Living Full-Time in Our Motorhome
After spending a year looking for a house in Silicon Valley, CA, that we could afford and wanted to live in, we switched directions and bought a motorhome. We decided on a new Monaco Windsor 2000 diesel pusher. We had done a lot of tent camping and bicycle touring but our only motorized touring experience was a multiple month tour of the west and midwest in a Ford Supervan with our two miniature American Eskimo dogs. Compared to the van or tent and bicycles, the Windsor is a luxurious home.
We took delivery of our new "house" in Junction City, OR. There are several motorhome manufacturers in the area - Monaco, Country Coach, and Marathon - as well as many independent shops which add to or customize coach interiors. We removed the barrel chair that came in the coach and replace it with a recliner and separate ottoman from Countryside Interiors. Dave is about a foot taller than I am, so the separate ottoman is the only way to make one chair fit us both.
Our motorhome is over five years old. We upgraded the interior. We had Countryside Interiors replace the carpet in the entryway with 12" tile. Then they replaced the original carpet with a wonderful, thick berber carpet. It feels so great to walk on it. We replace the original cloth couch with a Flexsteel Magic Bed covered in ultra leather and replaced the windshield drapes with new blackout drapes. Monaco replaced the original tile in the kitchen and bath with tile that matches what is now in the entry. We previously had problems with the slide breaking the kitchen tiles, so we wanted Monaco to replace the kitchen tile. They did have to make adjustments to the slide rollers. Everything looks great and we have not had any further problems with the slide.
Since I am working as an independent software developer, I need to have a work area with computers, printer, scanner, etc. I really need them, honest, I really, really do. Dave also has a computer that he enjoys. Based on several recommendations, we met with Shaun Davis of Davis Cabinets. We had the built-in small desk, cabinets, and dining table replaced with a laptop desk with file drawer, narrow cabinets for paperback books, and a work area with room for my computer CPU, printer, keyboard slide, and the dining table which pulled out from the center of the desk. After working at the desk for a few weeks, I realized that I am not flexible enough to have my keyboard at an angle to my monitor. I had Shaun replace the dining table with a wide keyboard slide. Now my keyboard, trackball, monitor, and chair are all lined up. I put my laptop on the original keyboard slide. Both Dave and I use ergonomic computer chairs from ErgoDynamics. They are comfortable enough to work for hours at a time. Since I am using Photoshop to clean up some of my photographs I just added a Wacom drawing table. Now to practice enough to get really good at using it. Replacing my dining table with a computer work area is becoming a habit.
I recently had ErgoDynamics install a zero-gravity monitor arm on my desk. Now I can move the monitor to any position I wish and we do not have to remove the monitor cables and put the monitor on the bed when we move the coach. It is really handy.
Shaun had a lot of ideas to improve the storage space: shelves in the kitchen cabinets, a drawer under the refrigerator for pots and pans, a shoe compartment at the end of the bed. We originally had a washer-dryer installed in the bath area but we never used it. We had it removed and Shaun designed some drawers, two for storage and four for my heavy computer reference books. The drawers are so much handier than the boxes I was keeping in our towed!
For several years after taking delivery of the motorhome, we stayed in Oregon. Dave was retired and I worked as a contract programmer/analyst. We had DSL to the coach which satisfied both our internet addictions and allowed me to do my work in the motorhome. Oregon is beautiful and the people are great, but eventually we got tired of the rain and cold. Dave accepted a full-time position back in Silicon Valley, CA. We moved the coach down to sunny CA, Dave started working, and we got DSL installed. CA is much more built up than OR, but the RV park we are in is a large oasis of peace in the city. The people are friendly and it is a great place to walk.