Thursday, October 3, 2013

My New Home

Wildcat will be my new home - it's a 5th wheel, Forest River Wildcat.  It's only 26' long, but tons of storage space for that size - way more than any other unit I've seen in that size.  The floor plan is perfect and it has been meticulously maintained by it's previous owner, who was the only owner. 

A thought just hit me - a 26' boat would be TINY - it would be cramped to live aboard - but this is totally different.  Even my 47' boat didn't have this much room, and storage space!  About 15 years of my life has been spent mostly on boats so I know how to live in small quarters.  This should be a piece of cake. 

I had been looking at 5th wheels for about 5 months, any size, make or model up to 30'.  A few days ago, I took a trip to Ocala and Gainesville, Florida to see what was available over there.  I spent the first day looking at units that either weren't in my price range (but they were very nice) or units that had lots of water damage and/or other problems - some I just didn't like. 

At the end of the day, I looked at a unit for sale by a private owner and as soon as I walked in, I knew this was a well cared-for unit, and I really liked it.  I could tell the owner had enjoyed the trailer, he indicated he was reluctant to sell, but his wife was done with traveling in it - and that was final.    He had made multiple upgrades to the unit and I could tell he was attached to it.  I really liked the layout and felt it would be a good match for me.

After looking around and talking to him for well over an hour, I left and found a place to stay for the night.  I sat in that motel room and planned my next day, deciding what RV sales lots I'd visit and seeing what they had available.  Most of them were units similar to ones I had seen in other locations, I had seen the layout and it was just a matter of condition.  There was really nothing new that I hadn't seen in other places.  While I was contemplating this, I went through the pictures I had taken of this unit - going over the pictures that had been on his ad.

During the night, I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got on the computer to look at the pictures again, and pictured myself living in it.   The more I looked at it and remembered the feeling when I first walked in the door, I started to think it was a waste of time to look at similar units I'd seen before and wasn't that impressed with.  With only 2 hours of sleep, I convinced myself I needed to go back to sleep and decide in the morning.

In the morning, I checked my list again - ho-hum.   And then I checked the pictures I'd taken the previous day.   Yes, definitely, I did like this unit, it was clean and well maintained, even the tires and battery were only 1 year old  -  why should I look any further?  So, the decision was made - I would call the owner and set up a meeting to discuss the purchase. 

The rest of the day was spent discussing the deal, having him get the title and meeting me at the bank where I'd do the wire transfer.  I decided to go to the tag office then and get the title sent in to be transferred to me and get the registration and the plate for it.  While I was waiting for that to happen, I called my insurance company and got the insurance set up.  By that time, I was ready for the three hour drive home.

And so a new chapter in my life begins.  I'm excited and apprehensive at the same time.   It's another big learning curve, possibly not as big as when I went cruising.  In any case, my gypsy spirit requires travel and adventure, and I bet it's gonna be great!

Sign up with your email in the upper right hand corner of this blog to follow my preparations and travels.  I will be posting videos of places I'll be visiting also -    Hope you enjoy riding along with me.

Betty Karl

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