Two Months in Elkhart 3/27-5/27 or so

March 27-April 12th, 2021

We came back to Indiana. We had left mid October 2020. We decided to stay at the Elkhart Campground, its a big CG and central to everything we needed to take care of.

Dr’s. appointments, getting our vaccines and selling our little condo. Buying a new motorhome. But the biggest thing we needed to take care of was, Paul’s cataract surgeries.

It’s still a seller’s market…the condo sold in one day, we really didn’t expect that.

We are so grateful not to have to hassel with it taking awhile to sell. But living somewhere else while you’re trying to sell a property is the way to do it. No showings to get ready for, it’s ready all the time.

We only thought we had gotten rid of everything inside the condo, but what we had decided to do was leave just enough kitchen, bath and bedroom things in order to stay if we wanted to. I was going to try to put a picture here of all the stuff we had left to sell/get rid of but I didn’t really have a good one, let me just say, you can hide a lot of stuff in a very small space. I used to love to play the video game of Tetris. lol

So, the buyers are a young married couple who are staying in a bedroom at one of their families, this is their first place. Part of our headache resolved, we are leaving all the kitchen items we had; dishes, pots/pans, silverware. So happy not to have to worry about those things and so happy to help them out. They had told their realtor that they would be happy to have anything we left behind.

We’ve taken lots of loads of things to the Goodwill but another place we like to donate to is Resale to the Rescue. Such a wonderful place! It’s a huge store front, clean and very nicely done. Everything they have for sale has been donated so that every cent goes directly to the different area humane society’s or animal rescues. Shopping there is a lot of fun, I always try to go there if I’m looking for something… and even when I’m not.

Retail to the Rescue has written checks for hundred of thousands of dollars to various animal loving businesses… this makes me so happy.

THEN… you’ll never guess what happened?!

Since we are staying at the Elkhart campground and we are right next door to a huge RV dealership we decided to go and see what they had for sale.

Actually we have been searching for our dream motorhome for about 2 years. We’ve downsized and traveled for 6 months and we know, yup, we should have had a motorhome for years and years. Maybe we wouldn’t have moved every 4 years from one sticks and bricks home to another if we’d been in a motorhome traveling!

Everyone is different, I think our forever home is a motorhome.

We had narrowed it down to about 3 and then Covid hit and in the last year we watched the prices go up and up and up. As supply could not be met for the demand. Then because people couldn’t go to work and products and people became a shortage… you guessed it, few Motorhomes being produced and for sale on the lots.

It’s a RV sellers market now.

I’ve been watching several big national RV dealerships websites everyday for months. And apparently so has everyone else becasue they are snatching them up. If I saw one of our choices on a website the next time I looked it said SOLD.

First time buyers are looking for a comfortable size (25 feet or less) some national parks say in their reservation sites that longer RV’s cannot be accommodated. All kinds of nightmare stories out there, I won’t bore you with them. But the biggest thing that is new to the RV industry is that it’s much easier to social distance in an RV. We have definintely found this to be true.

So not only have we watched prices go up about $12,000 since we started narrowing down our choices over a year ago, if we found one for sale before we could inquire it was sold.

UNTIL… now

Today we have been in Elkhart one full week and 3 days. Six days ago we went to look at RV’s on the lot, the website said that they had 3 of the one model, a Coachman Pursuit 27XPS

and 2-3 of the other model we were looking for, a Thor Axis 24.1.

The Axis was our first love, but honestly even before the pandemic they were hard to find.

When we got to the dealership, and found a salesperson, who was great by the way, thanks Juan. We took off across the lot to see what they had for us.

As we came close to the Axis, there were two side by side, Juan said these were both sold. What?! Both had sold within the last few hours! But we could go inside and look around. Until then we had only seen pictures, oh boy, we loved it!

Juan told us we could have one if we wanted to wait till the next shipment. We didn’t want to wait but we could since we were in the campground next door and we were going to be here through June. The dealership had been told late April for delivery but as of the day we were there the date had been pushed out to July! We had reservations in Georgia for June and July! I had already canceled June’s reservations, I was not going to cancel July’s on the chance that the motorhome would be delivered in July but possibly pushed out even further as demand through the summer got crazy.

So, we went on to look at the Pursuit, they had 2 in stock. In the time we were talking one of them sold. Juan said that if we were interested, with how fast things were selling, we should put $1000 down (which was fully refundable) and that would hold the coach for us.

No one else could buy the coach we had put money down on.

So, we liked the Pursuit, no slides, although the step in was high and powered but pretty much all the things we wanted on our list. It was about 5ft longer than the Axis but still within the 30ft length that was suggested as a good max length.

So, we put the $1000 down and felt like we had a new home. Our heads were moving in, thinking about all the spaces we could fill and or not fill because we still had too much stuff. You would not believe all that we have cramed in this little 23ft. travel trailer!

Then you will never…really never, guess what happened!

Someone else, at another branch dealership had bought our motorhome! Evidently because our paperwork didn’t get put into the system until the next morning, our motorhome was sold to someone else that night!

Man!

We were devastated!

So, now what? The dealership said that they had a 2022 Pursuit 27XPS on order, it would be shipped (from Middlebury) the week of July 4th.

July 4th!

Because of the mix up they would honor our price on the 2021 Pursuit if we wanted to take the 2022 when it came in, in July! Oh man!

That would be a good deal, it would give us a 2022 which according to the price was just over our high number threshold, I could even choose the interior colors. But July?

The July date is all good and might be believable to most people, but I was a Import Buyer for this industry for over 15 yrs. I had entire containers of product go over the side of mountains because the roads were so bad in China. I watched ships be detained in port and customs nightmares, I could go on and on. 16 week leadtimes doubled! Bottom line, I felt that with all the shortages of materials (which was another reason why leadtimes were being pushed out) they would be lucky if these motorhomes showed up in July.

We couldn’t risk it, wait around and just sit and wait, canceling reservations we possibly couldn’t replace.

They had one more unit on the lot, in our price range, everything else was nearing the half a million dollars range. This one had two big slides and was 33ft long, it was over the price we wanted to pay…

But boy, oh boy, to say I was a little worked up is putting it mildly. I had prayed for control but I was going in to get that RV for the price of the other one. We were not leaving without a motorhome that we could have right away!

I had my negotiation hat on and I meant business!

And then you will never, no really, never guess what happened?!

We were touring this 33ft Pursuit 31TS, it was really beautiful. Fireplace, much higher end then we needed. It didn’t feel comfortable, it didn’t feel like us. It was too big, too much stuff, it wasn’t the one we wanted, not really.

But I had checked the websites of several national dealerships and honestly there was NOTHING left for us! July would be the earliest we could hope to see anything and we had to commit and order it now.

And THEN a Thor Axis 24.1 was pulled literally right in front of us. Our salesman looked at his phone and looked up at us and said, “See that, it just became available. If you want it, it’s yours” Apparently someones financing had fell through.

We didn’t have to wait till July, we could have this one, right now, today!

It was the Thor Axis 24.1 which we had looked at over 2 years ago online and thought, wow, wouldn’t that be just perfect for us.

And Yes, it is perfect, for all the items on our list to be ticked off and fulfilled, and we didn’t have to wait till July!

YES!

YES, please!

So, we are trading our 2016 Chevy Traverse and our 2016 Forest River Salem Lite travel trailer in on our new home. You might think, well, that’s a good plan. It is actually but it will take a bit of strategic planning to pull it off… I would say magic but I don’t believe in magic.

Also, we needed to find our new “toad” towable vehical and we needed to do it pretty soon because we were taking the car and TT to drop off and pick up the Motorhome. Then all we would have would be the motorhome.

Hmmmm, a motorhome to drive to all the appointments we were soon going to go to. It could be done, many have probably done it. But here’s the thing….NOPE, just NOPE.

We were thinking we’d get something different, something we’ve never had before. It would have to be used, have you seen the prices for new vehicals?! Whoa!

So, maybe a smart car or a 2 door jeep, or a spark or hhhmmm, what else?

CHEVY SPARK

So, we started looking within a 60 mile radius of where we are staying. If we found a jeep we could afford it had over 100,000 miles and Smart cars where just no where to be found.

This little red cutie came up on our radar, we thought it was brand new a 2021 or 2022 and we knew it would be out of the question. But on a whim we went to see it.

It was truly amazing, first of all, believe it or not, we fit in it! With room to spare! It was actually a 4 door, so 2 more people could squeeze in with us for a short drive somewhere.

It was spotless and I’m hoping you are sitting down, it had 84 miles on it!

And it was a 2019! What?!

I mean, really, WHAT?!

We read the CarFax they had printed off on it, we’re at Jordon Ford. This vehical was part of the shipment that was purchased (which I guess is common in the car business) and sent to Minnesota, it was the showroom model. But seriously, who would want to drive this little cutie in the 50ft of snow Minnesota gets each winter?

They get a lot of snow in Minnesota.

It was placed at auction to sell and Jordon Ford bought it.

And the rest is history. We pick it up tomorrow or Tuesday.

We trade the EMPTY car and trailer in on the motorhome Friday.

We got some work to do, Lucy! Oh boy!

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