The Beginning Part Five

Friday, December 9


I had written earlier about the unpleasant surprise we had when we went to move our Road Ranger fifth wheel and how that was causing us to rethink our plans.  Since that time we have been looking (mostly online) at fifth wheels and travel trailers.  A couple days ago, while online, Ella found an older Excel at Plaza RV in Bondurant.  There were lots of photos of the trailer and it looks like it is very similar to the Road Ranger in size and layout.  The biggest difference is the placement of the entrance door.  The Excel’s is near the rear of the trailer (like the Hitch Hiker’s) instead of in the middle like the Road Ranger’s.  Today, being a bright sunny day, we decided to drive over an take a look at it in real life.  The battery was down and the slide out was in and the baggage door locks were frozen shut, so we didn’t see it quite as completely as we’d hoped.


I told the salesman that we were not ready to buy and that we’d check back in the spring.  If it is still there, we’d be interested.  The salesman said that if we’d take it now, he’d knock $1,500 of the price.  I said I did not want to have to store it until spring.  He said he’d store it for us.  Darn!  Now we have to decide what to do.

Insert passage of time here.

Later that same day.  We decided that we needed to take another look at the trailer.  I called the dealership and told them that we would like another look with the slide out and with the baggage doors open.  Dave, the salesman, said to give him an hour to ninety minutes and he’d take the trailer inside to thaw out.

So for an additional hour, we did some praying, soul searching, some considering “what ifs” and then went back to take another look.

We looked it over very carefully, looking for bowed or warped walls, soft spots in the floor, rust, damage, excessive wear etc.  We opened every door and drawer, tried every light and inspected all appliances.  The only thing I could not check was the roof, because there is no roof ladder.

We really liked it, partially I think because it is so much like our Road Ranger, which we really have enjoyed.  The only part that I’m not thrilled about is the ceiling height in the living room area.  The ceiling is only about 6’6”.  I’m 6’1” and a lot of my family are taller than that.  Well, I guess we just won’t be doing any jumping around it it.  Dave gave us a lot of ‘alone time’ to discuss it and we decided to buy it.  We’ll go Monday to get the money out of Ella’s retirement account.

We Did It!

We went to Plaza RV in Bondurant and wrote them a check for the 1995 Excel RLJM 5th wheel trailer that we looked at the other day.  This wasn’t a trade deal.  We still have the Hitch Hiker that we are living in.  Plaza RV will store the Excel until Spring.  At that point we will move the HH off of our seasonal site and set the Excel in place.  It will become our Northern/Summer home.  The HH will follow us to Texas in the Fall of 2012 and become our Southern/Winter home.  The plan is to leave the HH in storage in Texas when we return to Iowa in the Spring of 2013.


Published by Tom

husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and Santa

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