Well, I finally did it and made the decision on how to go about purchasing the RV that I want now that the original one that I ordered is unavailable for a couple of months. Because of the Coronavirus, parts are hard to come by and all orders are backlogged by two months or more. Actually, purchasing is not the correct word here as what I really should say is deciding on which way I want to go. In the end, I chose to cancel the original order and buy a good used 5th wheel.
After my experience with the Toy Hauler that I briefly owned and realizing that if I want to spend what remains of my life on the road, then I would need something with more comfort and living space to enjoy after all of that driving around. I started thinking about used 5th wheel units and found a couple at Crestview RV in Buda where I made my original purchase. I kinda earmarked those and then went shopping for a used truck with not too many miles on it that would haul one of these much larger monsters and managed to locate one at Covert Ford where I have purchased my last two new vehicles.
After some haggling, they gave me a good deal on a 2016 Ford F-250 King Ranch with a diesel motor. The truck is in very good condition and has only got 72000 miles on the clock which is nothing for a diesel engine plus the terms I was offered, fit my budget. We signed the papers and then they gave me a loaner while they did some superficial work on the body and bed. The loaner was not a truck I would buy as it made grinding noises in the gearbox but it got me around while I waited for my new truck. A week later, it was ready to go and I am now the proud owner of yet another vehicle. When I first started it up, the read out screen was showing the gas mileage or rather the diesel mileage and it was a bit of a sticker shot as it was at 8 mpg. But as I drove it around, it crept up to a little over 17 mpg, only a couple of miles per gallon less than the F-150 I had just traded in. I am quite sure it will not get that when I am hauling the 10,000 lb RV around.
With the towing situation solved, I drove to Buda and Crestview and took a tour of three used 5th wheels within my price range finally settling on a 2018 single owner Jayco Eagle. This really is a beautiful RV if one can be described as such with a lot of space after the three slides are out, two of which are in the living area and the third, a much smaller slide is in the bedroom. The finish is very pleasant and adds to the relaxed feeling of sitting inside and I know that I am going to enjoy my stay in this home on wheels for whatever remains of my life. While I was there, I made arrangements to have them install a 5th wheel towing unit in the back of the truck and to reinstall the backup camera from the original RV to the “new” one. We set a date and I got there at 10:00 am and didn’t leave for home until 4:00 pm that afternoon having to drive the unit through rush hour traffic. While they were installing the 5th wheel,I was busy signing some of my life’s savings away, inside the office.
On the way home , I took time to pull into one of AISD football stadiums complex parking lot to practice backing the unit up as my driveway is very tight. I got it home and with the help of my neighbor, managed to park it safely. The next day, I had to climb up on the roof to trim the low overhanging branches as this RV is taller than the last one. Luckily, this time around, I didn’t do any damage to the roof.
I have also been busy installing little things to make it even more personal like framed photographs that I have taken and adding kitchen gadgets like shelf baskets and cabinet dividers. I have also been filling the drawers and closets with some of my clothes that I will keep. Incidentally, the first thing I did was buy a set of steps that will allow the dogs to join me at night on the bed. They fold up when not in use so don’t take up much room as space and weight are of the essence in an RV. I would have bought a ramp but it was too wide to fit in the space alongside the bed.
I had planned on taking a trip to somewhere local for a couple of nights to get used to it but due to it being so close to Election Day, decided to hold off until things have calmed back down again. Well, hopefully they will have and there are not marauding gangs of disgruntled Trump or Biden supporters roaming the streets.
So, now I have managed to sign my life away going from debt free to having the equivalent of another mortgage. On the other hand, what is the use of being able to afford it, with a little help from the bank, if we can’t enjoy it…
Written 11/03/2020 Election Day.