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Time for a change?

The use of the Old Girl has changed since I purchased her. Fulltiming was not even thought about at that point. I bought the recreational vehicle for occasional weekend use and to pull my 28′ enclosed car trailer to various weekend events.

The Old Girl at Texas World Speedway in College Station. 2006

Early in 2007 the focus changed. I decided it was foolish to continue to live alone in a 2500 sq ft loft and rented it out making the Old Girl my primary residence.

After 5 years of full timing, I am revisiting the livability factor and maintenance requirements of the Fish Bus. Typically these days, I am stationary for at least 90 days in the same location. The Old Girl did not move any in 2009 – period! I have had no major mechanical problems with the 5.9l 230hp Cummins diesel in the 1993 National Dolphin 32D with the exception of a water pump replacement in 2008. At 55,000 miles, the Cummins diesel has many miles left. At 17 years old, gaskets are dry and deteriorating, rubber seals are cracking; old age will be the death of the Old Girl. So I am having a quandary.

A major engine failure would be pricey. Investing several thousand dollars into a repair would be ill-advised on a 17 year old diesel pusher. Can you say upside down? Motive power is necessary of course to move from job to job so any breakdowns would necessitate me gritting my teeth and just doing it.

The confining interior of the Old Girl

The other thing that is getting to me these days is the lack of room. I figure I have about 200 sq ft within the walls. The cabinets and dinette and couch subtract from that. What I end up with is a narrow walkway down the center of the Fish Bus that will not allow two people to pass side by side. It just gets plain old after awhile.

When you are dealing with such limited spaces, an OCD nature is the rule of the day. Everything has a place and everything must be in its’ place. You have to observe that rule hard. if you don’t, the clutter is overwhelming; like an RV Hoarders mega-bad episode. It ain’t pretty. It shouldn’t be this hard. Dammit!

So, what I am thinking these days is a 30′ plus bumper pull trailer might be in order. I don’t wanna fifth wheel because I am overwhelmingly addicted to my big ass Suburban so I guess it is going to be a bumper pull for me. I have already sorta kinda started looking around at PPL and Craigslist. It is apparent that the systems I take for granted on the Old Girl will be lacking on a bumper pull. Namely, a generator and big battery bank. Oh well! I am sure that the add ons will not be a big deal. Idle hands are the tools of the devil you know. I need a new project.

You know, I have always felt the Old Girl was so solid and dependable because she was built back in the day– more Old School. I have been to recent RV shows and I lament the way the new RVs are constructed. Way too much plastic and corner cutting than I am comfortable with; this is going to be a tough decision no doubt.

End Note: Change My Way by Seth Walker from the self titled debut CD. Bluesy Mississippi six string slide. Way cool.

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2 comments to Time for a change?

  • I gotta laugh. It’s the way of Man. Thank God for that.

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  • Kevin

    Take a look at New Horizon RVs. They custom build and most likely could handle your needs for a generator and battery pack. Take a look athttp://www.horizonsrv.com/

    I am a big fan and will most likely get one of their 5th wheels when my 99′ Dolphin (gasser)needs to be replaced.

    I have been reading your blog for some time. You are a good writer, keep it up!

    — Kevin

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