Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Boondocking with the Millers
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
We hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did!

We did decide not to take the FMC on a maiden voyage that included spanning the state of California, crossing the Sierras, and tackling the legendary Tioga Pass. We were feeling nervous and consulted Jim Black at RVS about our fears. He agreed that taking any vehicle we didn't know well on a trip like that would be foolish. We stuck with our 4WD GMC 3500 pickup with m/s tires instead. It did beautifully and we came home and back with no worries!

I think this summer we'll tackle that trip with the FMC, however. The other problem we need to solve is a 4WD tow vehicle as we love going into the Boonies and NEED 4WD for the types of roads we enjoy!

And, the FMC was represented on the trip. Note Greg's sweatshirt in our family photograph!

So, Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Fill 'er up!

Fill 'er up!
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
On our way home from the Rally, we filled our gas tank for the first time. Ouch! We stopped at $75 because the pump wanted to anyway. I think we'll just ease into this whole expensive gas thing gently!

Greg was hamming up the pained expression on his face. Note the FMC windbreaker and hat!

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

A fitting tribute!

Jim Evans took my pics and Stephan Heindrick's pics and put together a slide show about the Felton Rally. It's got my all-time favorite song -- Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi as the background music. Totally fun!

Here is a link to it.

Felton Rally Slide Show

Fun times.

A re-visit!

Louise and RonWe were delighted to get a call yesterday from Ron and Louise still camping in Felton. They invited us for dinner. We brought wine and chips and salsa and enjoyed a delightful evening with them. Talking, eating good food, enjoying the cool but not cold mountain air and Ron's endless supply of wood from the trunk of his car. It was fantastic.

We feel so lucky to have met such a nice group of people who share our passion for the FMC!

Thanks for the nice evening, Louise and Ron!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Happy sleepy kids!

Happy sleepy kids
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
The kids were both nestled, all snug in their bunks!

They had such a great trip! The bunks were a huge success.

Our plan is to take them both out and move one of them to over the table area. Then the kids can sleep there and we will have the back area to ourselves.

I think its a good plan but I think we may have a lot of bickering over who sleeps in the bunk each night. :)

Monday, November 6, 2006

At the West Coast Rally, Felton, CA!

We made it! After school on Thursday, Greg and the kids headed down to Felton to the West Coast Rally of the FMC Owners Club. I came down later -- in time for dinner.

The Rally was just about 9 miles away from us in Felton, CA. An easy first trip -- anything we forgot was just up the road a piece! We were thrilled to meet a wonderful, kind, sharing group of people who liked our kids (phew!) and shared their thoughts and ideas freely (yay!) and make a fantastic breakfast (yum)!

Everyone was so nice and Greg got so much good advice. He tells me that when we got pulled in (at just almost dark), a parade started. The men were going around the vehicle poking and prodding and peering at it. The women started going around the inside of the vehicle looking in cupboards and drawers! Good thing it was nice and clean, huh?! But, I returned the favor by poking around the inside of almost all the others as well. We saw LOTS of ideas that we'll likely implement.

We are so glad to have found a great group of people who share our obsession! We have FMC sweatshirts, windbreakers, and hats now so I'd say our indoctrination into the cult has begun!

It was a great trip! Thanks to all the other west coasters for making it so!

More pictures available here . . . [click]

Monday, October 30, 2006

Crazy Week

FMC new fridge
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
This coming weekend is the West Coast Rally. Before then, we have Halloween -- which is a big deal with two small kids. I have a TON of work to do on my schoolwork (getting my teaching credential). We have to finish emptying out the 5th wheel. Sew the velcro back on the bunks well. Load up the FMC. Do the big grocery shopping endeavor for the weekend. Balance the going to the Rally with the still need to go to school thing. I'm thinking that Friday night when I collapse in a camp chair and look around at all the other FMC's, I'm really going to want to have a drink in my hand!

But, I am looking to forward to loading up our never been used fridge for this trip and I'll make sure we have lots of ICE in there for those drinks! :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Maiden Voyage

Well, it's looking more and more like our first trip out with the FMC is going to be to the West Coast Rally in November. Time being what it is, that's the way it looks.

This weekend, we prepared our yard to get ready for the arrival of our new carports. We are getting two large metal carports delivered and installed next week. Both are large enough for the FMC to drive under. One is just for it and the other will be for our other two cars. Living in a rainforest, we need protection from the elements.

We also took a drive down to Felton today and drove through Cotillion Gardens where the rally will be. It's a lovely park. We're looking forward to the trip!

DSCN4418.JPGOur FMC has bunks in the rear cabin where our children are going to sleep -- although we're looking into other options such as possibly moving one of the bunks and taking the other out. Anyway, they had an unpleasant odor about them. We took the fabric off and washed it. The most difficult part was dealing with the velcro. Back in 1975, velcro was TOUGH! I am going to have to repair a couple of places on the fabric where the velcro is pulling away from the fabric but the strength of the velcro connection gives me no doubt that my children will be safe in the bunks! Wow, is that tough stuff! The picture is from a different FMC. It shows the bunk with the strap sticking out.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mini-Kitchen Tour

Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
Orange is so not my color but in all other ways, this FMC is fantastic. The orange in real life is way stronger than in this picture but you get an idea.

The kitchen has one amazing feature. The previous owners replaced the fridge with a brand spanking new -- unused!-- dometic and then they had stainless steel panels made for it. Wow! FMC new fridge

The one thing we want to change is the oven. It has a microwave in it which we will probably never use. We want to replace it with the original eye-level oven that came with the unit. We're hunting one down and have several prospects from helpful FMC owners. Hurrah!

So, there's a little kitchen tour! Enjoy! Oh, here's the dining room too, while we're on this tour . . .

FMC dinette

Friday, September 29, 2006

Interior driver/passenger area

Here is a look at the interior of the FMC. The seats have been redone in a dark orange vinyl and plaid fabric.

More pictures are available here.

The original ad is available here. (PDF file)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Parked where it belongs!

Parked where it belongs!
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
It's ours! We picked it up today. We're beyond excited. Greg's parents drove us over to pick it up. Here is how it looked when we arrived . . . just waiting for us.

It's ours!

Greg's folks followed us to Scotts Valley where we stopped at KFC and got dinner. We drove to a local park and ate in the motorhome. So fun!

The kids loved riding in the double front seat. Greg loved the ease with which the FMC took the hill (Hwy 17). The temperature guage sneered at the hill by barely nudging up 5 degrees.

There are issues that need attention -- there was a pronounced fumey smell inside while we were driving and other things like the guages are hard to read and the headlights and taillights are kind of dim but it's all good.

Our neighbor is also our mechanic and he came over as soon as he heard us pull in tonight. He was nearly as excited as we are!

Life is good!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's getting close

FMCWe are looking at picking our FMC up on Wednesday. This machine belongs in OUR driveway now!

We officially displaced the 5th Wheel today. We bought some touch-up paint for a few places. We are going to empty it out, clean it, order blinds, photograph it, and offer it up for sale.

End of an era.
Changing of the guard.
We're ready to bring the new beauty home.

Oh, and we signed up for an FMC Owner's Club Rally. The West Coast Rally is just down the road in Felton in November. Given how crazy we are about this machine, we're hoping to have something in common with other devotees. Seems silly to go camping 15 minutes away but hey it also seems really convenient to have them all come to our neighborhood for their rally!

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Feeding the Obsession

Winnebago Sightseer
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
Greg and I have been wanting to go look at features of motorhomes -- particularly fixtures, appointments, etc. We wanted to see anything we really liked and get brand names and see choices.

Now, this might seem to be a risky move when one is comtemplating buying an old RV -- go look at brand-spankin' new ones? Hmmmm.

And, we did decide that if we were buying a new RV -- this would have been the one we got. It is smaller (29 feet) and more practical on the interior. It had nice nickel fixtures and appointments. It had a good layout -- much like our 5th wheel. It had very, very cool fabric choices. It was just right for us. If we had an extra $100K laying around unneeded. (Ha!).

So, after we got a poor salesman all hot and bothered, we drove down to where our RV is being stored and looked at it. One look and I felt so good inside. Validated. I mean, really, isn't his a better looking RV?

From the front!

Maybe you don't see it . . . but we did and that's what is so cool about the journey we took today. Oh, that and eating some awesome mexican food at our favorite tacqueria!

Sunday, September 3, 2006

It's starting to sink in . . .

Today, I ordered some swatches for blinds. We need to replace the terrible curtains in the 5th Wheel before we sell it and I want to get roller blinds for the FMC.

Greg put the new stereo in the truck -- which we thought would be great on all those upcoming camping trips in the next couple of years but now . . . maybe the new owner will appreciate it.

We can't stop talking about what we're doing, how we're doing it, and how much fun all this is.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Information Exchanges

From the front!
Well, it's official. After much exchanging of information, Greg and I decided to make it official. We will deliver the deposit when we are over there on Wednesday.

He spoke to RVS about the unit and reviewed all the work that was done on it. He also spoke at length to the man who owns the unit (we'd been talking to his son and grandson).

We were pretty sure it was the right motorhome for us before but now we're really sure!

We're very excited. Greg sat last night looking at the pictures we took of it again. We can't wait to see it in the driveway!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Look what we did . . .

Kicking the tires
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
I can't believe it but we did it.

We came. We saw. We promised to buy.

Okay, we are waiting to give a deposit until they fax us the copies of the receipts for the work done at RVS.
But the plan is that we will give them the deposit early this week and then we'll pay the balance in a few weeks.

It's beautiful. I'm not feeling overwhelmed by it. I'm feeing happy and pleased that we did the right thing. That must be a good sign!

More pictures are available [click].

It is Unit #0708. It's in wonderful condition mechanically and the interior is looking good too. This is exactly the perfect unit for us to buy -- we are feeling really good about this. We know we'll make changes and customize it to suit our needs but it is something we can start using right away which thrills us completely. I guess I need to make a reservation for our first outing in about a month! Wow! What fun!

Today in our adventure

We are going to look at an FMC for sale in our area. We are feeling really good about this one but also are totally willing to walk away if it doesn't feel right. With gas prices the way they are, motorhome prices are going to go down, not up. We can wait.

This particular model needs almost nothing mechanical but looks to be untouched (except for a new fridge) on the interior. That's good for us. We know that we will have some pretty specific wants and desires and will probably change even a completely redone FMC to suit our needs. But, it would feel better fixing something old rather than tearing out something new.

We've spent our free time the last few days pouring over photographs and learning about these machines.

One of the things we learned is that there were only 1050 made and there is a database with all the numbers where they are trying to keep track of them. So, we're curious which number is the one we're looking at -- I think (based on my research) that it is 642. It will be interesting to see if I'm right.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Our Current Camping Rig

Truck & 5th Wheel
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
We currently have fun in our Terry Resort 5th Wheel trailer and our GMC 3500 4x4 truck. We always thought this would be the perfect traveling setup for our family because we love to park and then explore -- preferably on old dirt roads that lead to beautiful places.

Reality though is that for a family of four and a dog or two it doesn't work very well. A motorhome will be more comfortable for us.

But, we'll sure miss the old setup when it goes. Heavy Sigh!

Getting Serious -- Research Begins

RVS in Morgan Hill, CA
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
On our way to Bonfante Gardens with the kids, we stopped in Morgan Hill, CA to chat with Jim at RVS. Jim used to work for FMC back in the day and is the acknowledged expert on them. Greg wanted to pick his brain.

We had the kids with us which made for an interesting visit. They were really good but once Greg and Jim got down to talking, I figured we'd better go do something else. The kids and I went back to the car and played there (and whined and complained and said, "Isn't Dad done YET?" over and over again) while Greg and Jim talked about FMCs.

Greg came back thrilled -- he'd gotten some good information (which he can relay or not as suits him!) and felt even more excited about our plan.

I was also pleased. I'd only seen these RVs from the outside and through pictures on the Internet. Standing in one, looking at the dimensions, layout, and just feeling it was so useful. I'm excited about our plan too.

So, now the real dream building begins . . . which one do we get, what will we do to it, what kind of tow vehicle, what colors, what fabrics, what . . .

Sunday, August 20, 2006

An obsession begins

We have been traveling with our current rig -- a GMC 3500 4x4 pickup truck pulling a 1987 Terry Resort 5th Wheel trailer since the trailer was new (well, we've have a few trucks in that time). It has served us well and we never thought we'd change our minds about what we wanted. Buuuuuuut . . . .

  • We have always talked about fixing up an old RV
  • We have found that now that we have kids who travel with us the 5th Wheel truck thing is not as comfortable for us as we'd hoped
  • We want a change and a project and love shopping and searching and planning so . . .
We're looking for something new.

Greg narrowed his focus very quickly. He was interested in either and old FMC or an old GMC motorhome. We looked at both on the Internet, talked about them, discussed them, and talked about them and looked them both up and it became clear that the one he was really interested in was the FMC. So, we narrowed our focus even further.

What we like about the FMC . . .

  1. Extremely well-made motorhome with a great reputation
  2. Made locally (Santa Clara, CA)
  3. One of the original employees has an RV repair place nearby and he is simply an expert on these coaches and shares his expertise happily
  4. Cool look to them -- great lines.
And so we started looking just as FMCs.

All this was just in a dream-maybe-someday phase until our last camping trip. We had a great time but all of us -- including the kids -- kept talking about how nice it would be to be traveling in a motorhome where bathroom stops don't have to be delayed or happen too often, where travel weary kids aren't stuck in their carseats without being able to stretch and move for four hours straight, where noisy kids aren't immediately behind parents who are trying to talk about wonderful grown-up things like what sort of vehicle they would like to tow behind the FMC that they are going to buy.

Well, after that trip, things starting moving and shaking and now we're getting serious.

Let the fun begin!