The Bus & the Wing
May 10, 2006
|So that everyone will understand a bit better how we will be living, I'll briefly explain the Bus (motorhome) & the Wing (motorcycle/bike).
We originally thought that we would be retirement-traveling in a fifth-wheel camper trailer, & had bought a trailer & truck specifically designed for that purpose & for each other. But, 4 years after traveling in the trailer & truck for weekends & short vacations, we got the itch to get back onto a touring bike after a very brief stint with one nearly 20 years ago. Not being able to find a way to haul the bike with the trailer, we opted for a 2-year old, 2003 Allegro Bus motorhome.
Allegro's are made by Tiffin Motorhomes, in Red Bay, Alabama. From my research, there are definitely more luxurious brands of motorhomes available, but there are certainly none that have higher quality, workmanship, and factory support. During the almost-year that we have had this bus, we have been very pleased with it.
Since getting the bus in May, 2005, we have put +6,600 miles on it, staying in it 56 nights. We have made vacation trips to Gettysburg, PA; Maggie Valley, NC; & Tampa, FL; & spent several weekends in state parks in Tennessee & Kentucky.
We have specific plans to spend Memorial Day weekend in Alabama's Bankhead National Forest & a week's vacation in Arkansas' Ozark mountains this year, & will certainly schedule several other short trips before we depart on THE BIG TRIP.
The bus packs all of the comforts and amenities of home into its 36' length; Vicki says that in at least one respect it has more amenities than does our home. All of the electronics & appliances can be operated whether we are (1) plugged-into a full hook-up campground with land-lines for electricity, fresh water supply & waste water drainage, or (2) rolling down the road, sitting on the beach or in the desert drawing from on-board 12V batteries, generator, satellite connections, propane, & fresh & waste water storage tanks.
As the saying goes, with the bus we have all of the amenities of home, but with a HUGE!!!!! backyard that we don't have to mow.
We pull an enclosed cargo trailer behind the bus in which we haul the Wing, a Bushtec trailer to pull behind the Wing for grocery/laundry/etc runs, & a couple of bicycles.
We've recently acknowledged that the bicycles were a great idea when we didn't have them, but shoe leather & the Wing seem to be our primary choices for local transportation. I can foresee somewhere in our near future that we will pick-up a few $$$ & lighten our load by....uhmmmm, I'd say about 75 pounds, all in one quick transaction.
After riding a 1985 Gold Wing for several months to build-up my experience, we took delivery of a new 2005 Gold Wing in June 2005. For those of you not familiar with Gold Wings, even though they have year models, i.e. 2004...2005...etc, they are better known by their generation....1100...1200...1500...1800, etc, with each generation spanning several years, & the succeeding generation being for the most part a total re-engineering from the prior model.
We went from a 1200 to an 1800, & ohhhhhhh, the first moment I sat on the 1800, I knew this was a SWEET machine!!!!!! I thought I'd never get all of the bugs off of my teeth from having such a big smile on my face!!!!
Even though it is somewhat heavy (750-800 lbs) as bikes go, the balance designed into that bike is very comforting.....& we will not even talk about the power that is available "IF" it is ever needed.....or at least that is the rumors that I have been told.
We will use the bike in the same ways that many people use cars or small trucks that they tow behind their motorhomes, except that we get to enjoy the fresh air, wind, yes aroma sometimes (ahhhhh, that fresh barnyard fragrance as we travel the country backroads....one of nature's many perfumes), & have a much more panoramic view than do other people sightseeing in cars.
The Bushtec will allow us to make overnight trips away from the bus, if desirable. For example, we will likely park the bus somewhere outside of the Los Angeles area, load up clothes, etc., as needed, & take the bike & Bushtec into Kevin's house when visiting there, rather than fight through L. A. freeway traffic with the bus & cargo trailer combo.
OK, as fun as it is, I suddenly have the urge to do something much more fun than sitting here pounding on this keyboard......later.....VROOOM...VROOOM.....VROOOM!!!!!