There was nothing we did not love about our little Class C empress. We were totally hooked on RVing after touring everywhere and meeting new people. I was convinced we would keep it forever and be eternal rvers. We were definitely hooked. I literally cried the first fall we had to prep it for storage~how would I ever last until spring.
In late June 2003, our son had left an 'auto trader' magazine on our table one night, and the next morning I was thumbing through it while enjoying my early morning coffee. I came upon an add for a 1989 30 ft Fleetwood Pace Arrow Class A motor home-under price it stated-"looking to trade for a class C or smaller motor home"..hum that definitely peaked my interest. The exterior and interior pictures showed it to be very clean and well maintained. But in my mind I was thinking why would someone want to go smaller??? I should never drink coffee in the early morning alone-it can lead to a busy day of decisions.
We called and spoke with the owner-his wife had had been sick and was now almost blind-they still wanted to travel but wanted something smaller. We discussed each others RVs and we hopped in ours and drove the 2 hours to meet with them. They loved ours and we loved theirs. We worked a deal and we all decided to trade. They would deliver it to our home on Saturday and do the exchange. We rushed back to Riverview, unloaded belongings into our living room area cleaned "lady empress" from top to bottom and waited for the next day to arrive.
Meet "Miss Patty Pace" - 454 cubic inch P30 Chevy Chassis-July 5, 2003
When Elmer and Barb delivered it to us the fridge was not in it. He explained that he dropped it off to the refrigeration place to have it rebuilt as it had not been working properly since the beginning of the season and he presented us with the paid in full receipt for the rebuild stating it would be ready by the first of the week. Rick took the unit over on Monday and they installed the rebuilt fridge. We turned it on, knew it would take some hours to cold up-but we noticed a couple of hours later it was running 'hot'...inside and outside. We called the technician and he came over. It was so hot he had to use gloves to take it out of the space. To make a long story short he took it back to the shop and rebuilt it again. Returned it to us a day later..a couple of hours later..same problem..Steve returned again to our home and took it back to the shop..needless to say we were anxious to get out camping so we loaded up some coolers and away we went to a cg an hr away and Steve promised he would deliver it there within the next day or two. Which he did~a couple of hours after he left "same problem"..Rick said ok enough of this..and up on the roof he went. Took off the vent cover and low and behold Elmer had duct taped the top of the vent to prevent anything from getting in over the winter. He had used white tape so when the technician had previously looked up there he could see lots of light so figured nothing was plugged. I called Steve with our findings and he was very pleased to hear the problem was rectified. I apologized that he rebuilt this fridge 3x when tape removal would have done the trick. He was just happy the mystery was finally solved. I did call Elmer and tell him when he does this sort of thing he should leave himself a note in the fridge..he could have saved himself almost $700.00. We all had a great chuckle over it in time to come.
We all became fast friends and camped together, what great fun..although at times (usually after happy hour) we had to be on task to remember which rig we were sleeping in. Oh and by the way Barb made a full recovery and regained her vision.
We eventually purchased a dolly to travel the car with us..and travel we did! That winter of 2003 we stored here at home..and just before spring we totally renovated the unit with interior updates from front to back. Paint, paper, flooring and new upholstery. We made it ours. We were out every weekend from April - mid October-there were not too many we missed.
In February of 2006 we attended our first RV show..this is where things took a turn...was it a turn for the best or turn for the worst..stay tuned for Part 4 and 5 as from there it all went downhill on us...
Stay safe everyone!
Home is where you park it
Rick Tucker and Lilly too