Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dream On, Big Guy! or a Quick Glimpse at High End RV's

Sarasota, FL     High:  64    Low:  54

We headed back to the show today to try and find a bargain Little Giant Ladder for Eldo...No luck...The price of the model 17 ladder was 399.00 with free shipping anywhere in the U.S. Somehow, Sparky got the idea she heard that the Little Giant was selling for $139.00 at the show....WRONG! So, we didn't buy a ladder.  :-(   That's Eldy's disappointed face.....

Sparky went around and signed up for more freebie stays....She spun the wheel at the Thousand Trails and we got some more coupons for the northeast. Examples on the coupon sheet are 199.00 a week at Timothy Lake South (PA), a beautiful park we've stayed at, Mt. Desert Narrows in Bar Harbor and many others in the northeast, $299.00 a week at Hershey, PA, 50% off monthly rates at all resorts from Maine to Virginia valid April, May, September (after Labor Day) thru October this year. You have to book some of these specials by 3/31/13 and others even sooner. We might just take our chances and watch for the Trailblazer Magazine to see what specials will be published there. We don't like booking so far out!
And, we went and looked at rigs....This time we viewed Newells, Newmars and Jaycos....

screen sliding door on mid entry location on Newell
They were so beautiful and decorated much more reasonably and more affordably in a style you could see yourself living in....Still not affordable for us, but within a dreaming and wishful thinking range...anywhere from about 385,000.00 to a cool 1.7 million. Let's start with a 1.7 million dollar coach, a Newell. You  might as well call the Newell a "mansion on wheels". It's what a lot of your NASCAR drivers purchase. Each coach is built from the ground up on the customer's specs.

It has up to 600 horsepower and 1950 pounds-feet of torque and the most powerful coach engine on the market, the latest Cummins ISX diesel. What can you get for 1.7 mil? Marble or granite flooring in galley and bath, air powered pocket doors, premium grade designer materials, laminate wood grained flooring, Aqua Hot hydronic heating system, SubZero 700 refrigerator/freezer, GE Advantium microwave/halogen oven, touch screen monitor and room controls....and so much more....We were WOWED......

Here's the bathroom.....Everything so glossy and shiny....

Hm-m-m-mmmmm....Let's take a look at something under a mil....How about a Newmar? Sparky's favorite was a Mountain Aire...about $488,000 suggested retail price...Newmar is a family owned Mennonite company located in Nappanee, IN. We took a tour of the factory this past fall, and it is a high quality company. The cabinetry in the coach was top notch...Nothing cheap about how things fitted together or the amount of insulation they use. Sparky wanted to post some more photos, but now she can't tell which photos are from the Newmar coaches, or the Entegra (Jayco company) coaches, which was the last group of rigs we looked at today. Sorry about that! After looking at about 17 coaches, they all started to blur together. Since we are not buying, Sparky didn't make a concerted effort to organize how she took photos..So we'll leave you with photos of any and all of the above mentioned, just to give you an idea of how beautiful these rigs are.
Every high end coach had electronic everything...Every kitchen stove was a fancy cooktop of some kind, the kitchens also had expensive Fisher Paykel dishwashers. By the way, Newmar has the Comfort Drive system, an enhanced steering innovation along with Villa Ultra Leather furniture. How about a radius shower with teak seating? Nice!

After Travel Supreme went bankrupt, Jayco bought up all their molds, hired a lot of their workers, and renamed the company Entegra. Jayco is building the Entegra line in Middlebury, IN now. Eldy has read that Jayco is doing a great job of building a high end coach and to prove their merit, they offer a two year bumper to bumper warranty. Their coaches looked very impressive!

The higher end coaches all seemed to have a bath and a half....Some people love that, others feel why the need when only two people are on board most of the time? Just wondering...

Did we see anything else? Some new products--like this air drying desiccant that you can rebake in an oven and reuse over and over again. Buy it once, forget about ever having to replace it. Not cheap however! About 30 dollars for a mid size can. There seemed to be lots of different types of products, with more variety being sold as compared to last year.

And that's the tour today of the Tampa RV show!

Anything else? Nope, that's about it...OH! Wait a minute! We decided to try the Der Dutchman Mennonite Restaurant on the way home to Sarasota today. It's in Sarasota, and is run by family members who are related to the Das Essenhaus Restaurant management in Middlebury, IN. Apparently, there is a BIG Mennonite/Amish population in Sarasota, called Pinecraft, numbering about 3,000, and they live and work in a clustered area around this part of Sarasota. The Amish and Mennonite have chosen Sarasota as one of their primary vacation destinations and they come from all over the U.S. to vacation here.

The restaurant doesn't do family style, they have a menu and an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch every day for 10.69. We tried it today and it was absolutely wonderful! Broasted chicken, mashed potatoes and noodles, beef and noodles, turkey, huge salad bar, tasty dressings. Sparky does not usually care much for buffets, over warmed, mushy green beans, dried out food usually. NOT at Der Dutchman! They try to use fresh Florida produce as much as possible and support local growers. Everything was VERY fresh and homemade tasting.

At the end of our meal, Sparky went upstairs to check out the terrific gift shop that's a part of the restaurant called Carlisle Gifts. It was a beautiful shop....

We highly recommend Der Dutchman!  We'll be going back!


  1. I can't even imagine having one of those coaches. Be afraid to drive it anywhere! Course, with that kind of money, could afford a driver :)

  2. WOW - love to look at those expensive RVs but not in the cards for us. Glad you had fun and a good meal to top it off.

  3. High end coaches and broasted chicken you did it all today. We love the coach we have, but can't get enough good, broasted chicken.

  4. We looked at a few of the high end coaches, including the one where you showed the picture of the kitchen. Notice the severe lack of kitchen counter top? The one with the flat smooth top stove? I don't know how people actually live in these things. Lots of shiny stuff and gadgets, but not very livable in my opinion. Can't afford one anyway do it's not really an issue though. :)

  5. It is so great that we all have different wants and likes. If I won a high end coach, I would sell it and use the money for full body paint, a few upgrades and whatever else is necessary over time to keep Winnona on the road forever. I still haven't found anything I like better. All the interiors are too dark.

  6. It's always fun to dream about owning one of those beautiful coaches. Looks like you had a fun day.

  7. We have enjoyed being inside of some of those upper level motor coaches, and I always tell myself with all that fancy stuff comes all the fancy bills for repairs and upkeep too. I'm content with a regular ole 5'er.

  8. I figure that if you have a coach that you've paid over a million for, shouldn't you have a cleaning lady?

    1. YEP! or a chauffeur! Eldy would be a terrible back seat driver, I would think! :-)