Saturday, December 21, 2013

Our Home on Wheels (AKA Motorhome)

We spend about 6 - 8 months out of the year somewhere other than New Mexico & neither one of us likes
Living area
flying or staying in motels. We have been RVer's since 1999 when we bought our first 25 foot trailer. It was VERY SMALL!

Over the years we moved up to bigger & better RV's as our needs changed. Initially when we started RVing I wasn't doing shows & hauling inventory so it didn't matter what we got but one thing was for sure, a 25 ft trailer with 2 adults & dogs just wasn't cutting it. Over the years we went from that trailer to a 5th wheel & then to a motorhome. Once we got a taste of traveling with a motorhome there was no going back.
Living area & galley
The photos shown here are taken as you walk in & move toward the back of the coach. The first 3 photos are the front living area & galley (also known as the kitchen). These photos are with the slides moved out so you can see the actual living area.

We have a big screen TV with cabinets above & below for storage. This coach is not lacking in storage inside the coach or outside. As I said it really is ideal. After we got the coach we headed to Tiffin for some warranty work & had one of the guys who works in the cabinet shop do some work for us.

I had TJ build a spice rack for the galley area, a slide out tray below the sink & shelves in the bedroom
wardrobe. We also had a brand new wrap around medicine cabinet built so that we have extra storage
& is more functional than the one that came with the coach. Tiffin actually paid for this since they recognized that they needed to come up with a more functional medicine cabinet for the coach in the future.

Since I work out of the motorhome my business & our personal comfort are both factors in deciding what will meet our needs. At one point we had a Jayco Seneca Class C. It was a diesel & had 3 slide outs with bunks for storage of temperature sensitive inventory. The only draw back was that there wasn't much living area & with 2 big dogs it was
pretty tight. A few years ago we traded it in for a Tiffin Allegro with 3 slides & a very large living area. The
big problem was I had no inside storage for the temperature sensitive inventory. In March of this year we found the perfect coach...another Tiffin Allegro. It had the best of
both worlds...large living area & bunks for the inside storage of my inventory. The living area was identical to the Allergro we had but it was a foot longer & had an extra slide with bunks. So, now we have everything I need for the business & everything we need for our personal use without being cramped for room...especially with the dogs. Of course they would prefer a much bigger living area ;)

I use the front passenger seat as my "office". It has a computer work area & the dash is large enough to
Bedroom wardrobe, drawers & bunks
accommodate my printer so it doesn't take up any space in the living area.

For years we were doing woodcarving & gourd shows
but this year due to health issues I decided it was time to slow down & a BIG decision was made. We used to love doing the shows because we had so much fun meeting new people, seeing old friends & shooting the breeze. Over the years as the business grew so did sales at shows which meant a lot more work & a lot less fun.
So, I decided it was time to have more fun & less work. That means traveling for fun & not just to shows. All the more reason to have all the comforts (or most of them) of home when we are traveling.

Bed with TV & overhead cabinets
I don't like eating out a lot especially since I have had to be very conscious of what I'm eating due to high blood pressure & I hate sleeping in other people's beds so RVing is ideal for us.

For years we have been spending winters in Arizona & summers in the Oregon Coast. Since we are no longer doing the 3 shows in Arizona it was time to find another winter retreat where we can get away from the cold in New Mexico. So, our destination is back to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas where we used to go while we lived in Texas.

The photo of the bath is the best I could get. It's small & difficult to capture in one photo. It does have a
My new spice rack
small closet to the left of the shower that allows for storage of cleaning & other supplies. The bath is in the middle of the coach directly across from the bunks.
As you move toward the back of the coach you come to the bedroom which contains a wardrobe & drawers below. It also has over head storage over the bed & of course a big screen tv attached to the back wall.

The last three photos are the new spice rack that TJ built for me, the original medicine cabinet & the new medicine cabinet that Tiffin installed in the bathroom.

The triple wide medicine cabinet that came with the coach (shown below on the left) had no access in them middle making it very difficult to find anything. When I talked to Van Tiffin (one of Bob's son's) he agreed that they needed to come up with a more functional design. He suggested I talk to Dennis, the cabinet shop foreman & work with him to come
New wrap around medicine cabinets
 up with some thing that would be more functional. Dennis had some suggestions & I had some & together we came up with the cabinets in the photo on the right. He even installed hinges that are self-closing on the doors that do not have mirrors.

I will also note here that when we were at the 2014 Tiffin Rally in Washington they introduced the 2015 version of this coach & they had made a change in the medicine cabinet. It is not as nice as the one Dennis & I came up with but it is a big improvement in the one that came with the coach.

Original medicine cabinet
Needless to say I absolutely love all the new stuff that we had made.

Tiffin's slogan "Roughing it Smoothly" describes living in this motorhome!

Update: We have been spending the summers on the Oregon coast for many years so we were thrilled when the 2014 Tiffin Rally was heading to WA state. We headed there early to pick up my new recumbent trike & visit friends & then headed to Brazels RV Performance in Centralia, WA. Having lived nearby before moving to New Mexico we had used them in the past to do some RV upgrades. We were thrilled to head back there to do some upgrades on our coach.

Ben, the shop foreman went for a ride with us & he made some recommendations. So, we did some chassis upgrades such as rear track & anti sway bar & added Koni Shocks all around. Oh my gosh what a difference in the ride. Not surprising though because we had done the same thing to our Jayco Seneca & that coach rode like a dream after the upgrades. Now we really are roughing it smoothly.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Links to our previous travel adventures & photos

For the last 4 years I have been posting all of our travel adventures on my website. I hated mixing business
with pleasure but so many of my customers loved reading about our travels & our photos. I actually took them down when I redesigned the website 2 years ago but every body was so sad I had to put them all back.

I think that this blog will make everyone happy. Those that want to keep up with all of our escapades can do so.

The photo on the right is one from our recent trip to New Orleans.

The photo on the left is Allie & Shadow lying in front of the door of our motorhome. The black (looks just like Shadow) dog standing outside is cousin Cisco who wants them to come out & play. They met for the first time during our trip back to Connecticut for my 65th birthday in May. They had a blast playing together.

Here is a link to the page that will bring up all of our personal pages including the ones everybody seems to love....our dog photos.

Nedra's website - personal pages

We are heading to Texas for the winter

We are getting ready to head to Texas for the winter. For the last 6 years we have been going to Arizona mostly because we have been doing woodcarving & gourd shows. This year was our last year doing the
Bentsen Palms Village
shows so we decided it was time for a change. We looked & looked for other options for the winter & decided to go back to Texas.

Having lived in Texas for many years we decided to head back down to the Rio Grand Valley & see how much it had changed since we left over 10 years ago. I was told there was a lot more in the area than when we lived in Texas. Based on recommendations from friends we decided to check out Bentsen Palms Village in Mission.

Bentsen Palms RV Super Site
Bentsen Palms was not there when we lived in Texas but it sounds like a great place. We were lucky to get a site for 2 months & if we like it then we will make reservations for next year.

The photo on the bottom left is of one of their super sites which is larger than the other sites & includes a storage building & picnic table.

They also offer sites for sale with casita' who know's!

For now we are just going to check things out & see what the future holds. We will check out the area & see what else is available. We haven't been there yet but this sure is a whole lot nice than where we have been staying in Arizona. I'm just going to miss having a Trader Joe's & Whole Foods nearby  ;(