What’s new for 2016?

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Trixie and Eddie relaxing in Sarasota on Christmas day.

Trixie and Eddie relaxing in Sarasota on Christmas day.

Over the past 18 months, Cindy and I have towed our Airstream 21,764 miles across 31 States and 5 Canadian provinces. When we left Tampa FL in April 2014, our plan was to travel around the country for 2 years looking for the perfect place to settle down. A lot of towns we visited are high on our list but in every case, there is something about each town that makes it less than ideal. Weather is usually the factor; it’s either great in winter but too hot in summer or the other way around.

Since concluding there is no perfect place, we’ve decided to keep traveling but with one large caveat. Living in the Airstream has been an adventure but the thought of doing it indefinitely was not something we wanted to continue. Just about anything is bearable if there’s an end date. Cindy and I worked for 1½ years in South Korea and lived in a hotel the entire time. It too was an adventure we fondly remember but only because we knew it was temporary.

So here’s what we decided: Since we a) want to keep traveling and b) miss the comforts of home, we’ve combined a&b and moved up to a Class A diesel-pusher motorhome. In late October, we ordered a Tiffin Phaeton 40′ QBH configured to our liking. Not only do we have much more space but we also have a washer/dryer, residential refrigerator, dishwasher, king-sized bed and fireplace. We moved in the first week of January and are on the move again.

Tiffin Factory Tour, Red Bay Alabama

Last November we stopped in Red Bay on our way back east. Red Bay is a tiny town in northwest Alabama where they build Tiffin Motorhomes.  Factory tours are free and open to anyone. Some people who order a new Tiffin, bring a lawn chair and follow their motorhome through the entire 10-week build process. We arrived about a week before work started on ours.

You don't see many Airstreams in Red Bay Alabama.

One of the many campgrounds in Red Bay. Lots of Tiffin owners bring their RVs back to Red Bay for repairs. You don’t see many Airstreams in Red Bay Alabama.

Freightliner chassis - the start of a Tiffin diesel pusher RV.

Freightliner chassis – the start of a Tiffin diesel pusher RV.  This looks like a 40 footer.

Eddie stakes out his territory in his new home.

Unlike a traditional house, Tiffin motorhomes are built from the inside out.

A factory worker installs slide-outs in a Tiffin motorhome.

A factory worker installs slide-outs in a Tiffin motorhome.

T&E and Cindy check out our new home.

Back in Tampa, T&E and Cindy inspect our new home. We’ll miss the Airstream.

Eddie stakes out his territory in his new home.

Driving this thing will be daunting so Eddie volunteers to take the wheel.

What’s planned for 2016

During the first two years on the road, we’ve traveled a lot, rarely spending more than 3-4 days in a single location. This year we plan to slow things down a bit. We’ll start out 2016 visiting family and friends in the southeast then venture west to continue our goal of seeing all the National Parks. So far we’ve seen 26 out of 59 and should add another dozen or so to our list this year. We also plan to visit Nevada and North Dakota, the only 2 states we’ve never been to.


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4 thoughts on “What’s new for 2016?

  1. Chris

    Do you think you will be able to boondock as easily with the 40-foot motorhome as you apparently were able to with the Airstream? I love the space and amenities but I really want to find the secluded spots like you often did. Also, I never hear full-timers talk about getting laundry done on the road. Was it a major inconvenience when you didn’t have a W/D in your RV?

    Thanks, I hope to follow in your footsteps in a few years.

    Reply
    1. John Post author

      Hey Chris, Sorry it took so long to reply but we’ve been without Internet for much of the past few weeks.

      We thought long and hard about whether or not we could boondock as easily in the motorhome as we did in the Airstream. In fact, our desire to boondock was the main reason we chose the Airstream 2 years ago when we started out. Before we bought our new motorhome, I went through our entire travel log and identified those places we would not have been able to get into. There were maybe 6 or so, one of which was near the Grand Tetons, our favorite boondocking site of all time. Now that we have the motorhome, there have been some national parks that we could not fit into so the size of your rig is something you definitely want to think about. As for laundry, we would go to public laundromats. A few campgrounds, especially commercial ones, have laundry facilities but usually we had to find one in a nearby town. It was a pain and generally took most of a day to do but when you’re retired like we are, time is not an issue.

      Reply

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