The decision to pull up roots

Becky and I have always loved traveling. We have been on numerous cruises both in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. In fact, we have been on so many cruises that we even wrote a book about cruising (under the pen names of Reginald and Lillian Carpenter). We lived in London for a time and, as a part of an import-export business that we ran, we traveled to various places in the Far East.

So, as Becky is preparing to retire (I’m already retired), we began to think about what we want to do and it dawned upon us that we’ve seen more of other countries than we’ve seen of the United States. That started us thinking about morotcoaches. Though we have never owned an RV of any kind, we knew a lot about them. We have both done a fair amount of title abstracting and many people in that business own fifth-wheels, for when the job requires travel, which it often does. In fact, we were seriously looking at fifth-wheels, before Obama blocked the Keystone XL Pipeline and the price of oil dropped. Between those two events, it effectively put us and thousands of pipeline workers out of work. Although we didn’t need the work, this did mean that there was no longer any reason to look at fifth-wheels.

But to get back to the subject of our recent decision, what this all boils down to is that we already knew quite a bit about RVs, going into this decision and a lot about fifth-wheels. One of the things we had learned, is that if you are going to park your RV for long periods of time, as you do if you’re working pipelines, you probably want go with a fifth-wheel and if you’re going to be on the road a lot, you’re probably better off with a motorhome of some sort. So while we knew something about RVs, we knew little, at all, about motorhomes. Over the last several months, we have learned a lot.

We’ve been to every motorhome dealer in Houston – some multiple times. We spent a whole day in Alvaredo, at Motor Home Specialists. We went to the 2016 Dallas RV Show and just returned from the Lake Charles Show (I’ll tell you about that show in another post). As I write this, we just returned from yet another afternoon at Holiday World and Camping world, in Katy, Texas. We expect to pull the trigger some time this fall and hit the road, full time. But before we do that, we expect to take a road trip to Indiana, to visit the various manufacturers and see how these things are built.

We’re looking for a big diesel pusher (42-45 feet, with a TAG), all-electric, with nothing less than 450 horsepower. Yes. We realize that you can’t park a 45 footer in most national and state parks. But we’re prepared deal with that. We’ll be towing a Jeep Cherokee, so if we have to, we’ll park elsewhere and drive the Jeep to park. The leading motorhome candidates, at this point, are Newmar and Entegra. Although we can’t rule out Tiffin and Tuscany. We have not yet set a solid price point.

Follow along, as we learn more and post our findings, especially if you too, are looking for a first motorhome. We’re both detail oriented – just in different ways. I’m an engineer, so if you’re into build quality, construction, performance, or specifications, you’ll probably find my posts to be of most interest. On the other hand, Becky is a CPA, so if you’re into the economics of the situation or the aesthetics and amenities of the coach, then you’ll probably find her posts of most interest.

By the way, we’ll probably make more than our share of mistakes and we’ll share those with you, too, so perhaps, you won’t make the same mistakes. Then you can make your own and share those with us.

Remember that when you’re full timing, “Home is where you park it.”

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