Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ursula, Oh Ursula. You Gotta Go.

If you are an actual reader of this blog, you may be wondering why there have been no posts since we went to New Mexico in November.

Well.  The holiday season was a madhouse of parties and events, plus the creation of a beautiful back porch that required supervision (see photo), so we could not even get her in to the RV Outlet Mall to get her latest collection of issues looked at--we really needed to get the living room slide to work, and that horrible noise it made the last time we retracted it was BAD. Plus, the leveling system still was not working right, after all the repairs we made.
New Back Porch Retreat, January 6

The furniture, rustic benches, and little shed

Getting her fixed was also challenging because there is such a short window of time in which Suna is available to bring a car in so Lee can get home after dropping her off--the repair place is only open on Saturday mornings other than during Suna's work hours.

So, at some point late in January, we got her deposited with the help of Declan, the red-haired son. Or maybe it was February. It was a long time ago. She patiently waited for parts to arrive, still sporting her Christmas decor. Turns out the motor and some other part on the slide needed to be replaced, and a controller in the leveling system needed to be replaced as well. The good news is that our extended warranty paid for most of it. If YOU have an RV, these are a good idea. They all seem to break frequently.

Change Is Coming

For the past month or two, we had lots of talks about our dear Ursula. These points came up:

  • Over the past two years, she has spent about a third of the time in the shop, and I think there may have been ONE trip where nothing broke. That's just not great. We really enjoy her, of course. It is great riding around in her, and she is very comfortable. But, heck, we can't use her whenever we want--she is so often nonfunctional! 
  • Lee calculated that, with all the repair bills, owning her only came out slightly less expensive than renting an RV for each trip. 
  • We now own a very large and very black diesel pickup truck (see below). It is strong enough to pull most anything. And is has enough luxury options that it is a pleasure to ride around in. Like air conditioned seats. Geez.
  • And one thing we had not anticipated when we got the motorcoach version of an RV was that once you get somewhere and get all set up, you can't go anywhere. Looking into the options for towing was pretty sobering. None of our cars are the right kind to tow, plus it really isn't great for any car. Since so many of our trips are to the farm or to the ranch, we really need to be able to go places once we are there and not have to rely on our family or friends' vehicles.
  • Plus, once we have the ranch house, Ursula would mostly be a guest house. It's sort of a waste of a thing with an engine if it doesn't go many places.
  • We still like Ursula. She's just a bit finicky for people who are not mechanically inclined.

Giant new truck actually pulling our actual trailer.
So, we started sort of looking at something the truck could pull. Something new so we could enjoy its brief period of good functioning. And something that would be a nice guest house, or main house while we are waiting to build something at the ranch. Like a 5th Wheel travel trailer.

We went to Camping World to see what they had. Nothing was really very nice. We don't want an entry-level one. We want something with good quality features. Like drawers that open and close, a nice size fridge, and a king bed.

Decision Made

So yesterday we went to the RV Outlet Mall to pick up Ursula. Yay, she is fixed. We will be able to take her on our long-planned trip to Palmetto State Park next weekend, and Lee can take her to his dad's next week and not have to sleep in the scary spare bedroom while his dad has another procedure!

While we were there, we also looked at their selection of nice 5th Wheels. They have the Cardinal by Forest River line. They were fine. Not the fanciest on earth, but not entry level. They have nice lounge chairs, real chairs around the dining table, and those endearing fake fireplaces upper-end RVs seem to all have.

So, after the trip next weekend, dear Ursula will head back to the RV Outlet Mall and once again be looking for a family to love her. We will take Ursulina, her replacement, back to the storage place, ready for the next trip.

More next time--featuring floor plans and photos of Ursulina. In the meantime, here, you can enjoy some photos and the brochure and try to figure out which one we picked.

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