Ideas floating around in the back of your head


The other day our son in law Michael, upon hearing that we were putting the coach up for sale, asked whether we were going to sell the CR-V along with it.  Ya know, I never even thought about that.  He suggested it because the CR-V has the Blue Ox towing baseplate already installed and if you try to do that job yourself it’s the better part of a day’s worth of work, and if you have a dealer do it you can plop down a good $1000.00 in the process.

The question got me to thinking about alternatives and the alternatives have made me realize how out of touch I have gotten on the topic of cars. The CR-V is now 11 years old,  it’s been a faithful old horse that has never let us down, and we really like that car.  Built in 2004 it doesn’t have many of the electronic gadgets and geegaws that the new ones all come with. From the point of maintaining it I’ve been a happy owner.

I asked Peggy about buying a new (to us)/different car and of course I realized before the words were out of my mouth that she pays no attention to cars at all. She’ll notice the  dog in the car window, or the child in a carseat as we are passed (or we pass them) but asking my lovely wife about what ‘kind’ of car she’d like is going to be fraught with “hems” and “haws”.

year-end-sale
I swear, driving onto a dealership lot at the end of the year causes a feeding frenzy like blood to a shark!

On a lark (no we did not buy a car) we stopped off at the three dealerships nearest us after our mall walk on Friday.  I’ve bought cars before at the end of the year.  The prices are often attractive.  One year I bought a Ford Lynx Diesel on the day of the worst weather in a year.  The temps outside were -10º and I think the salesmen were happy just to have something to do that day, even if I did drive a hard bargain.  Of course that reveals it was back in the day when there was actually some room for bargaining….

Anyway… It’s nearing the end of the calendar year, dealers want to move cars and you can imagine the results.  Salesmen started walking towards us before I’d even picked a parking spot.  I could have had a good laugh by moving the car from one spot to the other and making the salesman walk further! 🙂

Seriously though all I had in mind was to “Test Sit” a couple models to see which we could eliminate from our consideration.  All things considered we drove away unscathed;  you have to give the salesman a chance to do his/her job — but I was upfront with 3 different salesmen and told them straight out all we wanted to do was test sit a car or two. For the expenditure of 45 minutes we have effectively eliminated about 15 different models made by 3 different manufacturers.  That we did by looking at only 5 vehicles.

Before driving onto any of the three lots we had looked at the manufacturers line ups and from the 6 or 7 offerings by each there were only 1 or 2 with each company that made the initial cut.  Too big.  Too small.  Mileage estimates too low.  You can cut out a lot of trash if you make your initial selection before you walk in the door.  I’m a good sized guy and I always have issues with:  legroom (500 miles a day on a trip requires a few extra inches for the footsies!), head room (no moon roofs for me — if I can’t sit up straight in the seat it’s a non-starter), and the most embarrassing one:  the seat pan — I’m a good sized guy and if the seat is so narrow that the high outer edges of the seat frame rub hard against my leg it’s not going to be comfortable on a long drive.

So, we spent a few minutes on a preliminary look-see.  Out of the 5 we looked at only 1 is a real contender, a second one is a longshot possibility.  There are other manufacturers we need to look at but we’re thinking about the process anyway. We may not do anything, but should we find a buyer for the coach who wants a tow vehicle too — it may be worth considering.

I’ll say that each time I go car shopping the process has changed.  Today there were lots of cars on the lot but an awful lot of them were the same — barring color variations.  The variety of options were far more limited and refined than 10 years ago.  Unfortunately they all have more gadgets to break down — but the selection process is simpler.  The manufacturers got tired of making cars to order.  Standardization is the name of the game.  We built the wonderful machines to do the job better and now they are so wonderful that you have to buy what they want to sell you just to keep the machines moving along at peak speed.  (just a little bit of cynicism there)2017-ford-escape-interior-e1451303037874

I’m not in any hurry to replace the CR-V.  We may keep it for a long while if we can sell the coach without the car.  But ideas floating around in the back of your head are dangerous things.  I hope I can control the idea and the idea doesn’t take over to control me.

Thanks for stopping.  I’ll be here again tomorrow.  Why not see what’s up?

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8 Comments

  1. One other thing to consider…which might get you a better dollar for the CR-V…the new Hondas don’t tow all four down. People are more likely to look for a used one. Something to consider, Peter!

    I hear you on how a car sits. That was one of the main things we liked about the 2012 Escape. All ofl the Jeeps and also the Ford Edge didn’t sit well with us at the time, and most of it was judged by my right knee having room. Headroom is also an issue when vehicle shopping, although our Escape’s sunroof has plenty of room for me (although I am shrinking 😉).

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    1. We did test sit an escape and of all the 5 we tried we liked the way it sat better than all the others.

      Have had mixed experience with Fords though. Taking the test-sit under advisement for the future. 🙂 🙂

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We had a 2012 Escape as a government ride in Oregon. I liked that a lot — except for the headache rack USFS put in between the backseat and the rear door. It was also a Hybrid — but to be honest I rarely saw it do much that qualified it as a hybrid. Fuel Mileage was OK but not terrific. For all the touting over hybrid vehicles the only time the electric motor kicked in was for about 25 feet from a gentle start.
        We’ll see what happens. If we find an interested party for the Honda that’s one thing. If the coach buyer isn’t interested we may just keep the CR-V for the foreseeable future. She’s been a good car.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your humor Norm.

      Don’t you think that any place you can get information is good. I’d rather “shop” online than go to a dealership where you are descended upon like road-kill while looking for a simple brochure with specs in it — only to find that they no longer put the spec sheets out on display because they are too expensive and people just take them…..
      The InterWebs are a tool and if you use any tool for the job it was created you do well. But using a hammer to kill a fly wouldn’t be very successful or practical, eh?

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  2. Dave wanted to sell our 2010 CRV with its base plate but I talked him out of it. We like that car and it has served us well so why would we part with it prematurely?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda — we’re quite happy with our CR-V, and have been. Had Michael not inquired about it I probably wouldn’t have even thought about the possibility. But the 2016 CR-V’s are no longer towable and that model is the most popular towable of recent years. It’s possible that someone might be interested. We’re keeping our options open. A car is a car. It’s transportation. While the CR-V has been faithful to us so far the one thing about cars is that they never get “better” they only get older and tired out.

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