Saturday, November 23, 2013

Our Little Winnebago Chalet! Pt. 1

We have embarked on a new adventure and subculture.  We're RV owners now!

While in the middle of another project, the idea of purchasing a used trailer, and then a mini motor home began to evolve.  I poured over online sites for hours looking for a small RV with a decent floor plan in a comfortable price range.

Finally, I came upon this little guy in Vancouver. A 1995 Yellowstone.
No, we didn't buy it.  It felt dingy, not as cute as the photo, and we felt like we were in someone else's space.  But a new arrival on the lot was this:
A 2001 Winnebago Chalet.  22 feet. Love at first sight.  Isn't it cute? Obviously, because it was newer, we paid a little more, but still comparatively less than we would have somewhere else.

Here's the inside:

Pretty clean for being 12 years old, and we really liked the kitchen area in the back and the fold out sofa bed.  The first one had a small queen-sized bed wedged in a back left corner.  And it is always a bed.  The Chalet has no wasted space day and night.

The next day I was on a plane to California to see my family and Eric was sealing the deal. A few days later the lot owner drove it up to us and Eric texted me this picture of the Chalet in our driveway.  It didn't look small anymore!
So we've done some fancy footwork moving the cars around for the last couple of weeks.

We had a motor home!  Now what?  Eric and I knew nothing...nothing...about motor homes, but we were determined to learn.  While in California, I read 4 books:  RVing Basics, RV Tips, The Tiniest Mansion, and How to Live in Your Car, Van or RV.  The last two were just out of curiosity.  We are not moving out of our house in the near future.  Eric read the first book, our RV's owner's manual, and watched a lot of YouTube videos.  (The RV Geeks YouTube channel has some great stuff for beginners like us.)

We were determined to make a go of this.  Knowledge is power!

While I was gone, Eric also did some local reconnaissance.  It turns out that the nearest RV shop is owned by a couple our age and they are very knowledgeable and willing to share that knowledge.  Eric even graduated high school with the wife!  We brought in the Chalet (we call it that, but we rhyme it with "shallot," just for fun) and they gave it the once over.  There were condition issues and we had definitely let the stars in our eyes make us overlook a few things.  What do we know? 

So they kept it for 2 days and fixed what they found.  Then Eric and I went over and the husband gave us a 2 hour tutorial of everything, inside and out.  That was helpful!  And it was helpful to have some educated questions after having done a lot of reading the previous week.

This is last Wednesday.  We brought it home, did "musical cars" again, and Eric ran some errands for some RV essentials while I cleaned the inside.  The place we bought it at in Vancouver?  Well, the people were nice, but there wasn't a lot of attention to detail.  They said they cleaned it, but we think they only shampooed the upholstery and didn't do anything else.  We probably wouldn't recommend that place after learning more, but we do know enough to know that used little Winnebagos are in high demand and low supply, so we are still very happy with the way things turned out.

After getting the Little Chalet back from the local RV doctor, it was time to take it on the road for a shakedown trip! (Term meaning your first trip where you put all of your knowledge to use and determine what you still don't know.)

Pt. 2 talks about our first trip!

1 comment:

MOM said...

Awesome adventure!!!