Looking Back Six Months

Surface Pro 4
Surface Pro 4
Surface with Keyboard attached
Surface with Keyboard attached

I was just sitting here thinking of something to post since we are in between trips and won’t hit the road again until mid April.  Things are too quiet around here to post much of anything about what we are doing.  I’m selling a few items which is good, but then I turn around and buy something new so I’m not sure I’m getting anywhere.  I did just order a Surface Pro 4 to replace my 5 year old laptop.  Since it’s a hybrid, I’m hoping it will be able to replace both my laptop and my Ipad Mini.  We will see.  It is certainly powerful with an Intel I7 processor, 8GB of Ram, and a 256 SSD.  It has a smaller screen, but I can interface it with my desktop monitor if I need to do any serious Photoshop work.  I haven’t done too much of that lately so I should be good to go.  The keyboard on the one at the store seemed to have a good feel.  That is important now, so I can plunk out these hair raising posts on my blog!

I got an email from another couple who are about to take delivery of their Ventana, Linda and Eric, and they asked me if Liz and I had any recommendations now that we have stayed in ours for a while.  That got me to thinking that it has been six months since we took delivery.  It’s really hard to believe that six months has already gone by.  I also figured that out of that approximately 24 weeks, we have stayed in it for 13!  That is over half the time.  Amazing!  And the good news is I’m ready for more.  I think I remember the insurance agent saying that if we stay in it for more than 6 months out of the year we will be considered full time rv’ers for insurance purposes.  Well, hopefully sometime in the next year we will be well beyond that six month measure and on to 12 months.

As far as recommendations on any changes and our likes and dislikes, we really don’t have too many.  It has turned out to be a great choice on length, and the amount of storage space still has us smiling.  I was worried about giving up the two recliners for the sofa, but using the driver and passenger seats as substitutes is working out great.  I’m sure they aren’t as comfy as the recliners, but we also wouldn’t have had the long couch and it has been a surprise for us.  It is really comfortable and long enough for me to stretch out fully on and relax.  If we had the recliners, the smaller couch on the opposite side is shorter and doesn’t allow that full stretch.  In the last six months we have come to love the fact that we have a dishwasher (and it’s not Liz).  It is really convenient and time saving to just fill the thing and go about our business for the day.  Before, we either had to stop to do the dishes or let them accumulate until one of us did them.  It doesn’t seem like a big thing to stop to wash dishes, but over weeks and weeks of travel it can become a hassle.  The extra space in the 4041 model has allowed us to add the dishwasher without worrying about it taking up valuable space.  We both have decided that if we ever do get another coach, the dishwasher will be on the must have list.

Driver's side
Driver’s side

 

Passenger Side
Passenger Side

 

Dishwasher and sink
Dishwasher and sink

 

One of the other surprises is the bath and a half floor plan that we have in this rv.  This layout has turned out to be great, and a must have in any future coach.  Again, you would think that two people could share a bathroom without a problem and certainly we could make it work.  However, I am amazed at the number of times we have wanted, and on occasion needed to use the bathroom at the same time.  Let me tell you, two toilets can be a god send.  The second bathroom also seems to prove its worth when we are getting ready to go somewhere. There is no conflict on use.  Finally, one of the toilets is a macerator and one is not.  The macerator is nice because it helps eliminate black tank issues by “chewing up” solids before they go to the tank, but it uses more water.  The other toilet is a standard rv one and has the step flush.  The operator can control the amount of water used.  Consequently, when we are boondocking we can use this toilet exclusively and conserve on water.

Master Bath
Master Bath

 

Master Bath
Master Bath

 

Another item that we have found to be a must have is the washer and dryer.  Even though it is smaller than the commercial ones at the rv parks, Liz can do the laundry at her leisure and be assured that she has soft, clean water in doing it.  Our water coming into the bus is filtered twice and softened in a water softener so the clothes come out very nice.  She had several shirts ruined at a campground laundry in Indiana because the washer left brown rust stains on them that wouldn’t come out.  In West Memphis Arkansas when we had the trailer and no washer,  I remember she trekked up to the laundry no less than five times before she found an open washing machine.  No worries about heading out in the rain either.  Just not worth the hassle.  I know that a washer/dryer is not always an option, but if it is I would highly recommend it.

Washer and Dryer
Washer and Dryer

Those are the major items that I can think of.  Liz didn’t like the stainless steel sink so we paid the extra money and got the solid surface option from the Dutch Star and that is working out great.  The curved neck faucet really doesn’t come far enough into the sink consequently, when it is pushed to the side it tends to get the counter wet.  We may need to install a faucet with a longer reach.  It certainly is not a big deal.  We also may need to add an outlet under the cabinet and some lighting in a couple of the storage areas, but that’s about it.  I added an additional 12 volt plug on the dash that is working out well and we seem to have enough other outlets both in the coach and in the lower storage bays.

Until next time….

2 thoughts on “Looking Back Six Months”

  1. Found you blog while reading the class of 2016 forum over on Escapees site. I’m current LEO and hope to be done with it in about 3.5 years or so.

    Your motorhome is impressive. Thanks for take the time to write detailed posts so us dreamers can follow along.

    Mark

    1. Thanks Mark. I appreciate you checking out the blog. We are having the time of our life and hope to dive into it full time once we stop long enough to get things done around the house so we can put it on the market. I just wish we would have discovered this lifestyle a few years earlier. Now we got some time to make up!

      It is hard to believe that I left the agency 12 years ago this August. I did work for 5 years as a contractor for the federal govt. after retirement and until my wife retired in 2009. Time moves slow when working, but goes into hyper drive once you retire. Good luck in those 3.5 years you have left. It’s suddenly gotten a lot tougher out there for all of you.

      Stay safe and follow our travels. If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. Hopefully you will be out here soon.

      Steve

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