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  #21  
Old 11-08-2005, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

From a saftey concern, I'd be a bit concerned about your wife trying to ride a scooter or any motorcycle at her age given that she'd never riden one. You can get hurt pretty easily on them. To bad you couldn't fit a Rhino in your trailer and do away with the golf cart and scooter idea. ....sorry to rain on your parade, but reading your post that's what struck me.
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Old 11-08-2005, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc
From a saftey concern, I'd be a bit concerned about your wife trying to ride a scooter or any motorcycle at her age given that she'd never riden one. You can get hurt pretty easily on them. To bad you couldn't fit a Rhino in your trailer and do away with the golf cart and scooter idea. ....sorry to rain on your parade, but reading your post that's what struck me.
Yes, after I wrote that I thought about what I said and realized that wasn't what I meant. I should have gone back and changed it. My wife will ride on a scooter not the motorcycle. Makes no sense to me. Anyway, packing along a scooter and a couple of bicycles would work too.
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

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I'd be a bit concerned about your wife trying to ride a scooter or any motorcycle at her age given that she'd never riden one.
Oh, hell, that's no concern. See those ads on TV featuring active seniors? That's Betsy, and it was me, too, before the heart crap. In fact, it still is me, when it comes to vehicles. I just can't walk very far or lift very much. She has driven scooters when she was younger (rentals on vacation), and is an active bicyclist. Don't forget, her Mother is 101 years old and not on any medications (although she can no longer drive a scooter, but she drove her car until she was 92 and lived alone until she was 95). 65 is pretty young, by our standards.

I could make room for a Rhino instead of the golf cart. That just wouldn't work. Besides the fact that a Rhino is heavy, expensive, noisy (compared to an electric golf cart), harder to maintain plus the fact that we already own a cart, we need something that's licensed to drive on the street. My original plan, back when we were planning to buy a big Class A diesel pusher, was to pull a 24' trailer with a car and the golf cart and all the other stuff. With the smaller RV as a tow vehicle, the car had to go.

A perfect example of how we'd use them is one of our favorite stops, in Mount Dora, Florida. Mount Dora is a fantastic antiquing town, with lots of neat shops and good places to eat. There's an RV park about 2 miles from downtown Mount Dora. It's too far for us to walk. There's no way to drive the golf cart or a Rhino on the public streets. I'm not sure I can bike that far; in fact, I doubt it -- remembering that I also have to save strength for walking around town and to get back to the RV park. We really don't want to have to break camp and pack everything up just to drive the Sprinter 2 miles.

That leaves two choices -- call a taxi or ride the scooters. The taxi would be cheaper than buying the scooters, but not as much fun.
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

That's good to hear Don. You youngsters have fun on those scooters!!!! Good for you both! I'm lots of years behind you, but sure hope to be that active once i get to my mid sixties.
A news report last night was just talking about how baby boomers are reshaping what used to be thought of as retirement. No more shuffleboard or lawn bowling, it's more like riding a harley or playing sports ....just getting out and doing more than was ever done by the majority of previous retirees. Don, sounds like you two are leading the way. Good job. :)
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Old 11-08-2005, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

I mentioned this before, somewhere, but traditionally, retirees downsize their homes and plan their retirement tax strategies in a manner that reflects a lower income when they retire. It's almost like they planned to pull in their heads like a turtle, and move at a corresponding pace.

Don't understand that. We need MORE money, because we're going to have more time to go places and do things. We need MORE space, because we're going to finally get to do the things we've been working towards all our lives. I have less "spare" time than ever, now that I'm retired. And, we have to move at a faster pace top get everything in!
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

Don, have you picked up your new RV yet? I'm anxious to see pictures of it once it is in your possession. I would also like to see a picture of the inside of your trailer once you have everything packed in it; I doubt there will be a wasted inch of room .


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  #27  
Old 11-10-2005, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

Yep, picked it up yesterday. I've been reading manuals and going over it with a fine tooth comb and just sitting it in, letting the various storage compartments tell me what they want to have in them. No pics, yet...I'm running a little late, today and gotta run. Maybe some pics over the weekend.

I drove it home from Jupiter, yesterday, about 40 miles -- liked it just fine on I-95. Funny story, I had not had a chance to read any manuals, and was thinking, "This thing must have cruise control, somewhere..." I was getting ready to pass someone, and reached for what I thought was the turn signal stalk. The turn signals didn't come on. After I pulled back into my lane, I lifted the accelerator a little -- and the van didn't slow down! The skinny stalk on top is the cruise control, and I set it without even knowing how.
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  #28  
Old 12-07-2005, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

Well, I've had the Leisure Travel almost a month. Wow, time really flies.

It took me 3 days to clean out the old Pace Arrow, and there's still some "stuff" in it. It was a "basement" model with lots of storage, and it's almost unbelievable how much stuff I had accumulated. The challenge was to decide what was important and how to fit the important stuff into the smaller space.

I think it would be hard for a newcomer to RV travel to decide what to take and what to leave behind. We've had one RV or another for about 15 years, and we know what we've used the most and consider the most essential. The neat thing was that I was able to find so much space in this, a much smaller RV, to take many of the things I like to have around. I have a complete satellite TV setup, including the dish and a portable tripod. I have a small-scale, but powerful, canister-model vacuum. I have a decent assortment of tools, 4 of the fold-up canvas chairs that fit in shoulder bags, a fancy folding patio carpet, and a couple of small folding tables, and a Weber Go-Anywhere gas grill.

The flat-panel TV is equipped with Satellite receiver, DVD player, VCR, crank-up antenna, and an outside mount so it can be placed under the awning when camping. All of it runs on either 12V or inverters so I don't need shore power or generator to watch TV.

The bed is really comfortable, and when in sofa mode, is a super comfortable, leather-look vinyl couch.

I've been staying in it during the week out in Okeechobee. My living space is less than 6' wide and about 15' long. I have sofa, bed, dinette, desk, refrigerator, microwave, stove, sink, coffee maker, toaster over, coffee grinder, electric skillet, Belgian waffle maker, air conditioner, generator, wardrobe closet, toilet, lavatory, shower and much more. It's really comfortable, and not at all confining. My tractor is right outside my door, and I'm hooked to the electricity and water at my daughter's place. The RV is back beside their garage, out of sight of the highway, and almost invisible to them. They often don't know whether I'm here, or not.

All in all, I'm very happy with it.
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  #29  
Old 12-08-2005, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

Don.........your sprinter sounds like where I'd be living now if I hadn't gotten remarried 15 years ago. It would be parked in the country next to a 40 x 80 building full of tools & cars etc, with an extension cord running from the garage to the RV for powering up the tv, fridge, & microwave.(Simple & cozy) Unfortunately, factor a wife into the plan & you need a mortgage & a 1/4 million $$ house to be "comfortable" and the building turns into a 2 car attached garage sheltering a minivan..........(I'm not complaining, just a bit envious)........between all my kids activities & our own obligations, sometimes I long for a few days of the simple life.......Enjoy your new toy..............
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  #30  
Old 12-08-2005, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

We took our first trip this past weekend. Betsy and I left Saturday morning and drove to Mount Dora, about 25 miles north of Orlando and about 2-1/2 hours from home. Mount Dora is a neat, small, boutique shopping town with dozens of fascinating shops, great antique stores, and enough festivals and events to have something happening almost every weekend. Christmas is a special time; the central square is lit with over 2 million lights, and all of the stores are decorate.

I had discovered a tiny County park, Trimble Park, just about 3 miles out of town and located on a nice lake. The park has just 15 RV camping spots, all nicely wooded, with pavers, metal picnic table, charcoal grill, firepit, water and electricity at each campsite. About half are lake-front. Trimble Park does not take phone reservations; they will reserve up to 8 of their sites if you come in to the office withing 45 days. The other 7 sites are first-come, first-served. We went there with nothing more than hopes, and got lucky -- someone had just left one of the lakefront sites, and we were the first ones since it was available.

We signed in, located the spot and marked it as occupied, then drove into town. Because the Sprinter is both our RV and my daily driver, it serves as not only our home-away-from home, but as our local transportation once we get there. This involves unhooking to drive around, and hooking back up when we get back to the campsite. This is somewhat more inconvenient than towing a car, but because the Sprinter is small enough to fit in normal parking spots, is totally practical.

We parked on a side street and walked to the main street in time to watch Mount Dora's Christmas parade. We have pictures on Betsy's camera, which I don't have with me, but suffice to say that at the end of the parade, Santa's sleigh was pulled by a golf cart. Then, we moved the Sprinter to a public parking area in the center of the shopping district and hit the stores.

Since my heart failure crap, I can't walk very far, so I spent a lot of time sitting on benches outside many of the shops. I did go through the antique shops, which is a particular love of both Betsy and I. We ate dinner fairly early in order to be first down at the town docks on Lake Dora, where the lighted Christmas boat parade was due to go past at 7 PM. We got a bench right at the front of the dock. There were about 15 decorated boats, some of them pretty clever.

We got back to Trimble Park about 9 PM and hooked up. I set up the awning, patio carpet, a couple of the chairs, hooked up the water and electricity, and generally did a full hookup except the satellite antenna. We were under so many trees, I wasn't sure I could get a signal. That's why I use a tripod and long cable rather than a rooftop antenna. the next day, in the daylight, I saw that we could have set the dish up on the lake shore and gotten a good signal, but I didn't bother to get it out just for the day.

Total time for the setup was about 10 minutes. If we decide to drive away from the campsite, it would take much less time, because we would leave the patio carpet, chairs and such set up for our return. I'm still practicing on the satellite. I have to store the dish in two pieces plus the tripod, and I have to take the legs off the tripod to store it. I've only set it up a couple of times, and so far, it's taking me about 25 minutes to put it all together, screw the ground tackle into the ground and hook the tripod to it, level it, hookup the cables, find the satellite and fine-tune it for the best picture. I think I can get it down to about 12 minutes. I have the cables set up in the RV and a short cable on the dish, and have the long cable with connectors ready to go in the RV. I use a satellite-finder meter to find the satellite without having to see or hear the TV.

We made up the bed about 10:30 PM and continued watching the football game. We turned it off and went lights-out about 11 PM, and didn't wake up until 10 AM the next morning. I guess the bed was comfortable! Because I need more rest, I sleep that late about once a week, but it was the first time Betsy slept past 8 AM (usually about 6:30 AM) in years. It was really nice to get away from the care of her 101-year-old Mother for the weekend (we hired a caregiver to stay with Grandma).

We explored and loafed around Trimble Park until about 2 PM, when we packed up and headed home. We used the Turnpike on the way up, but were in no hurry going home, so we took Rt 441 all the way through Orlando and then through the country. We filled up with diesel in Orlando at $2.45 per gallon as mentioned in another thread, and figured that our combination of highway and city driving got us 21 mpg. Not bad for an RV, and I can see how pure highway driving will easily be around 24 mpg.

We stopped at a couple of fruit stands, and one of our favorite hangouts, a Goodwill store, where I found a bottle to add to my collection. Then, on towards home. It was a great first trip, and we can't wait until the next time.
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  #31  
Old 12-08-2005, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

Tom, we're hiring the caregiver again this weekend, and Betsy is coming out to spend it right here at our daughter's house. Amy (our daughter) is the band director at Okeechobee HS, and tomorrow (Thursday) night is her Winter concert. Friday is a class at the local county extension agent on how to convert a 55 gallon drum into a rain barrel. The actual conversion (and opening for the drain spout, a spigot for a hose, and some painting) is pretty straight forward for someone like me, but Betsy wants to learn how to do some of these things, and the fee for the class includes all the stuff to make a rain barrel. Friday night, we'll be going to a student-produced musical at the local community college; I think it's Camelot.

Then, on Saturday evening, Amy's band marches in the Okeechobee lighted Christmas parade. Sunday is our first grandson's 1 year birthday party.

We'll be staying in the Sprinter all weekend.

I think I have the Pace Arrow sold. It's a ragged and worn 1988 model; we've gotten 10 good years out of it. The engine and running gear are still excellent, the brakes are nearly new with new rotors and calipers, and the tires have very few miles. But, the fiberglass is delaminating on the body, the awning has a tear, the passenger mirror (which looks expensive) was broken in last year's hurricane. The hydraulic levelers are broken, and the floor under the holding tanks has rotted out. Some of the hinges on the basement storage doors have pulled loose. Worst of all, while we were running the generator for 2 solid weeks last year after the hurricanes, something shorted out on the converter/charger power center (which converts 110V to 12V among other things), and most of the 12V wiring on the coach burned up. I had enough of it replaced to get it running, and power most of the appliances, but it still needs work. However, the generator, air conditioning, water system, refrigerator, water heater, stove, etc. all work great, and the bed is super comfortable.

In other words, this is a mixed bag -- too good to throw away, but needing a LOT of work to make it worth taking out, again. The hardest problem to fix is the blistering of the fiberglass body panels. They might be able to be glued, but there is a luan wood under-panel that might be hopelessly rotted.

The fellow who wants to buy it is a carpenter working on my son-in-law's new addition. He's down on his luck a little, and needs a place to live. He can park it at his sister's rural home where no one will complain about him living in it, and hook the holding tanks up to her septic tank. It will be a little tough to keep a propane supply without driving it, but he can rig portable cylinders to it.

I'm getting $3 grand for it, and considering myself lucky. At 17 years old, it would be worth $8K to $9K if excellent.
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  #32  
Old 12-10-2005, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

Things are looking good Don. Reading your log here I find we have a few shopping stops in common--Goodwill stores and antique shops. Sometimes it's hard to make it through a newly discovered town with lots of antique shops.
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  #33  
Old 01-18-2007, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

It's now been over 14 months since we got the Sprinter, and things are better than I expected. I let my ego get the better of me, and ordered the Mercedes Benz grill, hubcaps and other trim as originally equipped in Germany and as shipped in the rest of the world.

We've taken several trips, mostly on weekends, but one trip was to Johnson City, TN and another was to Hiawassee, GA. Both were for quilting seminars for Betsy; we joined friends and stayed about 2 weeks in each case. The picture below was taken at our lakeside camp spot in Hiawassee.

The Sprinter has performed well, getting over 23 mpg several times, as long as I hold the speed down to about 60 mph. 65 = 21 mpg, 70 = 19 mpg, and I have a report of one Sprinter owner who drove flat out across Texas -- 4 hours at 82 mph -- and got 14.8 mpg. ..

I installed a rear screen which allows us to open the rear doors during the day. This was really nice up in Georgia where it was cool enough to enjoy the breeze without needing the AC.

The only problem I've had was a freak accident. It has a box-style cantilevered awning that cranks out. It came with the Carefree brand. In Georgia, we went to bed on a clear night, and there was a sudden downpour of rain. Even though I had pitched the awning with one corner lower so rain would run off, the deluge filled the fabric so fast that it pocketed before it could run off. The weight of the water overwhelmed the awning supports, bent them in half, pulled the ends of the awning away from the coach like a bananna, ripped off one of the articulating arms and poked a hole in the fabric. We managed to get it packed up well enough to travel. When we returned home, the dealer and my insurance adjuster got together, the result was a $2,000 bill and a check from the insurance for $1,500, less my deductible. The new awning was just under $1,000, but it had to be painted and striped and installed, and when they took off the old one, they discovered it had been installed with 3M 5200 adhesive caulk, which peeled away some paint on the side of the roof. The spots had to be sanded and repainted as well.

It's still my daily driver, and has been a joy to drive. I also take it to our Okeechobee property most weeks and spend at least 3 nights a week in it while I'm working on the property.

This has been one plan that came together really well.
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  #34  
Old 12-05-2013, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

Bump :bump:

I know this is an old old thread. I have exchanged emails with OkeeDon this year and hope that he will stop in and give us an update on the Sprinter he bought 8 years ago.

Don,
Do you still have the Sprinter and has it worked out like you expected? I would like to travel and think I would prefer a small unit like this rather than a class A or C motorhome. So I'm hoping for your input.
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  #35  
Old 12-05-2013, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

I hope Don comes back and gives us an update. At the time he was buying his I was seriously thinking about getting a Road Trek as our traveling van. My wife found it a little confining especially if the weather was bad and you were stuck inside. We have friends in town who just picked a used one and absolutely love it. He fills the water tank before they leave and if they find somewhere pretty, they just park for a day or two. It's now his daily driver as well.

Don's original analysis was right though, it's a heck of a lot of money for what it is and even more so now than it was way back in 2005.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Progress report -- Sprinter Class B RV

I have a farm partner with a road trek who just aquired it with 60K miles. they abosolutly love it. He was here for the last cold snap into the single digits and slept and stayed in it for a couple of days. Neat rig, I had not been aware of them till he got his. His wife likes it in the summer time, but not for winter....

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