As I said before we have our big motorhome but after driving it in Baja California last year we decided it would be a good idea to find a smaller one to take down the Pan American Highway. Some of those roads are pretty narrow. Also it is a very complicated unit - with the basement air and slides.
The next step was to locate a smaller motorhome. One that was in pretty good condition, not over 30 feet, without slides and in an affordable price range. Didn’t want much did we? And guess what - we found it.
We had looked at a couple of ClassB mini-motorhomes, in fact we looked at one that was very nice. But we went home to think about it and when we called it was already sold. As it turned out it was probably for the best.
While coming home one day from the glass shop (one of our hobbies is stained glass) we passed a new RV consignment place. There were two ClassA motorhomes and one ClassB sitting in the lot. I was looking at them and after The Driver turned the corner and started towards home I remarked about what I had seen.
“Back there on the corner.”
He made a typical Las Vegas driver move and made a U-turn at the next traffic light and we went back down to the lot. All three looked okay from outside, right size and the prices were good. The salesman got the keys and opened them up. We looked in all three but really liked the 1998 Coachman Mirada. It is 30 feet long, doesn't have any slides and the price was good. It is in pretty good condition inside and out. It had been owned by a woman in her 70s who drove it all over. The last time she came to Vegas to visit her son, he decided it was time for her to settle down. He was getting tired of trying to find her. So they put the motorhome up for sale.
We made an offer and it was accepted.
After taking care of the registration and insurance we took it to a mechanic we trust. The coach has around 40,000 miles on it, just broken in according to Bill. We had the oil changed and the transmission checked and its fluids changed, put on all new hoses and belts and flushed the radiator. The mechanic said that everything was working the way it should be. While there he checked the brakes and tires both were almost new, according to the paper work that came with the coach both had less than 1,000 miles on them. That all sounded good to us. Time to bring it home to do a couple of things on it.
We live in an area where there is a Homeowners Association that restricts us to 72 hours to have the motorhome parked out front. So we had to work fast and make arrangements for somewhere to keep it.
Bill talked to the lot where we bought it and they said we could store it there until we left. It is close and fairly convenient so that was taken care of.
While we had it out front, we cleaned the inside really good, washed all the curtains and windows blinds. Bill loves to work in wood so he made spice racks for the counter and table, eight shelves with decorative railings for holding books, CDs etc. He also put more shelves in the closets and cupboards.
Then he modified an area below the main closet and turned it into a laundry hamper. Because it was getting close to time we would have to move it he took measurements so he could build a storage area for behind the sofa and shelving to fit next to the driver and passenger seats to hold all manner of stuff.
Time to move it. This time we took it to an RV dealer with repair facilities and had more work done on it. While there we had a new door lock installed - the old one was too hard to open. The roof checked and resealed where it needed it. They also checked all the appliances and made sure they were working correctly. And of course the roof air was thoroughly checked. God forbid I should get hot.
Picked it up and brought it home again for another 72 hours. This time Bill insulated the “dog house” the hump that covers the engine between the driver and passenger. This will keep it quieter and cooler, less engine noise and heat. Then he installed a couple of extra fans behind the grill to help with cooling the engine. We added some towel racks and tissue holders in the bathroom and lined all the shelves with a waffle rubber lining. This will cut down on noise and keep things from slipping around while in motion. And little by little we started putting stuff in the cupboards. Mainly we were taking things out of the Alfa (which is in storage) and putting them in the Mirada: canned goods, packaged foods, extra linens and dishes. Things we either didn’t want to leave for two years or things that we had extras of.
Back to the storage place. While there their body man fixed a dent in the rear bumper and we took the dinette seats out to be recovered.
Back to the house again. This time to install the new tow bar. And put a “stick on states” map of North, Central and South America on the side of the motorhome. As we pass through the countries we will put the sticker of that country up.
Right now it is back at the RV dealers for a couple more fixes and additions. This time the connection and antenna for the TV and DVD needs to be fixed. Also we want the step to come out and go in automatically when the door is opened and closed. We have that on the Alfa and Bill is afraid if it isn’t automatic one day I will open the door and fall out. (I think maybe The Driver will forget to bring it in and start up and take out a post or something.) And we want a gutter to go over the windshield to help keep it dry and cleaner.
Next time we bring it home we will really start loading it up with all the items necessary for daily life.
Our Next Trip South 2007
The Mirada Motorhome we Bought for the Drive to South America