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Our “New” Travel Rig

May 10, 2015

Well, new to us, at least. Leery of Craig’s List, and not excited about another long drive, we still drove another 230 miles to see a Class C, this time to Dayton, Texas. It had been posted on Craig’s List, and we feared this would be another fruitless, tiring trip. We had done the First Saturday Arts Market in Houston on the weekend. We returned home in Liberty Hill on Sunday, took Monday off, then on Tuesday, went in to Round Rock to dog sit for our kids who live there. While Nell did laundry, I worked on a large commission painting. We spent the night there, and hung out until mid-day, expecting to take Nell to a doctor appointment before returning home. The appointment got cancelled. Meanwhile, Nell found a 28 foot Class C on Craig’s List for sale in Dayton. We drove back to Liberty Hill, unloaded the painting gear and laundry, called to make sure the motorhome was still available, repacked our overnight bag, and hit the road. We found the seller’s house with plenty of daylight left, and he invited us to come on by to take a look. Here’s what we found:

IMG_4586a28 foot, 1995 Seven Seas by Cobra, Ford E350 with a 7.5L V8 engine.

We looked it over and cranked the engine. Yes, it needed cleaning up, inside and out, and there are some renovations and repairs to be done, but nothing we couldn’t handle ourselves or with a little professional help. The engine started right up and ran smoothly. The generator started easily and the AC cooled the interior quickly. Now for the big test: a test drive. This Class C was a little bigger than I had planned on, so I was curious as to how it would drive compared to the 36 foot Class A’s I have driven. To me, the difference was night and day. The Class As rocked and swayed and I found, after three years, that I wasn’t comfortable driving them anymore. This Class C felt grounded, and it was like driving a large van. Even Nell, sitting in the passenger seat, said she could tell the difference.  After driving it, and then looking it over some more, we made our decision. With some negotiation, we agreed on a price, which was well below what we had budgeted. The next day, Thursday, after a stop at a gas station, I pulled the motorhome out of the seller’s driveway and headed for home, with Nell following me in the Honda. IMG_4589a We took US 90 from Dayton to Houston, got on the 610 Loop and circled the north side of Houston. Then drove through construction where 610 ties into US 290, finally driving out of Houston on 290 to Austin. Aside from feeling a bit constricted by the narrow construction lanes, the drive was completely uneventful. I was still exhausted by the time we got back to Liberty Hill after about 4 1/2 hours of driving, but much of the tension was related to all those questions that kept running through my mind: Is something going to break? Did we get ripped off? What had the seller not told us? What’s that sound? And that one? There was some comfort in the fact that the seller had taken the rig to get an updated State Inspection. IMG_4596And the tires, while close to five years old, looked really good. They have been protected  by tire covers as well. And the engine purred all the way home. I’m satisfied that we have a good running, mechanically sound rig. Of course, because of its age and the fact that it has probably done some sitting in the last couple of years, we will have a mechanic go over it to check hoses, belts, brakes, etc. There are places that need caulking, primarily along the joints of the overhang above the cab. We’ve noticed that those are usually the places that suffer most on a Class C. IMG_4610b The original search was for something in the 24 to 26 foot range. Most 24 footers we looked at didn’t have a bed at all except for the overhead bunk. Climbing over each other and coming down a ladder in the middle of the night didn’t appeal to either of us. Of course, the jackknife sofas and the dinettes all make into beds, but there were other considerations as well. Nell often wakes up in the middle of the night, gets up, goes into another room, and turns on a light and reads until she can fall back asleep. We needed some separation so that whoever is asleep (usually me) isn’t disturbed. IMG_4633a A walk-around queen sized bed really makes sense for us. Almost all 24 to 26 foot rigs within our budget had corner beds, which we didn’t want. So, to get this kind of arrangement, 28 footers kept popping up in our search. IMG_4611a This is probably more seating than we need, but it does give us room to spread out if we’re stuck inside on a rainy day. I spend most of my drawing and sketching time sitting on a couch or in an easy chair anyway. And it gives Nell a place to stretch out and read. IMG_4613a In order to travel and still maintain inventory for shows, gallery, etc., we will have to carry art supplies and produce new work on the road. Aside from being a place to eat, the dinette will provide a place to cut boards and work on small artwork. IMG_4618a The kitchen area is compact, but the coffee pot will fit nicely in that corner by the sink, and we’ll be using a Nu-Wave oven and crockpot for most meals. I expect this spot will undergo a serious transformation. IMG_4623a The shower will be a major renovation. It’s in bad shape, so the shower enclosure will be replaced. IMG_4591a The seller showed us the big pontoon boat and two motorbikes he towed behind this rig. We do intend to tow the Honda CR-V on longer trips. IMG_4641a For now, we’ve got it parked in an overflow storage space here at the RV park. It’s just a short walk away, and we’ve already started the cleaning process. We’re going over it, listing things to be done and things to be replaced. We already know we’ll replace the mattress and part of the window coverings. And we’ll have this twenty year old rig inspected by a mechanic, to replace anything that looks too old and worn. Even though it ran like a top and drove smoothly the 230 miles to bring it home, it still needs to be checked out. We’re kind of excited. . . .

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2015 1:39 am

    good for you all. Happy travels.

  2. May 10, 2015 5:46 am

    Looks good Ralph, hope you enjoy many happy miles in it.

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