|Roche's Caravan and Campsite, County Wexford|
A year ago, Robert & I rented a campervan and toured
around the Republic of Ireland
for 10 days. We appreciated the ease of pulling
into a parking space and staying the night. No setup, no teardown, just
unplug, turn things off, and go. The few times we have gone camping since
then made us appreciate the van life even more. We aren’t getting any younger,
and Robert likes to have things packed and set up just so. It’s too much for me
to handle, getting the tent and gazebo along with other camping items on the
top of the Delica Van, which is why that's Robert's job. And then once we get to the site, staking out the tent
and gazebo. Our Gazelle tent & gazebo makes things pretty easy, but having
to stake them down was a pain in the least and a chore at the most.
|FDR State Park, Pine Mountain, GA|
After our last camping trip, we decided that if we want to
travel like we do we need to make a change. We need something that 1) will
allow us to travel on the interstate, 2) be easy setup/tear down, and 3) that
I can drive if I need to. We kept talking about our Ireland Adventure and the camper we rented. It was just about perfect; we really liked the layout and the
space. An added plus was the convenience of a bathroom if it was needed. So, we
began our search.
|Inside the Irish Campervan|
We started looking at different vans with different layouts
but kept coming back to the one in Ireland. That narrowed things down somewhat.
Robert started looking at different types of chassis and we narrowed things
down further. We finally had it narrowed down to 2 different vans: the
Airstream Rangeline and the Winnebago Revel. A local dealership had both of
them so we could compare literally side-by-side. Robert discovered that a lift
kit could be put on the Rangeline so it was very desirable. I liked all of the
storage space it has; every inch has a purpose. The last question we had to ask
ourselves was, “Where do we want to go in it?” That was the clincher: we want
to be able to camp on the beach and off the beaten trail and you can’t do that in a front-wheel drive
I have to be honest: the first time I looked at the Revel I
wasn’t sure about it. I thought it was overpriced for the space. But it grew
on me the more I looked at it and the more YouTube videos I watched. As I
said, there was a dealership in town that had a Revel for sale. Robert began
negotiations which ended up being pretty short. He knew we could get one for a
lot less than their final offer. He sent me a link for an Entegra Launch and
asked what I thought. I knew when I saw it that that was it. It is basically
the Revel but with upgrades. The inside is more aesthetically pleasing and the
kitchen drawers are more functional.
Once we decided on exactly the van we wanted, Robert took to
the internet to find one. It didn’t take him long to find a dealership with few in stock. A couple of weeks later, we had perfect timing to fly down to
pick it up. Our plan was to fly in on Wed. night, inspect and pick it up on
Thursday, and drive 2 days home. Only that didn’t happen. The van we wanted had
battery issues in the cabin that the dealership couldn’t resolve. They had
another one with a working battery, but it turned out the chassis had issues
that couldn’t be fixed. So we called it a day (or rather, a weekend) and flew
home. We were really disappointed but realized that it was for the best.
I did a search for the van in our home state, and one popped
up that was a couple of hours from us. The dealership is a national chain that
just opened up a branch in Nashville. Robert immediately called and spoke with
someone. He assured us that everything was working as it should. He sent Robert
pictures of questions he had and even sent him a video to answer one of the
questions. Again, the timing was right so Robert ubered over and came home with
her that night. He said the dealership was professional and knew everything
about the van that he expected them to.
|Maeve Anne is home!|
Owning a camper van was such a dream of ours since Ireland. We thought about buying a van and having it customized. In fact, Robert spoke with some guys a few months ago and was getting ready to look for a van when I got cold feet. We have the Delica and I thought that was pretty much all we needed...until we camped again with it a couple of months ago. In the cold. Without a bathroom. We expect to have some stellar times with Maeve Anne and can't wait to get started!
Find out why we named her Maeve Anne in the next blog post!