Sunday, August 28, 2022

Meet Hannah Savana

Last Winter and early Spring we had made lots of traveling plans to take Big Eddie (the Ford Expedition) and the C.O.W (Cabin On Wheels) and go camping up North, maybe a road trip or two to South Dakota or somewhere else. And then it happened…

Gas prices shot up close to $5 a gallon. The grocery bill went upward as well as our other monthly bills. All in all it has been about a $300-$400/ month increase in the daily budget. That’s not including any traveling money we would need to take the camper out. So all Summer, between the rising costs coming to us and having a construction crew at the house the month of July and well into August, well let’s just say, traveling hasn’t been happening this Summer.

In discussing traveling with an outfit that gets about 10 mpg, we decided we needed to re-group and weigh out other options. While I would be fine to pitch a tent and have a decent air mattress or cot and camp, my Best Half isn’t that outdoorsy. He wants a bed to get out of that doesn’t require getting up off the floor. He wants to sleep in something that won’t wash away if there is a good hard rain. We are quite different in what we each consider comfort when camping in one place for a few days. But I also would prefer not having to pitch a tent every night when traveling cross-country. I like being able to pull into a rest stop if needed and fall asleep in a vehicle or camper. 

So came the dilemma. We want to do some cross-country travels like we did when we had the conversion van. It had a bed, plenty of storage and was dry and safe when parking for the night. Big Eddie alone did not fit that need, especially when traveling with the 100 lb dogs, Zoe and Max. 

We started looking for conversion vans that would also haul the C.O.W. for longer trips where we park and stay a few days or weeks. I searched Marketplace and found a couple vans that were described to be almost new. When we went to look at them, it was all I could do to not puke from the stench of one and the garbage sprawled all over the other van.

After looking online and chatting we finally found a possible lead on a conversion van with low miles and extra headroom. It was about an hour North of us, so we hopped in the minivan and headed North to see it. 

When we got there it was pretty nice looking and minimal Minnesota rust which is always a bonus. The price of used vehicles around Minnesota right now is pretty steep and there was no way we wanted to pay the price the guy was asking. We offered considerable less, as I was holding all the bills in my hand. He agreed to it and off we went home with our “new” vehicle. It was beautiful and quite roomy with a bed that folds with the push of a button. 

We got it home without any problems and then took a look at Big Eddie, remembering the awesome trip to Texas the past Winter. Big Eddie kept us safe and warm for those 3000 miles. But the new GM Savana could let us get away on trips without having to haul the camper. Saving us at least 50% more gas than if we took the camper. So the decision to sell Big Eddie came relatively easy.

As usual of our vehicle selling, an ad was put in Maretplace and within a few days, we sold the big lug of a vehicle. I am not sure why, but I get kind of connected to our vehicles, so when they get sold and I see the taillights going down the road, I get a little sentimental. But not for long.

I went to the new van and measured the floor area and got a rug to put down over the van carpet. This always is easier when hauling Zoe and Max.The rug can get yanked out and hosed down to get the hair and dirt off it.

I got the phone cords hidden and tucked in and a small cooler with us up front.I have all the kitchen supplies and a tent under the bed where there is a ton of storage. The bed is made up for sleeping and the blinds on the windows are all fixed and tight. They had been slipping down when we drove, so I went on YouTube and figured out how to re-string them. They are as good as new.

Over the next few weeks we are planning some short trips to check out the new camper/van. Some with the C.O.W. and some solo. Is this the one that we will keep and use and be content with? Who knows. Our poor insurance agent can’t keep up with all the wheeling and dealing we do with our vehicles. He is hoping we will keep this for a while I am pretty sure. I am hoping we keep it for a while too. It is the perfect size for the two of us, I can drive it, and bonus…I can stand up in it in the back  part. There are advantages to being 5’4” sometimes. 

As always, we needed to give the new vehicle a name. After discussion and contemplation we named her Hannah Savana who will get us to Montana because we would need a boat for Havana, but maybe someday we can drive her to Louisiana to buy a banana. Here’s to some good trips with Hannah Savana.

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