Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Did you Start RVing?? Part 2

Thank you to everyone who read and commented on my blog last evening (constructed with live writer). Tonight I am back on the MacBook Pro using MarsEdit-giving it a try. I will confess I just downloaded the freebie copy so I'm winging it~didn't have a chance to even read up on it but I do see a "help' button up there so if that works I'm covered.

After the hardtop we sort of got out of the camping mode for a few years. The older kids no longer felt it was cool to camp with the family, and there was no way we were leaving them home alone to party on the weekends. So we sold the camper and figured if we were going to be stuck home all summer we may as well enjoy it and we installed a pool. And camping was a thing of the past for us :( 

Fast forward to that May morning in 2002. At the table, with the coffee, by myself, reading the classifieds. Knowing Rick enjoyed camping as much as I did, I also knew him well enough to think he may find it too much bother to get back into camping, now that the kids were all mostly grown. So I thought it was possibly time to use some reverse psychology ~ I bounded up over the stairs out of a clean blue sky and announced in my most excited voice..."get up - today we're going boat shopping".

Over coffee he patiently explained to me why we shouldn't buy a boat. I never wanted a boat-I swim like a rock and am petrified of water. But he also knows when I get something in my head I don't let it go. After a pot of coffee and much explanation about owning a boat-I then suggested we go RV shopping - and explained that I had seen one in the classifieds (private sale) spoke with the owners who said it was a beauty of a class C and in excellent shape-and it was only 2 hours from home lets go see it..and to probably shut me up-we showered dressed and away we went. I am practically bouncing in the seat like a five year old all the way to Rogersville NB to see this rig. 

I tend to see potential in everything, but Rick looks past the excitement. It was old old old (I forgot to ask the year)..motor  home-on a dodge chassis, and it truly was a junker. The guy should have paid us to take it away. Meantime I was still seeing 'potential'-Rick was seeing everything else. To be polite I insisted we at least test drive it. She shook rattled and rolled down the road. But to me she was a pretty tin box with the old plaid polyester upholstery. The motor and transmission was shot, it had no breaks and Rick said it steered like a truck wagon. He wasn't long pulling a u-turn and returning to the sellers house. We left telling them we would think it over and let them know. I was so disappointed. Someone had painted the bathroom sink silver, I thought it was pretty even if they did use a paintbrush. 

Upon our return to town we started hitting the dealer lots- there were quite a few Class C motor homes -and we toured all of them, that afternoon. But none were capturing me totally-or calling my name. I'm not sure when we settled on the Class C choice we didn't even look at A's.
We drove another 2 hours to the Saint John NB area to a dealer down there to see what they had on the lot. And there sat the love of my life. I knew the minute I saw it - it was meant to be ours. But I wasn't saying a word until Rick checked it all over and gave me permission to get excited. I stood trying to look totally unconcerned with bated breath.

We purchased it the same day!!!! We returned on May 18, 2002 to pick up our new rig. (ok that  mars edit ‘thingy’ didn’t last long I cut and pasted my blog and emailed it to Ricks laptop and I’m back on live writer as I type)
EMPRESS ON THE BEACH 1987 Empress by Triple E-460 Ford motor and chassis
It was the cutest little Class C ever and we had so much fun in this little motor home. It was 24’ long and you could sleep 6 if necessary. We were so very proud and we went everywhere in it. This picture is of “The Empress” sitting on a beach in Prince Edward Island.

Our first trip out after purchase was to Rexton NB-for the weekend. Yes we forgot the blocking at home (to level and drive up on) so we were a bit off kilter that weekend but I can still remember the feeling of being owners of this dear little motorhome. Laying in the top bunk over the cab watching the sun come up early Saturday morning, and dreaming together of all the places we would visit. There was no need to tow a toad as we could unhook and go anywhere with it. It will remain in my heart as one of my most favorite rigs. Sadly we only kept it for a year- so stay tuned for part 3 tomorrow-to see what happened next!!!

Remember home is where you park it
be safe!!
Rick Tucker and Lilly too


  1. Interesting! We started with a 24 ft Class C too!

  2. we had a 1969 19 foot Vanguard Travel was a beauty!!..king size bed..fridge..stove..running water from the blue jug on the roof..when the water was gone it fell off...portapotti!..we all came from somewhere..nice to see you weren't born with that beautiful bus in your 'mouth'..'you know the silver spoon saying!'

  3. Shortly after we were married, Russ told me we could borrow his parents trailer for a camping trip..."it even has a bathroom," he said. I was so excited! The "bathroom" in this vintage 16' travel trailer was a porta-potti sitting on a shelf in the closet! No matter, we enjoyed it and have had some kind of camping equipment ever since.

  4. I have ranted about my own 40+ years of camping and RV'ing in an earlier posting. In Canada we had a 28ft. Class C. It was nice enough, but I hated the short driving range of 250miles before I had to fill up again. It never made more than 7miles to a gallon. So we traded it off. Your 24footer looks really nice, But I bet you enjoy the bus now!