Archive for Wanderlust

Bringing the New Thor Palazzo Home

Thor Palazzo at Home

We took the (not very) old Georgetown RV down to Camping World in Mesa, AZ yesterday and gave it up for trade on this new Thor Palazzo 35.1 Class A Diesel Pusher. Our short list of preferences for a new RV have mostly been realized with this acquisition.

  • New Diesel Pusher
  • Under 36 feet in length (35′9″)
  • King Size Bed
  • Dinette with chairs (not a booth)
  • Washer and Dryer

On the trip home from the dealer in the new RV, the cockpit noise level was like night and day compared to the truck chassis we had been used to for the past year. Damsel and I could have a conversation with normal voice levels - no shouting required as when the G’town was in third gear going uphill. The ride was also much better with the airbag suspension on the FreightLiner™ chassis as opposed to a spring suspension.

We’re still exploring all the new gadgets and goodies in our new RV. I have been going through some of the manuals and have barely cracked the ice.

The next step is to begin organizing and transferring the contents of the old RV into the new one. This coach has considerably more storage available, so there should be plenty of room for the stuff we stacked here and there after emptying out the Georgetown.

Our first trip to a campground is scheduled for mid-February when we will again go to Palm Desert for our monthly excursion to visit the kids and grandson. Having made that trip over and over for the last year in the Georgetown and for a few months before that in our old Skyline trailer, this next trip ought to be a pleasant contrast to the ones before.

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January Campsite

January Campsite

We’re in our usual desert RV park visiting the kids and grandson. As you can see from the photo, the campground is nearly full. There are a few sites here and there that are empty. Many of the license plates on the RVs are from colder states whose occupants are obviously here to escape winter. A.K.A “Snowbirds.”

I met one of the neighbors who hails from Spokane; he and his wife will be camped here until March. He mentioned that back home there is eighteen inches of snow on the ground. I cannot blame those northerners who are able to escape the winter weather for heading south during the winter.

Damsel and I look at the license plates at home in Wickenburg too, since our town is a very popular place for snowbirds and rodeo participants. Thursday last, we counted a dozen or more from places like Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon and even a couple from Alaska.

While Damsel and I are bundled up against our “winter” conditions (highs in the 50’s), some of those guys show up at the store in shorts and T shirts. I guess coldness is a relative thing.

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Camping in the ‘Stan

Campsite in Palm Desert

We are at our campsite in Palm Desert this evening. We already visited with the family who dropped by for a couple of hours. They will be back tomorrow for a BBQ here in the RV park. The highlight of tonight’s visit is the grandson is now walking on his own at fifteen months (finally).

The other interesting thing is the snowbird phenomenon that we have in the Arizona desert is also here in the K-stan desert. The park is nearly packed in contrast to our summer visits here when we have our pick of available parking sites with only a few hearty summertime visitors with whom to compete.

We plan to be here until our departure on Monday. Click on the image to enlarge.

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RV Shopping

RV Shopping

So how does this Thor Palazzo 33.2 look parked in front of or house? Just kidding - the image is a composite of our abode with a transparent .png of the coach lifted from the Thor Palazzo website.

We have been giving some serious thought to upgrading our motorhome even though we only acquired it last December. We have found that there are some shortcomings with our RV choice. The three major things we want to improve upon are: 1) engine cockpit noise, 2) rough riding suspension (like the truck it really is) and 3) the lack of air conditioning capacity.

The latter item is the big one on that short list since we visit deserts in the summer. Hell, we LIVE in a desert in the summer. The A/C is an 18,000 BTU unit but fails miserably when it’s 110 outside. We’re lucky if it gets the inside temperature down to 95° under those conditions.

There are a couple of RVs we’re looking at to resolve the problems above. Each of them under consideration likely solves the three problems described.

We also have a wishlist above and beyond the short list that I won’t elaborate on here, but Damsel would be pleased to have a washer/dryer stack on-board, and we both like the idea of extra living space when pop-outs are deployed. Further, we can’t afford to add more than a couple feet in length over the 32 footer we have if we’re going to be able to get it through our RV drive.

In my research, I have only found a couple of floorplans that meet the length limitations while having a few features that we like (and some that we don’t). I think that we might have to take some time in doing trade off evaluations to make a final decision.

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Seventh Anniversary of Retirement

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Another year of retirement has passed. As we head into our eighth year, we have generally good health (only a couple of minor issues), our financial situation is quite manageable and we have been traveling to keep in touch with family and to explore in the motorhome.

The forecast for the year is to continue with our retirement routines here at home and to venture out to do more family contact as well as go and observe the August 2017 eclipse in Wyoming. We actually have been planning for the eclipse since we heard about it several years ago.

We consider ourselves blessed by God to be in our situation and look forward to the future with optimism and enthusiasm. Our dreams are still coming true.

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(Not) Camping Day C - Wickenburg, AZ

Home Again

After a very nice vacation from retirement(?), we are once again parked in the RV drive behind our little house in Wickenburg. The drive home from Palm Desert was uneventful, although we had gusty winds most of the way until crossing into Arizona which put an extra workload on me as the driver. We did manage to keep the high profile RV between the lines and got home without incident.

Overall, Damsel and I are very pleased with our excursion. We saw beautiful scenery in Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California and we were able to have an extended family reunion with Damsel’s sisters and a brother while we were in California.

Damsel managed the housekeeping in the RV including feeding us with fantastic cuisine along the way and when we camped in Stockton, she and her sister took turns at preparing wonderful meals. We both will be going on diets to get back to where we were before we took off on the excursion. Meanwhile, we are resting and contented.

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Camping Day B - Palm Desert, CA

Emerald Desert RV Park

Tonight, we are at Emerald Desert RV Park in Palm Desert, CA. We have been coming to this facility for over a year now on just about a monthly basis to visit with the kids and the now one year old grandson. We will be here for two nights at this five star campground and heading back to Wickenburg on Sunday.

While we are relaxing and blogging about being here, getting here was quite another story. We left Bakersfield this morning at about 10:30 AM expecting about a four and one-half hour drive. Alas, when we got to Boron, CA, on the high desert we encountered an extreme traffic jam. When I say extreme, I mean the sort of delay where we went 6.2 miles from Boron to Kramer Junction in an hour and a half. That’s 4⅓ miles per hour on average.

The delay getting past the traffic threw us enough off schedule that when we got to the Inland Empire (San Berdoo, etc.) we were greeted with rush hour slowdowns on I-15, I-215 and I-10. The net result was that we had a late check-in at the campground (office closes at six and we were here at ten after). In spite of all that, we’re relaxed and unwinding from a rather unpleasant commute.

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