Aboard Astraea

Invest in experiences, not things

Astraea: Mobile

|

We started thinking it would be cool to travel in an RV or camper when we were bouncing down the coast of Baja. It sure would have been simpler to pull over somewhere and stop for the night instead of staying up on rotating watch shifts to keep Astraea sailing to our next port. Well, when we were in Florida, we had the time and a great internet connection for surfing the web. I found a cool looking tiny Toyota Winnebago RV on ebay in my hometown of York, PA. The bidding went higher than we were willing to pay on an unseen RV, so we searched more locally.

Coincidentally there was an RV show and sale in Tampa the weekend after and we looked at all the shiny new campers and motorhomes to get a feel for what new amenities were offered. After the show we searched Craigslist for local motorhomes for sale. Our ideal RV is small and economical. What really caught our eye was something built on a fuel efficient Toyota chassis that gets a few more miles per gallon than the larger motorhomes.

We found a 1989 Winnebago Warrior built on a Toyota truck chassis in Indian Rocks Beach, about 45 minutes from where we were staying at Natalie’s Mom’s in Tampa. We made a multipurpose trip out to go the beach and check out the RV. We checked it out and all the appliances worked, and it was clean and well cared for. We took it for a test drive and it drove well, too. When we went to negotiate and reached an agreeable price, I went back down to get some cash as a down payment and park the RV where we found it. When I went to start the camper it idled very rough and kept stalling out. Natalie got the camper parked where we found it and I told the seller we’d have to think about it, and that I wanted the RV engine checked out by a professional. We were really bummed after everything else went so well.

Luckily,  the owner took the camper to a local mechanic who checked out the engine and found some problems with the air intake and performed a compression check on the engine. The compression was good on all cylinders, around 120 psi. After hearing that the engine was OK we decided to make another trip to the beach to check it out again with the intent to buy the camper.

Say Hello to Astraea Mobile!

View from the front

View from the front

Port side (Should I be using boat terms to describe this?)

Port side (Should I be using boat terms to describe this?)

The rear end. There's a box on the back for extra storage

The rear end. There’s a box on the back for extra storage

Starboard side with an electric awning

Starboard side with an electric awning

Inside accommodations include a dinette table that converts to a bed, 4 burner stove, double sink, electric or propane fridge, shower, toilet, lots of storage lockers and a bed above the cab.

Inside accommodations include a dinette table that converts to a bed, 4 burner stove, double sink, electric or propane fridge, shower, toilet, lots of storage lockers and a bed above the cab.

The view forward of the upper bunk and into the cab

The view forward of the upper bunk and into the cab

We hit the road north to Natalie’s sister’s house on June 10th to help with their annual chicken butchering. Usually we can do the drive from Florida to Maryland in one day with one car alternating drivers, but because we still had our Nissan Sentra we left 3 days early in case there were any mechanical problems. The drive was really long and we made it without any mechanical breakdowns. Our plan was to drive as far as we were comfortable each day and then “camp” overnight in Wal-Mart parking lots where RVs can stay overnight for free.

Our second day of driving was Sully’s 3rd birthday. Since we already celebrated once with his Grammy and Great Grandma we didn’t feel bad about being on the road. We did stop at play places for him to get out of the RV to run and play.

We went to Chuck E Cheese's again because it was Sully's birthday and he had so much fun the first time we went.

We went to Chuck E Cheese’s again because it was Sully’s birthday and he had so much fun the first time we went.

Natalie remembered enjoying this ride from when she was a kid, but it was slow and lame.

Natalie remembered enjoying this ride from when she was a kid, but it was slow and lame.

Happy 3rd Birthday Sully!

Happy 3rd Birthday Sully!

We rolled in to Nicole and Karl’s hitting all the overgrown branches on our way up the driveway. It was good to be done driving and to get to visit with family. Since it was chicken butchering weekend lots of family came to visit. Aunt Tracy flew up from Georgia, my sister, Lizze drove in from Pittsburgh and my Mom, Mary, came down. Mom and Lizze stayed in the camper. We killed and gutted a lot of chickens and our hands were too messy to take photos.

The cousins had fun playing. Too bad whenever the camera was around they look so serious.

The cousins had fun playing. Too bad whenever the camera was around they look so serious.

Natalie was excited to see baby Vera. Vera, was smiling a lot when we were there, just not for the picture.

Natalie was excited to see baby Vera. Vera, was smiling a lot when we were there, just not for the picture.

We had a bag of balloons in the camper from Sully's birthday in Tampa. Why not make it rain balloons in the great room for the kiddos?

We had a bag of balloons in the camper from Sully’s birthday in Tampa. Why not make it rain balloons in the great room for the kiddos?

We rode the farm truck down the lane to the Frogeye Blueberry Farm to pick some berries

We rode the farm truck down the lane to the Frogeye Blueberry Farm to pick some berries

The kids weren't very interested in picking berries but had fun tasting

The kids weren’t very interested in picking berries but had fun tasting

Comment

4 Comments

  1. Saw that pic of Sully on the ride and it reminded of a time when we went to Chuckie Cheese when you and Nicole were little. Looked through some albums and sure enough there is a picture of you about two years old on the same ride. Must have been Nicole’s birthday. I’ll keep it out so you can look at it when you come by on your way south.

  2. Creating memories!!!

  3. Are you guys going to come to San Diego?
    We would love to see you!

    • Hi Claudia! We’re planning to come to San Diego! Still not sure when, but we’ll let you know when we’re back in town. We’ll send you an email. Hope all is well with your family.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.