Friday, July 16, 2010

Home Sweet Mini Home

Ok, it's not a "mini" motor home, but when you think about how we had to consolidate, sell, give away, store and cram our belongings from two separate homes into what we thought was essential into a 38 ft. motor home, it's really a mini home on wheels. We thought we'd give anybody who's reading a glimpse inside and a little info on the RV. This is a Damon Platinum Challenger, 2008 model year, a "gasser" (runs on gas) as opposed to a much more expensive option, a diesel motor home. This is considered an entry level coach. It has some nice extras on it, such as full body paint instead of decals, an interesting floor plan (separate dinette area) walled off from the living room instead of one large living area. This was important to me, as I wanted some "space" to carve out for my own for crafts, or computing, just some area to call my own. The kitchen area is extremely small, and one thing we did not notice was the lack of pantry space and counter top space. I'm not big on cooking, so I thought that was ok, but in hindsight, I wish we had gotten a better organized work space in the kitchen. The fridge is extremely small and you can't regulate the temperature on it. Depending on how level you have gotten your RV, seems to change and affect the temp of the fridge. We have automatic levelers on the RV, you just push a button and two sets of jacks come down and go through interesting sounds and the coach moves both right to left and back, then front and back move up and down till it levels itself. We check with a level on the floor, to make sure we are in agreement with how it feels. From the photos today, you can see what our inside looks like. The shower is very small and you can barely move around in it. The sink is adequate, and the toilet is very moderately sized with a pedal flush. The bed is a "short queen"..some length is sacrificed here but we are comfortable with it. we had to change out the mattress as it was not very comfortable for our aging backs! There are three slides--bedroom, kitchen and dinette area. there are sliding doors between our bedroom and the dinette area. Eldy can watch TV and I can't hear it with the doors closed and a little fan running, should he decide to stay up late. This is NOT a four season RV...we don't have double pane windows which the next level of RV would have if we ever decided to upgrade. There are quite a few bays underneath for storage, but they don't pass all the way through to the other side because the chassis is there. In a diesel, a lot of the bays have all the way through storage. Diesels ride much better, but there is a LOT of maintenance with a diesel. We have a Ford Triton V-10 engine, and it has handled steep grades and inclines very well. We are towing my car, a Honda CR-V because it can be towed all four wheels down--not all cars can. I go through a procedure each time we tow, with sitting in the car, and moving through all the gears from park down to the lowest gear, than back up to drive for five seconds, then into neutral, wait three minutes, then turn off the engine into accessory position, leave the keys in it, get out, and hope I don't lock the doors accidentally (like I did the first or second time we headed out for camping before we were full timing.) It's been a real challenge to find space for everything, we don't want to get "tacky" with hooks everywhere! More about that some other day...we've added a few personal touches...I put corkboard on the side of the TV wall where there were inset panels in the paneling, and that's where our personal photos and calendar are posted. I've got a little copper tray with three herb plants (now, now, they are all legit!)--parsley, sage, rosemary and, no...just parsley, basil and chives! One of the best things about the Challenger, is that when all three slides are in, and we are going down the road, I can walk straight back to the bathroom or the bedroom if I need to. I can even fix Eldy a sandwich while he's driving!

Before I leave today, we did go hiking on a 1.2 hike to some falls where the zipline was yesterday.. I'll post photos tomorrow! Rain came in right after we got done hiking, so we came home, computed, and watched cable TV. It was a wonderful day to take things easy in the motorhome, relax, or sit outside under the awning (it's motorized and has a wind sensor on it as well!), read the paper, watch the kids on the playground across from us, and people watch. It's a busy campground, but not noisy. We are enjoying the Saco Family Campground in North Conway very much!

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