One lesson learned was that we would only buy local (at least within our state where we were familiar with the laws) and probably from a dealer. Even if it cost a little bit more we wanted legal above all else! Still not sure if we’d buy old, not real old or new we continued looking. I found two older ones that looked to have potential for restoration at a good price at Berryland Campers in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.
We decided one day in late October to visit Berryland after work to check them out. We were greeted by a salesman who showed us those two and gave us information on a couple of others we could check out. We knew when we walked out of the first two they were just not for us, no matter how much restoration we did. I felt sad in those two and just knew we’d never be happy there. The others were better and as we were going to call it a day he said he had one more that we could see.
It was a 2005 39 foot Fleetwood Excursion Diesel Pusher with three slides. As we walked over to it he told us it only had 9,500 miles on it. It was owned by a family who lost their house in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and lived in it while the house was restored. They hadn’t used it much since the first year and only took a few trips in it which accounted for the low mileage. When we walked in we fell in love. During our researches we came up with sort of a wish list in our minds of the things we felt we’d like to have – this one almost matched our list exactly! A few of the top things were the cream colored soft leather sofas, full size stove, full size refrigerator, washer/dryer, ceramic tile on the kitchen backsplash, bamboo glass on the cabinet doors and the shower enclosure. We loved the cherry wood cabinets, the convection/ microwave, the exterior and mostly the “feeling of home” we both shared.
Even though the price was considerably more than the older ones we saw, it was still within our actual budget. We thought it didn’t need anything. Of course you find out how much they really do need to become “our RV” but basically it was exactly the one we wanted. It was night time by then and we really wanted to be sure by seeing it in the daylight so we went back at lunch the next day and confirmed our initial impression. This is “the one”! After a brief negotiation with our salesman he processed our loan application and he said the few minor issues we noticed would be taken care of within the next two weeks which would include a full servicing and cleaning.
Now we could turn our focus from finding an RV to getting it ready to travel and getting our toad ready to travel also. I am an avid checklist maker and love to check things off the list when they are completed – this one got a big checkmark!
Since we hadn’t sold the house, and now own an RV but don’t have it in our posession yet we wanted to do something RV related. We started looking for the items Roy would need to make his truck into our toad! We’re starting to learn some of the RV lingo and it’s fun to say our truck will be our toad! Then you get to explain what a toad is and they get to learn a little about RV life. Roy may posts a blog one day about what went into transforming his Dodge Dakota truck into a toad, all I can say is a lot of money went into it.
Our toad is named Boots because it will follow along behind Dora the Explorer. Every child knows that Boots is Dora’s trusty side kick and always follows along with her. Of course Madisyn’s grand parents know this to be true so we named Roy’s Dodge Dakota truck Boots.
I try to share as much of what we’re learning with others hoping to give someone else the RV bug like we’ve caught! I’d love it if some of our friends and family would at least part time if not full time RV. You’ll probably see me say this often. If anyone needs a little push in that direction just contact me directly and I’ll convince away!
ONE DAY CLOSER TO OUR DREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!