So since my last post about RV Show Drooling at the RV Expo, I’ve been getting lessons on what is possible and what is improbable (whether it’s due to cost, other things that I want more, whatever).
I had come to think a washer/dryer was an absolute necessity. Even though it just came with my first motorhome, having lived with one for 11 years made it hard for me to accept having to go to the Laundromat every week or two.
It also made sense to me to go with a smaller RV than the 36′ I have now. I looked at 29 footers and basically decided that just felt too small to me to live in fulltime – just my personal preference and belief I’d feel too cramped. I quickly learned these two “needs” do not co-exist in any motorhome I could even think of affording.
But at that point I was still thinking maybe there’s a way to make this work – give up some space and have a washer/dryer installed. I liked the 34′ Allegro TGA and the 33′ Winnebago Sightseer. Not giving up much length from what I have now, but at least some.
But I didn’t want to feel desperate or in too much of a hurry to get anything – I’m a research junkie, remember? However, having my water heater quit heating started to make me feel that way. It’s one thing to get a message from the Universe that it’s time to take action (which is how I interpreted the last straw of the water heater breaking and the major expense that would be) – but I was finding it more and more of a pain to live without easy hot water and showering in the campground showers. OK, I admit it – I’m just spoiled that way.
For a minute it looked like the water heater was fixed when my mobile RV tech came by and simply replaced a switch, which made the propane option work again. But the next day the pilot light went out again, and when I opened the panel, I could see water dripping from the pressure release valve. I did all the things I knew to do, even with the tips of friends in the know about such things. Suffice it to say, I had to drain the heater and there’s no winterization bypass valve anymore due to a prior “fix” to the chronic leaky heater in 2006.
So now I have the water turned off at the hose, my water tank filled, and I only turn on the pump when I need water, so that the water heater doesn’t fill up and keep leaking. OK, so I’m totally spoiled and don’t appreciate having to even think about not having even cold water at the drop of a tap. But, OK, I can live with it for a little while, right??? Be thankful I still have any water at all – all that “grateful thinking” stuff I believe, but still have problems really living in times like this…
So what are your real options, Malia?
Meanwhile, last week I went to Crestview to see an option Rob wanted me to look at – the 35′ Allegro 35 QBT. His idea (and he checked with the regional Tiffin rep as well as the techs at Crestview) and they thought it would work – was to replace the bunk beds in that model with the washer/dryer unit. That space was directly next to the bathroom, so they thought the plumbing would work, etc.
What They Say About Bob Tiffin is True!
So although that model was certainly out of my price range, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to see if what I had heard about Tiffin customer service was true. I know owners who swear by them and I’ve heard tales of people being able to talk to the big boss (Bob Tiffin) on the phone quite easily. So I easily enough got his phone number from the Internet, got his voice mail and left a message briefly about what I was considering and wanted his opinion. I have to say, I was pretty impressed that within a half hour, he called me back! He told me he had gone to his engineer to discuss this option, and their opinion is that it shouldn’t be done. He said the models they have that offer washer/dryers are basically built around them and the needs of that special feature. Retrofitting something like that (especially that would be on one of the slides) was not a good idea, in their opinion.
So I can rethink the smaller size option and stick with the 36′ length – or I can pretty much forget the washer/dryer option. There’s just no room for them on the other smaller ones I’d been looking at. Of course my “dream coach” that seems to have everything – the Allegro Red 34QA – is smaller, extremely beautiful, with the washer/dryer, but it’s also a diesel and about twice what I can realistically afford! Wish I had never gone into that one at the show… But even if that one is out of my league, I’ve had fun visiting with the folks at the Tiffin forum. Such helpful and friendly people there – another “tip” on the side of buying from Tiffin.
Tomorrow I’m going back to Crestview to look at the smaller options again and tell myself I can live with having to go to the Laundromat – there are certainly worse fates than that!
So I’m waiting for my new motorhome to show up – where are you, Inspiration 2?
Update 3/5/12: Crestview had already sold the Allegro 34 TGA and they don’t have an Allegro 32 CA (which is what I am really intrigued by at this point). I haven’t been able to locate one in Texas at this point, so I’m looking into travel to Louisiana – or maybe if I get really crazy and antsy – I just may take a trip to Red Bay and see how they build these things! 🙂