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Welcome To Our New Home! Let Us Give You A Tour

It’s already been an exciting holiday season here at GoPetFriendly – almost two weeks ago we bought a brand new home! Of course, our version of “home” still includes wheels and a motor because we’re not looking to stop traveling anytime soon. Now that we’ve had a chance to get settled, we want to take you on a little tour of our new digs!

On Perspective

First, for a bit of perspective, this is a picture of the new coach, the Winnebago View that we traveled in for nearly four years, and the RAV4, which we’re now towing behind the new motorhome.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

And, from the other direction …

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

We traded the View in on the new Meridian, and it was a little sad saying good-bye to our old RV! We saw so many places and learned so much during the four years we had her. The View got us out on the road, allowed us to figure out that traveling full-time is how we want to live life, and was our sanctuary on the days when things didn’t look so bright. We made a lot of good memories cruising the country together, but lately we’d all started to feel cramped. A couple of months of shopping and we’d found the perfect replacement.

So, we took off for El Paso to pick up our new home! Shortly thereafter we were victims of a lesser-known Murphy’s Law … the one about getting snowed on almost immediately after you leave the dealer with a brand new RV.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

We make no secret that we’re not fans of winter weather. One of our main goals is to stay were the temperatures are nice and avoid the snow and ice. I guess the Universe thought it was a good time to throw a wrinkle in our plans, but  it worked out fine. We just stayed put an extra day while the snow melted and continued organizing and figuring out the new coach.

Come On In!

It didn’t take long at all for Ty and Buster to make themselves at home!

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

One of my favorite things about the new RV is that it has tile floors throughout. Naturally, when you have one light colored dog and one black dog, there’s no winning with floor or upholstery color. Buster’s fur really shows up, and right now he’s shedding like it’s his job. I did come up with a little trick for grooming him to help keep the fur under control, and I’ll be sharing that with you soon.

Buster’s favorite things about our new home is that he now has his own sofa. Ty much prefers to snuggle in his bed or stretch out on the floor, so Buster doesn’t even have to share with his brother! And, it’s right next to the kitchen, so he can properly supervise all the food preparation activities. The dark gray cover camouflages some of the fur he leaves behind and is a cinch to remove and wash.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

Opposite Buster’s sofa is the humans’ sofa. You’ll notice a long piece of aluminum foil laying across it  – that’s because we started finding a certain black dog’s fur all over it when we got up in the mornings. Apparently our prince was testing both sofas to see which he found more comfortable. Aluminum foil is a simple and effective way to deter pets from getting up on any surface you’d rather they weren’t exploring.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

Our new kitchen has been one of the biggest surprises of the new coach. I’d forgotten how much fun Rod and I used to have cooking together! In the View we had about 14 inches of counter space – barely enough for one person, never mind two. Now there’s plenty of room for both of us … so much so we’ve already had a dinner guest! Edie from Will My Dog Hate Me came over last week and we whipped up a homemade lasagna.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

I’m a really big fan of the residential refrigerator. In most motorhomes you find small refrigerators and freezers that are specially made for RVs and run on both electricity and propane. It seems they’ve made some advances in technology, because this one runs only on electricity and is the same as you’d find in a house. It has two doors on the top and a freezer drawer on the bottom – complete with ice maker. What more could an RVing couple ask for?!

The extendable island also makes a big difference – one person can do the measuring and chopping while the other runs amuck at the stove or sink. Plus, you can set up a buffet when it’s time to eat … as long as you keep the food out of Buster’s reach!

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

The dining area is across from the kitchen and doubles as our offices. There’s plenty of cabinet space to tuck away all the work we’d rather not look at, and having the big window right next to us makes it bright and cheery.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

The closet next to the refrigerator holds our stackable washer and dryer. They didn’t photograph very well, so you’re going to have to take my word on that.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

Across from the washer/dryer is the bathroom, which, again, didn’t photograph very well. Suffice it to say we have everything you’d expect to find in any bathroom, including a nice sized shower with a seat.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

The biggest difference for Rod and me is that we no longer sleep in the bunk over the cab. No more ladder to get in and out of bed everyday! It’s funny – for 3 1/2 years, climbing up to our bed never bothered me – it was a good trade-off to have the additional floor space in the View. But, now that we’ve stretched out, I’m really enjoying having a bedroom again.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

Probably the most intimidating thing about the new Meridian is the cockpit. As most of you know, I do almost all the driving and learning what all these buttons do and the proper order to push them left me with heart palpitations. Fortunately, the RV driving course we took at Lazy Days in Tucson last week helped a lot and, with about 8 hours behind the wheel now, I’m starting to get a little more comfortable.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

Thus far, the only thing we’ve found that we don’t like is how tight the area is to get in and out of the coach.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

Add two dogs on leashes to the mix, and things get a little hairy!

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M

Buster’s always gotten overly excited when it’s time to go for a walk – he likes to dance around while he whines and waits for us to be ready to go. In this little space, he’s become a bit of a hazard. We probably should have done this years ago, but we’re teaching him to sit on his sofa while we get his harness and leash on, and then wait while we get Ty ready to go. Lots of treats and a couple of weeks into it, and it’s working pretty well so far. He’s a smart boy and, luckily, he catches on quick!

Thanks for stopping by! We had a blast showing you around and I hope we can do it in real life sometime.

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  • Remember, Dee, that we’re not paying a mortgage, real estate taxes, or state income taxes, so it may be more affordable than you’re imagining! The best way to get started is to start researching different RVs and decide what would work best for you. The next step is to sell everything, jump in it, and take off! =)

  • Congratulations, Angela! Yes, we’ve had a few issues with ours. We spent some time working out the kinks during the first year (which is normal) and we’ve had it in twice to repair the Schwintek slide. We full-time and I’d say we’ve been out of the coach about 5 days in the 18 months we’ve had it. I feel like that’s to be expected – especially in the first year. But getting the slide fixed is expensive. If you haven’t considered an extended warranty, I’d recommend it. Good luck!

  • Thinking of buying a new 2014 and the dealership is having the issues we found on it during our test drive fixed. Can you tell me if you have had any issues with your 2013. I’m just concerned if we will be in and out of the dealership more then we want to be.

  • Thank you, Swamp Dogs. Ty and Buster are surely living the life! =)

  • Loving the travel life of your dogs. Trying to do the same with ours. ENJOY our made in the USA line of designer collars! http://www.swampdogsofla.com

  • Amergin BlackWolf Hopefully later this summer!

  • Terry Kunkel says:

    GoPetFriendly.com Are you planning on getting the GoPetFriendly paint job like your old RV?

  • Thank you! We’re really loving it.

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