When I got back from my first visit to Arizona—and to Gertie, my future motorhome—I was more than ever convinced that RVing was for me. I had been perfectly comfortable living in Gertie for two weeks. Now all that remained was to buy her and start going places!
But that took another year...and while I saved my pennies, I plunged into the world of RVing, reading magazines, online discussion lists and websites, and joining the RV Consumer Group (highly recommended!). I found a great resource in the Lazy Daze group at Yahoo. The people there were tremendously helpful, and I quickly came to realize that my friend and RVing mentor Judie and the RVCG were right in saying that Lazy Daze makes the best class C motorhomes on the market, bar none—they certainly have the highest customer satisfaction!
At the same time, I began a year-long shopping expedition—buying things for Gertie. Some men might have started with tools, but I started with kitchenware. (Oh, yes, lots of tools came later!) Now, there are many RVers who cook on any old pots and pans and eat off paper plates with plastic forks—but I wanted Gertie to be as homelike as possible. If I came across a roadside stand selling fresh apples and I was in the mood for pie, I wanted to be able to bake a pie and eat it in style! This may not sound like something most people would do on a vacation...but the truth is that many of the people whose messages I had been reading were "fulltimers" who lived in their RVs year round, and even though I had no intention of doing that myself, I had absorbed some of their ways of thinking. Being fully equipped is part of that fulltimer mindset.
So over the next twelve months I made the rounds of houseware stores and other places, carefully selecting what I thought I'd need. The list eventually came to six pages; it was very much like furnishing a small apartment. Of course there were some things I planned to get after I arrived...but I didn't want to rush around Arizona at the last minute buying just any old pans, flatware and so on. I was a discriminating shopper and chose the very best I could find, emphasizing light weight and unbreakability. Oh, I had a ball!
By the time I was done, I had sixteen cartons (!) of household goods ready to ship out to Arizona—everything from Ace bandages to muffin tins to WD-40. It cost about $250 to send them via UPS, but I had figured that into my budget from the beginning. I think Gary and Judie thought I was a little bit nuts! Most people buy an RV, outfit it with the bare necessities and then gradually add to that over a period of months and years. But I wanted to start out with a fully furnished motorhome, so my trip (hopefully) would feel like a real RVing experience and not just a hasty dash across country in a bare-bones rig. As it turned out, almost all of my choices were good ones—just about everything came in handy and served its purpose well.
Finally there came a day when the cartons had been shipped, I had my plane tickets in hand...it was finally time to begin the Big Adventure!
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