Saturday, June 29, 2013

Well, we did it, but not the one we thought we would…

We went to the dealer to look at the 3900FB, the 3825RL, 3725RL and the 3625RL, the 3725RL and 3625 were just there for comparison. Or so we thought… we spent a lot of time going over the rigs.

The shower in the 3900FB felt like it was made of something just a tad thicker than paper, it was very weak and over all this monster didn’t impress us like we thought it would. The 3825RL was next but who ever designed the bathroom, clearly wasn’t going to use it or was maybe 5ft tall, I could not fit standing in front of the toilet without my rear end hitting the sink… Disappointed smile

Wait, I’m getting ahead, the first rig we looked at was inside, it was the 3625RL and it was very nice except for the furniture and the living room slide was too deep, it would hit the power pole at our site and during negotiations they pushed this rig hard, real hard. While we liked this rig, we would have been settling if we chose it, I told them if this was the only rig we could fit into the numbers we would be walking and no sale. The 3900FB and 3725RL were within $1,000 of each other but we were about $4,000 over budget.

I explained we would not spend more than we told them we would spend, not one penny more. The owner took the deal from the finance manager and spoke to his partner and 10 minutes later told the finance manager he didn’t like it (bullshit, he got a sale, he loved it and I know it) but he would sell us the 3725RL for the exact amount we budgeted making everybody involved happy. Come on guys, I know how this game is played, if he wasn’t making a number in profit he was comfortable with he wouldn’t have made the deal.

I’m a capitalist, you sell something you’re entitled to a good profit, but I’m entitled to make sure it swings in my favor if I can. Going by what we have seen at other dealers we got a good deal so enough of the explanation, here is our new Montana 3725RL! We pick it up this coming Wednesday!



Holy crow, look at the length of that bedroom slide!


Forgive the picture quality, it was storming and fogging up the camera. Here is the living room, two awesome recliners and a full queen bed built into an awesome leather couch.


Lots of counter space, huge refrigerator and pantry.


In this hallway is a very large closet that is bigger than my closet at home or can fit a full sized washer and dryer.






There are a lot more pictures but I’m at the campground, I’ll be lucky if these post. Whew, so that’s over, now for the PDI and delivery process and possibly modifying the deck because the door to the new rig may line up with the railing…. we’ll deal with that after the rain stops and we can do some measuring.

Have a great weekend folks, we’re tired and going to watch a movie and relax…

Friday, June 28, 2013

2013 Blackhawk Stanley Cup Celebration!!

Chicago is getting ready to celebrate the 2nd Stanley Cup in 3 years today. The train station was packed but the monthly riders who pay for parking in advance stayed home. This is the monthly lot, nearly empty, the daily pay is already full, I missed taking that shot.


The train is packed, the train I ride begins in Hanover Park so since I know where to stand I go into my usual seat. By Schaumburg we were at capacity and that’s the next stop!


The celebration begins in 2 hours, people are walking to where the Hawks will be ending up to give speeches and party.




The parade route starting to fill up.



News cameras filling the street.


More of the parade route, in an hour this will be packed so tight people won’t be able to move. I’ll be at work… well… working! Ok, AND watching the festivities on our 100inch HD TV. Winking smile


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Comment response, a video and the 5th Wheel

I may regret posting this but it’s so darn perfect! I may not wake up tomorrow but oh where has this video been my whole life? Smile 

Nail, what nail??

My brother (as well as you other awesome peeps) make some very valid points in the comments section, but to properly respond I’ll respond here.Blogger

Steinar Andersen said …. “Erik, these aren't personal attacks. This is a conversation (please take it as such). The pusher can be moved at any time, hence my opinion. I think staying at Blackhawk (at one park), is something I would never do. I also have a 90 foot driveway to keep my trailer at, whereas you have a small driveway. If you want to just stay in 1 place, then take the 5th wheel. If you think 1 year of warranty (with a 15 year loan) is worth it, then go for it. Again, it's your life. I just know you.... and my gut sez that the Diesel Pusher is what you'd be happy with over the "long term". If you get the 5th wheel, I suggest you get an inexpensive Dodge or Ford truck with a diesel (that is about 8 to 10 years old so you can move it on occasion). Again, your choice. You've been pining for a Diesel Pusher for 4 years and you are within reach of one now. If the price is 750 a month, forget about it. If less (closer to 550), I can't imagine you not going for that. But then again, as I said before... its your life. All I can do is offer my opinion.....

Steinar – I never took anything anybody said as personal attack(s), I’m confused to why you would think that, I asked for opinions and I’m open to them, I just think you missed some of my points or we both did.

Let me take your points one at a time and I’ll explain hopefully better than I did before. 

1. Regarding being at one place, we purchased the deck and shed for our spot pretty much ensuring we would be mostly one place. We like Blackhawk and I feel we have made that pretty well known, we both know I like to go different places but sometimes we don’t get all that we are hoping for. I’ll give up traveling for a few years until we can afford a truck What I’ll miss the most, is our Halloween trips to Geneseo, maybe we’ll rent a truck for that.

A 5th Wheel is much better suited in fact perfectly suited for sitting in one place, no matter what we can both agree NO motorhome is good at that and if we bought the Pusher I would do as I always do and take it for drives to keep everything working well, you know me I have OCD/ADD, basically everything ending in a D, I have, it will look better in 10 years than it does now.

2. Warranty, I think this one you missed twice so I’ll make it more clear. We aren’t settling for a 1 year warranty but even if we were my response is heck yes, brand new with a full warranty is something important. So much so we will be making sure it has a 5 year warranty that covers everything.

3. Yes, I, let’s make that clear I in BOLD, prefer the diesel pusher, since this isn’t just for me I have to take Ronda’s opinion in this very seriously because she is the one who does the cooking and we have family over much more than we have in the past. I have to think about what works best. Entertaining people goes much better when you have more room and we both know the Fiver rules in this department. The only Pusher I have found (this Newmar) that is good enough for me to want to buy (can afford) has zero warranty and 85,000 miles, the miles don’t matter but I don’t have a slush fund for repairing something as expensive as a full on top of the line Pusher and this Newmar cost $340,000 when it was new, I can’t afford to take that chance after thinking about it for over a full week now. Maybe that will change when we take a closer look.

You know me, I buy first, think second, for the first time I am going over every aspect top to bottom and my gut and my brain for the first time are saying the same thing, my heart disagrees but the heart doesn’t have to be right. Having said that, we will be looking over the Newmar, who knows maybe Ronda will have a change of opinion, we’ll see.

4. Here is a great bit of news, the re-finance of our house is going to free up funds that we are going to put into savings for a truck in the future if it goes to the 5th wheel this weekend. I find it highly unlikely it will be an 8 or 10 year old truck, you know me so you know this won’t happen. It will be newer, with a full warranty, but we have 2 seasons to think about and save for it. The dealer will move the 5th Wheel for us to the campground and storage if we need to move it later. Also the campground can move it for us if needed.

5. At this point after negotiating with DCU and the dealer I have the Newmar within $48.00 a month of the 5th Wheel, if that doesn’t tell you how hard I have been working at this nothing will, it started at $200.00 a month higher!

6. Why not go with a straight regular trailer, um no…

7. Ok, there were other points, too tired to get into them, I just hope this long drawn out post clears things up a little. We are buying what works best for us and we are working hard on making the right decision, all of everybody's input has been very valuable and we thank you all for it..

Last, let me explain a little (I know, too late!!) why I am ok with not getting the Newmar if we go with the 5th Wheel.

Paint checking, the 2001 Newmar has the full body paint package, this means even the slides are painted on the walls that retract into the RV, it really is beautiful but I also know if the checking isn’t repaired it can get ugly and bad pretty quick, which means expensive, admittedly this gives me great pause and selfishly is a huge reason why I’m going to be very open to the 5th Wheel this Saturday. 

Speaking of the 5th Wheel here it is, since this post has gotten so huge why not add some pictures right? This model has 1.5 bathrooms, one of which is huge and the other is off the kitchen This is truly full time capable, I find the main bathroom a bit large, might be taking away from family room space, we’ll see this Saturday when we look at it.




Under the TV is a desk that slides out, perfect for me to work at.



Full sized refrigerator.


Large kitchen island.


Downstairs bathroom.


Upstairs bathroom, see reflection, the bathroom is bigger than the one in my house! A sink for her and a sink for me!



Queen sized bed I believe.


Large closet with a hamper that angles out.





Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Difficult decision to make, used diesel class a or new fifth wheel…

We are at a decision point, one that is hard to make… let me back up and explain. Back in 2010 we decided to buy an RV, we called our mortgage company and accepted their terms, not my wife's fault, I take full blame for it. The rate I signed for is 14%, there were at the time what I considered good reasons, many of them we are paying for and will have them cleared in about 2 more years. Had I been smart I would have called my credit union, I found out why we were denied by every bank the RV dealer tried, get this….

THEY THOUGHT WE OWNED 4 CARS!  Now, you would think their banks would ask for clarification but like I said, it’s a sellers market right now and they simply said no. I very much want to get out from under that 14% because at that rate we have gone the last 6 months (example time period) what we owe on the Endeavor hasn’t dropped much. I knew if we could get that Mountain Aire 4095 at 5.47% with a cost of $69,995 we would end up paying more in the end for our cheaper Endeavor.

I had an epiphany yesterday and called my credit union, they called back and explained we are escalating our debt by adding 2 more new cars on top of our old ones. It took about 10 minutes to explain we traded in our cars a few months ago. With that cleared up she gave me an instant approval for $60,000. That doesn’t get everything worked out however, the best rate they will give is 8.47% over 10 years… they will go to 15 years on a new RV but the only new RV’s in our price range are Fifth Wheels and Travel Trailers.

EDIT: I just got off the phone with them, they have now offered 70k over 15 years for the 2001 Mountain Aire!! They will go to 72k if they have to! The reason they are willing to be so flexible is because the Mountain Aire books for almost 100k and we have great credit and maybe because I beg pretty well, not sure.

So here is the difficult decision, buy a new Fifth Wheel or try like hell to buy the used Mountain Aire. The Mountain Aire is in fantastic shape however the dark painted stripe is starting to check, so that will have to be addressed, it also comes with no warranty since we have squeezed the dealer so thin on the price.

We could buy a Fifth Wheel however once it’s delivered to the Blackhawk campground it will be staying there until we pay somebody to move it, we don’t own a truck. This isn’t a problem I suppose if we don’t plan to go to other places. The plus side, it would be new, come with a warranty and would have a lot of space. They don’t come with a generator however. Also, the slides are huge and might get too close to our neighbors tree, if so we’ll have to move our deck, which would be interesting.

The Mountain Aire gives us freedom to go where we please, it has the Hydro Hot system so there is no furnace or hot water tank, the negatives for that one are it’s 40ft and will be a challenge for the length of our driveway at our site. I don’t want to buy an RV to fit a site, I want to buy one that fits our lifestyle. The AS IS and maintenance aspect are negatives as well, the ability to drive away is a big plus… so what to do?

We have submitted our paperwork and have an approval for… another EDIT: the dealer just texted me, they think they might be able to do the deal for 72k out the door. I’m going to have a heart attack over this.

Our next step is to go to the dealer and here is the good thing, if a deal can’t be done with them we can take our approval and go someplace else. We’ll see… I need some coffee…

2001 Mountain Aire 4095 floor plan


2013 Keystone Montana 3900FB


Monday, June 24, 2013

2013 Stanley Cup Champs – Chicago Blackhawks!!





This weekend we went to my wife's best friends sons (Christopher Weber) wedding, they played a DVD of both of them growing up and then meeting and dating. I remember him as a kid working out to play football, now he coaches football and is a teacher, amazing. Smile 

I got a great shot of them before the first dance, don’t they look great together? They are off to a place in Mexico that I can’t remember the name of for 6 days, have a great time Christopher and Erin!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hawks Win!!!

That finish was awesome! Hawks Win!!! One more to go!



Friday, June 21, 2013

Sorry, 736 isn’t good enough

I blogged about the last time we tried trading in our Endeavor (early last year) and also how the deal didn’t happen. We found a Newmar Mountain Aire 4095 worth going after and this time I didn’t blog about it because I didn’t want to jinx it. This time the deal felt right, the dealer thought it was right and would easily go through, our credit is very good but apparently never being late on a single thing ever isn’t enough. Bank wants serious coin down even though this one books easily for much more than we would be paying and we’re getting more for our trade than we owe. Disappointed smile

Why do we try each year to trade in? Not because we don’t like our rig, we signed a contract for a higher rate than I should have accepted for the Endeavor and we would like to get out from under that and get a nicer newer diesel rig in the process. Unfortunately it seems people who pay on time don’t qualify, they want an insane amount down and the market is such now they don’t even have to negotiate the price much. Heck, while I was in the rig 4 families went through it at 3pm on a Wednesday!

So this beautiful Mountain Aire 4095 won’t happen and next year we will actually be upside down on the Endeavor pretty much making it so we have to come up with even more to get out from under it meaning we are stuck with this rate making the Endeavor more expensive than the Mountain Aire if we go full term, how insane and stupid is that? What the hell was I thinking in 2010?

I don’t get it, I’m going to try a bank or two myself but if a guy who wants to sell his rig has his finance guy working so hard to try and make a deal I don’t see how I’ll fare any better. I just bought my car at 0% and while I know this deal isn’t for a car it just shows how polar opposite the markets are, what qualifies for 0% on a $45,000 car doesn’t qualify for a 5.67% RV loan without better than 20% down on an RV. The banks are over run with loan requests on RV’s to the point they can say no where in the past they would have said yes.

I wasn’t disappointed last year, I am this year because we are working our asses off paying off debt, getting out from under the rate would have helped as well and the finance companies don’t give a rats ass how good your credit is or that you have never been late on anything… drat it I’m pissed and I promised Ronda I wouldn’t be, sorry hon but this one got to me.

Here it is, I can show it now since I can’t jinx it, a 2001 Mountain Aire 4095… I know it’s an older model and we have gone  through a few options and year vehicle just to see what the bank would say, they said no to every one of them. I can’t wait until we are in a position to tell banks no, that day will come, they won’t care but it will be nice to be in the driver seat instead of the bend over and take it seat.