Monday, February 23, 2015

How we ended up with The Duchess

Both of our parents have owned motor homes. Connie's parents owned two different motor homes after they retired. One was an Itasca model and the other was a Pace Arrow. They used their motor homes to make extended trips during the summers to escape the Texas heat along with shorter trips to places like the Texas State Fair in Dallas. Both of their motor homes were gas powered models. They had their motor homes for about 15 years before they decided that they were "too old" to continue to drive them.
Connie's Dad with Itasca and toad
My parents owned a series of motor homes. They started out with a Class C motor home and then purchased their first Class A MH, an Airstream Land Yacht. After owning the Airstream for a few years, they traded it in on a 36 foot Foretravel. A couple of years later, they moved up to a 2003 Foretravel U295 that is 40 foot long and has one slide. Soon after they had purchased the 40 foot Foretravel, they sold their house and moved into the motor home on a full time basis. They spent a lot of their time working with a church associated group called "The Sojourners" as well as traveling around the USA. My mother passed away a couple of years ago and my dad continues to live in the motor home.
2003 Foretravel U295
Connie and I purchased a small 5th wheel trailer in 2011. It was a 30 foot Jayco Eagle SuperLite that we pulled behind a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck.  Our neighbors, Frank and Connie Mays, owned a Rockwood 5th wheel and we liked the size and how it pulled behind their truck. We took several trips with them before Frank retired. It worked well for us during these short trips. However, we learned quickly in the Texas summers we needed more than the one air conditioner that The Eagle was equipped with.
Jayco Eagle SuperLite 5th Wheel
After owning the 5th wheel for 2 years, we were started looking for a Class A motor home. We were able to sell the 5th wheel and located a 2004 Newmar Kountry Star gas powered motor home that was 37 foot long and had two slides. We purchased the Kountry Star from a couple in Georgetown (a few miles north of Austin) in August 2013. It was after this purchase that Connie and I started seriously considering becoming full-time RVer's. We took a number of trips in the Kountry Star although the longest time we were gone from home was 10 days. My job did not allow me to be gone for extended periods of time, so we took a lot of 4 to 7 days trips. 
2004 Newmar Kountry Star
Once we made the decision to become full-timers, we decided that we would like to have a larger MH. There were several features that were on our wish list: (1) washer/dryer, (2) four slides, (3) king size bed, (4) pantry in kitchen plus larger work surface in kitchen, and (5) something with more storage. We also decided that a diesel pusher would be better for us than a gas powered MH. We looked at a number of MH, but kept coming back to the Newmar products. When we came across The Duchess, she fit almost all of the items on our wish list (there is always something you have to give up when you only have 450 square feet). Hopefully, The Duchess will be with us for a long time.