Monday, August 15, 2011

San Diego

I flew down to San Diego on Sunday afternoon and my daughter, Deidre, two grandsons, Jeremy and Dylan, and I went off to the SD La Mesa RV dealership for a bit of shopping.

Neither the boys nor my daughter had ever been in a Class A so it was a bit of an adventure for them.  I had figured out they had three coaches in my size and price range and we asked to see them.  I told the salesmen about working with the Livermore La Mesa and that I had a deposit on a coach that I had not yet seen.  They were cool with that.  If I had found my dream coach Craig would be willing to fly down too.

There are so many MORE dealers in San Diego - LA than there are up by us.  

We looked at three.  Two Monaco La Palmas and a Neptune.  None really seriously, but in keeping with my goal to DRIVE and assortment of rigs I did get to take the 35' La Palma out.  I really liked the generous "pass thru" basement storage it offered, as well as the large shower and four door fridge.  

 The ride was relatively quiet, not to many rattles, but there was one BIG drawback.  It doesn't have the “air drive.” (That may be the wrong words.)  Anyway the result was that it drove like a truck and I think it would be very tiring to drive very long.  In a way it felt like a bigger, heavier version of my van.
I felt reasonably comfortable with it and drove on the freeway, on a busy street, changed lanes and turned left at a few intersections.  By the time we got back I was able to pull into a parking slot at the dealership.

The salesman said I did fine compared to many he has taken out.

I just don’t understand why the different salesmen keep telling me they all “drive pretty much the same.”  Each has been a different ride, and I understand why.

In this case the trade off is more basement storage for a harder drive.

But another slight negative to the La Palma was that the “Cargo Carrying Capacity” was much smaller than some of the others I have looked at.  As Karen once wrote “It doesn’t mater how big the basement is, if all you can carry is marshmallows!”

The boys had a really good time.  They checked out every RV that had a door open! (We made sure it was OK with the salesman.) I wanted them to be able to see the insides so they would know what to expect at Christmas.  We looked at some class C’s as well because if we don’t find a coach by then, we will be renting a Cruise America.

My daughter spotted one that was close to $300K, (Used) that had marble floors, a dishwasher, and two bathrooms. We decided it was too “posh” for Craig and me, and  I would need a housekeeper for it.

The boys were surprised to see the bunk bed model, and liked climbing into the loft of a toy hauler.  We agree that there is more living space in the fivers, and Deidre was impressed with the kitchens and fireplaces.

When we were done I let the salesmen know that if things didn’t work out up North, I would probably be back down in San Diego for more shopping.  I think it’s good to let them know my intentions.

When we got back to the house the boys told their father all about what they had seen.  Andrew seemed a bit surprised that I had driven a 35’ coach.  He asked them which they would rather have, a 37’ RV or a 37’ boat and the older one said a boat and the younger said an RV.  I told them they could tow the boat!

I talked to Craig last night and we talked about my trip to that dealership, and he says I’m becoming an “expert.”  Well I’m trying so I can make an informed decision.

It’s rather cloudy and cool in San Diego today.  Deidre lives two blocks from the ocean. 

  Right now I’m in the garage watching my younger grandson, Dylan, as he shows me his scooter and skateboard skills in the curvy and hilly alley way. The older one, Jeremy, is creating something to show me  on his computer upstairs. He was out with his rollerblades for a while.

I made sure I have the keys to the car and the map to the ER!  They are BOYS!


  1. "keys to the car and map to the ER".
    See now, those are the words of an experienced Baby sitter. Probably one of the reasons I was never overly keen on babysitting way back when.
    I like the idea of the test drive, and you're right, they will all drive slightly differently. Makes you wonder about salesmen some times.
    Did the "La Palma" have springs, or bags? Not sure what you meant by the way it drove.

  2. How exciting. I'm impressed at your confidence in driving these big rigs around unfamiliar territory. You are one brave woman! I get the feel from your posts that the snowball has begun it's trip down the hill and is gaining momentum. I'm enjoying shopping with you :)

  3. It sounds like you are becoming quite the expert shopper! Good for you to do the test drive. I love looking in RV's even though we are happy with what we have now we still go to the shows and big sales (leaving the cheque book at home of course!).

  4. It's good for you to get the experience of seeing and driving numerous rigs, but you already know that! I can't comment on the ride of a DP because I can't do deisel (makes me physically ill).

    So, my only thought is how much driving will either of you be doin? Living fulltime, I only drive the rig about 7000 miles/year. I do a lot more driving in the toad than the rig.

  5. I know everyone wants more storage space, but the more storage space the more you will fill it up - maybe with stuff you don't need. Many of the bloggers talk about having to clean out and get rid of stuff in the storage bays.

  6. I thought all diesels had air suspension...but what do I know. I agree with Judy. You'll spend much more time living in it than driving it so make sire its comfy.

    It sounds like your online driver classes with Barney have helped! Yvou are doing great driving it!

  7. I thought all diesels had air suspension...but what do I know. I agree with Judy. You'll spend much more time living in it than driving it so make sire its comfy.

    It sounds like your online driver classes with Barney have helped! Yvou are doing great driving it!

  8. You definitely will spend more time living in the RV then you will driving it. But you still need to be comfortable driving the rig so I'm glad to hear you're driving several of them. Every one is a little different and each is going to have it's own quirks. Sure am having fun going shopping with you.

  9. Wow, Merikay...I'm so impressed. I have a question though...have you made any right hand turns with that monster yet? I think that's the big test. I remember doing right hand turns when I was learning to drive a city bus and it was a nightmare on small side streets.

  10. good for you for getting out there and driving with the 'big boys' are a braver woman than me!!

  11. Both Kelly & I were fortunate enough to have driven large school buses & me some large Stake trucks in the past before ever driving a Motor Home. I think you did well in getting out there in the traffic & Interstates without a lot of experience. Many people are intimidated by a Motor Home's size but they are acturally easier to drive than they look.

  12. Oh wow! I have been missing in action for a few days and look what I missed!!!! Congratulations on possibly finding your motorhome!! I hope it is everything you guys are looking for. I tried to open the link but I couldn't so I wasn't able to see it.

  13. Sounds like a great shopping trip. Good to get the kids onboard. :)


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