2014 Colorado RV Super Sale

Audrey and I went to the 11th Annual Colorado RV Super Sale at Mile High Stadium yesterday. We were supposed to get an early start and meet up with our internet friends Matt and his lovely wife, but they were there and gone before we managed to get on the road. It was in the mid 90’s, and probably hotter in the parking lot. Sadly, we didn’t get any of the afternoon clouds and thunderstorms that we’ve had for weeks, so it stayed hot and miserable – but there were some pretty awesome RV’s to inspect, and we did manage to find 4 or 5 things we want to follow up on.

Transwest Trucks in Frederick, CO

A 2009 Fleetwood Discovery 40X.

Their salesman said they’re looking to get it out the door for $128,000. Audrey and I both agree that it really, truly feels like a home to us.
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The black leather Euro-Chairs would go out the door on Craigslist, and would be replaced by at least one computer workstation. The dinette may or may not stay. Depends on how useful it turns out to be for working and eating both. We currently eat on the couch – that’s all the time we spend watching TV (and sitting on the couch) on any given day, so the dinette might become desk space, and a TV/computer workstation where the Euro-chairs are.

A 2014 Fleetwood Excursion 33A 

This is a new model, and it’s the last of them. They’re trying to get it out the door for (basically) what they have invested in it – $139,700. They didn’t have it on-site, but we’re going to look at it on Saturday.

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Although we haven’t seen the inside of this one in person yet, we did see a very similar Excursion 33D at the show (and Jason and Nikki Wynn have covered extensively) that we did like a lot.

One of the things that Transwest gets right – besides having sales people that are content to let you be to browse at your own speed – every time we’ve been to their location, and again at the stadium, they’ve got almost all of the units plugged in to shore power, and the air going. Even with the air going, it was hot in most of the coaches we looked at, and everything that was buttoned up went from being tolerable to being miserable quickly.

SO MANY AIRSTREAMS! 

OK, just 2 Airstreams…

…that were large enough for us to consider, both from Windish RV in Lakewood, CO

We noticed a couple of things about them – first, and this bit we really did like, is that new Airstreams are using materials, colors, and finishes inside that make them perfect for the person who wants to purchase decorating and living materials from IKEA. Second, if you’re buying brand new, IKEA is where you’ll be buying all your decorating and living materials to kit out your new travel trailer, because Airstreams are incredibly expensive. The Airstream 27FB that we were looking at was pushing $90,000. I found one tonight in California for $59,000 (pictured below). Hard to believe that it’s depreciated 1/3 of the new value in 2 model years.

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Ugh. This is why we’re skittish about buying new. A warranty is nice, but not as nice as saving $30,000 lost to depreciation!
We would seriously consider a used one if we hadn’t already made up our minds that we don’t want to tour the country in a pickup truck or SUV – If we show up at midnight, (or pull into a Bass Pro Shop or WalMart for the night) and it’s raining buckets, we want to be able to just go in back, get under the covers, and worry about jacks, and leveling, and plugging in, and all that jazz in the morning.

Camping World

2015 Winnebago 42QD

Camping World had a number of coaches that we really liked – that naturally were way out of our price range. Isn’t that the way these things go? Of course everyone LOVES the ‘stick and brick’ home that, if you optioned all the options they have on the model, then bought all the same furniture, would run $600k, right? Same with the coaches. The $300,000 Winnebago Tour that Camping World had set up as the first coach you’d see is a masterpiece of beauty. It’s really, really lovely. We both really like the materials and floorplan choices that Winnebago makes. How could you not love this?

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The thing that cannot be adequately captured with a camera is how wonderful the rear bath is on the 2015 Tour 42QD. It’s spacious, well laid out, and…just fantastic. (There I am, going on again about the room I spend the least amount of time in!)

Jayco Seneca (3 on display)

I really, really want to like the Jayco Seneca. Having an honest Freightliner truck cab up front is really, really cool.

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Unfortunately, the interior layouts of the ones they had on display are all pretty much terrible.

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What this view doesn’t show is the pinch points where the steps enter the coach, and again where you walk around the bed in the back. Both spots are very, very narrow. Even the older used Senecas we’ve looked at have had some fatal flaw in the floorplan. It’s a shame – as I said, I really want to like them.

Thor Palazzo 33.2

The Thor Palazzo 33.2 is one of my favorite coaches under 35′. (The other two being the Winnebago Forza/Itasca Solei 34T and the Fleetwood Excursion 33A/D). It’s got a great open floorplan, and room for a washer/dryer, which is a must have for us. They’re still new, so buying one used is out of reach for us, however.

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Looking Aft in the Thor Palazzo 33.2Looking Forward in the Thor Palazzo 33.2

Winnebago Vista 35Y

This is a New For 2015 floorplan, and Audrey and I both like it a lot. It’s the first floorplan that I’ve seen in a Class A where the kitchen doesn’t feel like a ‘tucked against the wall’ afterthought. The more I look at this coach, the more I like it. So, you’re going to get extra pictures of it.

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A REAL KITCHEN, and a bedroom with a Not Terrible window! I REALLY, REALLY like the Vista 36Y, but it’s BRAND NEW for 2015, so it’s prudent to let someone else take the bath on depreciation.

At this point, we’d made our way from the very southern end of the show, where Transwest was, to the very northern end. It was blazing hot, and the only water available was a small stand in the center, selling 16 oz bottles for $3, and only accepted cash. We passed it on the way down the lane, since we don’t carry cash anymore. Fortunately, there wasn’t a lot left that looked interesting to us. We did find one gem among all the travel trailers and enormous 5th wheels at the north end of the show.

2015 Dutchmen Denali 2445RL

What an adorable little ‘babby’ 5th wheel – GVWR is 10,860 pounds, which means that if you don’t load it down with 3939 pounds of crap, you could pull it with an (appropriately optioned) F-150.

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It’s also very similar to the Cougar 5er that Reddit user SiberianSF remodeled. Again, if we were considering driving a truck and not a single unit, I think we’d be all over this.

After this, we made our way back to the car, and headed out to…

CruiseAmerica

Four Winds Majestic 28a

…CruiseAmerica to look at their $20,000 Four Winds Majestic 28A Class C specials.

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It was very…basic. The sales guy had worked for the company for a long time, and had pretty good information on these coaches – little touches that are “renter friendly” (renters break shit) that you can see in the pictures, like the basic trim strips along the top and side of the dinette. They’re made that way because renters cut them, or burn them. Three screws and you can replace the damaged piece with a new one, without having to pull the whole dinette seat apart. Unfortunately, this also means that the Majestic 28A comes without things that a lot of other coaches do have, like an awning, slideouts, leveling jacks, etc. Some of that you can add, some would be cost-prohibitive (jacks, primarily), so you’ll have to kick it old school. The price is very, very, very hard to beat, especially after looking at coaches costing 4-15 times as much. We were sorely tempted to see if we could put $2200 down on the spot and pick the coach up in 3-5 weeks (standard delivery time).

The research I did on Friday turned up two camps of people.

  • People who do not, and would not own one, and hate them with a fiery passion.
  • People who did some due diligence, bought one, and love them (and the SCREAMING DEAL they got) with a fiery passion.

However, a $22,000 impulse buy is not something I’d ever recommend.

The Salesman said that they’ll be out of 2008’s this week, and then they’ll start selling 2009s for about $25,000. I don’t know that those will be the 28′ coaches, though. RVTrader shows the 2009 28a’s being about 32k. If the 2009s are indeed going to be 32k, then I think we’ll look out of state at a former El Monte RV rental that’s being pulled out of service, since the prices will be more or less comparable, but the El Monte coaches, from what I’ve seen, do have things like slides and levelers.

We’ll see what the folks at Transwest have to say on Saturday.

 

Supernatural Trip Planning

So, one of the things that Audrey and I are considering doing is travelling the roads traveled by Sam and Dean Winchester in the WB/CW series Supernatural.

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Alana is Reading on Tumblr created maps to the best of their ability, and I wanted to draft a post on what that would look like. Prices are from August 2014, and the Calendar presumes starting the first week of 2015, both of which are fairly unlikely targets.

Season 1 – If we start from Season 1, Episode 1, we’ll want to pick up an RV in Northern California. This is OK with us, as our current plan is to establish residency in South Dakota, and that’s along the way…

29 December, 2014
Season 1, Episode 1 (and a half)
Palo Alto to “Jericho”, California – 200 miles, 4 Hours
Wikipedia says that Jericho, CA is a ghost town near Moores Flat, CA. I think I found the spot on Google Earth, and it looks like it’s no more difficult to travel to than it would be driving up Rampart Range Road here in Colorado – Plenty of pavement to the last couple of miles, then broad graded dirt. There’s not a lot to see here, but it is public land, so woohoo for free boondocking on the first night of a very long  and strange trip!

5 January 2015
Season 1, Episode 2
Jericho, CA to “Just outside of Grand Junction” to “Blackwater Ridge, CO” – 887 miles, 13.5 hours
“Blackwater Ridge” is the first fictional destination in the series. There is a “Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness” just outside of Grand Junction, and the location is 39.1 N by -108.9311 W. The road is gnarly as hell going out that far, and it’s a Wilderness Area that we’ll have to hike or horseback ride into, though, so it’s likely we’ll wind up staying at the Saddlehorn Campground at the Colorado National Monument, instead…

12 January 2015
Season 1, Episode 3
Grand Junction, CO to Omro, Wisconsin – 1317 miles, 20 hours
The location used by the Supernatural Fictional Places Wiki Page is near Wausau. I think I’d rather see Oshkosh, on the shores of…Lake Winnebago. Also, there’s a lake connected to Lake Winnebago called Lake Butte des Morts, or “Hill of the Dead”. That seems VERY appropriate for the setting.

19 January 2015
Season 1, Episode 4
Omro, Wisconsin to Kittaning, PA – 659 miles, 10h 44m

26 January, 2015
Season 1, Episode 5
Kittaning, PA to Toledo, OH – 251 miles, 4h

2 February, 2015
Season 1, Episode 6
Toledo, OH to Tucumcari, NM or St. Louis or Austin, TX – 471 miles, 7h

9 February 2015
Season 1, Episode 7
St. Louis, MO to Ankeny, IA – 347 miles, 6 hours

16 February 2015
Season 1, Episode 8
Ankeny, IA to Oasis Plains (Atoka County), OK – 579 miles, 9h

23 February 2015
Season 1, Episode 9
Oasis Plains, OK, to Lawrence, KS – 350 miles, 6 hours

2 March 2015
Season 1, Episode 10
Lawrence, KS to Rockford, IL – 518 miles, 8 hours

9 March 2015
Season 1, Episode 11
Rockford IL to Burkittsville, IN (Near Scottsburg) – 389 miles, 6 hours

16 March 2015
Season 1, Episode 12
Burkittsville, IN to “Nebraska” (North Platte) – 951 Miles, 15 hours

23 March 2015
Season 1, Episode 13
“Nebraska” to Cape Girardeau, MO – 770 miles, 11.5 hours

30 March 2015
Season 1, Episode 14
Cape Girardeau, MO to Saginaw, MI – 628 miles, 9.5 hours

6 April 2015
Season 1, Episode 15
Saginaw, MI to Hibbing, MN – 682 miles, 11.5 hours

13 April 2015
Season 1, Episode 16
Hibbing, MN to Chicago, IL – 542 Miles, 9 hours

20 April 2015
Season 1, Episode 17
Chicago, IL to Richardson, TX – 912 miles, 15 hours

27 April 2015
Season 1, Episode 18
Richardson, TX to Fitchburg, WI – 970 miles, 15 hours

4 May 2015
Season 1, Episode 19
Fitchburg, WI to New Paltz, NY – 965 miles, 15.5 hours

11 May 2015
Season 1, Episode 20
New Paltz, NY to (Peyton) “Manning”, CO – 1800 miles, 27 hours

18 May 2015
Season 1, Episode 21
(Peyton) Manning, CO to Lincoln, NE – 488 miles, 7.5 hours

25 May 2015
Season 1, Episode 22
Lincoln, NE to Sioux Falls, SD – 236 miles, 4 hours

Total for Season One:
14,912 miles, 235 hours driving.
1491 gallons of diesel @3.87 = 5770.17 or $1049.12/mo.