Posts Tagged ‘Stoltzfus’

I pick up “Scooter”

February 14th, 2009 No comments


“Scooter” is the name of the RV newly acquired by yours truly. As with boats (this is my land yacht), Scooter will be referred to as being feminine. I have Roger Halm, my friend and counselor, to thank for the moniker. When I asked him about a possible name, out came “Skip’s scooter”. While “Scooter” is not particularly feminine, and she surely isn’t fast, I like it and it’s similarity to my last name. Unfortunately, PennDOT says she is too heavy for a vanity plate. 😉

If you want all the details about Scooter, feel free to consult the tab “About Scooter”. I have tried to record her details there so as to have all the information in one place.

Scooter was purchased on January 31 but, of course, there are always complications… I had elected to have additional work done and a fluid monitoring panel was not working. This meant the unit stayed at the Stoltzfus dealership until everything was right. I was not planning to take any trips right away; the water systems should remain winterized until freezing is unlikely.
So, I finally picked her up on Friday, the thirteenth. I guess I could have waited until Valentine’s Day, but I have nothing against 13’s, much less Fridays. Of course, as I pull out of the dealership, the first thing I see is that the speedometer is not working. I called them, made a u-turn and pulled back in. Within 15 minutes all was well and I headed to Media where I am currently keeping Scooter in the yard at Taylor Rental. Fortunately, I have had experience driving large trucks so the experience of handling Scooter was not that terrifying. She is large and a little ungainly (not too quick off the line), stable and very comfortable to drive. One interesting feature is a set of three cameras, facing to the rear. One is located on the stern of the coach and allows me to monitor what is happening behind me. The view may be raised or lowered, to either check on the traffic behind me or to see if I still have “Toad” (see below) behind me. There are additional cameras at the front corners; they are designed to show a rearward view on whichever side I might signal a turn. It helps to not be pushing some one off the road. These camera images appear on a screen at the helm.

As an aside, I have only good things to say about the people at Stoltzfus RV Sales (Rt. 202, south of West Chester). Frank Bailor, my salesman, with 31 years of experience, has been great. His knowledge and genuine concern that I be a happy customer has been in full display. His cohort, Ken Miller in the next sales office, has also been a big help. I purchased “Toad” from him. That’s the vehicle that I will tow behind Scooter to expand my range of travel. It is a 1998 Saturn station wagon, all set up with the required towbar system. New tires and a windshield wiper module are necessary but, all in all, for the price I paid, she’s (I only travel with women…) a good dinghy for the purpose. Every one else at Stoltzfus has been great- from Wes, who took my money for the RV, to Fish and Darrell in the shop, John and Matt in service, and Frank and Holly in the store, who continue to take my money for the add-on items….  Thanks to all! (I have learned that Stoltzfus is employee owned. These people are working for themselves and it shows.)

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February 4th, 2009 No comments

For quite some time now, I have had a feeling that my life is in limbo. I retired in April of 2006, separated in August of that year and was divorced in February of 2008. I spent the first ten months of separation in Avalon and eventually came to miss my “home”, the western Main Line area, and being closer to my son, Rob. The result was the purchase of my current home in Chesterbrook, between Wayne and Valley Forge, in June of 2007.

For the first few months, all was well. I enrolled as a volunteer in the radiology department at Paoli Hospital, transporting patients to and fro for their diagnostic work. I have worked with four other men, all but one retired and all of whom are a pleasure to know. I have truly enjoyed doing this and, believe me, giving back does work- it feels good! I spent some time working on projects for my son, reading, too much TV, dating and a wonderful three-week trip to Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

But, something was missing. Anyone who knows me realizes that I really enjoy being on the water, preferably on my own boat… I am the captain and am able to come and go as I please (or the winds and weather dictate). Only one problem… too many boaters my age have made potentially serious mistakes on the water; eyesight, hearing and balance are all prerequisites for the successful boater and, unfortunately, all tend to diminish with age. Here are superb examples of what might happen in these circumstances…

So, what to do…

How else might I experience the freedom and excitement of boating? Last summer, having experienced the trip to the mid-east, I suddenly realized how little I have seen of my own country. Putting two and two together, I came up with the idea of seeing the USA by recreational vehicle. My son, well aware of my impetuous  nature, recommended a trial run… I rented a 31′ motor home for a week in September. Rob spent the first weekend with me and we had a wonderful time checking out the new museum at Gettysburg. In fact, we unknowingly arrived the day after its grand opening. It is well worth seeing. I had to take Rob home (he has to work, you know) and I spent the rest of the week exploring the Poconos, checking out Eaglesmere, Harvey’s Lake and the Mt. Pocono area.

Two amazing things happened, other than having a great time with my son. First, I have never experienced a more friendly, pleasant and helpful environment than that of the RV world. Everyone from RV park owners to park guards at Gettysburg were pleasant and determined to make my time enjoyable. Second, and even more important, I had the same feeling as when I was boating- I was free and in charge, able to move about in my own time and there was something new every day. So, I had found my surrogate to boating. In fact, it may end up being better… I have never heard of anyone seeing Denver by boat!

It was not until late January that I make the final decision… it was time to make the change. Having spent a lot of the winter checking out used RVs on the web and reviewing many of the RV web sites for information, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted. Ah, but a complication: owning a home in Chesterbrook and a condo at the shore meant that I would have three places to live if I bought an RV… something had to go. The decision was relatively easy- Chesterbrook has been rented to offset the expense.

So, where do I find the right RV? The obvious thing to do was talk with the people at Stoltzfus RV Sales, where I had rented the RV in the fall. As it turned out, the right unit was there. I did some web searches for comparable units and found that the vehicle I liked was fairly priced. After some negotiation, including the inclusion of an installed towbar for a tag-a-long car, the deal was made. I settled on January 31st and will pick up the unit after some minor repairs and upgrades are finished.

Thus, the adventure begins….