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Old 07-09-2011, 05:45 PM   #1
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...and the road becomes my bride.

She keeps me satisfied; gives me all I need.

Greetings online community- Happen-chance new RV owner here... well, it isn't exactly new. Nor are we for that matter; let me explain:

A long time friend of mine who does cabinet and furniture refinishing was doing an insurance job and came across a mildly neglected but reasonably sound Class A Motor-home. He mentioned it about a year ago, and I didn't give it much thought at that time. A few months later he was talking it up and I had just happened to be having a conversation with my fiance about how we hadn't had a vacation in so many years because of our dogs; we just didn't want to leave them or kennel them.

The obvious epiphany hit when I considered my buddy's RV deal he was now hesitant to follow through with because he has more projects than time. I started petitioning him to crap or get off the pot. Last month he finally put me on to the people who were selling the RV... I made the deal, and what a deal it was.

They were the original owners of the 1990 Champion Cabaret (28 foot I believe- has a P-30 GM chassis and a 454 in it.) and had taken decent care of it until the winter of 2008... we had record snowfall that year and the roof over the passenger seat compressed and the leak came in through the bulkhead. They had winterized it that year, but after that they let it go. There was mildew in the carpet in the passenger area, and the bulkhead was ruined, but everything else was clean and seemed in good order without actually trying it out. The battery was dead, and the tires were pretty rough (I have driven on much worse before though, lol!) and the entire outside was black in places with grime and mildew from setting in the shade... trim was coming off, there were weeds growing out from underneath- the inside was clean.

I made an offer right on the spot based on the previous deal that was started by my friend- keep in mind the owners just wanted it gone, but they said if I removed it, my offer of $250 was good. (*That is not a misprint or accident- I actually ended up only paying $200, but that comes later in the story)

I went out and got a battery charged up... I put air in the tires all the way around and they held... I installed the battery and crossed my fingers and just turned the ignition on- then the thunderstorm came... hard and furious. I turned the ignition off as no matter what, I wasn't going anywhere... the owner was standing in the coach with me when the storm came... then the leak began... and it became unreal... the water was gushing in and soaking everything... the owner took one of those small igloo coolers and put it under the leak where the most water was coming in... it was like a band aid on a sucking chest wound- the cooler filled in about 10 seconds and then the owner looked sheepish and shrugged. I suppose he thought I was going to back out. He said, "You can have it for 200 bucks."

The sky cleared and I resumed where I had left off- fingers were crossed again, and I allowed the fuel pump to work for about 30 to 45 seconds and then turned the ignition off again. I looked to the sky, turned the key, the beast turned 3 times and fired up like it was running yesterday. I smiled and asked him to go get the title.

I did have to nurse it home. Because the gas was truly bad- the motor idled but it would not pull under load... the plugs were fouling and it made a stink. I got it home the 20 miles though- the engine was so smooth and powerful it idled the beast home pretty much.

So, he we sit, never before owners or even having considered an RV. We are bikers...we are used to traveling light... but a serious accident a few years back and the aches of getting older plus the luxury of having our hounds with us on the road... and still being able to take the scoot has us fully interested and seeking the lifestyle suddenly. Yes- we are "newbs" or "noobs" or whatever term is common here for the greenhorn; but we are fast teaches.

I have my own tee shirt printing company and my lady works communication for law enforcement- we make an unlikely couple in some ways- heathen biker meets police dispatch... but it works. I also am knowledgeable in electric, and I am a video, voice, and data over ip tech. I am now realizing I am going to need to hone some mechanic, plumber, and electronic skills if I am truly going to do this hobby without paying for all of my service and repairs. (*On a side note- my AC electric skills sure came in handy when troubleshooting the Automatic Transfer Switch- of course finding that thing was a nightmare!)

So- my intro... long winded and hopefully at least a little entertaining. I am quite familiar with online social networking... I joined because the best and most accurate information can be parsed from these sort of places by good folks like you all. We look forward to getting to know you.

Laterz- I am off to read about all the stuff I don't know yet!
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:16 PM   #2
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What a story! Loved reading about your adventure. Funny how my unexpected newly acquired RV which is in top notch shape has overwhelmed me -- I have the upmost respect for your new "journey". Best of luck to you, I hope you post photos and keep us informed as to your progress. Congratulations on your purchase. I am thinking you and your buddy and dogs will have some great times ahead. And when times are not that great, I am sure there will be a great story involved.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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What a great title for a book.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:41 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. Look fwd to following your progress.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCPakaMOM View Post
What a story! Loved reading about your adventure. Funny how my unexpected newly acquired RV which is in top notch shape has overwhelmed me -- I have the upmost respect for your new "journey". Best of luck to you, I hope you post photos and keep us informed as to your progress. Congratulations on your purchase. I am thinking you and your buddy and dogs will have some great times ahead. And when times are not that great, I am sure there will be a great story involved.
My lady, dogs, and my friend who will be building a new custom bulkhead, will all enjoy using the RV. He will get use when we aren't as he is going to put so much labor and time into it.

Much obliged at the compliments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJay View Post
What a great title for a book.
Unfortunately, it is a line from a Metallica song (Wherever I may roam) so I cannot take credit for it. (it is also the inscription on my cane)

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Originally Posted by Jambonee View Post
Welcome to the forum. Look fwd to following your progress.
Thank you kindly- I look forward to the education and the new friends.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:30 PM   #6
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Welcome Hiway, enjoy the site.
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:37 AM   #7
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I never mentioned a very important fact- my steal of a deal only has 25,000 miles on it... and now after yesterday's whirlwind of work- new plugs, filters, and gas, along with a solid going over and other than brakes needing the rust scraped off of them and tires, the only real chassis and engine issue is the R12 AC unit... where does one find R12 nowadays? I don't want to convert but I guess I will have to. Music and AC are imperative for long rides... when I am on the sled that is obviously a non issue... but if I am going to roll in a massive cage I want tunes and comfort!

Thanks everyone for the warm welcomes.
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:55 AM   #8
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Welcome and don't forget to take LOTS of now and later pics.
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