Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Miss My Back Yard

The thing I miss the most about no longer being in my house is my back yard!!!  Especially at 6:30 AM and 8:30 PM when it’s time for a potty break for my dog.  I miss being able to open the back door, let him walk out, do his thing, then let him back in while I remain in my bathrobe!!  Even though it’s in the 70s during the day, being in the desert it’s a lot cooler at 6:30 AM and 8:30 PM, before the sun has come up and after it’s gone down.  Believe it or not, my winter coat that goes down to my ankles is wonderful at both those times and I’m so glad that I have it, including my gloves.  Fortunately, those are the only times I need both on any given day down here in Tucson.

The lack of space has finally gotten to me and I found a larger motorhome.  If you didn't notice the new picture, look up.  Geez, is it larger.  I went with an Alfa See Ya 40 ft diesel pusher.

It has two hallways, one loaded with closets and drawers...

and the other one goes through the bathroom… 

Both end up in the bedroom...

Whoopee...a bedroom.  The slide on the right isn't out so it's larger than it appears.  

The living/dining rooms and kitchen have so much space I hope I'll know what to do with all of it...

The storage, inside and out, is unbelievable.  I know that what I currently have in Olivia probably won't even make a dent in the storage available. This is quite the home on wheels.

There’s a circular opening on the Corion counter for throwing garbage into the garbage pail.  Access to the garbage pail is from the outside and it has it’s own door.  Right now, in Olivia, I put up two removable hooks on a wall and I have a plastic bag hanging on it for my garbage.  It doesn't look great but at least I have a place for my garbage.  

A requirement on my wish list for my next motorhome was a washer and dryer and I have that in addition to a built in vacuum.  While the built in vacuum wasn’t a requirement I won’t turn it down!!

The space I’m in right now is next door to a park model.  I’m thinking that it’s going to be a tight fit so I’m going to see if I can move into a space not next to a park model.  The park model itself isn’t the problem but I think the carport cover will be.  Also, slides on Alfa’s are deeper so that might be a problem too, not for living with, but for when parked next to a park model. 

If you're looking for a non-hard sell dealership, let me recommend Pedata in Tucson.  They're a very laid back, non-pressure dealership and that's where I found my motorhome.  What's more, the salesman lives down the street from where I'm living!!!  He has a good reputation in the RV park so that's also a plus.    

While I like the dealership, I don't like what they offered me for Olivia so I'm going to sell her on my own.  I figure I'll make $12,000 - 16,000 more that way and that's quite a difference.  

Now that I've found my next home I figure I'll have more time to spend  catching up on your blogs.  I'm soooo way behind.  Wait, I'll have more time after I've moved all my stuff from Olivia to my new motorhome (unnamed, so far) and cleared out my storage area.  Fortunately, the Voyager, where I'm at, is having a "yard sale" on December 10th so I hope I'll be able to get rid of stuff I've decided not to leave in storage.  I see further downsizing in the near future!!!

Feeling good today,


P.S.  I notice I have a number of new followers and I promise to acknowledge you in the near future.  In the meantime, thanks for joining me on my journey, if you call wintering in Tucson, a journey.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

RV Dealers Drive Me Crazy

My neighbors and I went to another RV dealership yesterday.  They pulled the bait and switch with us so the lady we started with was not the sales person we ended up with.  We’d been there the day before and I drove a couple diesel pushers.  The first one was awful…the gas pedal was too far to the right to be comfortable and the placement of the mirrors was a nightmare.  It had turn signal cameras but the steering wheel was in the way of the screen so they were worthless.  Our sales lady didn’t understand what the problem was. 

One of the diesel pushers she showed us was an Alpha Gold See Ya and I really liked the interior.  Well, except for the TV in the bedroom.  I don’t watch TV in bed so it’s worthless to me, but the way this one was mounted was overkill.  It’s hard to explain so I won’t get into it…just trust me, it was pretty awful. 

We’d decided that I was going to test drive it because I really did like it but they couldn’t get it started.  Hmmm.  Then my neighbor, Lloyd, did some checking on the outside and called me to the back to show me a problem.  The back section was full of silicone and parts of it were loose, etc., etc.  After showing me that I went back inside and noticed that there had been a leak in the ceiling of the bedroom and red flags started going up all over the place. 

They agreed that they were going to charge the batteries overnight and Merisa, our sales lady, would bring it to the Voyager for me to test drive.  However, that’s not how things worked out.  She called me asking me to come to the dealership because she had an appointment she’d forgotten about. 

They’d gotten the Alpha charged, although it was still hooked up to a battery charger.  Merisa proceeded to open the slides which confused me because I thought I was going to test drive it.  Then she put her hard sell hat on and the camaraderie changed.  She excused herself to get some info and that’s when the sales person switch took place. 

I met the owner of the dealership the day before and commented on the back of the Alpha.  He admitted that an employee backed it into a tree and so they damaged it.  Turns out that up to that point it had been a consignment RV, but they had to buy it from the owner because of the damage. 

I have a question about Alpha’s.  One sales person at a different dealership said that they were a piece of junk and that’s why the company went out of business.  Merisa said that the reason they went out of business is because of a five year warranty they offered.  The company honoring the warranty went out of business, forcing Alpha to take over the warranties, which caused them to go out of business.  Does anyone know the real story?  Are they good RVs???

I think the thing I liked most about the Alpha was the size of the slide outs.  The first salesman also warned about difficulty driving it in wind because of they’re so much taller.  Any comments?

The second salesman yesterday was a non-stop talker and he just wore me out.  I felt verbally assaulted by the time we left and we quit looking even though we had planned on going to another dealer.  I think it’s going to take me some time to recover before I go looking again.

I solved a huge problem in Olivia.  I got a small portable heater that doesn’t make any noise and it worked great last night.  I’m so used to the temperature going down to the 50s inside that it was almost too warm.  I’ll set it a bit lower tonight but I like the quiet warmth it provided. 

I’m sitting outside right now and it’s in the mid 70s!!!  There isn’t a cloud in the sky and it’s lovely.  There’s a slight breeze.

I started my day with an hour of Zumba and I’m going to end it at a flute circle tonight.  I’ve never been to a flute circle and I’d like to see what it’s about. 

Life is good today.

Loving the sunshine,


Monday, November 14, 2011

Chilly and Wet in Tucson

Well, I’m back in the Laundromat at the Voyager RV Park.  If it weren’t for not having any clean clothes to wear  I wouldn’t be here and it appears that I wouldn’t be writing another post.  I need to do better and remind myself that's it's ok to write outside of the laundromat!!

I’m missing some things from home…my backyard and laundry room.  Early in the morning when I have to take Big Guy out for his morning constitutional I REALLY miss my backyard.  Back home it was so easy just opening the door and letting him out while still in my robe.  Now I have to get dressed before we go out and it’s cold out there...winter coat and gloves cold.  We take a number of walks throughout the day and I have to admit that I’m enjoying the time with him.  He seems to be walking better, too.  Plus, he likes all the other dogs.  It's just that the first walk of the day is a bit of a challenge.

I have no room for a hamper so my dirty clothes end up in a plastic bag on the floor of the shower.  At least I’ve figured out a place for them so they’re out of the way…until I want to take a shower and I do that quite regularly so it’s almost a daily issue.

Olivia is getting smaller and smaller every day.  I’m looking at maybe purchasing a 40’ diesel pusher Itasca Horizon.  Talk about room…wow.  There’s so much basement storage compared to what I don’t have now.  The amount of storage inside boggles my mind since I’m used to not having much.  I’ve tried to make Olivia work for me but I truly think she’s too small for full timing.

We’ve had a couple days where it was colder here than in Seattle.  How unfair is that?  I left Seattle for better weather and some days here have been a real challenge.  Yesterday, for instance.  We had almost half an inch of rain!! 

Unfortunately, the heater in Olivia is quite noisy.  The few nights that it got down in the 30s and 40s I ended up turning the heat off because it was keeping me awake…it’s that noisy.  At least I had a heavy quilt and enough blankets to keep warm.  My dog didn’t complain so I guess his fur is thick enough.  The Itasca I’m looking at has the heater in the floor and I’m making sure it doesn’t make any noise.  That could be a deal breaker for me.

I got my long winter coat and jacket out of storage and the only place to hang them is on the bathroom door.  My closet is too short for the coat and too full for the jacket.

I think I forgot to mention that the Itasca I’m looking at has a washer/dryer combo!!!!!  It also has a built in vacuum and a sleep number mattress, which means no more climbing up a ladder at night.  Hallelujah. 

I’m trying to be thoughtful when it comes to getting a different motorhome.  A bedroom is a requirement, as is a washer/dryer combo.  I was interested in a 38’ gas motorhome until I drove it.  It was noisy.  Then I went right out and drove the diesel and what a difference.  There were some things I liked more in the gas motorhome, like the size and placement of the TV, but I don’t watch TV enough to go back to the gas model.  I guess the Itasca has satellite TV but at $44/month I don’t think so.  I’m so ornery that I refuse to have to pay to watch TV.  We get free basic cable where I’m at and I enjoyed Public Television for a few days but haven’t been able to get a signal for awhile, so I guess no more Public Television.

While a built in vacuum isn’t a requirement I won’t turn it down.  Right now when it’s time to vacuum I have to go to storage to get my vacuum and that’s a real pain. 

Speaking of storage.  The longer my stuff is in storage the less hold it has on me and I’m ready to downsize even more.  Since I ended up not renting a house and living in Olivia, a lot of what I brought isn’t needed so it’s time to do more downsizing.  If I end up with a larger motorhome I’ll have room for some of it, but not much.  I have an outdoor wicker rocking  chair I really like and I’m hoping it will fit in the basement storage so that I can take it with me.  It’s so much more comfortable than the rocker I got at Camping World. 

I forgot to mention that I have a neighbor who was a GM mechanic for over 20 years.  He and his wife went with me to look at the motorhome I want and with a few minor fixes he says it’s ok.  We’re going to go look at a few more tomorrow just to make sure this is the right one.  I really enjoyed driving the Itasca so I guess I’m over my fear of driving Class A’s.  That feels really good.  Having that fear out of the way will enable me to tow my Volvo, which solves the problem of what to do with it.  If I keep Olivia that will continue to be a problem and as I’ve said in the past, I don’t want to get rid of my Volvo.

My clothes are dry so it’s time to go.  More later.

Missing the sunshine,


P.S.  I just read your comment, Lynn, on my last post.  I'm looking at this first year as my RV learning curve.  I've debated about whether to buy a park model or not and right now it's not.  I've been pretty disappointed in the weather here so far so I might not come back next year.  Maybe Florida.  Maybe California.  Who knows.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Windy in Tucson...Really Windy

Thanks for all the comments on my last post..I really appreciate the input. However, Barbara, while I get what you're saying, I can't even fathom getting rid of my Volvo.  I'm very happy with it and I hope to have it for a long, long time.  On the other hand, if I did get rid of it, sometime in the future I could order another one with European Delivery, like I did this one, and go back to Sweden.  Hmmm.   Renting when I need to makes a lot of sense, if I wanted to become car less, which I don't.  Again, I appreciate all the input.  It certainly gives me other things to think about.  

I went back today and looked at a Winnebago Explorer that I saw a couple days ago.  I'd like to test drive it, but I'm going to wait until the winds die down.  I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound and movement of the wind.  The movement being Olivia rocking back and forth.  It continues as I sit here typing.  I’m sure glad I’m not out on the freeway today in any type of vehicle.  This is the second day for the winds and it's supposed to drop our temps into the 60s for the next couple of days.  

Marilyn and Lloyd live two spaces down from me and I go to water aerobics with Marilyn.  They live in a park model and showed it to me the other night and it's pretty nice. I found out that Lloyd was a mechanic for GM for 22+ years and asked him if he'd be willing to look over any motorhome I might be interested in and he said yes.  He also said he's a fantastic negotiator and he'd help me all he can to get the best price.  How fortunate I am that he's so close and willing to help.  

I’m meeting with the lady whose water aerobics class I go to because she’s also a personal trainer.  I left Seattle on October 9th, and sadly, I haven’t followed through on my routines.  I’m hoping we’ll be able to work well together and get me back on the straight and narrow.  I don’t even want to say how far off the beaten path I’ve gone…trust me, it’s truly awful.

My new next door neighbors, neighbors of the constantly barking dog while they’re gone neighbors, got home right after I finished walking my dog.  I went over and asked them if they realized one of their dogs barks almost continuously when they’re gone and they were horrified.  Apparently they have a barking prevention collar and they’re going to get it out.  Lucky me, I have barking dachshund’s on either side of my space. 

Another neighbor down the street was trying to be helpful and introduced me to a homeowner who wants to rent his park model for “The Season.”  I went and looked at it yesterday and while it’s larger than Olivia it isn’t that much larger to warrant paying $1500/month for it.  We’re talking 400 sq feet of living space, furnished with their stuff and no room for mine.  That amounts to $9000 for six months. Yikes and no thanks but I appreciate the thought.

There's going to be a park wide "garage sale" in the near future and I've been looking at my stuff in storage to decide what I can try and sell.  Since it appears that I'm going to be full timing instead of renting a house, I can lighten my load even more.  I like the activities here too much to go anywhere else.  Besides, I think I'd end up as lonely as I was in Seattle if I rented a house and that's what I want to get away from.  

I have problems with my Mifi, especially at night, when I usually write my posts and I'm so frustrated.  Once again I'm behind on reading all your posts.  I get caught up, something happens, and I get behind.  

I think there's a wifi section by the restaurant here at the Voyager that I'm going to check out.  If anyone comes here you can find me at space 11-272, in the pet section.  

Rocking in the wind,


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feeling Snarly in the Laundromat

This probably isn’t the time to be writing my way past due post but I’m a captive audience in the laundromat at the rv park.  AARGH.  I hate laundromats and I’m feeling snarly and I’ll try not to take it out on you, my followers.  It’s not your fault.

So much has happened in such a short time.  I unconsciously attempted to once again shoot myself in the foot but I managed to dodge the attempt. 

Shortly after I got here I really started to realize just how small Olivia is.  Not only that, lifting a 75 pound dog in and out of Olivia multiple times a day for a potty break is becoming a challenge.  But, he’s gotta go potty and he doesn’t do steps, so I do them for him. 

There are two housing developments attached to the RV park and they have “real” houses.  I drove around and collected flyers on houses for sale and then checked them out when they were open for viewing a week ago Sunday.  They’re all on one level…no steps…and have backyards.  I was thinking about not having to lift my dog in and out of Olivia, I could get my stuff out of storage, I’d have a garage to park my Volvo in, etc., etc., etc.    

So…drumroll…I made an offer on a house!!!  Whaaaaaat was I doing?  Shooting myself in the foot apparently.  Fortunately the owners didn’t accept my offer and I didn’t make a counter offer.  Phew.  Saved from myself...again.  

I think that all my reasons were valid but it’s too early to be making that permanent of a decision.  I’m not even sure I want to stay in Tucson so why would I be buying a house?  A larger motorhome maybe, but not a house. 

These are some of the thoughts I’m dealing with:

1.  Olivia is really quite small and getting smaller on a daily basis.  I really would like more room, a bed, storage and my own washer/dryer combo.
2.  When I leave here after “The Season” what am I going to do with my Volvo since I can’t tow it behind Olivia?
3.  Do I get a motorhome large enough to tow my Volvo?
4.  If I bought a park model here I’d have a place to park my Volvo.  In addition to the park model, it would cost $4600+ a year for the space, plus electricity when I was in residence.
5.  If I got a larger motorhome I could leave when it starts to get hot here and return in October.  Then I’d only have to pay a monthly fee and not the $4K for a park model.
6.  I was going to question whether or not I can drive a larger motorhome and the answer to that is a resounding…yes…of course I can. 

Sometimes my head just reels with all the thoughts going through it.  Let me tell you, it’s not a picinic. 

Another thing that is contributing to my snarly feeling is that a fifth wheel moved in next to me yesterday.  There are 20 empty spaces around me but they moved in right next door.  To me, that’s the hard part about RVng, people moving in next door.  Anyway, they left for awhile last night and one of their dogs barked constantly while they were out. Now when I go outside I have dogs on either side of me that go bonkers with their barking.  

I think I’ve said this before, but if it weren’t for my dog I wouldn’t be in the pet section!!!  That’s good information for my future after the inevitable with my 14 year old dog. 

Here’s the positive….water aerobics, Zumba, line dancing…so far.  I could kick myself because I forgot to go to Mah Jongg Monday night. 

There’s also a photography club I’m going to check out and maybe the Mac

Another positive…November 1st I was in shorts!!!!  That’s after I walked my dog early in the AM wearing gloves and layers because it was in the low 50s.  After water aerobics it was warm enough for shorts.  Whoopee.

I guess I’m here for “The Season” where the rents are high and all the spaces are filled.  I think it will be an interesting experience.  Maybe I’ll go where there’s water next year. 

See…I’m telling myself…by not buying that house I can think about going somewhere else next year, if I want.  In a larger motorhome, if I want.  I can do whatever I want.  If only I could figure out what I want!!!

Loving the warmth,