Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nothing much has happened since I last updated this Blog.

We did finally receive all the information from Larry Green that we needed to send to South Dakota so that we could get the truck registered...the license plates should be here tomorrow.

We received all the parts for the B&W Turnover Ball Gooseneck Hitch and the Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch and took them all down to RV Lifestyles for installation. It makes a really sharp looking hitch, and I think we'll like the way it works.

We found a place here in Quartzsite that could repair one of the couch cushions in the Lazy Daze (a few of the buttons had come loose and needed to be "retightened").

Thanksgiving was nice and quiet. Instead of a turkey, I cooked two Cornish Game Hens along with some wild rice and veggies. Pie and ice cream for desert...yum!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

We left for Sunfire RV in Mesa early in the morning, stopping at McDonald's to pick up breakfast.

As I had thought, we picked the "Bronze Suede" fabric package...it's the only one that has a solid color couch rather than stripes, flowers, or some other print.

On the way back to Quartzsite, we stopped in Litchfield park to buy some floormats for the truck and pick up lunch at Arby's. We were back in Quartzsite by early afternoon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

We picked up our new truck today...it's beautiful! It's a 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 with the Cummins diesel engine and the 4-speed automatic transmission. It's Bright Silver Metallic and is the Big Horn edition. I'll take some pictures and post them soon. The truck has a built-in Sirius radio so probably tomorrow, I'll call Sirius and get our lifetime subscription transferred from our plug-and-play radio to the one in the truck.

I called the insurance company and changed the coverage from the Chevy to the Dodge and also called the place in Louisiana where were getting the fifth wheel hitch to order the B&W Turnover Gooseneck Ball Hitch for the Dodge. The guy told me it would be shipped out today, so I would expect that both items will be here sometime next week. We'll then take the turnover ball hitch and the truck over to RV Lifestyles for them to do the installation.

I got a call from Denny at Sunfire RV about the colors we wanted. I had chosen "Bronze Suede" from the pictures in the brochure, but it seems that we can mix and match materials, and Denny seemed uncomfortable with ordering a color without our having seen it in person, so we may drive over to Mesa on Saturday (in our new truck, of course!) to take a look at the fabric samples. We'll just make a day of it instead of spending the night, for which we'd take the Lazy Daze.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Well, here's where we are so far...

I called the place in Louisiana where we'd ordered the B&W Turnover Gooseneck Ball hitch and Companion Fifth Wheel hitch to see if the items had shipped yet (as you will recall, we'd ordered them for the Chevy we were supposed to get, but since we're now getting a Dodge, the Chevy version of the Turnover Gooseneck Ball hitch won't fit). "Fortunately," every place the salesman had contacted was out of stock on this hitch; therefore, it hadn't been shipped...whew! We explained what had happened and told him to change the order to the hitch for the Dodge...but DON'T send it out until we call and tell him we actually have possession of the truck! The Companion Fifth Wheel hitch had been shipped, but that's OK since it will fit any truck...it's just the gooseneck ball hitch that's truck-specific.

Earl called the Blythe dealer about the Dodge truck we're "supposed" to get to verify that they did, indeed, have it. Apparently, it's one that they own, so the truck will be at their lot sometime this afternoon. By the time they get it cleaned up and detailed, it will be tomorrow before we can pick it up.

We also received a quote back from the Albuquerque Excel dealer...it was higher than the Mesa dealer's original quote!!! So we called the salesman at the Mesa dealer and told him to put the order in. When I asked how much he wanted us to send as a deposit, he said "20%." I told him there was NO WAY we were sending that much money to them since we were planning on only putting 10% down (we're going to pay off the loan on the RV and the truck when the house sells, so want to shell out as little money as possible up front). He said, "Well, you'll receive the money back." "Sorry, that ain't gonna happen...maybe we need to rethink this whole deal" says I. We finally agreed that I could send him a check for 10% -- which is what I had in mind to begin with! I guess they think we just fell off the turnip truck, or that we're newbies that know nothing about buying an RV (hard to believe since we drove onto their lot in our Lazy Daze).

Of course, this is only our second experience with dealing with an RV dealer. Our first fifth wheel, a New Horizons, and our Lazy Daze are both factory direct...you pay the price they ask and there's no dickering because there's no middle-man trying to make a profit. And when we bought our small Arctic Fox, we told the dealer what we were willing to pay, and they met the price. The Excel dealer wouldn't go as low as 25% off MSRP, but we can live with 20% off (and it sure as heck beats the 12% off MSRP they first quoted...so they came down more in their price than we came up).

There are lots of other Excel dealers out there, but there's only one in California -- in Sacramento -- which would be a PITA having to take out-of-state delivery from there. There are a few in Texas around the Ft. Worth/Dallas area and farther east which we could have contacted if we weren't really willing to take the 20% that the Mesa dealer offered. And then there are several farther north...in the Salt Lake area, Colorado, Wyoming, etc., but who wants to travel there in mid-January (our expected delivery date)? However, it would have meant traveling quite a bit further, so the discount would have had to been pretty close to the 25% -- or more -- that we originally wanted to make it worthwhile.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Well, today has been an interesting day to say the least....we've certainly burned up a lot of minutes on the cell phone!

I ordered a fifth wheel hitch and got auto insurance based on the 2007 Chevy Silverado 3500 we'd signed papers for on Friday. Then we got a call from the salesman that the truck -- which had been at another dealer's lot and was to be shipped to the Blythe dealer -- had been sold!!! Talk about having a tight jaw!

The salesman worked all day trying to find us another Chevy truck to meet our specifications, but couldn't find one. He did find one with a crew cab, but we don't want a crew cab -- not only because of the extra length, but also because it has less towing and payload capacity. We told him that if he couldn't find a Chevy, to try and find a Dodge -- which had really been our first choice because of the 4 "real" doors on the extended cab (rather than the "suicide" doors that the other extended cabs have) and because of the Cummins diesel engine. But we'd decided on the Chevy because of the Allison transmission and it's somewhat higher tow and payload capacity.

The problem is -- we now had auto insurance and a fifth wheel hitch (B&W's Turnover Ball Gooseneck Hitch and their Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch) that wouldn't fit a Dodge truck (the Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch would be OK...it's just the Turnover Ball Gooseneck Hitch which would be different). The auto insurance I got taken care of without a problem...they just told me to call them with the new truck's information. Whew!

But, by the time I'd remembered about the hitch, it was too late to call the place I'd ordered it from (they're in Louisiana), so I sent them an email. I'll give them a call first thing tomorrow morning to see if the order has been shipped (and, if it has, how to return the Turnover Ball Gooseneck Hitch) and order a new one.

And then there's the matter of the fifth wheel we were hoping to get...

We finally got all the options straightened out with the dealer, and he got prices from the factory on a couple of items that weren't standard. We then asked the dealer to come up with a price and get back to us. Well, when he called, he gave us a price that was only around 12% off MSRP. We told him the price WE wanted to pay (25% off MSRP), he said "no." So we thanked him, and hung up. Later, we received a call from the salesman (we'd been dealing with another person on all the details of the order...the sales manager, I assume) saying they'd be willing to come down in price...and quoted a price that was around 20% off MSRP. We told him we'd think about it and call him tomorrow.

In the meantime, we've emailed the Excel dealer near Albuquerque, NM with the same list of options and are waiting for a reply from them (we'll give them a call tomorrow). We've also called the salesman we dealt with at Earnhardt's to see if the Carriage Cameo we saw on the lot last week is still there, and, if so, what price he'd sell it for (Earnhardt's is no longer going to be a Carriage dealer, and he told us when we were there that they'd make a good deal on the remaining ones they have left on the lot). The salesman wasn't in today, so we'll talk with him tomorrow.

Wow! Is it nap time yet?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Back on the road to fulltiming

It's been awhile since I've updated this blog, but we've been really busy since we've returned to Quartzsite.

One of the first things we did when we returned was to put our house up for sale (so far, no one has been shown through the house, but Quartzsite is still pretty sparsely populated...we don't expect any real action until probably sometime in December).

We also rented a storage room so that we could start clearing out the house and the shed of "stuff" so that they wouldn't look so cluttered. Some of the items moved to storage we'll eventually get rid of...my Grandmother's furniture, for example, will go to my Mother or to other family. Some of it will go into our new RV, and other stuff we'll either donate or put into a garage sale. We have already taken a load of things over to the local Salvation Army.

As part of the clearing-out process, we bought a shredder so that I could go through over 20 years of tax forms (back to 1982!!!) and get rid of them. We filled up about 3 big garbage bags full of shredded paper!

Last Sunday, we drove over to Mesa and spent the night at the Mesa Buckhorn Elks Lodge. Monday morning, we visited Sunfire RV to look at Excel fifth wheels and Earnhardt's to look at HitchHiker II LS and Carriage Cameo LXI fifth wheels. We really like the Excel (although the other two are very nice, too), so when we got back home, we made up a list of all the options we wanted to order and sent a letter to the salesman at Sunfire RV we're dealing with. Hopefully, we'll be able to reach an agreement on price and can get the fifth wheel ordered. The fifth wheel we hope to order is the Excel Classic 30RKE (click on "Specifications and Floorplans" and then "30RKE" to see the floorplan).

Then on Friday, we drove over to Larry Green's in Blythe to order a pickup. We ended up buying one because, as we found out, Chevy is not making any more pickups until sometime next year (around May, we were told) because of the change-over to the new Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel engines. So it was either buy one now, or wait until May to order one. And, since we didn't really want one of the new engines (we were told that they will be lower in horsepower and torque), we decided to go ahead and get one now. Fortunately, the salesman was able to find one that pretty much fit our requirements (it has some stuff that we probably wouldn't have ordered, like OnStar and an XM radio...we're Sirius subscribers, and have a lifetime subscription). It should be here sometime this week. Oh...the truck we ordered is a Chevy Classic Silverado 3500 with dual rear wheels, the Duramax diesel engine, and the Allison transmission.

Through all this, we did find time to take Maxx to the local vet to have a complete blood panel done including a Valley Fever titer. We changed medications and got some special canned food to mix in with Maxx's dry food. So far, Maxx seems to be doing OK...he has his good days and his not-so-good days, but at least he's still eating well and has put on a little bit of weight, although he's still not up to his normal 24-25 pounds.

We've really enjoyed our Lazy Daze while we've had it; however, it's too small for us to fulltime in, and while we both like the Lazy Daze 30' in the Twin Bed configuration, it has too little CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity). Thus our search for a larger RV in which to return to fulltiming.