Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shopping Report

Goose egg. Nada. Three stops - three strikes. It was fun looking though.  And a beautiful day to be out on the road in the bug! 

As I was forewarned, the used inventory at Bankston is piteously low. Even the new rig numbers are at low ebb. It turns out that the lady who promised to contact the older couple with the "um, Dynamax, maybe?" did contact them (but not me). They have decided not to sell, apparently. She promised to call them again yesterday and let me know. I haven't heard from her and expect I won’t ever again. The salesman proper wasn't interested in talking with me at all - not even in a cursory hey-how-ya-doin'-type way. Not even after I uttered the words: "I'm ready to buy". Geez, I thought, if that's how they treat you before they get your money....    

Second stop: Camping World in Calera, AL.

There was hope in my heart when I got out of the car and saw this:

But then I saw the sign reading “EMPLOYEES ONLY” and realized I had stumbled upon the rigs waiting to be worked on – not waiting to be purchased.  (That Concord in front looked just the ticket too).

I expected a dazzling showroom like the one in Dothan but it was just a normal sort of a store.  Had a good time browsing though.  As I suspected from the website, there is no used inventory (1 rig, I think) but it was fun to look at the new small Cs.  I got my fill of new car smell, for sure. 

Third stop (unless you count Milo’s for lunch) was Burton Campers.  I’ve been there several times – most recently to test drive the RoadTreks which I blogged about in January.  They had a 2011 Conquest with 54,000 miles (!) on it, but it had that dedicated bed in the back that makes everything so cramped.  IMO, that bed is a waste of space – I prefer the jackknife sofa that translates to a larger living area.  Most Cs are designed to sleep a family of 8, not for solo travelers. 

There was a RoadTrek 210 on the lot that was much less claustrophobic than the 190 that we drove in January.  In fact, it was downright roomy and a dream to drive/park.  Alas, it was new and priced accordingly.  There was also a very fetching Jayco GreyHawk but, at 26 feet, just too massive.  And it was new too so I didn’t even ask the price.  I left my card and wish-list with the nice lady.  What do they do with that contact info anyway?  I’ve never had any salesperson follow up.    

Here's what I’ve learned – no matter the specs, year, model, make, or mileage, you don’t know until you walk in the door.  I’ll know it when I find it. 

I hope it doesn't leak. 

My next move is to squeeze in some time over the coming weeks to travel to the Camping World in Woodstock, GA (a little over 2 hours away).  You people who live in RV-concentrated environments probably take it for granted, don't you?  Yeah, I’m talking about you – Orlando and Houston.  And Elkhart, Indiana.

CW/Woodstock currently has 3 pre-owned units that fit my requirements:

2005 Chinook Glacier LE
2005 Winnebago Aspect 23D
2006 Gulfstream BT Cruiser 5231

Stay tuned!


  1. Too bad the pickings are so slim in your area. That would be so frustrating. Keep looking, the perfect one will be there soon. :)

  2. Before we were ready to buy it seemed there were lots of rigs that might be right, but then when we were ready the inventory was far and few between.

    Although I didn't like some things about dealing with La Mesa RV, the salesman did call me about the Alfa and had it transported a thousand miles for us to see. He knew it fit my wish list to a T. After we bought it we were also contacted by another salesman from another dealer that we had visited earlier. He was wanted to tell us about a rig that had just come in.

    We do not live in a "RV plentiful" area, but we did get around.

    Take a deep breath. Your RV is out there.

  3. Ok Ok, so Houston is a great area to look, so c'mon over! Of your list, I love chinooks, but they are small. Easy to drive, park, etc, but with two people & no overhead bed, leaving pretty much just the sofa, it can get cramped.

    Not sure, but the Aspect might be good on gas.

    I love the BT Cruiser! Wanted one. but for my needs, it wasn't big enough...another I like is the Trail lite ClassC, or maybe it's a B+? It's kind of like the chinook, a little bigger though with a wider body & rear door entry like the chinook. Kind of between the BT Cruiser & a Chinook.

    Your dream rig will come along!

  4. I found a link for a trail lite so you could see what I'm talking about. This one has a slide too.


  5. Kimmer, When I bought my first AND second rig neither was local. The Winnebago was over 800 miles - a plane ride across the Atlantic Ocean away. The Newmar was about 1,500 miles from where I was at the time - and that was 1,500 miles back in the direction I had just come from !!

    My point is, if you do your research (and I know you have)once you find the rig you want, for the price you want to pay, you can always fly there to get it.

    The Internet is a powerful tool - use it to your advantage. You can get tons of pics and even videos sent to you from a sales person from anywhere in the country ! You can even have them Skype you and give you a personal video tour.

    Don't let geographic restrictions limit your options.

  6. TexCyn,

    That's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for.

    But I'm beginning to realize that those jackknife sofas may be too short. For example, the sofa in that model is 68" (5'8"). You must be 5'6" or shorter to really stretch out. I'm 5'10".

    Uh-oh. I may have to go with an overhead bed to get the length I need.

    Thanks so much for all the advice thus far! Anyone else want to chime in?

  7. We have one of those short couches in our 5th wheel. It is the one thing we've been most unhappy with in the two years we've been in the Jazz. But we have adapted. We brought automans from home to make it more comfy and they've made all the difference. Next time, we'll have a comfy sofa too! Happy shopping!!

  8. I can't believe it's that difficult to find the right RV. I've got my fingers crossed for you!

  9. Hi Kim,

    I have been following your blog for some time now, and it wasn't until you mentioned Woodstock that the lightbulb went on that you are somewhere nearby. If you are coming by way of Atlanta, give me a shout.

  10. Kim, I also love the B+ and small C's. You would think once you finally decide what kind of rig you really want that it would be a simple matter of going to a dealership and buying one.

    Hope you find it soon -- and hope that you are so happy with it that you forget the frustration of the search. :)

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