What a difference a day makes ……………

Well after buying the RV the next step is to buy a tow car, so we can travel around towing the car and use it when we are parked on a campground, as even in America it isn’t very practical going shopping in a 35ft RV.

After some research we found that it was best on a gas RV (petrol just in case you thought it was running on LPG!), to buy a light car. So no Jeep Wrangler, Chevy Eldorado and other HUGE vehicles we have seen some people towing!!.

We also needed to tow it “4 down” (all four wheels rolling) on an A frame so it is best to get a manual gear shift. Now those of you in the know will realise that manual cars in the USA are quite hard to find. But wonders will never cease we found a dozen manual Chevy Sparks in a 50 mile radius.

The best buy seemed to be a 2013 white one at a company called  Al Hendrickson Toyota. So Thursday evening we set off with Christopher to the dealership ready to haggle them down from $5,997 asking price.  Arrived there and explained to a salesman what we had come to see, and it takes him nearly 45 minutes to find the car in this HUGE lot. Christopher (my nephew) says this is good as they obviously haven’t had many buyers for the car so we should be able to knock them down.

So finally the car arrives and it is it good condition and seems to tick all the boxes, so I had a test drive (gear shift on the wrong side!!) and it runs well. So back we go to haggle (or so we thought!!).

Sit down with the salesman and they produce an already printed sheet with lots of detail and asking price of $9,877. I must have looked at him gobsmacked especially when he said that was their final offer. So how does a car advertised at $5,977 increase in price by 50%? Dealer fees!! Which included would you believe $980 for nitrogen in the tyres and $1400 for getting the Florida tag (number plate), which we knew for a fact was actually only $400 as that is what we paid for the RV tag.

So opening gambit was can you just take the nitrogen out of the tyres and put in FREE air, but no $9,877 was the asking price and they wouldn’t move. So we had no option, and said “thanks, but no thanks” and walked out. Even now when I am typing this I still don’t understand their attitude!!

So Friday we phoned our second choice at a company called Pompano Cars. Yes $5,400 was their Internet cash price (15,000 more miles but same year 2013), plus dealer, tax and tag $6900 and willing to haggle. So Anne and I set off (Christopher was working).

We arrived to find a silver car in actually better condition than the one we had seen before, had a test drive and it ran really well.  Then we started haggling and he showed me what they had bought the car in at and the cost of the servicing they had done, plus for some strange reason it was missing the hood (bonnet) prop which they would pay for. So I asked what was their best price and he gave me the usual about he would get killed if he reduced it further as the internet price was already lower than their original asking price. He would have to ask the dealership owner and he was at an auction. Fine I said we will go away and phone me if you have a deal. We went off to the Post Office and to get something to eat and Jerry phoned back after an hour to say he had a number.

Back we went and they offered another $600 dollars off so we agreed to buy it and “closed the deal”. Add the tag, dealer fees and local tax and we had a bargain compared to AJ Hendrickson.

So we now have a tow car and can get the hitch etc. fitted.

As a codicil to this story AJ Hendricks phoned Christopher back just as we were closing the deal to say they would take $8,400. Guess what the answer was!!

As I said “What a difference a day makes ..” and thank you Pompano Cars and Jerry for being nice people to deal with.

The RV

The rear slide is the bedroom and the front slide is the lounge/dining area.

Living area, still cleaning it hence, boxes on seats. Sleeps 7. Over the top of the driver’s area is a powered bunk, and the both seating areas become double beds.

Looking back the other way showing kitchen with hob, oven and microwave, double American style fridge/freezer, the electric fire with the TV above, and beyond you can see the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom. Behind the TV area there is another loo and washroom, which you can use on the road when the slides are in.

Master bedroom.

Well didn’t expect that!!

As some of you may know we came to Florida to buy the RV because it seemed to have the most dealers selling Tiffins (RV Make) and we were looking for a particular model, an Allegro 36LA.

Well we set off to our FIRST dealer yesterday Palm Beach RV and when we arrived thought we had made a mistake as they seemed to specialise in 5th wheels (articulated caravan) and caravans.

Went into the dealership and they said we do have some gas (petrol) RVs can we show you them. So we agreed and the first was a Fleetwood that was only a year old but we were not very impressed. So we moved on and it turned out that the others they had were Diesel Pushers (engine in back) and too long for the UK in case we wanted to take it back.

So we were about to leave when the manager says we have just had a 2016 Winnebago in on part exchange would you like to see it. We said yes, and it turned out to be a 2016 SunStar LX 35F (35ft) with almost exactly the same floor plan as the Tiffin 36LA. Now we didn’t know too much about Winnebagos since we had been concentrating on Tiffins, but it looked in excellent condition and the cleaners had just got to it, so it definitely was new in!!

We looked around and to be honest it ticked all the same boxes as the Tiffin, but it was out of our price range ($124K). So we were about to leave when he mentioned he could reduce the price. What to I asked, $95,000 he thought he could get down to, so we said we would have to go away and think about it.

Came back to Christopher’s (my nephew) and looked up the prices of that make, model and year and they were averaging $121K, so we weren’t being ripped off!!. As luck had it Christopher was off work early so we took him back to look at it with us.

He was impressed, as we were the second time around and further cleaning having been done. So the haggling began and we are now the proud owners of a Winnebago SunStar LX 35F with lots of extras,  including a training course and vehicle prep!! Pick it up next Thursday 6th July!!

Didn’t expect to make a decision that quick, but both Anne and I were very impressed with the vehicle and the price was too good to miss. Christopher reckoned they wanted to make their end of month sales figures a bit better!! Will get pictures up as soon as we have them, but didn’t expect to buy an RV so soon so forgot when we were there!!

Bank account set up

Amazingly setting up a Bank account was much faster than hiring a car!!

Very good service from Citibank. Account, temporary ATM card and online access set up in less than an hour!!

Trialled transfer of funds via TranferWise and that seems to have worked, but won’t know for certain until tomorrow (Wednesday).

Off to look at RVs today.

In Florida

After Virgin Atlantic to Atlanta, and Delta to Orlando, a 1 3/4 hr wait for a car hire (thanks Budget will not use you again) arrived at my nephew’s Christopher at 11.30pm knackered!!

Suitably refreshed by Monday morning we now proceed to hopefully open a Bank Account.

Leaving on Sunday

Flights all booked. Leave on Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow to Atlanta and then Delta down to Orlando on Sunday 25th 11am.

Car hire in Orlando to Jupiter where my nephew Christopher and his wife Lilia live.

 

Welcome

Welcome to the Jordan’s RV blog.

This where we hope to log everything from travelling to the US to buy the RV, to using it to travel around the US and beyond.