RVs We Have Loved…
1. Mallard Travel Trailer:
Our RV history goes back to 2003 when we bought our first RV, this Mallard travel trailer. At the time we had a Chevy Trailblazer and we wanted to test the RV life with a travel trailer. The trailer was a 1998 25′ Mallard tandem axle. By motorhome standards it was quite primitive, but we didn’t want to invest big bucks in a more expensive RV ’til we knew we liked RVing. This is the only photo we have of the travel trailer, such as it is, taken at a rest area in Oregon where we spent that night. (Were we ever really that young?!) We haven’t been without a RV since!
I was not fond of all the work involved with a travel trailer. The load levelers were work, the hooking up and dropping was work. We had to stop every 100 miles to add gas. We liked the traveling, but it was not very convenient.
We pulled the trailer once to Colorado and visited the Grand Canyon as we returned home, once to Oceanside to see the kids, and once to Oregon to visit my buddy Al. We learned quickly that RVing was for us, especially me, and I wanted something better.
2. Ol’ Rex:
We traded the travel trailer in on a nearly new Class A coach, a 2001 Rexhall, still in 2003. She was 31′ long and we loved her! When we bought her, she had just 4900 miles on the odometer. When we sold her to our friends Rich and Juanita in Oregon in the summer of 2012, she had reached 100,000 miles! We enjoyed many grand adventures aboard Ol’ Rex, including my solo “Grand American Loop” which took me east to Florida, north to Maine, west to Washington, and south to home.
Here’s Ol’ Rex in 2003, our Rexhall when she was nearly new. We put almost 100,000 miles on her. Here I pose proudly with my lovely Trail Buddy and wife, Lavonne, shortly after we purchased our first motorhome!
She pulled my various boats during the years we had her. Here she sits on the ramp at Wallowa Lake near Joseph, Oregon. My old high school buddy, Al, and I had one of our best fishing adventures together during that trip back in 2011. That adventure is here.
3. Big Blue:
We then bought the 2006 Itasca Sunova that became known as Big Blue. During the three years we owned her, up to June of 2015, we put on about 25,000 miles. Our Itasca Sunova when we first bought her…
She had a very comfortable interior.
…and after the “vinyl wrap” she became Big Blue!
4. Cecil the Diesel:
The diesel itch was getting pretty severe. Although Big Blue had been an excellent coach for us, I wanted the improved air ride and greatly improved fuel efficiency of a diesel. I’d been looking for over a year when I found my dream motorhome, a 2004 Winnebago Journey 32T, about 150 miles away. I plopped down the money the day I saw her and never regretted it. She was so comfortable, so efficient, and so beautiful, too.
Here we pose with our Cecil the Diesel shortly after we purchased her.
Cecil the Diesel was my pride and joy during the short time we owned her. This is one of the rare photos that her actual colors reproduced correctly; for some reason digital photos did not capture her colors accurately very often. This photo was taken in Montana during one of our adventures.
She had a beautiful interior:
We bought her in March of 2015, and for about three months, ’til I sold Big Blue, we were the not-so-proud owners of two motorhomes!
She had a very serious, big-rig style instrument panel.
We put about 25,000 miles on her over the short time we had her, and drove her as far as Indiana. She was a fantastic ride. I could go almost 1000 miles between fill-ups because she had a large 90 gallon fuel tank and she used that fuel very efficiently. She rode splendidly with her air-ride suspension. And with that big diesel pushing from the rear, the ride was quiet and very pleasant. She was a beauty and I really enjoyed her!
October, 2017 and I kissed my beloved Cecil goodbye after the awful accident we had in Kansas. We were not at fault, and fortunately we were not hurt, but Cecil was totaled. The other driver died. What a terrible, terrible shame.
5. Big Blue II:
I never would have purchased another coach because Cecil the Diesel was so perfect for us. But when she was totaled in that awful accident in October of 2017, we had no choice. We were very blessed to have found our next coach, a 2004 Bounder Diesel. We bought her sight unseen from Ohio, and had her delivered. She was in as good of condition, in ways perhaps a bit better, than our beloved Cecil, but a bit larger at 34 feet long.
Big Blue II arrived at our home on November 16, 2017, the day this photo was taken. My hope since the accident was to have a coach for our usual trip to our son Craig’s in Stockton for the family Thanksgiving Day feast, then on to my sister’s place in Gridley the day after…
…and I pose here during that Thanksgiving visit to Craig’s in Stockton.
Big Blue II came to us in wonderful condition, and longer by two feet than any of our prior coaches. Here is her very roomy living room… Here are two views of the bedroom. She came with a very comfortable TempurPedic mattress, and after just one night aboard we were thinking seriously of buying one for our home bed, too.
Diesel pushers almost always come with 22.5″ wheels, as do big rigs, and should have some serious wheels.
Note in the delivery photo that Big Blue II came to us with those chintzy stainless steel wheel liners while aluminum wheels were optional. They’re bright, sure, and most folks probably don’t even notice, but they simply don’t have the panache of aluminum wheels.
I missed the gorgeous Alcoa aluminum wheels that came with Cecil the Diesel. So these were added in April, 2018. I realize most folks would never notice the difference, but I certainly do!Big Blue II poses with her bright, new Alcoa aluminum wheels. It seems to me that a diesel pusher just ought to have polished aluminum rims – and now she does!