We moved into our new (to us) rig! On April 11, we bought a 2003 Damon Challenger down in Chatsworth, Georgia, from a family who had it sitting in their barn, beautifully cared-for, but unused. We're thrilled to get this baby back out on the road!
Cue: huge sigh of relief. Although we started looking at RVs about six months ago, things got really serious in March. We knew we needed to find a motorhome before May, to give us time to fix her up and move in before hitting the road this month. We found the Challenger just in time!
If you ever want to hear our WHOLE story about shopping for RVs, just buy us a few beers and we'll drop all our hard-earned wisdom on you. But to summarize, here's a little guide:
TOP 10 HOOPS YOU HAVE TO JUMP THROUGH TO BUY AND MOVE INTO AN RV:
1) Spend at least four hours a day scouring Craigslist.
2) Visit several RV dealers, look at rigs in your budget, then behold all the problems they have! Mold, rotting, leaky roofs, missing batteries, flooding, high mileage and salvage titles. Eeek!
3) Realize that you can't possibly get what you want for the price you want to pay. After much debate with spouse, increase budget by 20 percent.
4) Scramble to save additional money for RV budget. Stop eating out and go on a new cleanse I call the "Lentils + Rice + Whatever Else is in Your Fridge" diet.
5) Avoid sellers who live 10 states away, are unloading a rig for a price that's WAY too good to be true and want you to wire them money as a "deposit." (So many scammers out there!)
6) Pray, chant, visualize your new RV, burn sage, and cross your fingers. Repeat daily. Avoid retrograding planets.
7) Get an inspector to check out every aspect of your rig before purchase and negotiate your price! The Challenger needed six new tires, so we got the price lowered by $2k.
8) CLEAN HOUSE! Give away half your clothes, sell your furniture, pack up your fancy wine glasses and your heavy book collection. Rent storage unit. Laugh about how your 5x10 storage unit is WAY too big-- you only have a few boxes and a TV! Proceed to fill storage unit completely and eat crow.
9) Consume a strict diet of burritos and coffee for 2 weeks during moving process. Forget what it's like to shave your legs, wear makeup, eat or sleep or exercise on a regular schedule, or have a social life.
10) QUIT YOUR JOBS, close the door on your old life, and answer the call of the open road!
First stop: Kerrville Folk Festival! I'm honored to be a finalist in the New Folk Competition over Memorial Day Weekend. I'll be playing and camping with 31 other songwriters in the Texas Hill Country and I can't wait! See you soon, future Kerrville family!
Lots of love,
Emily (and her co-pilot, Rous)