Living in a 1996 Dutch Star by Newmar with Purple Carpet

My friend Avonelle graciously allowed me to interview her from her quarantine oasis in a Class A Motorhome.  She didn’t have the intention of becoming a full time RVer, but when we all played musical chairs in February to shelter in place, she landed in a 1996 Dutch Star by Newmar.  With purple carpet…  

She sent me some pictures that I’ll share in this post.  The setting is very nice.  The motor home sits next to a full covered porch and patio 13.5 ft deep and 20 ft long, with a walk way and nestled under a giant tree….  And a flower garden…  And an EZ-Bake Oven…  Wait, what???  Easy Bake Oven and Purple Carpet??  (I’ll get back to those features…)

So we had a visit like we would have in the past, except we were on the phone and not sharing a weekend in a lovely setting, and we got caught up.  She’s adapted very well to the shelter in place order!  She’s loving taking yoga classes online, cooking, sewing masks, and figuring out what to do next in her life.  She’s a gig worker in regular life, and that dried up, at the same time she found this lovely RV to live in!

While I’m talking to her about RV lifestyle,  she’s talking to me about buying silverware place settings to complete her mother’s set, because she’s excited to get back to life and host a party!  She sounds like she’s sitting on the fence about becoming a full time RVer when the necessity is over, but maybe she’ll be a hybrid with roots and a storage garage….  But in the meantime, she’s enjoying where she is and what she has, which is an unexpected blessing!

She was so happy to have a friend that bought an RV, and then never really used it.  It’s a 1996 Class A Motorhome, Dutch Star, with only 65,000 miles.  It is parked on a property with a house that is vacant and being remodeled.  There had been some break-ins, a little bit of vandalism, and her friend thought it would be a great idea to have someone on site and she moved right in to the motorhome!  (Her friend bought the motorhome for only $10,000. two years ago.)  He didn’t like it, because it has purple carpet and an “RV Queen Bed”, which would only work for him if he slept diagonal.  So that was our introduction in conversation to RV bedding.  If he replaced the RV Queen mattress with a regular RV Queen mattress it would totally take up the walkway to the front door and he’d have to climb over the bed to get out.  But the bed is fine for my friend that’s 5’3″, but the darn sheets!  Everything is more expensive for an RV, including bedding.  So her solution was to get sheet garters to hold the excess sheet onto the end of the bed, cinch those nice and tight and they hold the regular queen size sheets down!  (Why pay more money for RV bedding specialty sizes when you don’t have to??)

We talked more about how her life is now that she’s accidentally full timing!  But the idea of living in the motorhome has been growing on her, and she said these are some of the pluses of having a Class A RV vs a pop-up tent camper or even a toy hauler trailer.  Her motorhome runs on gas, all the electrical works really well, it has a huge propane tank and a delightful air conditioner.  She kept telling me about the wonderful meals she’s made with her Easy Bake Oven and I was baffled!  I full meal for 10 people using only a lightbulb to cook?  How’d she pull that off in a motorhome “1-butt-kitchen”???  But she didn’t mean that literally, of course!  She has a combination convection oven/microwave oven and it works out just fine for her!

When her friend bought the RV the intention was to have shelter while he was on the construction work site – get out of the sun, take a nap, get lunch.  So much better than just having an office trailer delivered to the site and hooked up to power.  And he could take it on the road if he could overcome the short bed- tall man syndrome…   

I asked Avonelle if she had the camping bug now that she lived in an RV, and found out that she has actually been dreaming of remodeling an old bus, but realizes all the work that goes into a project like that.  And also her friend would also like to convert a bus, but a much longer bus, like a Greyhound bus size.  His and Hers camper bus conversions, and hers would be hippy-dippy, his would be more engineered.  He wants hers to have a fold down deck, seating for 4 or 5, and that deck would be permanently attached to the outside of the bus, and would just travel everywhere, and maybe have a hydraulic lift to bring it up and down.  

When I asked Avonelle about the pro’s and cons of buying a motorhome that’s old enough to legally gamble, she said the decor was extremely outdated, kind of like “The best Little Whorehouse in Texas” decor, with lovely dusty rose wallpaper, bedspread, purple carpet…  All outdated and not something a single man would typically like!  He didn’t notice how much he disliked it until after a few nights of sitting in Grandma’s parlor with the outdated decor.  So he’ll keep it on the construction site until that project is finished, or keep it on site as a guest unit….  In the meantime, she’s snug as a bug in a rug!

As far as some projects to update the interior of the motorhome and increase the functionality, she pointed out that there’s an empty space right by the entry.  He wants to install a new counter in this space where he could slide it out, flip it over, and she’ll have a surface at counter height for all of her needs.  When this happens it will affect the kitchen area of the motorhome too.  The kitchen, instead of having a flat wall, it will stick out into the living room area like a peninsula so that someone could work on the other side while she works on the counter.  And she’s busy de-cluttering the RV to maximize space.  She has a knife block on the counter, and she’s going to attach a knife magnet to the wall and get rid of the knife block, and lots of little organizational projects to make the space feel like home.  

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