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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


As you know, Dan and I are leaving for the sunny south in, let’s see…245 days (and counting!). And you know we’ve been looking for that perfect 5th wheel in OUR budget. Dan and I had agreed on a dollar figure that we would NOT go over and felt confident that we could get a good, used 5th wheel that met our qualifications for that amount, or an amount close to it.

On Thursday, Dan and I took off for the day and headed to Escanaba to the Hilltop RV Show. Escanaba is not some place that we go to very often…I love trees, but boy there are a LOT of trees on that 113 mile trip (one way). Ya do get to see Lake Michigan a bit of the time, and you can spend time comparing fuel prices when ya go through the little towns along the way (and the further west we went, the cheaper it was!) We do hate that ride.

I had a gut feeling that taking Dan to an RV show might be a mistake. Ya know when you see something shiny and new, all of your commitments to a budget seem to vanish…Dan’s vanished the moment we walked in the door. I think it has something to do with the lighting. Heck, he fell in love with the very first trailer we saw and we don’t want a trailer! There will be a photo of it and you’ll easily spot it because I have named the trailer the Ruby Slipper.

We finally got around to the 5th wheels that were more our size and style. Dan went in the 2009 Keystone Cougar and all but hugged it…then we looked at the price. Truthfully, it was NOT a bad price for a brand new Cougar but it was about $10,000 more than what we had in our budget…and they had already taken about $15,000 off from the “true value” of the unit.

One of the sales people happened by as we were walking out of this 5th wheel. She made the mistake of asking if we saw anything we liked. I can’t believe she couldn’t tell from the drool on Dan’s chin and that enamored far away look in his eyes. He hasn’t looked at me like that in ages.

She told us there was a 2008 just like it outside and asked us to come with her and look at it. The previous owners bought it with the plan of taking their kids “RVing”…guess what? Kids didn’t want to go much so the parents traded it in for a truck camper. The price was still out of our range because you need to remember, there is tax, title, transfer, buying a hitch, having the hitch installed, etc, etc. It all adds up.

We told her we didn’t want to insult them by telling them what our $$ figure was, but we did ask her what was the best they could do for us. She went inside to talk with the owner and Dan and I did the “kick the tires” thing, checked the inside again, etc.

She came back with a good offer. We told her we would go to lunch and discuss it and be back one way or the other. It was more than we wanted to spend but, but it had what we were looking for (plus it has the Polar rating). We came back and made the purchase.

We will have to go back the end of this month to drop off the truck so they can install the sliding hitch and we can finish up the paperwork. Fortunately, they do give us use of a car while we are waiting because it is about a 5 hour job to install the hitch. Then we’ll have to go back early April to pick up the unit. We don’t want to bring it home now because we have no place we can park it! And who wants to drive a cleaned up unit 113 miles on salt laden roads!

Dan and I haven’t decided whether we should kick ourselves yet or not. I can tell you though that HE is already mentally arranging where things will go once we get it home! It’s got a lot of good storage underneath in the “basement” and there is storage under the queen size bed. Heck, I’m excited because the cupboard under the kitchen sink is big enough to put a good size wastebasket in! Oh, and now he thinks we have to get a plasma TV for the entertainment center. When you look at the photos, you will see the owners did NOT leave the TV behind!

Since I’m limited as to how many photos I can post at one time, the photos might be in two different batches.

I do want to once again thank General RV, which is located in 7 different cities in Michigan and Ohio. They have been very helpful and patient with us while we looked at THEIR RV’s and asked a lot of questions. Even though we didn’t end up purchasing from them, I do want to give them a shout out because they DO care about you, whether you buy from them or not.

Things are coming together!

looking into the bedroom

The dining area and "entertainment center" minus the TV!

Part of the living room, couch is off to the right

Fridge, stove, micorwave, kitchen sink, lots of cupboards

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  1. Oh I am so jealous! It looks splendid!
    I have a gooseneck horse trailer that has living quarters in it and I call it my "big girl playhouse". When I got it home I had so much fun filling it with camping stuff and make it feel like my home away from home.
    And your laptop will go where? LOL!

  2. DVM's wife...don't know if you were reading Yarns in October or not, but if not, I posted a lot of photos of our vacation and had a couple of shots in there of horse trailers like you are describing. We spent 3 or 4 nights at Big South Fork River National Rec area and THAT place basically caters to "horsey people"...lots of horsetrailer/5th wheel campers in the campgrounds there. And they have stables you can board your horse(s).

    Any my laptop will go...with me!

  3. I found the blog about your new 5th wheel. It looks wonderful. We are just starting on our journey to get an RV. We don't even know what type we need yet but it should be fun looking.

  4. Looks like you got a really nice 5th wheel!

    Congrats on your purchase and for not overspending on a new 5th wheel!

  5. Tin Can Trailer...thanks!! I just wish this darn snow would melt so we could bring it home! We have no place to park it yet!


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