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Saturday, April 1, 2023

There It Goes Down the Road --- Without Us

Yes, it's time for a new 10-year plan.

The motorhome sold in ONE day to a very happy couple we already knew from Pennsylvania. They drove up to get it and put their Subaru on a car hauler to bring it back home. That way they could both enjoy the view from the big front windshield without having to follow behind in a separate vehicle.

Here is the video as they drove away.
We shed a few tears. 


Originally, we bought this motorhome with the intention of living in it full-time. Once Steve retired in 2012, we were going to sell the house and move into the motorhome and tour the country. 

We sold the house and lived full-time in the rig for the first 5 months while Steve was still working. But then Steve was able to continue his job in a better place at High Cliff State Park for 3 more years (thus padding up his pension with better wages than at the University).  We really couldn't live in the rig during the winters in Wisconsin. We ended up buying one more home in Chilton. 

Fast forward from there 6 years... Steve was finally fully retired.  We sold that Chilton house. Instead of hitting the road, we ended up buying a home in Oconto, closer to the children and grandchildren. 

So we really never ended up living full-time in the rig other than those 5 months. It's been wonderful for traveling and sometimes we would go for months at a time. But we really don't need an RV this big as we age.

Every 10 years we evaluate our goals (and our finances) and figure out what our next 10 years will bring. We had decided that with Steve turning 65, is he going to want to spend the next 10 years maintaining a large diesel motor home??  Or is he going to enjoy going smaller and maybe we can maneuver into some of the little backwoods places that we otherwise had to bypass with the big rig. The ease of maneuvering a smaller rig while touring and sightseeing would be nicer too. 

The biggest reason to sell it now, of course, is that everything is in tip top shape and prime operating condition regarding the engine, the drivetrain, the tires, the solar etc so it's best to sell it now.

And if you're a blog reader of any length of time on my blog, you will know that Steve keeps meticulous care of everything on the rig. We have a complete huge file of all of the modifications and improvements and maintenance that we have done over the years. It has dates and places and costs and part numbers. Of course we gave that all to the new owners as well as the full red box chock packed tight with every single manual that goes to every item within the rig. On top of that, Steve also has the complete CAT engine service manual. Mechanics know this, it's the big huge thick yellow folder about 6 in thick of every single component what mechanics use for any repairs. That was included too. Over the years I've collected many hints and files and information as well as wiring schematics and documents on the Safari motorhome. I belong to multiple Safari Yahoo groups and lists on Facebook. Everything has been saved into files. We transferred all of those files over to a flash drive for the new owners. Hopefully they will never need them for anything, but it's a great resource to have!! 

So that really is our motivation behind changing to a smaller rig. We are thinking of a class b+, or a small C without that bulky overhead bunk. We are only looking for 25 ft or less. Steve said it has to be well maintained and not a junky brand to begin with. It will take some time for Steve to find the right one. 


But I will back it up a teeny bit. When I first posted it for sale the other day, I didn't really expect it to sell that soon. But it did. In ONE day. After getting the message that they were on their way, we knew we had to start clearing out our gear and getting it all spiffy and cleaned up for the new owners. 

Steve had to take care of some things for his father with his brother Pete. So I hauled a stack of totes out to the motorhome and began the "Process"!

I could have just thrown everything into totes and baskets and bags. But instead I took the time to carefully evaluate each item. Could we use it again in a smaller Class B+? We know we will have to limit our overall payload. So I needed to select just the right things that I know we would continue to use no matter what. 

Then I had to select some things to put in a pile to "be considered". That pile kept growing!!! 

I also had to select a pile of things that could be integrated back into our home. These are things that we've taken out there and used but are good enough that we want back in the house again. So that pile kept growing too. 

Then the last pile of totes were things that we were just going to donate to Goodwill or things that we were going to let the new owners pick from to take with them if they wanted them. Now that pile really really grew!!!! 

It's amazing how much stuff we had in that rig. The CCC cargo carrying capacity is over 6,000 lb.  I know we had a lot of stuff, but it was nowhere near being overweight because we had weighed ourselves on the truck stop scales multiple times over the years. Steve was always very meticulous about that. 

One of my next projects was removing some of the things that we had stuck up on the walls and cabinetry with double-sided stick tape. Remember that 16 years ago they hadn't invented Command strips yet.

I was really scared about removing these two little wooden hearts. Steve had made them for me back when we had first started dating. They have been stuck here for 16 years. I did not want to ruin the wood cabinetry finish behind them. So in my conversations back and forth with the buyers (who were soon to be enroute), I asked if possible if they could get them off someday ... I would like to have them returned to me, and I was willing to pay postage.

The buyers suggested that I try some dental floss and saw it back and forth through the foamy material of the double stick tape. It may help also to warm it up with a hair dryer from the edges. Otherwise he was going to bring a piece of waxed linen to try and cut through it. 

As you can tell from the photo below, it worked!

What a handy idea. I was able to get both of them off. Then with some firm rolling of my finger, I could remove the rest of the adhesive without marring the finish of the beautiful Western Alder wood! 

You can bet the next time these get mounted in our upcoming rv, it will be with Command strips.

I worked my butt off getting absolutely everything sorted and loaded into the totes. Now I had to get them into the garage. I was going to wait until Steve got home, but I thought I could take the burden off of him. He had already unloaded all of the basement compartments. So I felt the inside stuff should be my responsibility.

I took a page from the book of wisdom from my friend Rosie. She is a lot older than me and uses a kids plastic toboggan to haul bags of alpaca feed, bird seed, or bales of hay. Her ingenious way of hauling them on the sled works whether it's winter or summer. Sleds are cheap, work smarter not harder.

Soon I dragged every single one of those heavy totes out of the motorhome, around on the gravel of the driveway, and across the cement garage floor. I felt so successful getting this done and it was one more thing off Steve's "to do" list. 

When Steve got home later that afternoon, the sun was shining. It was only in the high 30s but the afternoon was very nice. He decided to give the rig a bath "one last time". That way it would show it's very best to the new owners. Gleaming and beautiful as usual. 

I gave all of the woodwork a final coat of Liquid Gold that just soaks into the wood and looks even better. Everything was spiffy clean and ready for the new owners. I walked through and did this video. More for our own memory... but also so the new owners could click the link to send it on to their friends to show them what they bought. 

I had a lump in my throat when I was done filming. It has been a lot of fun over the years, and I think we have gotten quite spoiled with the luxury and the quality and fit and finish of a rig such as this. Did you know that originally brand new these rigs were a quarter of a million dollars? Yes the manufacturer suggested retail price was $250,000 back in 1996. Whew! 


In spite of the ominous crazy weather coming across the Midwest right now, the buyers made it to our house safe and sound. While Steve took him all over the outside of the rig, she and I worked our way through the inside of the rig showing all the features and talking about all of the functions of the appliances. While they did that, their two very well behaved darling dogs waited patiently in Binney's potty yard. It was icky on and off drizzly rain, so was not too fun for anyone. 

Binney was not pleased at all that there were two strange dogs out there in her potty yard! Ever since Finnegan's passing, she's not too happy to have any dogs anywhere. She is grown accustomed to being a "One Dog Princess". I know this pic is a bit blurry because I was laughing so hard. She really wanted to know why those dogs were in her potty yard?? 

The guys went through everything in the garage, all of the extras that we were including in the sale. I'm pleased to say that we arrived at a full purchase price. She and I buzzed over to the bank and deposited the bills. All cash! We signed over our title and the deal was done.

The buyers had prearranged for a car hauler to be available at our little local U-Haul rental agency. They ran over and picked it up and brought it back to hook on to the back of the motorhome. Their Subaru that they came in is not able to be towed even two wheels down with the dolly. So it needed to go home this way. But they felt it was better for both of them to enjoy the beauty of riding up in the front of the rig with the vehicle up on a car hauler. Rather than one following the other all the way back to Pennsylvania. 

Steve and I posed for one last photo in front of our rig. It's a bittersweet day but we are happy it is going to someone who appreciates it and loves it as much as we did. 

They got the dog crates loaded up inside of the rig with rubber mats underneath and rescued the dogs out of Binney's potty yard. These well-trained dogs are going to be so excited and so happy to be traveling in a wonderful luxurious motorhome. Great places to stop and get out and sniff!! 

One last glance and she was ready to roll on down the road.... 

It's been a really good 16 years. 

P. S. The buyers got about 150 to 200 mi down the road and holed up for the night at a Walmart. They are on the road again this morning heading back to Pennsylvania...  trying to dodge the thunderstorms, the tornadoes, and the high winds. He is an experienced retired truck driver and knows what he's doing.. 


  1. I still recall the day we sat in that rig and talked about future adventures. The new owners have scored a wonderful rig, Your next rig will be even better I bet. Have tooooo much fun.

    1. We always fondly remember our time that we spent with you! That is one of my favorite spots of New Mexico and we were lucky to have you point out all of the great places to visit and see. Hope to see you again somewhere down the road!

  2. What a beauty! And such pristine condition, I love a meticulous maintenance man, lol! 💜 When you finally decide to close the chapter, it's wonderful to find a good home for your baby.

  3. Wow! What a deal those buyers got! Hope you find success in your search for a smaller RV that will suit your needs. Always so impressed by all you and Steve do.

  4. Bittersweet I am sure, but how fortuitous that it sold so quickly. Now on to the new adventure of finding just the right rig. Happy Trails ahead.


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