Sunday, January 18, 2009

Katiemobile is Ready for Action!

First a caveat: I have never in all my 48 years wished to own an RV. I will admit to riding in one a couple of times, and even having a pretty good time on the road, but I've never actually slept in one. I've always been a silent sport type guy, except for football, which involves a lot of grunting and crashing. Motors have never held much allure for me.

My father-in-law has always been a little disappointed in me whenever the snowmobile and 4-wheeler are out, because I've never really been into driving them. He, on the other hand, has always enjoyed motorized toys, especially motorcross bikes, snowmobiles, 4 wheelers, and boats. And Soulmate inherited his love of motors.

I will confess right now that in shop class in 9th grade, I was not able to tear down the lawnmower engine and get it running again. Soulmate, on the other hand, was able to tear down her Kawasaki 175 and put it back together again (at least that's how I heard her story). Anyway, she always loved RVing in their little Cortez, which was one of the first mini-motorhomes ever made.

I'm getting a little loquacious at this point (when am I not?), so I'll shorten it. Since Katie has arrived on the scene, we have curtailed our travel to some extent, not wanting to coop her up in a child seat or on an airplane. So last fall, as we began to plan for the spring, Soulmate brought up the idea of a mini-motorhome to get out camping. Given my anti-RV bias, I was naturally a little cool to the idea.

Then Soulmate made the fateful promise that started it all: "if we got a little RV, Katie and I would go to more of your bike races."

I only needed to hear it once, and immediately threw myself into researching our options. Fortunately, my father in law had already done most of the research, having looked at almost all the "class B" (conversion van) RVs available. He had come this close to buying a Roadtrek, then decided on a pull trailer instead, since he already has a nice Dodge Ram pickup (yes, I know I've ranted about pickup drivers in previous posts, but several of my friends and family have them, and I've come to terms with that now.

Anyway, after pricing new Roadtreks, I realized that they were pretty much out of our budget, so I started tracking used ones on eBay motors and on other RV websites. I almost bought a 1997 model for a steal on eBay, but the sellers pulled it after 1 day, probably because someone told them they were way underpriced.

Then I saw a posting on an RV bulletin board for a 2002 model located in West Fargo, ND. Most of the RVs I've researched are in AZ, FL, and CA, so I read this ad with interest. The price was in budget, so I called Todd and checked it out. Soulmate and I studied the pictures Todd posted on PhotoBucket and decided on the spot to buy it. Since I'm on call this weekend, Todd volunteered to drive it down with his wife for one last road trip, pulling their Pacifica on a trailer so they could drive back.

After lunch with Todd and Darcy at our favorite Chinese buffet, we had a short shakedown ride and a full orientation tour to discover all the goodies this baby offers. I was pretty sure this was the one, so I had a cashier's check ready, and off they went back to West Fargo. Soulmate has spent the weekend shopping and collecting stuff from around the house to stock the new MMH (mini-motor home).

We have a shake-down ride planned tomorrow night: after I get back from my clinic in Alexandria, we're leaving for Rochester, a 3 hour drive. Soulmate has some appointments at the famous Mayo Brothers place on Tuesday and Wednesday, so we'll stay with her cousin and family on Monday and Tuesday night, and drive back Wednesday evening.

We hope to do some weekend camping this summer, and I'll try to steer us close to my bike races when possible, since it's an ideal staging vehicle for getting ready for races and for cleaning up afterwards. Cost to GrandStay riders using the facilities: $0. Value of watching other teams eat their heart out waiting with 250 other racers to use the portapotty: priceless.

For you Katie junkies who made it this far hoping for a glimpse, here here she is wearing my new waterproof gloves:


Jonathan said...
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Doc said...
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