I first wrote this page in 2011. At the time we had just purchased Journey a 32′ Winnebago Journey DL. We enjoyed and kept her until 7, April, 2014 when we traded out of our 32 footer, into a Holiday Rambler Ambassador. Our new home is 40′ with 4 slides. The most recent changes will always be at the front if this article.
Coming to terms with changes in our lifestyle
We didn’t plan on living quite the way things have turned out. Much of our retirement plan remains unchanged but we are realizing that we will probably always spend more time INDOORS than many RV’ers. We like the comfort of the INSIDE of the coach.
We had some issues with Journey (see below) about usability. I spend more time on my ‘puter than our plan allowed for. We were living in the first 8 feet of the coach and not using the rest of the coach very much.
We also made mistakes by thinking TOO spartan. Making those fine distinctions between nice-to-have and need-to-have resulted in not allowing ourselves enough convenience and comfort. Little things that ended up meaning a lot.
We weren’t looking for a new home
In the spring of ’14 we decided to visit the Springfield OR RV show. We knew nothing of the local RV dealers; we had been seeing a lot of RV’s in this state and we wanted to see what might be available that we might not have seen. The show was interesting but a bust — we went, we looked, we returned home with no excitement.
But we got the itch…
And I started looking online at local dealers. What I found was special — to us. There aren’t a lot of rear office coaches. In fact, there are very few of them. But there was one here — only 70 miles from us. So, into the car we went — and what we found — was just what we never knew we wanted.
Considering that this is our home — I’m sure there will be plenty of changes and updates along the way — so stay tuned for this Unscripted Life with Peter & Peggy
2011: BEFORE Our Journey
To us, her “model” name describes her beautifully: Journey.
I hate cold, Peggy loves being outdoors. After a few months of retirement-soul-searching we plunked down part of our nest egg in order to live our dreams. We could not afford both a brick and mortar home, as well as an RV so whether we wander for a year, or ten, or until we kick the bucket we’re out here to live — not simply to vacation.
We started by looking at much smaller RV’s than the one we ended up buying….
Like this Roadtrek 190. This is a vehicle that my dad turned me onto years ago. (His dream always had been to RV around the country — I guess I inherited some of his genes. For sure, I am living HIS dream as well as my own. Mom, however, like the comfort of her motel rooms and would have none of it.
I took Peggy to see one of these small conversions thinking that it was more than she would be interested in and she surprised me. The more we talked the more it sounded like maybe instead of just buying a van in which it would be easier to visit wildlife refuges and hang around longer for early morning and evening images, that maybe we should think about a more permanent change to our lifestyle.
The second step in our process was to look at something a little larger. The 190’s were barely tall enough for me to stand upright. We checked out several of these Sprinter Van conversions…. the Roadtrek and several others. Now this was living in style — well, in a CRAMPED style. But we might have bought one of them had it not been for one big problem — my camera gear. There was no way we could bring on-board both our living necessities AND my camera gear. Another possibility down the tubes…..
So we tried looking at Class C motorhomes; units like this Freelander. They were all very nice but the camera gear issue plagued us and the gross vehicle capacity was quite limited as well — to say nothing of my being afraid of that long overhang in the back. I have always done some un-improved road roaming and the chances to get stuck were simply too overwhelming.
I should add that at this point we were convinced (read that as: “Peggy was bound and determined”) not to tow anything behind the RV. She was adamant that she would not want to do that. So we were looking for something that would go-everwhere-do-everything. We gradually realized no such vehicle existed. There might be one for someone else, but not for our needs.
All of which eventually brought us to consideration of the dreaded Class A motorhome….
These are the ones many people think of when they think “motor home” and they CAN be big enough to BE a home. Ranging from 32′ to 45′ in length, many are equipped with motorized slideout rooms and all the amenities of home — in compact form. In fact, new models are fancier than any brick and mortar home we ever lived in!
If you total them all up, we walked up into, down out of, all around, and peered under about 100 different RV’s and coaches. This is a major purchase and we wanted to insure that we made a sound and considered decisions. When we finished our search we happened to be in Forest City Iowa, at Lichtsinn Motors. We realized that of all the units we’d looked at that there had been only three we liked. After some confused references to our notes (It’s hard to look at RV’s AND make notes at the same time) we further realized that all three of the RV’s we liked had been (essentially) the same model. Winnebago and Itasca are built on the same assembly line and all three of the coaches we liked were either Itasca Horizons or Winnebago Journeys. A few minor differences aside we were sitting next to a 32 foot Winne Journey Diesel pusher coach that we really liked, at a price we liked and we decided to buy it.
So, here she is, our Journey She’s a 2002 unit with 48,000 miles on her. At 32’9″ long, she’s the shortest of the Journey line, and with a Cummins 300 hp diesel she’s got power without being a fuel hog. We’ll see how we do on fuel consumption but we’re as light as we can get and short enough to get into places I want to go — so we’re happy with our choice.
From the Driver’s side
From the Passenger’s side
Amidship looking fore
Amidship looking aft
A cozy bathroom
She’ equipped with an Onan Diesel generator for when we need added power, and 50 amp electric plug ins for when we have access to “shore power” (which is to say if we are in a campground or RV park)
She’s new-to-us, meaning there will be repairs and maintenance to be done — but after the initial replacement of the three house batteries (which we anticipated) she’s been pretty reliable. We’ve only got about 1000 miles on her thus far — we took her out for a shakedown cruise after purchase. But until the house is sold our wings are clipped and we’ll be sticking close to the school. [update 18 months later — we’ve put about 4,000 miles on her]
There she is. And we love her.
And love her we did for 2 1/2 years.