Our Homes on Wheels
Kay and I were tired of our short term experience with staying in economy class motels. The bathrooms seemed to always leave something to be desired and I seemed to have trouble getting a good night's sleep in motel beds. Even when staying with relatives it took two or three nights before I was able to sleep soundly. To solve these problems, we needed some way to have our own bathroom and bed that would be comfortable even when staying in a place one night only.
In 1969 we became interested in getting some sort of vehicle we could use to travel around the country and have some of the comforts of home with us. We began looking at vans, but found them to be a bit pricey for us at the time.
We also looked at pick-up truck campers which seemed affordable until the price of a pick-up truck was included.
We decided that we would have to wait awhile before we could afford what we really wanted. When it came time for us to purchase a new car in 1972 we figured we might be able to have a small amount of what we wanted with the purchase of a station wagon.
We thought that the wagon would provide us with a large enough area for sleeping by putting the back seat down. However, with our luggage in the back, there wasn't much room to stretch out at night, so much for that idea. It didn't take long for us to begin thinking again about a larger vehicle. In 1976 I figured that we could afford a van conversion if I did the converting.
We bought a new 1976 ChevyVan delivery vehicle. It came standard with a 350 V8 engine and a three-speed manual transmission. Inside, the van was absolutely empty with the exception of the one option we picked. Because the van was intended to be used for delivery purposes it came with only a driver's seat. So we ordered the van with a passenger seat option. It was very stark inside when we finally took delivery.
It took all my spare time, for four months, to convert the van into a cabin-on-wheels in time for our first big trip in the summer of 1976. The result was a fully self contained RV that gave my family many good times for the eight years that we used it to travel around the Western United States. We also made our way to Canada and Mexico for short excursions into each country.
After using the '76 ChevyVan for eight years, we began looking for an upgrade in our RV accommodations. We attended several RV and Camping shows looking at what seemed like 50 different makes and models of RV's. A friend where I worked recommended that I look at a Lazy Daze Class "C" mini-motorhome. We drove down to the factory in Southern California and were sold. At the time it occurred to me that we drove 50 miles to San Francisco to look at 50 different RV's. Then we drove 400 miles to look at one line of mini-motorhomes one of which we ordered.
We purchased our first Class "C" motorhome, a 1984 Lazy Daze which we used for twelve years. When it came time to look for a motorhome upgrade, we didn't bother to look around. We liked the first Lazy Daze so much that we just went down to the factory and ordered a second, a 1996 Lazy Daze.
We had the '96 Lazy Daze only five years when we came down with a bad case of Class "A" fever. We went to FMCA motorhome conventions and I test drove some Class "A" diesel-pusher motorhomes. After driving four different models of motorhomes we settled on a Monaco motorhome. Our latest motorhome, our first Class "A" and our fourth RV, is a 2002 Monaco Knight.
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