Aug 112009

After spending the weekend cooped up inside the bus, yesterday I wanted to get out and breathe in some fresh air. We ran a couple of errands, stopped to talk to a dealer about a Winnebago Ultimate Advantage we saw for sale at a car dealer’s lot in Goshen, and decided that they would rather double talk and play games than just give us a price so we could say yes or no.

What is it with these guys anyway? I told them I wanted a price I could take to my credit union, and instead of giving me that price, they wanted me to make an offer, put down a deposit, and fill out a credit application. I told them I wasn’t interested in their financing, I would arrange my own, just give me a price. No, it was their way or the highway. We chose the highway.

Later in the afternoon we came upon a 2004 Alfa SeeYa 40 foot diesel pusher at another lot and decided to check it out. To be honest, we had never given the Alfa’s a lot of thought. Our friends Earl and Sami Aeverman, on whose RV lot we squatted in Aransas Pass, Texas for several weeks last winter, have an Alfa and they love it. After spending an hour or so poking into every nook and cranny on this coach, I can see that’s there’s a lot to love.

I don’t think we’ve been in any motorhome that has so much storage and feels to open and airy. The overall fit and finish was good, we liked the layout, and while there were a few things that weren’t exactly what we had envisioned in our next RV, there were more positives than negatives.

And wonder of wonders, the salesman was straightforward, answered all of our questions, and when he didn’t know an answer, he didn’t try to bulls&%@ us, he just said “I don’t know, to be honest with you.” I can appreciate and respect that. We’re not jumping into anything, but we’re doing our research and have added Alfa to our short list.

Since I still wasn’t ready to go home, we stopped to check out a gun shop with an indoor shooting range located a few miles from Elkhart Campground. Finding a place to shoot while traveling can be a problem, and I was pleased to see that they have a very nice facility. We’re in a saving mindset, so I really had to drag myself away from a great deal they offered me on a new AR-15 rifle they had in stock. I have absolutely no use for it, but did I mention that it was a heck of a deal?

Back at the bus, we had an e-mail from Michael and Christi Hargis telling us about a cover story Christi had in the August issue of Bus Conversions magazine. We have not met Michael and Christy yet, but we feel like we know them from their excellent website and blog. Michael will be performing at our Arizona Gypsy Gathering rally next year in Yuma, and we’re really looking forward to seeing his show.

We never get bored when we’re in a campground, because the neighbors always give us a lot to talk about. Late in the afternoon a fifth wheel pulled in a couple of sites down from us, and we noticed that the couple in it was standing outside looking confused. Their problem was obvious, they had pulled in on the wrong side of the utility pedestal, so it was on the curb side of their RV, while the utility bay is on the driver’s side.

Finally, after they stood there looking lost and confused for quite some time, I walked over and asked if they needed any help. “Our water hose and cord are too short” the woman said.

“Actually, you pulled in on the wrong side of the pedestal,” I told them. “Just pull out and make a big circle turn and come back in on the other side and you’ll be fine.” They talked it over for a while, so I went back inside, and a while later the man got in his truck, started it up, and made a big circle, just as I suggested. And then he pulled up on the wrong side of the pedestal again, jus where he had been before! And his water hose and electric cord were still too short! Go figure.

Thought For The Day – Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.

Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “More Motorhome Choices”

  1. We met at Life on Wheels at Moscow in ’06 and at Tucson in ’07. I was on the parking crew with Jim Brubaker and Jenny was in the office. A picture of us is on our blog, and Jenny has you on Facebook. We have an ’04 Alfa See Ya and have had it since it was brand new. We love it. Although Alfa is out of business, there are still several places where we can get our coach worked on. There are some issues with the Alfa’s that you need to be aware of, so if you are interested, email me. Hope to see you in Yuma.

  2. Regarding the 5er parking dilemma, Nick. You know. . . You just can’t fix stupid!

  3. Nick,
    They have a place to shoot called The Marksman very close to the park you stay at in Tucson. It’s on Prince Rd. just east of Flowing Wells Rd. in the strip mall on the north side of Prince Rd.


  4. We recommend you talk to Phil Botnick about which RV’s he recommends especially Alfa See Ya. Folks we have talked to on caravans and mechanics describe Alfa See Ya as drive it a day, work on it a day, drive it a day, work on it a day. When we wanted to buy our Beaver we called Phil and talked to him about what to look for and what to do. Because he was not in the area, he was unable to look it over for us but he recommended a C check on the Cummins engine. We made an offer and in the contract was the provision that the engine had to pass the checkup. Cummins looked it over and gave it a thumbs up. We are very glad we did that. Haven’t had any major problems with the coach. We are in our 13th year of ownership and couldn’t be happier.
    Before we bought the Beaver we looked at Tiffin (one of the better manufactures as recommended by Phil). We were very impressed with Tiffin and continue to be impressed. But Tiffin’s coaches at that time were not tall enough inside for Peter who is 6ft 3in tall. So we continued to look and found the Beaver. We have several friends who have Tiffin coaches and really like them and the service from the factory in Red Bay. We have also heard good things about Winnebago.
    Hope you find what you are looking for soon. Connie B.

  5. Nick,

    As opposed to Connie’s comment we have owned our Alfa for just over 4 years now. We had some initial issues with the slide but since then all of our problems have been with the household stuff made by others. There is one problem that some, not all, have and that is with side wall blisters that seem to be a problem with the side walls manufactured by Crane, dirty tools leaving uncured junk inside the walls that later blisters. It has basically been trouble free otherwise.

    That being said we love our Alfa for full timing.

  6. Here is a link to a bus conversion for sale that sounds too good to be true…it is a long way from you but might make a worthwhile trip to see it depending on what you find out.

  7. Nick we looked at the Winnebago at the dealership in Goshen, sounds like the same one. They gave us a price of 89,000. We also have been looking at the Alfa See Ya. They were asking 95k and just told us he had dropped it to 85K. My husband loves the Alfa See Ya. We weren’t sure it could hold up to the full time life style. We live in Elkhart and are still trying to sell our house. Hoping to be on the road by November. I was hoping we would have one in time to go to the rally in Ohio. Linda

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