Abby: Our planned impulse purchase

Dave and I fondly recalled summer vacations of our youth traveling across country with our families in a RV or truck/trailer combination. These memories are likely fond because we were not in charge of logistics or driving.

In the hope of having Alex fondly remember trips as a family, we talked about purhcasing an RV on and off for several months. We were concerned that if we purchased an RV our usage would be minimal because we didn’t take many trips. It was also possible that we didn’t take many trips because we lacked the tools (the RV) to make it easy to get away. Thus deciding the only way to solve this chicken or the egg type question, we decided that we would purchase a RV.

Dave dove into the internet to research options available to us with our criteria: deisel engine, easy to drive, smaller to allow access to most locations, and reliable. The result: the Winnebago View, layout H, 2006 model year. At 24 feet, the View is only 4 feet longer than a Suburban and allows us to camp anywhere short of tent only sites. Built on a Sprinter chasis, it should be easy to drive so the responsibility can be shared between Jess and Dave. And most importantly, the 2006 model year meant someone else had already taken the depreciation hit and the average price fell into our range.

Decision made, we settled in to wait for right View to cross our paths, fully expecting the process to take at least 6 months and require a fly and drive obtain the vehicle. Ever optimistic, Dave impulsively checked the ads on Craigslist. Within a week, Dave found a 2007 View H located only 90 minutes away in Rehoboth, DE. Contact with the seller was promising so we decided to take Alex (then 3 months old) on a road trip to check out the View. Worst case scenario, the RV would be horrific and we would have to go to Dogfish Head Brewpub for lunch. It is unbelieveable the trials we were willing to subject ourselves to in order to purchase an RV.

Upon arriving at the seller’s house, we discovered the RV was in great condition. Dave had his internet researched list of pitfalls to avoid in purchasing an RV. The price, after minor negotiation, was right. The hardest part of the transaction was the Delaware DMV and the ever changing list of paperwork requirements necessary to complete the transaction, all dependent on the representative.

Abby, short for abenteuer (adventure in German, a nod to the Mercedes chassis), officially entered our family a couple of weeks later. She quickly demonstrated that we didn’t take trips due to a lack of interest.