So, as you read with no doubt growing sympathetic despair, our mechanical follies continued even after leaving Wilmington, resulting in another break down and the assessed need of yet another transmission rebuild. And as a result of the absurd frequency, severity, and costs of our continuing mechanical problems, we have decided that we can no longer full time RV in The Big Kahuna. The transmission rebuild is in progress, i.e. the tranny was pulled and shipped to Pioneer Transmission Services in Illinois. Once rebuilt, shipped back to Charleston, reinstalled and op-tested, the bus will be up for sale.
We made that decision a couple of days into our extended stay in Charleston as the severity of the problems became clear. There followed an aggressive internet search for a modern, lightly used motorhome somewhere in the southeast coastal region, ideally in South Carolina or Florida. I looked at a hundred or more listings before finding something that looked close to ideal right in Charleston at a small used motorhome specialist, Best Pre-Owned RVs, run by brothers Josh and Chris.
We looked at the prime candidate along with the rest of their inventory, honestly liking the one that brought us in better than even the more expensive options they had. We made the deal that day for our 2007 Four Winds Hurricane 34S with only 12,000 miles on it. 90 pictures available at that last link. She is 35 feet long, has three slide outs, a bullet proof Ford V-10 Triton engine, automatic leveling, and all the modern comforts of a home that we never got around to installing, fixing, or upgrading on The Big Kahuna.
Josh has carved out a nitch in the highly competitive used RV market by focusing on complete refurbishment and readiness of his used inventor. Thus, even if we had handed him the check that day he would not let us take the RV until he had completed his full system checks and associated repairs, something that usually takes him two weeks. We bargained it down to six days, and he turned it over to us in five.
We bolted south, stopping for one night in Golden Isles RV Resort in south Georgia on the Passport America 50% discount rate before crossing the border into Florida and turning somewhat inland towards Mount Dora and the hidden jewel of Trimble County Park for a four day stay.
It was a relief to drive a motorhome that started when we tuned the key and went forward when we put it in gear, plowing up hills and bridges without difficulty even with Loki dragging behind. She will hold 70 mph up steep hills, merely dropping out of overdrive to maintain speed. Kahuna would have been down in low gear struggling up the incline at 25 mph.
The biggest drawback to the new RV, Serenity, vs The Big Kahuna is how much less rugged it is. All fiberglass and plastic panels, we have to be much more careful backing it in or making tight turns, having to pay much closer attention to branches and posts and rocks that Kahuna would have knocked out of the way with nothing more than a snicker and scracthed paint. The new RV will crunch body panels if subjected to some of the things we did to Kahuna.
OK, that might not actually be the biggest drawback. Perhaps bigger is the lack of any cool factor: no one is gonna come over to tell us how awesome our RV is, no one still stop us at gas stations to ask questions or give us the thumbs up as we drive through town. Serenity is typical, not cool, but you can’t live in cool; we tried for a year.
Now, instead of cool, a bigger living space, modern conveniences, the ability to climb hills without worry, and the calm sense of serenity that comes from reliability.