of a couple that was looking for a place in our area. And they wanted something that wasn't listed with a Realtor. Wow, we thought. This could be it! They made three visits to look over the place, and then opted out. It wasn't exactly that they were looking for at a price they wanted to pay. That just took the wind out of our sails.

We reexamined our situation, and came to the conclusion that the time just wasn't right. We'd given most of our furniture away, taken down all the wall decorations, and had been sitting on camping chairs for nearly two years - all for naught. We had a diesel truck that we'd been making payments on for two years in anticipation of getting a 5th wheel. We had been way too optimistic (some would say foolish) in our choices.

So we talked it over, and decided we were going to be here for awhile. We might as well be comfortable. Eventually we might get on the road, but it could be a few years down the road.

We purchased new dining room and living room furniture. We put pictures back up on the walls. We made our house a home again. We put the truck up for sale. No need to be making payments of over $500 a month on something we didn't need.

No bites on the truck. We were asking $7000 less than Kelly Blue Book and no bites. We live in the mountains of North Carolina, and everyone wants 4 wheel drive. Ours was 2 wheel drive - all we figured we really needed to pull a rig on the highway.

I was talking our situation over with a friend, and he suggested that maybe we could trade the truck in on a motor home. Motor home? We'd long ago decided that a 5th wheel was the way to go for us, but maybe...

Kate and I  talked it over and it seemed like a possibility. Maybe we could make that work. We had been working with a sales person for over a year at Tom Johnson Camping Center in Concord, NC, located about 120 miles east of us. Not the closed dealer around, but we really liked her. We gave her a call. She took all the info on the truck and shopped it with the used car dealers they worked with. A couple day later she called and said she could get us a little more than the pay-off on the truck if we wanted to trade it in. Okay - a start!

We asked her to let us know what she had in stock that might work out for us. That was on a Thursday. Saturday morning she called us. She had a coach that had just come in that morning on a trade. It was a 2007 38 foot Coachmen Cross Country diesel pusher. She knew it would go really quickly. Could we put a fully refundable deposit on it to hold it until we could get over there to look it over?

We put down $500. Two days later we drove to Concord to look it over. The coach was in excellent condition, with 52,000 miles. Inside and outside clean as a whistle. One big slide out. Cummins diesel and Allison transmission. Built in Onan 5500 watt generator. It had been kept in a garage when not being used. Beautiful - but how were we going to be able to afford this?

I'll spare you the details, but the dealership got us into the unit with payments that are only $40 a month more than we were paying on the truck. And that includes gap insurance and extended warranty on everything from "the driver's seat back." Not the engine, transmission, or frame, but everything else.

We picked up the rig last Saturday. Drove home in the pouring rain, through Charlotte traffic. Exhilarating and exhausting.

Kate is  busy decorating the interior, making it into "our place." I'm figuring out what will fit and where it will be stored. We won't be full-timing for a while. We have a house to sell. But we will be "shaking it down" on short trips, learning the ropes and having fun!

Here's a link to some pictures of the coach -The Sauntering Sampson's new home