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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Our "Adventurer" Adventure

Rick Morgan

In our Feb 23 Blog post “Friends and Family” I talked about staying at Lazydays Campground near Tampa. In that post I said, “that an RVer going to Lazydays is like a “chocoholic being set loose in a Godiva factory” and also promised more “detail” in a future post. Well, this is that post.

To dispense with the suspense – Yes, we bought a new RV. But wait… there is more.  JoAnne and I have decided to make a major change in our lives and become fulltime RVers. While we have talked and dreamed about going fulltime for several years, I can assure you that when we started this trip we had NO intention of either buying a new RV or going fulltime. This was not a decision we made lightly or without a lot of thought. As I mentioned we had talked about going full time for many years. This past year of travel and volunteering as camp hosts answered many of the questions we had about being on the road for long extended periods - for both of us the decision  just "felt" right. JoAnne is always reminding me that it is all about the journey – not the destination. I agree and this has been quite a journey.

Ok, now to back up a bit and fill in the details. While camping here in February, we couldn’t resist looking at all the beautiful new rigs on the Lazydays lot. We started out on our own but soon realized without a guide (salesperson) we would wander around the huge lots aimlessly. We cried “uncle” and were introduced to Tom Johnston, who quizzed us about our RVing preferences and then drove us around in his golf cart showing us several wonderful RVs. As we narrowed the field (mind you we still had no intention of buying an RV) he took one last look at his long inventory list and mentioned that he had a 2011 (one year old) used Winnebago Adventure with 7,000 miles on it coming in on trade. While he couldn’t show us the used RV, he did have a 2012 with the same floor plan as the 2011.  At this point I have to tell you that the Winnebago Adventurer has always appealed to us but we had never really walked through one. At one point during our tour of the Adventurer we both looked at each other and said “we could live in this.” It felt good and seemed to be the perfect RV for our needs and being “used” it would be affordable. Yes, if this all worked out we would make a huge life style change and hit the road fulltime.

But it would be several days before they would have the trade-in on site – no problem; we were off on our planned trip to visit our friends in Key West for the next week. So, we put down a refundable deposit on a sight-un-seen RV.

While in Key West, Tom called several times to give us status updates and finally told us the Adventure was at Lazydays and sent us tons of pictures. While it looked great we kept our expectations and excitement in check until we could see it in person – besides there was still all the negotiation stuff that needed to take place.

On February 21 we returned to Tampa from Key West and headed to Lazydays…and bought our new home. Well almost, Ford (the RV chassis) had a minor recall, which needed to be fixed before we could take possession. How long? We were told it could take a couple of weeks (this is where the “journey” part comes in). No problem, we would just head for the East Coast and Anastasia State Park until the RV was ready. Surprise of surprises - it was ready early. We headed back to Lazydays and have now spent the past week transferring all our stuff from the old RV (Tiger II) to the new one (Tiger III) and checking out all the systems – all good!

Yesterday we headed out on the first day of our new journey. We still have to go back to Colorado and get our sticks and bricks home ready to rent. If everything falls into place, home will be wherever we are parked starting in June or July.

There is one more “twist” to this story. The very day we decided to buy our new RV and change our lifestyle, I got a call from Glacier National Park. They had kept our resume from last year when we had applied to be camp hosts and wanted to know if we were still interested in being hosts. Indeed we are. We have accepted a volunteer camp host position in Apgar Campground for this August and September.

JoAnne is also fond of saying, if it is supposed to happen it will … Wow!

A final comment... We want to acknowledge the really great experience we had at Lazydays.  Lazydays bills itself as "friends and family".  As corny as that may sound - that is how we felt we were treated.  Smart marketing and branding - yes, but they lived up to their promises. From our first meeting with our sales person Tom Johnston (in above photo) to our final check with delivery manager Ken Irvin every encounter exceeded our expectations. Business manager Craig Gilbertson, delivery inspecter Bob Voght and mechanic Manny were all great to work with. Never did we feel pressured or rushed. We drove out of the campground knowing that is there was ever a Tiger IV we would return here.

SEE PHOTOS HERE (BTW - we removed the decals)