Thursday, August 14, 2014

Journey, part 2

Our original plan was to retire in 2015.  Last summer, though, as we were in Elkhart, Indiana visiting the RV capital of the world, we began to discuss the logistics of retiring one year earlier.  Our jobs were stressful, Bob would have enough years in the teacher's pension system, and waiting another year to gain an extra $35 a month didn't seem worth it.  It's not easy being a teacher, and being a teacher in NJ is extra difficult in these current times.  My job as a speech-language pathologist in a long term care facility was also quite stressful.  I was not even sure that my job would be there for me for another year.  So at the end of last summer, we decided to move up the retirement date to June of 2014.

With that mindset, we went to the RV show in Hershey, PA last September.

Now, we had been to this show before.  It is an amazing experience for someone shopping for an RV. With thousands of rigs present, all new, you can see everything from tiny pop-up trailers to million dollar motorhomes.  Even better for us, two of our favorite companies would have rigs present--Newmar and Tiffin.  

We had been researching for years, going to RV shows a couple of times a year just to look and ask questions.  All that research gave us an education that was invaluable.  We had a system.  One show we would focus on one type of RV only.  So at one show we only looked at class C motorhomes (the kind that often have a sleeping space over the driving area.). Another show we'd focus on fifth wheels, which are towed by a large pickup truck and have large, apartment- like living quarters.  I must admit, I did like those a lot! Bob stayed focused on motorhomes as our ideal, though, and we kept coming back to them.  And two companies stood out in all our research as having good quality rigs that weren't over the top.  These were full time rigs that we were looking at, diesel pushers for power to get up those mountain ranges out West, and would last a long time. 

So at Hershey, when we walked through a Tiffin bunkhouse model, we knew it was the one for us. I wanted the bunkhouse to use as a storage space for my looms and yarn stash for weaving. The saleswoman told us that she had just taken a 2012 Tiffin Phaeton in trade.  We saw it, it was a good price, it was just what we were looking for, and we bought it.

Next time: we sell our house and get ready to go.

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