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!
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 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.