Happily, our recent trip to check out the prospective RV this past Friday turned out well, and we are once again happy RV owners.
Our new-to-us RV is an older 38′ GBM Cruise Air, and we are now the second owners. It was a special order coach from the factory by the first owners and has some nice extras that are not typical on many coaches made around this time. It is also low mileage and low hours on the big Onan generator, and it is quite possibly the best used RV we’ve ever seen in the price range we wanted. In fact, it is in much better condition than many newer RVs we’ve looked at over the past few months.
We were the first people to inquire about this RV after seeing the ad online, and the dealer was great to work with us, considering we were five hours away and Hubby was gone on an extended business trip. We agreed on a fair price at the beginning, and the dealer guaranteed that all of the systems would be in proper working order on delivery. That is pretty unheard of with used RVs these days in our experience, so we decided to play out the process to see what transpired.
I made a quick solo trip right away to see it in person, and I spent three hours inspecting it with the salesman that worked with us. The only issue I found was with the furnace not blowing through all of the vents, just those on one side, so he promised to have it fixed for us, which he promptly did the next day. Last Friday, after Hubby returned from his epic round-the-world trip, we finally made the trip for our final inspection. Everything was working properly, as promised, so we signed the papers, handed over the money, and began the drive home with our new RV.
It seems we have now established a tradition of having a notable complication on the drive home with a new-to-us RV. This drive home was no exception, although it was due to a very different reason.
When we bought our previous RV in 2011, we immediately had new tires put on before we started our drive home. We departed after lunch for the five hour drive home, but about an hour from home, one of the brand new rear tires went flat just as we pulled into a small town that Sunday evening. Of course, everything was closed, and we were not happy campers. But as usual, people in small towns seem to come to the rescue of those in need of help, and a kind man with a big truck jack came out to help us put the spare tire on. The next day when we took the flat tire to be inspected and fixed, we were told that the tire was fine but the valve was not put on securely and leaked the air. So, while it was very frustrating, especially for us as first time RV purchasers, we were relieved to find out the tire was actually fine.
On our drive home last Friday afternoon in the new RV, we once again has an issue. This time, however, it had nothing to do with our new coach. Instead, Mother Nature decided to throw a major temper tantrum in our home area around 6 pm as we were still a couple of hours away. The storm grew rapidly, producing large hail and a possible tornado on radar. My good friend alerted me by phone to the weather at home, so we stopped at a truck stop to see what would develop with the storm. Sure enough, the storm progressed southeast directly toward the town where we were and continued to increase in size and strength. When it was less than 30 minutes away, a possible tornado showed up right over the highway where we needed to go.
We were not thrilled by this development. At all. It was also Friday the 13th. I’m not a superstitious person, but somehow we both took note of the date as the storm continued to head right for us, and we just shook our heads almost simultaneously.
We discussed possible options, but by that time, none of them made sense. The storm was wide, so veering around it wasn’t going to happen. Backtracking would only put us in the path of the storm as it continued down the highway we had just driven. Besides, it is just not wise to be in a vehicle in a storm like this. Period. And we had both the car and the RV to deal with, as well as both dogs which came along on the trip.
Common sense finally told us that we needed to quickly find a sheltered area for the car and the RV, and it didn’t take long for us to find a small gas station / convenience store that was already closed for the night. We pulled both vehicles under the awning and made plans to vacate with the dogs to a nearby hotel if the storm looked to be really bad as it approached. The possible tornado was still showing up on the radar, so we turned on the built-in weather radio in the new RV to stay informed on the storm.
I alerted a group of friends to our situation and asked them to pray for our safety. Immediately, many responded and I kept in touch with them as the storm approached and hit. We never vacated the RV during the storm, as the worst of it literally veered to either side of where we were parked, with the worst part of the storm veering to the west. No more tornadoes were reported, and prayers were answered. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as the only damage inflicted was on my nerves.
After the storm passed, we set out in the dark for the last part of our drive. The radar was clear all the way home… for about fifteen minutes. Then, the storms began back-building once again. Fortunately, none were severe, but we did hit a few spots with very hard rain, and I hit one water puddle on the road at one point that completely engulfed my car for a few seconds and scared me terribly. We pulled the RV into our storage facility at 12:15 am, and I was exhausted. Dealing with storms this time of year is not my idea of a fun time.
We have already started working on the things inside the coach and under the hood that we want and need to do, and I will share more about our new RV soon as we make some progress on it, hopefully with a few “before” and “after” photos. We really don’t have that much to do, relatively speaking for an older coach, as the coach is in very good condition from being stored under a good cover all these years and seems to have been maintained fairly well, despite the fact that it was seldom used. We’ve already been down the road with an RV that sat for a long time, so we already know of many things to check out and watch for as we begin to use it soon. It’s nice that many of these issues have already been addressed with this one.
More to come!