004 - the search | part two
Updated: Sep 27, 2018
After driving through Ireland in a rented orange VW bus that we named Eddie, we were able to write down what is important to us when it comes to our own home on wheels:
We want to be as self-sufficient as feasible, so we can spend as much time off-grid as possible | Meaning: we need a large water supply (for showers and dishes), a sufficient size gray and black water tank, i.e. have a toilet and shower, and we should have a source for electricity
Functionality, in other words, no changing spaces around - everything should have its place | Meaning: in the VW bus we had about three different set-ups, one for sleeping, one for lounging/eating, and one for driving, we do not want to have to set-up our space depending on our activity
It should include some storage
It should include a small kitchen | Meaning: two burners, a small fridge, and a sink
We want to stay within our budget of 10k
It should allow for some minor renovations, we do want to get our hands dirty at least a little bit
It needs to be reliable | Meaning: it needs to run and function from the moment we buy it as well as give us security on the road and in no-man's-land
After test-driving the first two realistic options, we knew that with our budget, there were also some compromises that we had to make. There was no perfect option and we had to make sacrifices somewhere.
In the case of the Mitsubishi, these included the age of the vehicle, the rarity of the model in the country, the shower, and the AC. In the case of the Dodge Ram the age and the condition was a major issue. At first, we thought the Mitsubishi could make a great fit, and we were ready to make the above mentioned compromises. But after sleeping on it another night, the fact that it was the only model of its kind in the country and that with such an old age, started making us feel uneasy.
We needed a reliable vehicle. And if it did have hick-ups on the road, we needed to be able to fix them. We could not make compromises here.
So we decided to continue our search with high hopes of finding something better. We started setting an age limit (90's), a mileage limit (no more than 100k), and were focusing less on what the vehicle actually looked like from the outside.
After a couple of days of checking craigslist and Facebook every few hours, we stumbled upon a 20 foot class C motorhome that we had previously looked at, which however had been taken off the market before we could make up our minds before. I shot a quick message to the seller asking if it was available again and with our luck, it was.
We arranged to see it the next day and drove our way up to Port Charlotte to test drive it. The owners, Charlie and Debra, were super kind, knowledgeable about the vehicle, and very uncomplicated. After an hour and a half we left with the promise that we would let them know the next day whether we wanted to buy it or not.
The only downside was, there were a couple of other potential buyers that had already viewed it. Which meant that we could not hesitate too long.
After sleeping on it one night and taking the risk of possibly losing it to another buyer, we woke up and both wrote our decision into a notebook without seeing the other's response.
Luckily, Mattia and I are very in sync.