Extract Junk, Inject Living
None of those things are necessarily deal breakers, but when we eventually came to the conclusion we wanted to travel full time rather than returning to our retirement home in Tennessee several times a year, it make the Palazzo what we came to think of as "a good platform" around which we could create a comfortable lifestyle without spending half a million dollars or more on one of the beautiful, tag axle, luxury coaches we frequently tortured ourselves by touring at a show or dealership periodically. Instead, we set about replacing and upgrading some of the furniture, surfaces, hardware, and equipment that would make it more comfortable and went about enjoying life.
It worked like a charm! We grew to not just love the Palazzo and life in the Palazzo, we gradually became proud of the Palazzo. It felt like we were beating the system...having some beautiful and custom features in a coach at less than 1/10th the tariff of many of our neighbors. An ongoing joke was..."the only thing we're really upset with Thor (the manufacturer) abut is that they misspelled Prevost when they painted the name on the side!"
Okay...that was a stretch of course, but the point is a little elbow grease and a modest amount of money coupled with Margaret's good taste in decorating choices, and we had ourselves a comfortable home for several years. It hasn't hurt that the Palazzo has also been amazingly dependable...never once leaving us stranded or hugely inconvenienced. We've had our share of things breaking or failing, of course, but very little has required a trip to a dealer or a visit from a mobile tech to repair, and much that did require that level of assistance could be chalked up either to "user error," or simply expected wear (such as new awning and slide topper fabrics, tires, fluid and filters, etc.).
So why are we selling? Well as this is written we are currently in our 19th month of the COVID crisis. Infections are increasing across the country, businesses are beginning to require masks again, restaurant and bar visits are feeling more risky, and air travel, theme parks, tourist attractions and cruising seem to be months if not years from normalcy. We eventually had to come to grips with the fact that we're not able to do some of the things we'd imagined we'd do in retirement and are, instead, doing more cooking and entertaining at "home" (meaning the RV), and even when we're traveling (which we still feel can be comfortably and safely accomplished in an RV), we're usually returning to the RV for cocktails and dinner after seeing the local sights rather than going out. With so much of our life now revolving around "home life," it will just feel night for that home to be a little more spacious.
And a second bathroom, a king-sized bed, and dishwasher will be appreciated, as well! ;-)
We'll miss the Palazzo, but what we're replacing it with is pretty exciting even if we do kid that "it's no Palazzo." Given all the shortages and delays in the industry right now, we probably won't have it until early 2022, but when we do, a whole new adventure begins. Let's just hope we'll be heaping accolades on the new one when we write about it in another six years!
If you own an RV, you probably know that it's not uncommon for people to complain about them. Often, expletives are involved. Workmanship and quality problems, breakdowns, repairs, maintenance, and tired, ugly design and decorating can all play a factor in falling out of love with even the most deluxe models. After six years and more than 65,000 miles of travel and life in our Thor Palazzo, however, the decision to trade up to a larger rig was actually a hard one.
We originally had no plans to live full time in an RV. We'd actually never heard of anyone living that way (short of horror stories about people being forced to live in marginal trailer parks out of necessity). Fortunately, when we bought our motorhome to facilitate travel around a 7,000 mile loop of the country to visit our grown children and their families every Summer, we elected to spend what was at the time a significant chunk of change to purchase what was considered an "entry level diesel pusher" rather than a smaller and quite a bit more affordable "gasser." Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with any of those, but what we gained in the process is some extra storage capacity, a comparatively quiet ride, and...most importantly to us...a washer and dryer.