I think it started when I was a child. I was biten by the travel bug at four years old when my grandparents took me to Florida. It was in the middle of a Michigan winter and going to the warm Florida sunshine was like pure heaven. The blue sky, the sandy beaches, the warm weather were all enchanting. And to this day when I visit family in Florida those wonderful feelings reemerge.
Several trips to Florida occurred over the years, some with my grandparents as a child and in my early 20s with friends. Shortly after high school graduation, the fantasy of a road trip touring the United States would pop into my head. Some of my friends took my fantasy trip which made the possibility more real in my mind. I was able to take a road trip out West and got as far as Moab, Utah before getting a serious case of food poisoning that landed my traveling companion and me in the emergency room . That put an end to traveling further West…we headed back to Michigan. The fantasy of traveling the United States has resided in the recesses of my mind for the last 40 years. I’ve been many places in the world: France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, England, Spain, Mexico, and the Netherlands, all beautiful in their own way. However, my own country has places and sites that rival anything found in other countries and I want to see those up close and personal.
Since taking up motorcycle riding five years ago, I’ve had the vision of touring the US on my motorcycle. But the reality is that I’m almost 62 and touring on a motorcycle is best left to those a little younger. Next idea…a motorhome with a trailer containing the motorcycle. The idea is to drive to a central location, park it for 3-5 days and use the motorcycle to tour the area. Best of both worlds, right? Yep! That’s the plan. So we started the search for a motorhome.
How the search went, why we bought what we did, what we’ve added and our plans.
Buying a motorhome is a big investment…and I use investment very loosely. Just like a car, motorhomes depreciate 15% the first year, and 10-12% every year thereafter. Buying new was not an option; it’s like buying a small home. So used it was. But, how used? In talking with various salesmen and with an eye towards resale, the year had to start with a two. We wanted a quality brand, so we researched and came up with a short list and started shopping around. We purchased a 2002 Tiffen Allegro. It’s a 33 foot with two slide-outs. Large enough to be able to live in for weeks or months at a time.
We immediately started adding things we thought we needed (sure hope we end up needing them!) like a solar panel to keep the batteries charged, an inverter and battery monitor. Then we loaded up with household items, packed our clothes, added food, hooked up the trainer with the motorcycle and off we went!