For the love of RV’s

I’ve been more than a little obsessed for the past 6 months with finding the right home on wheels! Toyota Sunline? Dodge Starcraft? Airstream Argosy? Toyota Chinook? Recognizing my deep addiction to antique vehicles…antique anything really….we learned a hard lesson just recently. We fell for a 1981 Toyota Sunline from the Craigslist ad. We then drove to the state line of Tennessee and Virginia. Next we met the shady characters that owned this sweetheart on wheels, test drove her while stalling out 5 times in 15 minutes, negotiated them down $600, and departed back to Asheville high as hot air balloons! We made it 2.3 miles. Didn’t even make it out of the town center. No biggy! We laughed! Ha! We took our first pictures. We even named her Peaches.
The next two months were a blur of aggravation. We paid a mechanic friend to go and retrieve our lost Peaches. Then we paid him to clean out the gunked up gas tank and all of the gas lines. Then we drove her and she broke down again. We paid for another tow job. We replaced the fuel pump. We drove her….we broke down. We paid to tow her back home. We paid to replace the slave cylinder to the clutch. Then the mechanic (car surgeon) broke the real news to us: though her heart was good her body was broken into a million pieces, like shattered glass. We bought a complete renovation project only wanting to recover the interior cushions in a fabric that felt like home to us, and then hit the road! Instead we had a bleeding heart.

Peaches was rotten.
We sold her at a loss.
So, relegating my love of vintage vehicles to pinterest photos and postcards….I’m now looking at the modern Chinook. Still one lovely piece of fiberglass like the original, but the coach sits on a Ford chassis, so she’s roomier to fit two humans and two canines. These rv’s look a little too similar to a full-size family van (thumbs down), but the butt still resembles the rear of the classic oldies. It’s boxy and square with the rear door and ladder to the roof. She also still sports the thick racing stripes wrapping the back corners with the bold lettering spelling out C H I N O O K. I think I can work with this…all appliances work, the engine is strong and the tires are new!
We are going out to look at one in the morning. An older man named Frank owns her now. He’s got two rods in his back, two bad knees, a fleeting memory, and four dogs. I talked to him on the phone for 10 minutes and he had me laughing and pondering the quickness of life. I can’t wait to meet him. And I’m already practicing a name for our potential new home on wheels…Rose. The worst color for wall to wall carpeting and cushion coverings….but when you can’t beat ‘em, you join ‘em.
We will keep you posted.

Published by Erin McGrady

Erin McGrady is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer exploring Asheville and beyond. My work focuses on sharing about LGBTQ safe spaces, camper van life, and the outdoors.

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