Last week we went to the mountains to do battle with cabin fever and celebrate adorable wife’s birthday. That trip provided a nice break, but the fever remained strong and our weather remained cold. We needed another treatment for this condition and, fortunately, one arrived when we noticed an ad for a three-day RV show in a neighboring town.
“Let’s go on Friday,” said Helen “Then you can buy me dinner!” I suppose that we’re still celebrating her birthday, but nonetheless, I was all in.
Readers of Easin’ Along know that we entered the RV scene earlier this year when we rented a motorhome and took it across the country to California on a fun-filled three-week adventure. That trip led to the purchase of Bertha, a small travel trailer which gave us a great orientation on RV travel. Five months later, Bertha was replaced by Betty to have a bit more room and a few more features. We were now fully engaged in RV living, and loving it.
We hoped that an RV show would give us a few ideas on equipping and decorating Betty before our snowbird trip to Florida that was growing closer. Besides, Helen and I are truly smitten by the RV bug and just enjoy looking at them as well as meeting others who love this laid-back lifestyle as much as we do. Friday couldn’t get here fast enough.
When we entered the parking lot, it became evident that we weren’t the only ones overcome by the cabin fever bug. The parking lot was full of cars. With temperatures in the 20’s, we raced across the parking lot to get inside the convention center. At the front of the center were approximately 15 booths that displayed everything from cookware to campgrounds. I’m not certain what some of the displays (like replacement windows or hot tubs) had to do with RVs, but I suppose that large crowds are just another opportunity to sell stuff. After looking at a gutter system (don’t know why), I went inside to see some RVs.
The crowd was large and potential RVers were lined up to look inside every size and shape of RV imaginable. We joined a line after my eyes were drawn to a display of Airstream trailers, something I’ve always admired for their sleek design. All five Airstreams on display were beautifully furnished and had the latest features. I was in love, but as I went to seek out a salesman, Helen grabbed me and brought me back to reality. My Airstream dream was put on hold.
Motorhomes and fifth-wheel trailers on display tended to range in size from large to colossal with prices to match. One very impressive motorhome attracted my attention for its unique colors and large outdoor kitchen. I had to take a tour and pictures. It was luxurious. Once outside the coach, I was curious about the list price, so I approached a salesman. I gasped when he quoted me $349,000, but did a double-take when he told me that the equally large one next to it was $529,000 and it had a “sold” sign on the door. I went to the back of that one to see if there was a swimming pool or a guest cottage.
Time passed rather quickly, and we were really enjoying ourselves, but the hour was late, and I still had dinner to buy for the birthday girl, so we made our way up the last row of travel trailers and went inside one marked as a “Show Special”. Helen immediately fell in love with the floorplan, especially the kitchen.
“Uh-oh, I had better come up with dinner plans in a hurry,” I thought to myself.
“Uh, dear,” I said softly, “we had better get moving, it’s time for the show to close and (under my breath) this is getting dangerous.”
“But look at this kitchen…it’s perfect for us!”
Reluctantly, I agreed to ask a salesperson for the “Show Special” price, confident that it was somewhere out of reason and far more than a birthday dinner was going to cost me if I could pry her loose from where Helen was now firmly seated, mentally furnishing a new kitchen. I found Kelly from Tennessee RV, the wonderful salesperson who helped us when Bertha was traded for Betty and asked him for the price on the trailer.
“What’s it going to hurt just to ask?”
Is there such a thing as triple uh-oh?
In all honesty, this trailer was very nice. It had more room, and a great floorplan. Betty was only four months old, so the trade-in difference was not very much for this “Show Special. Nevertheless, the hour was late, I was hungry, my head was spinning, and my cabin fever was now in a full sweat. After an hour or so of heavy negotiation and stiff resistance from me, Kelly presented us with the final offer. I gave a short stare toward Kelly, then looked over to Helen, still seated at the dining room table.
“What do you want to do?” I asked her.
“Well,” she said, “it is my birthday…”
Next week we begin our month-long snowbird trip to the warmer climes. Please join us as we load up “Gracey” and go Easin’ Along.