Picking Up Our New Bus

Our very first stop, a McDonalds somewhere in Illinois that had a huge parking lot

Although it wasn’t perfect, as nothing is, we did fall in love with the Palazzo 35.1 and decided to take the leap and make a huge change in our lives.  Our biggest concern initially was how Roxie would take to living on the road.  When we went for the test drive, she got pretty upset about the whole thing.  As it turns out, so far she seems to enjoy the experience and has never had a better view of the world.  She  loves the great picture window and spends a lot of her time lounging on the dash napping and watching the world go by.  And when we travel now, she doesn’t even seem to notice her world get skinny (slides retracted) between ports (pardon the nautical references but having had one kind of boat or another for most of our lives together, I still think in those terms and that’s kind of how it feels).

As far as we were concerned, we were both ready to let go of most of our possessions and simplify.  When it came to the coach itself, we expected bugs to pop up and had planned to spend a week camping in the dealer’s parking lot while we got them worked out.  But did we really think that we would find all the things that needed to be tweaked or repaired or replaced and get them all taken care of in that one week?  After all, one couple had been camping in the parking lot for two weeks before we arrived and they were still putting in work orders the day we pulled out.  Maybe we were a little naïve but we were also determined to head out in our new home on wheels as soon as possible.

It turns out that, no, we didn’t find everything in that week, but a couple of somewhat major repairs were made before we left:  the motor that controls the left side of the drop down loft bed had to be replaced so both sides would raise and lower in unison and most significantly, the automatic leveling jacks had to be fixed (apparently some wires were crossed so that when the computer thought it was working the rear left jack, it was actually moving the rear right jack and that was disconcerting to say the least – it was like a carnival ride but wasn’t much fun).  Other than those two repairs, the entertainment system had to be rewired (it’s still needs work and Duane’s to do list includes rewiring it again himself), along with a flooring repair that was completed.

At the end of that week, it was an amazing feeling to pull out of that parking lot on our own and head to one of our favorite places, and one we called home for several years, Gatlinburg,Tennessee.  We spent another week there learning about full-time RV life (and relaxing a bit) before heading back to Maryland to finish clearing out our apartment, packing up what was left and beginning the adventure of outfitting our new Palazzo.  And that, of course, is another story . . .

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