Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Campground Review-5 Star RV

5 Star RV
Tyler, TX
http://www.5starrvpark.com
Stayed: Nov 2017

At first glance, this might appear to be a wishful thinking name. It is not a fancy 5-star RV resort but a smaller, older facility.

But where this smaller campground shines is location and friendly staff. The camp host was very helpful and friendly and it was an easy run from here into Tyler, TX. It was even easy to extend our stay a few days as we waited for a package. They even honored the Passport America rate for the entire time we were there!

Most of the RV’s here appeared to be long term (or very long term), however sites and rigs were generally clean and appeared cared for.

We didn’t use the showers on site, but the laundry room was clean, everything worked and they posted approximate run times for washer and dryer loads.

While all gravel, the pull-thru sites were very level and we had plenty driving room. Overall it was fairly quiet, however there is a gun range in the area that seems to get fairly regular use.

No other amenities, so if your traveling with kids, be prepared. No playground or pool.

5 Star was a Passport America stay for us, and we would stay here again.

By the way, if you would like to save on camping with Passport America Campgrounds, just click the ad in the sidebar. We are affiliates for Passport America and by purchasing your membership through us will help support us as we share our RV life with you.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Gear Review-Tamron 16-300mm Zoom Lens

large pink flower
camera zoom lens
As I said in my earlier review on my Nikon D5000 , I’m a lazy photographer, so having a zoom lens that would cover everything from wide angle to telephoto is very appealing. Very.

And not having to swap lenses to do that…priceless.

pelican flying low over waterAfter doing a lot of research, I settled on the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens, and got to order it as an early Christmas present. Having used it daily since it's arrival, this Tamron lens has proved to be a very good option for me.(Aren't you glad I don't post all of those photos?☺)

I can grab photos of  birds at a distance, and yet pull up close to a flower. Landscapes turn out beautiful. And all without changing lenses. Over all focus is smooth and crisp. I’ve been quite happy with the results. The lens itself feels very solid and well built.

And with the standard Nikon mount, I can use this Tamron lens on another Nikon body should my trusty old D5000 bite the dust.

Oh…and it has a 6 year warranty!

If you’re looking for a reliable, multipurpose lens, this one fits the bill quite nicely.

~ All our reviews are simply our opinions based on products we have actually used and purchased. We have not received any product or compensation for our review. ~


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hairy Adventure?

workstation in a hairsalon
Waiting my turn
Okay, I admit that maybe adventure isn’t the right word here, but there's one thing that gets dealt with when you’re a full-time RVer.

Hair and haircuts.

For Chris, it’s easy. I just get out the clippers and buzz off what little he has left. Voila. Haircut done.

For me…. it’s a little more of a challenge. I wear my hair short, and ideally it should get trimmed up every 4 weeks.

Riiiight.

It now runs every 4-6 weeks. The adventurous part comes in every time I get it cut. I used to try and find a good local salon….but honestly, that’s just too pricey anymore for us on our limited income. I guess you know where I go now.

That’s right, the “walk-ins welcome cheap places”. And you know what, they actually do a decent job, and the price is much better for our budget!

And the adventurous fun?

Well, you know how stylists and “experts” say you should change up your hairstyle periodically?

Woman with very short gray hair
Maybe a little teeny bit shorter than I like....
...but hey, it'll grow!
Yup. Happens every haircut.

Some will part it on the left, others on the right. Some not at all. Some only use a pair of scissors. Others will use clippers and scissors. Some cut it shorter. Some leave it a little longer. Some have been fresh out of school. Some have done it for years. So, every cut, I have a slightly different look.

And if I really don’t like the cut for some reason…odds are it will be somebody else somewhere else who will be doing the next haircut. And after all, it’s going to grow back.

And the advantage to short hair? I use far less shampoo, water and time to take care of it. Easy is good when it comes to hair….at least for me!

Yes indeed. Blessed are the flexible, for they won't get bent out of shape…. even when it comes to hair.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Hot Springs National Park

road in campground in the autumn
It was a pretty drive, even into the campground.
Brief stop = brief post.

So brief I almost didn’t include it, but since the blog is also for ourselves and at the time I originally wrote this, I was still not really not sure if/what/how/get into blogging. As a result, this early attempt has been sitting on the computer for quite a while!

So I massaged it a bit and here we go…

restored building selling bottled water
One of the old bath houses now sells bottled water
We only had a brief overnight stop in this pretty section of Arkansas. After we set up camp in the local KOA we headed into Hot Springs. (note to self…next time, make reservations for this area-we were lucky to get a spot!)

We wanted to visit Hot Springs, AR even though we were pretty tired after finishing up repairs in Searcy, AR.

Since we used to live in Hot Springs, SD…it was sort of a ‘must see’ as bathhouses are a part of the history there as well.

old brick Fordyce bathhouse
Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center
Located in downtown Hot Springs, the old “Bathhouse Row” is actually part of Hot Springs National Park. Some of the buildings are still operational as a bath house, with one still doing the “traditional” baths, others are more of a modern spa. Some have been repurposed. Others are empty and undergoing renovation and re-purposing and their exteriors are lovely.

The old Fordyce bathhouse is now home to the Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center. There you can do a self-guided tour and see what the bath house experience would have been “back in the day”.

old bathhouse in Spanish Revival architecture
Quapaw Bathhouse 
The history there is very interesting, and I’m sorry we didn’t get spend more time exploring the area.

Yeah. Brief overnight stops are just not enough time to do justice to an area, but our goal was to get further south and into (hopefully) warmer weather. And when you're tired, you don't even think in terms of taking photos.

We hope to get back someday and visit the rest of the area, including the rest of the National Park lands that are on the edge of town.

This skylight is in the Fordyce Bathhouse

entrance to old Quapaw bathhouse
Quapaw's main entrance




Wednesday, February 21, 2018

RIP Billy Graham

With this morning's news, memories came back.

Memories from 1983.

Memories of being very pregnant.

Memories of very long lines at the women's restroom in the Tacoma Dome.

Memories of tired feet, sore legs, rehearsal time, music.

Memories of having the privilege of singing in Billy Graham's Crusade Choir with my husband, Chris and our church choir (as well as several others from other area churches).

Memories of seeing hundreds come down the aisles to meet with counselors for salvation and prayer.

America's Pastor and God's Ambassador, Billy Graham passed away today.

And I am sure Dr, Graham is hearing "thank you" from countless numbers of people....and from Jesus "Well done" as he walks the streets of heaven.

Thank you Dr. Graham for pouring our your life in a way that has impacted, and will continue to impact, millions with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.

Billy Graham quote "My home is in heaven. I'm just traveling through this world"
"My home is in heaven. I'm just traveling through this world"
~Billy Graham~

Campground Review-Ozark Country Campground

campground sites with motorhome, jeep, airstream and truck
Ozark Country Campground
Branson, MO
http://www.bransoncampground.com
Stayed: Nov. 2017

This was another Passport America find…and what a find! A marvelous quiet and beautiful campground.

Admittedly, a couple of turns to the campsite were a tad tight, but sites were level with decent spacing and the campground hosts very helpful. Someone leads you into your site and even though it was a pull-thru, we had to disconnect the Jeep at the office before going to the site.

Our original plan was for a couple nights with a quick trip into Branson, but Miss Emmy had other ideas. When her air system refused to work on our scheduled departure date, we had to stay an extra day and night. The folks at Ozark Country were very helpful and accommodating as we got Miss Emmy back up and running. (You can read more about that adventure in a couple earlier posts, “Brake Down” and “Two Weeks In”.)

three deer playing in an open fieldBack to the campground. Not only were the folks great to work with, the campground was off the beaten track, so to speak, and was nice and quiet. Really quiet. Lots of trees. Deer even came in to the open space to graze and romp about.

There was a playground, pool, covered picnic/gathering area laundry room and showers. Everything seemed well cared for. (And yes. I'm writing this long after we stayed there, so minimal photos)

And when I say it was off the beaten track…be aware that one of the recommended routes to get there has many curves and no shoulder. (But it does help you avoid heavy Branson traffic!). Yes, it was very scenic...but  a little stressful to drive, especially for a couple of towing newbies! (Don't worry, we're more comfortable driving Miss Emmy with Sarge now πŸ˜‰ )

paved covered picnic area and motorhome on a rainy dayOnce you’re there, you can easily get into Branson by a different route that's “kinder and gentler". That route made for a much easier departure for us too. We just waited for rush hour to pass and we were all set.

For the experience staying there, it was well worth the "scenic" drive to get to, and we would gladly stay there again.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Gear Review - Todeco Telescoping Ladder

Since we have a desire to ascend the heights…. of our motorhome roof…we recently purchased a Todeco Telescoping Ladder.

It's amazing what a difference a few extra feet of ladder make in RV care! And overall, we’re pretty pleased with the ladder. It’s:

→ Light weight (for its size)


→ Fairly easy to handle. One person can easily carry it, but having extra help when collapsing it is nice.


→ Has an additional add on bar for the ground end for added stability and control

→ Decent size rungs

→ Rated for 330 pounds

→ Fits perfectly in our storage bays

→ Feels pretty sturdy - It has some flex to it when climbing, but so do traditional extension ladders. It’s just a bit more bend than those.


It came with a pretty nice storage bag,
which we probably won’t use. The instructions are pretty minimal and some very simple assembly (attaching the stabilizer bar) is required.




When we extend the ladder, we can hear an audible click as each rung locks into place. There is a red/green indicator on each rung to let you know if it is fully locked into place, and you have to manually release latches on each rung in order to collapse it. (Watch your fingers so you don’t get pinched.)

 Now granted, this is not a daily climber for a contractor, but as a light duty ladder for our occasional excursions to the roof of our rig, it fit the bill perfectly. We can monitor roof and caulk conditions as well as handle some maintenance tasks. Neither of us is super keen on climbing ladders, but we both felt confident, and safe enough, to use this ladder. It’s a lot easier to climb than the vertical on the back of the rig!


~ All our reviews are simply our opinions based on products we have actually used and purchased.  We have not received any product or compensation for our review. ~

Monday, February 19, 2018

30 Amp Life

Our coach, Miss Emmy,  was built back in the day when 30 amp power reigned. And making the transition for household power to campground power has had it challenges.

Here’s a peek at how we handle our 30 amp life.

Spoiler alert - It does not look like this:

(Sorry abou tthe overrun into the sidebar. I don't know enough about html to fix it - If the video doesn't work, try this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGPMadwqPKQ )

On second thought,  it does feel that way sometimes 😊 But we do have to remember what appliances draw what power so we don’t pop a circuit breaker!

The biggest one, and easiest to remember. We can only use one air conditioner at a time, even though Miss Emmy has two rooftop units.

When we run our supplemental (portable) electric heaters, we have to pay attention there too. Our two most powerful ones can run 750 watts or 1500 watts. 1500 watts is out. That’s the absolute max on a circuit for us, and only for a very short time. So, we’ll use one in the bedroom area at 750 watts, and one up front at 750 watts. For a little extra heat, we then add a small 250 watt heater on a separate outlet. Pretty handy, considering we still need to get the bedroom furnace fixed. It also helps us save on propane and helps to minimize additional water vapor in the air.

And that system works pretty well…until I need to cook. Here’s where it can sort of feel like that scene from the old Green Acres TV show.

Since it depends on what I’m cooking, I’ll use a breakfast as an example. (That's the most elaborate one oddly enough)

-First, I turn off the portable heaters in the living area

-Next task is make tea, so I plug in the electric kettle ( ours draws 1500 watts), boil water. Unplug.

-Turn heater back on

-Plug in our induction burner. (I set it at 600 watts, that way we can keep the one heater on) Finish cooking, turn off and unplug.

-Plug in toaster ( ours draws 750 watts) and make toast, unplug

If I run our Instant Pot, that draws 1000 watts, so heat is off until I can turn it off for pressure release. Our Microwave/Convection oven is on a completely separate circuit. (For inquiring minds that want to know, that draws 1500 watts)

Oh, and the galley just one GFCI electrical outlet. That's where the heater, and all appliances get plugged in. Yes, you guessed it. The coach was built before people had multiple devices to plug in and charge.

Sure felt a bit cumbersome at first, but it quickly became a systematic habit, and it’s a little easier now since were in warmer parts. We can skip the whole bit about the heaters, and I can run the induction burner and toaster at the same time...as long as I remember run the induction burner at 600 watts that is 😊

Yes, 30 amp coaches have some limitations, but with a little planning, you can work around them.

Now, if we only had enough outlets…


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Anahuac National Wildlife Preserve

entry sign to Anahuac featuring picture of roseate spoonbill birdWe wanted to do some wildlife exploring as part of our anniversary in late January.

Our plan was to visit the Houston Audubon Sanctuary located a few miles further up the peninsula from our campground. Oooops. We discovered it wouldn’t open to the public until Mid-March. (Tip: They also charge a small admission fee so be prepared if you go)

open water, cord grass and reeds in a salt marsh on a clear daySo, route change time! About a half hour further was the main entrance to the Anahuac Wildlife Preserve, operated by U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

Free admission, nice gift shop and over 35000 acres of preserve. We even found a very nice book about salt marshes that we sent to our grandkids. (Hope they like it!)
alligator sunning itself
We got there mid-day, (probably not the best time to go), and spent a couple hours driving one of the small loops.

We got to see egrets, ibis, moorhens, shoveler ducks, spoonbills and others, as well as an alligator that was sunning himself close to the road. There was also a very nice boardwalk on the loop that a went out into a section of the marshy pond. And that was just one small area that we took in.

large white egret standing in water
It made for a lovely day and some challenging fun getting photos. I think some birds are quite camera shy!

We look forward to getting back there, this time with picnic lunch in hand! (note to self…don’t forget to pack food for day trips!) We'd like to spend more time there exploring some of the other areas of the preserve, and maybe see other critters that inhabit that area.

While I wouldn’t consider myself a “birder”, we are finding our feather friends fun to watch and photograph…even for a ”lazy photographer” like myself (See my Nikon D5000 gear review post for what I mean by that 😊)

Hope you enjoy the photos below, and if you’re interested in the book we found, here it is on Amazon:





a moorhen bird walking in grass
Check out those chicken feet on a moorhen!

duck swimming in salt marsh waters
I like how this shoveler duck's bill is reflected in the water

white ibis flying in blue sky
I barley got this ibis flying off.

duck flying up out of reeds
This duck did not want his photo taken!

small bird perched on a blade of reed grass
I think this little one finally got tired of flitting away from me

vulture flying
Vultures. God's animal sanitation department

large turtle sunning itself in the reeds of a salt marsh
What's a marsh without turtles?

several large pink spoonbill birds among reeds
These spoonbills were pretty far away

several ducks swimming
Saw lots of ducks!

pelican flying in a clear blue sky
Fly pelican!

pelican swimming in water
Easier to photograph them swimming!

man walking to visitor center buildings
Chris heads up to the visitor center

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Houston RV Show

sign reading welcome to the Houston RV show
Well, we went to the Houston RV show this year. O.K. That was a huge show! At least compared to our past experiences. (In the past, we would go to the one in Rapid City, SD. Probably 25% the size of the Houston show.)

And that’s what made the trip into Houston worth it…we saw a lot of Class A motorhomes. There were several Class B and Class C models as well in addition to hundreds of trailers of all shapes and sizes. We were primarily interested in 2 things Class A rigs and a seminar they had going on for electric energy in coaches. We also hoped there would be a wide variety of vendors with after-market things like solar panel systems and other accessories. (there wasn't)

People looking at motorhomes at RV show
small class b or van-like RVFortunately, the seminar was on the same day the Houston RV show had a 2 for 1 coupon for admission. And were we glad they did! Culture (or sticker) shock. The website neglected to tell us there would also be a charge for parking. OUCH! An extra $12! So, what we thought would be only $12 for admission ended up $24 with parking. Glad we had that coupon! And yes, it was still worth it.

We got in and started looking around. A little overload because of the sheer size of it. Over 600 units plus a row of miscellaneous vendors (mostly campgrounds).

After looking at a rig, we found the seminar…which started early. Yeah, we missed it by being there at 5 minutes before the scheduled time. The speaker was probably 10 minutes into his presentation,
judging by the content he was sharing. But all was not lost. After listening a bit….it was pretty much stuff we already knew. The presentation was definitely geared at entry level. We were surprised that a show that size only had 1 seminar a day.

We spent the next several hours climbing in and out of a wide variety of class A rigs. Yes, they are beautiful. And ya know…after a while they all start to look and feel the same.

ceiling wooden scroll work and extra bright lighting inside a large class A motorhomeVariations on cream and brown still seem to dominate, inside and out. And many coaches seemed to go with “frills” that felt like they were there for “frill” sake, whether it was dΓ©cor or tech. Yes, some way overdone as far as our tastes run. Were they beautiful? In their own way, yes. Were they for us? Uh, that would be a no.

Seriously. How many TV’s does one need? Chris and I really do think two in the living room was one too many. And over-sized TV’s at that. Now, I like a big screen, but only 4 or 5 feet away from my face? Plus one in the bedroom, one in each bunk, and one outside (Total of six!)  That might be fine for some folks, but for us…. No thank you.

seating area and TV in a class A RVFancy metal fret work just for the sake of trimming up woodwork? Who’s going to keep it all dusted? No thank you.

Sofas that sit so deep, I look like “Edith Ann” when I sit down? (i.e. My feet don’t touch the floor…and I’m not THAT short!) No thank you.

Toilet commode in a slide out room? No thank you.

Three doors in and out of one bathroom? No thank you! 

A fully electric coach? (With no outlets found by the master bed!?!) And no decent bedside shelf or table…. You guessed it. No thank you.

Yes, our “No thank you” list goes on and on. When you want to travel and live simply…a new, fully loaded motorhome, at least for us, is so not the way to go!

Now we know that for some folks, these things are the must haves…but by walking through these coaches, we knew more and more they weren’t for us.

Class A motorhome with colorful reddish exteriorAnd admittedly, we saw a couple of very nice things. A coach with a bold, red exterior. Bathrooms with wheelchair sized doors. Bright interiors. Fireplaces. Clean, simple dashboards. And who can ignore the beautiful, classic shape of Airstream trailers?

And yes…all those new, shiny exteriors do have a draw, to a point.

So, what did we learn for $24??

Something we knew all along but needed a refresher (and/or confirmation) on. We already have the best coach for us.

older class A motorhomeMiss Emmy may be old by RV industry standards, but we have ample room, no slide, a great floor-plan. And she’s not variations on shades of brown with the swirl-looking paint job.

And yes, the old girl needs some work still…but we know for sure now we’ll be far happier putting money into her for decor, repairs and updating instead of going for all the latest and greatest gadgetry.

And would we go to another RV show. Yup! They are fun, and you can always learn something, either at a seminar, or just by talking to folks.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Rig Shopping

several RVs on display at RV show with people walking around and looking at them
Since some folks have asked the "How do you decide on an RV?" question, we thought we’d share some of our process when we chose Miss Emmy. It may help you if you’re in the market for an RV.

We started by setting two main specifications: Type and price. Since we already owned a truck and our Jeep we considered trailers first. Then we shifted to going with a Class A and towing the Jeep (which was much newer and had far fewer miles) The Jeep also gives us better maneuverability when sightseeing, whether it’s in city or country driving. You can read our other post “Why a Class A” to learn a bit more about we ended up with a Class A instead of a 5th Wheel.

So first, figure what type you would like. Part of that is based on how you plan to use it and other considerations, such as:


whaen your taste is a top of the line motorhome and your budget is a converted scooter
image found on RVillage.com
What’s your budget?
Set it and stick to it. You want to be able to afford to use it once you get it. They make awfully expensive lawn ornaments.
TIP: Buying used can save you tons of money. RV’s depreciate quickly.  And if a warranty is important to you, they are still available if the rig isn’t too old.

How will you use it?
     Are you planning mainly a few vacations and weekends a year with it? Or seasonal to full-time living?

     If it will only be used for an annual vacation and some weekends, a towable may be your best bet, or a smaller motorhome such as a Class C or Class B. Seasonal (think Snow-Birds) or Full-timers seem to prefer Class A Motorhomes and Fifth Wheel trailers. We love our Class A for the visibility both on the road, and the view from our large “picture window” in camp. We also love being able to access living space easily from the driving area. Very handy for pit stops 😊

Will your camping be primarily public lands or Resorts? Rustic or posh? 
     Going off road with it deep into the woods? Consider a slide-in truck camper on a 4x4 truck. Smaller motorhomes and trailers are a better fit in National Parks. Space for rigs over 30-35 feet can be pretty limited, so keep that in mind if you hope to spend the majority of your time on public lands.

Do you already have a suitable vehicle to tow with?
     If not, are you willing to make that additional investment in one?
     TIP: Be sure to check directly with your vehicle’s owner’s manual…don’t trust a salesman. My sister got stuck making expensive modifications to the new car she bought prior to getting her trailer. 


motorhome towing a Jeep
 Will you tow a car behind a motorhome?
     Check the RV paperwork for weight and towing limits. You'd be surprised how quickly you can use that allowance up!
     TIP: Be sure to check directly with your vehicle’s owner’s manual…don’t trust a salesman! Not all cars can be towed behind an RV, and only some of those can be "flat-towed" (without using a dolly or trailer)

Do you have a place to store it when not in use?
     That may be an additional cost to consider if you can’t have it at your home. We were fortunate that our house had a side drive we could park Miss Emmy in until we hit the open road. And the size of that driveway helped us in knowing what maximum size rig we could have.

Summer use only, or will you be doing winter camping?
Some rigs are set up with additional insulation and heated basements to handle cold weather. Others are not.  Miss Emmy is nicely insulated, but not a true winter coach...but at least her basement is heated!

Once you have settled on type, size and cost, you get a whole new list of things to consider. And they are primarily the same as looking for a house or apartment. Here’s a few things to consider:

Sleeping arrangements:
How many do you want/need to sleep?

  • Bunkhouse Model-great option for families with kids or if you just want extra space to convert for storage or into an office
  • Corner Bed-common arrangement in shorter units. The bed is literally in the corner of the rig. That means a challenge to make the bed…and lots of climbing over each other to get in or out. 
  • Island or walk-around bed-the most “house like” arrangement
  • Murphy Bed – these are showing up in smaller rigs. While a great concept for weekends and vacations, you have to be willing to redo your space every.single.day.
  • Dinette/Bed – if the rig has a booth dinette, it will make into a bed. Like the Murphy bed, that's something you could end up doing daily.


Floor Plan

  • Slides? (Slides are the expanding sides you see on newer RV’s) Do you want them? If not, you’ll have to look at much older coaches or smaller rigs. 
  • How many slides
  • How many bathrooms? In a self-contained RV, one is standard. Some have two full baths. 

TIP:  If a unit has slides, you'll want "slide toppers". That's a type of awning that protects the slides.

view of class A motorhome kitchen area
Kitchen/Galley
Yes, it will have a galley, but do you want/need

  • Additional Outdoor Galley
  • Propane and Electric
  • All Electric
  • 2 door or 4 door fridge
  • Ice-maker in the fridge
Entertaining
     There’s a saying out there among RVers: A rig can do cocktails for 6, dinner for 4 and sleeps 2.  If you are big on having folks into your rig, factor that into your size and floor-plan considerations

TV/Stereo

  • How many? We’ve seen rigs with SIX television sets.
  • Satellite
  • Cable
  • Surround sound
  • DVD
Electricity Production

  • LP Generator 
  • Diesel Generator 
  • Gas Generator 
  • Built in Generator 
  • Portable Generator 
  • Solar Panels
Heat and Air

  • Roof air
  • Ducted heat
  • All electric
  • Heat pump
  • Forced Air
  • Floor Vents
  • Ceiling Vents

dog looking out of a  motorhome windshield
Pets
     Are your traveling with furry (or non-furry) family members? Where will their bed/cage/letter box/food, etc go?

While your dreaming, do a LOT of looking. Go ahead and prowl the dealership lots. You can get sales staff off your back if you tell them you’re at least a full year out and are just starting to look. And we had dealerships in SD that said, “Sure, go look. They’re all open. If you have any questions, just let me know” So we could look at leisure no matter where we went. That was key as our “dream” rig morphed from a tow behind trailer to a class A! (And yes, we considered everything in between.)

The internet will be your friend too. You can find images, floorplans, manuals, brochures, and even videos.

And as you look, be flexible. How flexible? Just remember, we started out looking at 30’ trailers and ended up purchasing a Class A. While your specifications may not change to that extreme, your list will morph as you look around. Take your time and enjoy the journey.

When we started looking for Miss Emmy, we set our budget and had the following minimum “requirements”

  • Class A
  • Diesel Pusher with at least a 275 Cummins Engine (or comparable)
  • Six Speed transmission
  • Exhaust Brake (also called engine braking)
  • 5,000 pound minimum towing capacity
  • No slides
  • 32-35 feet long
  • Walk around bed with “night stand” and accessible power outlets


When we found her online, she met almost every one of our “must haves”.

She’s actually a little longer than we wanted, her bumper to bumper is 36’10”. But that extra foot or so inside means we have a small table by the chair that we use as a work station. That was a bonus. It took us several months to find her, and then several months of waiting (and praying she'd still be available) before we could go and get her.

And yes, she was worth the wait and the cross-country trip to get her.

So, take your time. Visit shows and dealerships to get the feel for different floorplans. Look at new and used. Spend time online looking at sites like RV Trader and YouTube. It will help you get to know various rigs, floorplans and prices.

Happy hunting and we’ll see you on the road!