Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's Bubba's Fault!

At home in Fort Worth...

You may have read earlier in this rag about our previous trip to MCD Innovations in McKinney, Texas when we had them install custom day/night shades in Phannie’s living area.  At the time, we elected not to install shades in the cockpit in deference to our budget but, as time went by, we couldn’t help but bemoan the fact that the cockpit looked so shabby in comparison to the rest of the interior of the coach.  The old sliding curtains filled the need for privacy, but they were becoming faded and droopy, held together by clothespins where they met in the middle of the windshield.  In this regard, Phannie was sort of like a well-dressed lady who had toilet paper stuck to her shoe.

We knew it was only a matter of time until we returned to MCD for the full shade treatment, but it was Bubba who actually made it happen.  If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that longtime friends Bubba and LouAnn often caravan with us on our RV trips.  We both owned fifth wheels for years before Sandy and I acquired Phannie, an upgrade in travel comfort that certainly was not lost on Bubba and whose merits I lorded over him good-naturedly but constantly.

Not long ago, I invited Bubba to drive Phannie on a short local jaunt, and it was easy to tell that he was smitten; in fact, I thought he was going to gnaw the door handles off the coach.  It wasn’t long afterward, then, that he was flogging the internet in search of his own “Phannie.”  Suddenly, he located a real steal at the very dealer—Motorhomes of Texas—where we had purchased Phannie.  Within a couple of days, Bubba and LouAnn were the proud owners of a 2012 Thor Tuscany, forty-two feet of unfettered luxury with a tag axle, four TV sets and two bathrooms! As happy as I was for them, I was already hunkering down for what would be a major payback from Bubba in the gloating department. 

Bubba and LouAnn's New Coach
Now in comparison with Bubba's new rig, Phannie began to look something like an ugly duckling—especially the old cockpit curtains with the clothespins.  I couldn’t help but envy the Thor’s motorized windshield shade that moved almost silently up and down with the touch of a button.  Frankly, it became more than I could take!  I called MCD for an appointment and drove Phannie up to McKinney on a recent Monday morning.  I told them I wanted their best day/night shades, motorized on all cockpit windows--front and side.  (I knew Bubba’s coach didn’t have power shades on the side windows. Yes, that’s pathetic, I know, but I was desperate.)  The following Thursday, we picked her up, hardly able to wait to see the transformation.  It was everything we expected.

The new shades are wonderful, of course, but what did this little fit of jealousy cost me?  Well, I won’t be so crass as to mention numbers, but the cockpit shades cost more than twice the price of all the rest of Phannie’s unpowered shades in the living area.  A good deal of the extra cost was the installation of custom wood valances to conceal the rollers and power mechanisms.  Am I glad I did it?  Absolutely!  The powered feature is really handy; I can’t imagine not having it now.  I’m already wondering if Sandy will let me do a retrofit to powered shades in the cabin…

Here's a video and some photos for you:

Josh from MCD measures for the windshield shade.

Wilson comes in to measure for custom wood valances. Wilson doesn't work for MCD, but they recommend him highly...for good reason!

 Windshield Day Shade

 Windshield Night Shade
Door and Side Window Night Shades--check out Wilson's wood valances.  Nice job!

While Wilson was doing the woodwork on the valances, we hired him to replace the the bedroom clothes hamper with drawers.  Mui of Two to Travel's Phaeton Journeys recently had this conversion done at Red Bay, and we really liked the idea.  It's not clear why Tiffin put this hamper here; most owners we know don't use it, and the extra storage is most desirable.

Before Wilson's modification
After Wilson's Handiwork


  1. It looks like you are preparing for a most excellent journey........


  2. Love the shades! We had ours done at Red Bay and have always been glad we did. Glad you are recovering so well. Looks like the new hip is working!

  3. Wow! Now I'm really jealous. After reading your post this upgrade is moving up to the top of our list. :)

  4. I have missed your 'sense of humour'..thanks for the smile this morning!!
    Your friends have a mighty fine looking rig!..go big or go home, I say!!

  5. What is is about new Tuscany's? We met up with friends in Oklahoma who have one. Our next stop was McKinney! (OK., so that was planned! But, we understand how the purchases of others can influence your own!) We saw Josh again this week when went back to MCD for a couple of adjustments. How we got out of there without buying cockpit shades, I'll never know. (Actually, we're using the cats as our excuse. As the resident dashboard dwellers, they've yet to approve that purchase!) Looks like Phannie is ready to roll in style. Enjoy!

  6. Great Post this morning, my friend!
    Mountaindale has sites large enough for Bubba's Coach, too. She is a beauty!
    Long and Sleek, with all the bells and whistles! When are you moving up to a Prevost? LOL
    Hugs to Sandy! Oh, and to you too!

  7. butterbean carpenterMarch 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Howdy S&M,
    Bubba must have gotten some gas wells on his place!!! Well, I'll bet the side-curtains shook him up!! hee hee
    That is one mighty fine looking Tuscany, all 43' of it!!! Of course, Phannie is just as purty; what's he towing an Escalade?? Hope y'all are having a great day!!!

  8. Let the RV arms race begin....

  9. We absolutley LOVE LOVE LOVE the MCD shade we put in our front cockpit... not only as a front shade, but even as a visor at partially unwound when driving into the sun! Instead of trying to crane your neck around and resposition those dumb little hang-down visors, this MCD shade makes a whole long visor across the whole windshield. No more repositioning when turning curves etc. because its the whole length.

    Also, we hated the ugly wrinkled curtains to pull out and stuff back each day to drive. This is soooo nice!

    Karen and Steve
    The USA Is Our Big Backyard


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