The Reluctant RVer
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A Tale of Two Rvs©

Traveling In the Coachman Orion

In 2013 we lived in a 35-foot Fleetwood Southwind motor home while our house was being built in Florida. By the time our new digs were ready, we were thoroughly tired of the RV life and said Never again.

Well, you guessed it–by 2017 we contracted itchy feet and set out to find a small motor home, which we thought would be easier for us to drive and park, not to mention get better gas mileage than our previous RVs. We settled on the 20-foot Coachman Orion LE 20CB with a corner bedroom.

(See comparison diagrams below)

The 3.7 liter 275 HP V-6 Ford Transit engine was a real plus in our minds, and it performed just as promised in the brochures with plenty of power on the highway.

First stop was a reunion with Phil’s family on the Indiana-Illinois border along the Wabash River. After visiting the family’s old farm, we headed to Dayton, Ohio to meet up with my sister and her family. We visited the National Museum of the Air Force and shopped at some wonderful local markets.

All in all, we had wonderful visits with both sides of our family, but our enthusiasm for the new Orion rapidly dwindled.

Sleeping in a corner standard size bed was an exercise in frustration, as was making the bed–I could not reach the far corner of the mattress to tuck in the fitted sheet—or the top sheet—or the comforter. By the time we added a foam pad, I could no longer hop easily into bed—being height challenged, I had to use a stool to get into bed.

And then there was the step-up to the bed-bath part of the floor plan. Lots of stubbed toes.

Phil’s CPAP failed early on and also drained the single 12-volt coach battery. For most of the trip, he snored and stopped breathing roughly ten times an hour.

In an effort to put some distance between us, Phil gallantly tested the over-cab bed but quickly discovered it was claustrophobic with its restricted height–only small children would think sleeping “upstairs” was fun. He then tried converting the dinette into a bed but it proved too short for his 5-foot-eleven frame.

It was back to the corner bed for two. Between Phil’s snoring and the noise of the large un-ducted AC unit located in the center of the ceiling, we both became sleep deprived.

Cooking at the tiny countertop and cleaning up in a miniature kitchen sink was a distinct challenge I left to Phil as I settled with my laptop into the cramped corner of the breakfast-lunch-dinner nook with an L-shaped seat that doubled as a “couch.”

The only “easy” chair was a flat cushion covering a storage box–think jump seat on an airplane. No comfort anywhere except the two front seats!

Taking showers in the narrow corner bathroom was just okay, and neither one of us minded the tiny sink where we washed our hands and brushed our teeth.

But–three weeks later, as we turned onto our home street, I muttered “I will never travel in this rig again.”

Click here to find out what we did next.

Hi, family and friends! We set up this site to share some road-trip adventures with you. Check back every few weeks or so for a new story. Safe Driving,

Mia and Phil

Copyright©2018 Mia Crews