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Our very own Prairie Schooner

January 20, 2011

Well… here it is…

36' 1998 Holiday Rambler Vacationer

We have accomplished Step One toward realizing our future plans, and fulfilling a dream we’ve talked about for twenty years.  We are now the proud owners of this beautiful 36 foot motorhome.  We bought it on my birthday, and even though it’s for both of us, it’s the biggest birthday present I’ve ever received.  We didn’t expect to find an older motorhome, of this size, in such beautiful condition for a price that was well within our alloted budget.  It is a bit bigger than we had been planning on, but it’s perfect for our purposes, and the price was right.  The engine purrs like a kitten, the exterior is without a single ding or scratch, and the interior has been beautifully maintained.  It appears to have had only one owner, a couple who left all their maintenance and repair receipts in the glovebox, along with the owner’s manual and even the log book where they recorded their gas purchases and oil changes.

The floor plan, with the removable dining table, gives us the flexibility we needed.  With the table removed, there will be room for a small easel, or a good quality tabletop easel would work as well.

This arrangement also would allow us, if it seems right, to build in a painting/computer work station, with a tilt-top painting surface rather than an easel, saving the easel for outdoor work only.  It’s much more flexible, and would require minimum modification, whereas a built-in dinette would have made all that more difficult to achieve.

The separate easy chair/recliner will, I suspect, become Nell’s reading place.  Hemi the miniature Schauzer and I will share the couch, I’m sure.  We have some small cube-shaped ottomans, covered with microfiber, that will make it easy to stretch out there.  The ottomans have lift-off tops, and can provide extra storage as well.

One of the things that impressed us was the massive amount of drawers and cupboards throughout, even in the bedroom.  And, newer models we’ve looked at tended to have narrow hanging closets on either side of the bed.  The mirrored area you see is a full closet.  And there is room to walk all the way around the bed.  The cabinet just seen above all those drawers has a small TV hidden inside.  A TV in the bedroom is something we’ve lived without for years, so it’s possible that space might eventually turn into another bit of storage space if we needed it.

I’ll eventually create a new, separate blog, dedicated to our travels, but for now I’ll post our progress here.

We’ll pick it up next week.  I’ve been checking out storage lots and found one very close by.  We had intended to make this purchase sometime in the first quarter of this year, then start working on getting the house ready to sell.  By finding it this early, we can move forward with the house sooner.  It will also give us plenty of opportunities to get it out on short weekend trips, get our sea legs in it, and learn what we’ll need in order to live in it fulltime.

We’re a step closer to achieving the dream of traveling the country, painting, and feeling a bit of freedom after so many years of working for others.

More to come as things progress.  But for now, the first step has been accomplished.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 8:24 pm

    Oh, how exciting!! Wow, that IS big, with LOTS of room! But still, where do you plan on putting all your boxes of art supplies that you usually take with you on the road? The frames.. the canvases.. the paints…… the finished products? Hehe. Quite the challenge, i’m sure! But SO awesome! It’s really happening…! 🙂

    • January 22, 2011 3:08 pm

      Thanks AJ! There’s lots of trimming down to do. I’ll carry fewer frames in a tub that we’ll store in the “basement” storage under the motorhome. We’ll keep a couple of tubs of framed work either under the bed or in the basement. I paint with gouache on illustration board, which doesn’t take nearly the storage that canvas or wet paintings would require. I don’t paint huge paintings, so unframed finished work will store in flat tubs, most likely under the bed. I’ve just received a shipment of illustration board… 20 sheets of 20’x30′, and the package measures 20x30x1 1/2 inches. A package like that will make a lot of paintings, and will stand up at the back of the closet easily. A palette with a plastic cover, paint tubes, and brushes will store easily in cabinets above the “studio” area, along with sketch pads, etc. Almost everything else is small supplies that I’ll keep in a big fishing tackle box. There are places to keep all this stuff. I just won’t be able to have everything out all the time like one would in a normal studio. It will definitely be a challenge, but we’ll make it work.

  2. January 22, 2011 11:40 am

    Good luck and safe journeys. My husband and I have had a 32′ fifth wheel for 7 years and
    though we don’t live in it, we have enjoyed many trips traveling around this great country
    with so many different scenes to sketch and photographs for paintings. Maybe we can meet
    up some day at some art fair or other. We are in FLorida in the winters and every weekend
    there are great shows (southeast) in February and March. Enjoy!! Pam

    • January 22, 2011 3:10 pm

      Thanks Pam! We are so looking forward to doing this. I can’t imagine running out of subject matter out there.

  3. Carolyn Rutland Hancock permalink
    January 22, 2011 9:11 pm

    Congratulations to you and Nell for making your motorhome dream a reality! Happy belated birthday greetings to you as well. Carolyn

  4. Margaret Quin permalink
    January 23, 2011 10:12 pm

    We are very happy for you all, but we’ll miss you as such good neighbors!

    • January 24, 2011 9:23 pm

      We’ve still got a lot to do yet, Margaret. You’re stuck with us for a while longer.

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