Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Traveling With My Black Panther

Traveling along the great highways, interstates, and roads less traveled you will find a Recreational Vehicle (RV) of every shape, size, design, and appearance. Besides, vintage or Hippy type RVs, my eyes repeatedly follow the RV that has a mural airbrushed on its back. Before purchasing our 1998 Safari Serengeti, I was sold on the Black Panther mural that was stationed at the back of the coach. I loved the shiny black coat of the Panther and the idea that she would signify the ethnic diversity of the two new owners now inhabiting it.

Since purchasing our RV I have loved following them meandering down the road with their mysterious murals. The animals, scenic views, or a family portrait that may be on the back of the coach conjures an immediate scene and story about the inhabitants of the rolling RV in front of me.

While stopped at rest stops or RV Rallies, I try to find the coaches with murals on their back and take pictures of them. To my great surprise while carefully scrutinizing each one before taking pictures, I found that some of these murals had pictures inside of the original ones, that included one or two tiny butterflies, ants, dragonflies, caterpillars, bees, mice, and there may be more but I haven’t found them yet. My sense of wonderment heightened at this site because you do not notice these wondrous little creatures just by looking at the murals driving down the highway. After going back and scrutinizing my Black Panther mural, to my delight I found some beautiful butterflies and a couple of ants climbing up the tree. Click on our Black Panther mural above to enlarge and see if you can find any hidden critters too? Since I love butterflies the little creatures on my mural brought a smile to my face and an unexpected sense of wonderment.

This mural had a little mouse scampering around

During your next RV trip, see if you can find a Safari Motor home with a mural and find any hidden critters dancing around.

Attached for your viewing pleasure are some pictures of memorable murals:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New Beginnings

After many years of dreaming about full timing in a motorcoach, Chuck and I finally retired in 2008 in order to finally make that dream come true. We searched everywhere for the coach that would not only meet our needs as a home but fit them during our wheel estate travels.

Carefully perusing the Internet in 2009, we traveled to Idaho, Arizona, Texas, California, and Oregon to find the perfect motorcoach. Following many disappointments and while in Arizona, we decided to check out Camping World’s RV sales. Upon describing to the salesman what we wanted, he pointed us to a 1998 Safari Serengeti that had just been traded in with only 38,000 miles on it. The coach lived most of its life in a garage and still smelled new. The owner had traded it in the day before so we were the first to look at it. It was love at first site. After looking through the coach inside and out, Chuck looked at the mechanics and being satisfied with that, he drove it. Since everything was perfect and up to our standards, including the price that we negotiated with them, we felt this was a blessing from above so we purchased it. We could now see our dream coming true and new beginnings.

Some of the features that enhanced the purchase of our motorcoach, besides being well maintained mechanically, are as follows:

Color, clean lines, and only one slide out.

No abuse, scratches, or paint peeling on the outside.

Loved the Black Panther mural. Murals are a trademark of Safari motorcoaches. If you click on the picture twice to blow it up, notice the butterflies and ants hidden in the mural. Since I love fairies and butterflies, this mural touched my heart.

The driver's seat with all the gadgets on
the dashboard was an instant hit with Chuck.

After checking the mechanics, Chuck drove it,
and was happy as a lark when he returned.

I loved the idea of a couch that makes into a bed,
kitchen with convection/microwave
oven, 2 burner stove, double sink, plenty
of counter space and kitchen cabinets,
and an an ice maker.

The slide out is located where the couch
and kitchen are. Over the couch is extra
space where we will have extra cabinets built in.

Love the recliner and soft leather,
also included on the co-pilot's and
pilot's chair; and the coffee table
with lamp, cabinets, and on the
side a hidden well made tray to
use for computer or eating.

The table has two nicely upholstered
wooden chairs and the table has leafs
that extend it further out. We love this
table because when we're parked at
an RV park, we can station both our laptops
and also have room to eat.

Full View of the leather recliner.

Double door refrigerator/freezer combo has tons of inside space.

The large freezers are located on top.

The refrigerator is located on the bottom.

The bathroom sink, located next to the shower, has a nice size sink,
mirrors, bottom and top cabinets.

Inside look of the inside top cabinets.

The private camode, with a beautiful wooden door,
has a cute little window, and extra space for towels.

Next to the private door in the bathroom are cabinets to store
extra towels, etc. There's also cabinets above the

camode for toilet paper, etc.

Found my closet, a long one and shorter one to
fit jackets and longer clothes.

The closet is lined with cedar, and
surprise - a washer/dryer combo and hamper next to the w/d.

Larger view of the cedar lined closets.

Full view of the shower/bathtub combo

Top of the shower.

Nice size tub located at the bottom of the shower.

While talking to one of my kids about the motorcoach,
I found the bedroom door that closes for privacy.

Loved the bedroom. Perfect for Chuck and I.
Storage cabinets are located all the way around.

Fell in love with the vanity (notice the beautiful bathroom
door located to the right of this picture. We will be
building three more drawers under the first
drawer of the vanity. Love the fact that
Chuck can do his thing at the sink and
I can put my makeup on at the
Vanity - all at the same time.

Cabinets located in the bedroom to the side.

Chuck's closet located in the bedroom, also cedar lined.
He has two large drawers and I have two.


We will be having the extra cabinets and drawers built in April/May 2010. Chuck had a MotoSat installed on the top so we are able to go on the Internet or watch TV whenever we stop. We also traded off the older TV's located at the front and in the bedroom, with new HD TV's that were purchased for a bus conversion we were going to do years before. We are also going to trade off the non-vented Bendix Washer/Dryer combo with a vented Splendide Washer/Dryer that was also purchased years before. The Pilot area will have a table where we can put our large/heavy duty printer.

Our plan is to actually hit the road by July 2010. We may be heading your way?

Live, Love, Laugh
Happy Trails!

Elva Miranda-Newman, Wheel Estate Traveler