Author: Williams, Dave

Motorhoming Redux

Last month I told you of my motorhome hobby and the commitment of keeping it running and ready. A few of you commented and offered much appreciated advice particularly David Lange’s colorful instructions regarding towing. I leave it to you readers to look it up on the message board post on April 3.

In my literary masterpiece last month, I chronicled my motorhome experiences and my limited abilities to handle them. However, I did leave out an important detail of Linda and my experiences in the RV world. Our coach didn’t have a bed per se. Sure it had the queen size one over the cab and the bench in the slide out room that converts to a queen and the dinette that converts to a double. The key words in that sentence are converts.

The fact that I play bass and have a passion for tequila and beer are fairly well documented in these pages. Stay with me here as this can get convoluted. My bass travels and resides, when camping, in the bed over the cab. There is no real room anywhere else that doesn’t block the escape and bathroom routes.

Are you with me so far? The bass takes up the upper bed. The other choices for beds require conversion so we can maintain an air conditioned place in the coach to sit and visit during the day. Also, calling either of these convertible bed uncomfortable is an understatement. Heck, we get the senior discount everywhere we go and the reason we “crossed over” is so we could sleep comfortably. Call us soft if you like but we seniors need to be comfortable.

To mitigate the situation with the convertible beds, I purchased a queen size memory foam mattress topper that fits on the converted bench bed. The mattress topper works pretty well adding the comfort required for sleep but it doesn’t stay on the bench when it converts back. So I store it on the bed over the cab. You know the one with the bass on it.

Now back to the tequila and beer part. The use of either or both of them in conjunction with late night jamming (or just plain drinking) tends to cause a bedtime problem.

Lets just say we start with the bass stored in the cab over bed on the mattress topper. To get the bed ready I have to hoist the bass down from shoulder height. Stand it precariously in the door. Next, pull down the bench into the bed followed by pulling the mattress topper from the cab bed to the bench bed and then put the bass back up on the top.

I have never performed the above maneuver without having something to drink beforehand. Sometimes it helped but more often, not so much.

The “good news” is that you get to repeat the process in reverse in the morning.

So combined with these awkward bed time issues and the other preparation, maintenance and repair issues I highlighted last month, it was decision time for Linda and me. Was this RV life the way to go for us? If we wanted to attend festivals or just go camping, what were the alternatives? Certainly going back to tent camping didn’t seem feasible for us at this stage and we definitely didn’t want to miss out on all the fun.

So we decided to double down. We traded our 25 ft Itasca (with no bed) for a 30 ft Winnebago with a queen size walk around bed in the rear that has all the space for sitting, eating and cooking that the other had.

We concluded that we like the flexibility of having the motorhome and are learning to embrace the preparation and maintenance routines as part of the hobby. But we really had to fix that bed thing. The bedtime routine was taking its toll on us.

In the process we upgraded in years and miles in the new guy. There is plenty of room for the bass during travel and at night. I am looking forward to enjoying some jamming having a sip or two of tequila and when I’m finished just rolling into bed. Linda likes it as well as she usually doesn’t keep the same hours as me or have the same recreational habits. Now she can get to bed without waiting for me to do the conversion routine.

I told you all of this just to give myself another opportunity to invite you to stop by our campsite for a look at our new rig, have a sip of anejo and pick a few. I don’t know my site number yet but when I find out, I’ll be sure to let you know.

On a final note, I’ll get into some SCVFA hot water if I don’t mention and invite you all to the monthly Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers jam at Hoover Middle School in San Jose this Sunday from 1-5. Hope you can make it.

Posted:  5/1/2014

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