The photos below are what we saw.
dealer is a huge place and it has ownership of the Tucson KOA
which is co-located with the dealership. Our salesman
arranged a "free" site for us the evening before the
delivery. Not every site had sun shade awnings, but a
significant number did. I am sure this is a requirement
during the summer months because who wants to be in Tucson when
the outside temperature is 105 degrees?
"camp" site had a concrete slab and gravel driveways.
completed our owner's briefing and it was determined that we
could not drive the unit off the lot because we did not have an
electric brake controller on Thor. Since Thor is 20,000
pounds and has massive brakes, including an exhaust brake
system, I did not see it as an issue. The dealer thought
otherwise. At an impasse, we found another fellow with a
truck to actually drive it off the lot and park it in our space
at the RV park. He dropped it off and we hooked up.
As a side note, the lack of active brakes was a non-issue as I
predicted. I barely knew the trailer was there: it rolled
easily, tracked perfectly, and was not noticeable during
braking. I could, however, tell the trailer was there on
up-grades as our uphill speed was impacted due to the extra
weight and Thor's low horsepower.
following morning we left Tucson a bit late but made it to Yuma,
AZ before nightfall. We stayed in the new trailer in
Winterhaven, CA and setup for the final leg of the journey to
San Diego. The trip was flawless with no issues. The
trailer was warm, quiet and comfortable.
Lance is mounted on Thor, we expect the overall height to be the
same as, or a bit lower than the HiLo with the top raised.
Lance has a slide-out which provides tons of room inside the
cabin. Kathleen's hot button with the HiLo was the
requirement to tear-down the bed every morning before lowering
the top and rolling. The Lance has a full-time queen-sized
bed that removes this annoyance.
Lance has a nice galley with a 3-burner stove with exhaust hood,
microwave and full-size (RV) refrigerator.
view of the galley including the sink area.
faucet for the sink has a removable sprayer and removable,
partitioned cutting boards.
is actually big enough to be usable and has a porcelain toilet.
return to home, I needed to do some work on Thor. When the
repairs were completed, I got my truck keys out to lock the doors
and my car key (on a separate ring) fell out of my pocket onto
my concrete driveway. My next door neighbor's visitors
were watching me work on the truck and when I left to return
inside, they took my car keys. I became aware
that my keys were missing soon after I returned inside and
started a "full house search" including the area underneath
Thor. The keys were not found because the visitors had
already stolen the keys. They
returned later than night and drove my BMW M5 out of the
driveway and drove it until they damaged the clutch and
rendered the vehicle immobile. They then abandoned it on
the freeway. We can prove what happened because
they were visible on our security video, both the key stealing
and the actual car stealing. Sadly, the video was not of
sufficient resolution to be actionable for the police, but we
could recognize them. Plus, as the police state it, they
get 30 stolen cars A DAY and therefore have minimal resources to
apply to prosecution. I noticed the car was missing the
following day when we were attempting to leave the house to go
to lunch. We reported the theft to SDPD and they stated
that the car was towed the previous night. I stated that
it was stolen, but they reported that the car was towed from the
freeway where it was blocking traffic. In reality, the
police had recovered the vehicle before I reported it
stolen! Above, we are at the body shop inspecting damage
to the vehicle. Note the front fender. We believe
this was damaged due to the high-speed exit from our driveway
(it has a sharp drop-off at the curb).
of the body was not the only factor. There was a smell to
the engine compartment that indicated the clutch was burned
out. Indeed, the motor started, but the car would not go
into gear. Fast forward a week and the net-net was that
the insurance company declared the car a total loss.
The key issue was the unknown amount of damage that was caused
to the drive train. The M5 was a 2003, purchased new off
the dealer's showroom, and a rather rare body style.
Protestations notwithstanding, like it or not, this car is
the shock of having the car stolen and needing to replace it
sunk in, we began a search for the right replacement. We
drove a lot of cars: Mercedes, Lexus, Audi, VW but in the end
the BMW 5 series was the best fit. I admit that there was
a pre-existing bias given that both Kathleen and I had BMWs and
I had purchased 3 BMWs over the years. The other cars were
nice, but this was nicer: 535i with plenty of frills.
as this car is, it was not in my short term plan to be replacing
my M5. The M5 was a fine ride and in great mechanical
shape with low miles. In the end, I swallowed hard, signed
the deal and drove it home.
side note, car technology has come a long, long way since 2003
and I was amazed by the features that are in even the low-end
cars. BMW takes it to another level.
folks don't like the "Bangle butt" of the newer models, bit I
found it appealing. And being "debadged" is not a bad
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2019, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use without attribution.