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Monday, March 5, 2018

Downsized to new RV

Cullman,   AL

Ever since we came off the road as fulltime RVers we have talked about not needing a 43' Fifthwheel.  One that size was ideal when we lived in it.   Now for the occasional weekend, NOMADS project or a week or two at a time we felt a 28 to 32' travel trailer would be just fine.

But first...... repairs had to be made on our Open Range.  All under warranty.  Good thing.

The repairs were such that it had to go back to the manufacturer in Indiana.  While there they had to replace flooring due to 3 leaks caused by loose fittings.  In addition they had to remove the entire drivers side walls and replace.  There was a crack in the shell that was fixed twice but then cracked again.  Also we had 2 spring hangers break.  So they picked up the rig back in November and took it to north Indiana. The repairs were done in December but the weather was such that we were not about to tow on ice or snow.  Since we had to inspect it, we had to pick it up.

It appeared we would have some better weather last week.  So we took off on Wednesday.  It rained all day.  As it was a 606 mile drive we spent Wednesday night in a motel.    We finally arrived at the manufacturer Thursday morning.   In rain, then sleet, then a little snow.  But turned back to rain.

Len was drenched, cold and a little cranky by the time he hooked up and we could get back on the road.  After going a few miles the sun came out.  Whew..... this is good.  We thought.  Two hundred miles down the road on the busy Interstate in Indianapolis...... smoke.  Tires were rubbing together.   ANOTHER SPRING HANGER BROKE.   Talk about unhappy campers.

Len called back to the Open Road folks.   As we were stuck on a busy Interstate we needed a safer place.   Open Range contacted Lippert, the frame maker who arranged for a tow.  We got off the road and realized we were there for the night.   Two mechanics from Lippert drove 3 hours on Friday to do the repairs.

They replaced the broken spring hanger and noticed another one was about to break.  They also replaced the equalizers.

Needless to say... there was some frustration of our part.  We do have to admit although they didn't correctly fix the problem we sent it there to do, they did a lot of stuff we didn't expect.  There was a huge dent from when Len hit our carport.  They replaced that panel. A awning leg was damaged when winds came up in Branson last year and as we attempted to retract the awning the wind was so fierce the leg bent. They fixed that.  Screws had come loose and fallen out of valances.  They fixed that.  One shade in the bedroom had a broken string.  They fixed that.  Some trim had come loose in the kitchen.  They fixed that.   They also washed and waxed the rig.

Well this was good as our plan was to sell it and downsize.

We finally got back on the road Saturday.  We were to take the rig to our local RV dealer.  When it was in their shop last year, they ripped the roof.  As we needed the use of the rig, they patched it with plans to put a new roof on at a later time.  So we dropped it off on the way home.

While there we talked to a salesperson and told him our plans to downsize.   Today we went back and did just that.

We are now the owners of a 2018 Grand Design Imagine travel trailer.  We went from 43' to 32'.  Google Grand Design Imagine 3170BH.

Our last two RVs had huge residential fridge with ice makers.  But we can live with this smaller rv unit.   Not the counter space the larger units have but that's okay too.  Especially since it has an outside kitchen with a 2nd microwave, two burner stove, small refrigerator and storage drawers and cabinet.

A large booth dining area that can be converted to a bed.  Two recliners.  Len is thrilled.  They not only recline but have a heat and massage setting.

The bunk room.  This room closes off for privacy.  The bunks on the left with a TV.  On the right is the sofa that folds down to a bed plus another bed that folds down above the sofa.  Drawers under bunks and sofa.  Plus a closet.

Our bedroom.  Not real big but satisfactory.

The bathroom is surprisingly large.   Good size shower and some shelf space on the vanity.

Yea, some things I will miss.  The washer/dryer combo.  The huge living room in the Open Range.  The residential fridge.  The fireplace.  LOTS of storage.   What I won't miss is the stress of wondering when the next spring hanger will break.   And towing and finding sites for a 43' RV. We expect that due to downsizing the insurance and cost of tags and registration will be less expensive.  And we know we will get better fuel mileage.

Hope to pick it up by the weekend.  Can't wait to get the tubs of "stuff" out of our basement and start arranging them in a new part time home.

Until next time.


  1. Congratulations on your new "part-time" home. Looks like a beauty.

  2. Wow, what a story about the Open Range. Congratulations on you part-time rv home. I know y'all will enjoy it.

  3. Congratulations! Wishing you many happy hours in this new RV.

  4. Good riddance to the Open Range. You don't need that nightmare any more. Your new RV looks nice. We are planning on a smaller TT too. It will be nice to get in smaller spots.

  5. I hear Grand Design is a good name. Good luck with the new one! It makes more sense to be able to pull that instead.

  6. The problem with the Spring Hangers is the Welding Process and the person doing it. The Manufacturer uses a MIG welding which involves pointing the gun and pulling the trigger. Unfortunately those persons doing this don't know how to get penetration. That's why it breaks. They also pay these people low wages and by the number of units they produce in a day so you get sloppy work.
    Hoping you can enjoy your new unit much better.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.