Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Sunrise, Sunset

 At home in Lindale, Texas...

This is going to be a difficult post, I'm afraid. After much thought, prayers and yes, gnashing of teeth, it now has become clear that Phannie and Mae must come to an end. It is almost like losing a member of the family after almost 20 years of posts about our RV journeys.  If you've had the fortitude to read through it all, you will have lived it as we did, learning from our mistakes and loving every bit of it. This will, sadly, be the last post.

We have been so fortunate to see in person so many wonders of our country that most people see only in photographs. And we will have this blog, which we will have printed, to remember it all. 

We are so honored to have reached officially more than a million pageviews. (They didn't start counting until we had written for the first five years.) We thought about our readers a great deal, and we are humbled that you followed us along from newbies to, well, needing to hang up the keys.

Let me hurry to explain that our decision is not based on any physical ailments that are taking us away from RVing. Well, there are a few annoyances that are common when one reaches elderly status, but we just know the time has come. It is much like when Sandy and I retired from our professions and became fulltimers. Sandy asked one of her retired schoolteacher friends how she would know when it's time to retire. "Don't worry; you'll know," came the answer. And so it was when I retired, and so it is with the end of our RVing journeys.

One of the hardest things to contemplate is the handoff of Phannie--and Mae--to someone else. Phannie was our home for eight years of fulltiming and 13 years of ownership. We've driven her more than a hundred thousand miles, and she has never been anything but dependable. Not a single breakdown, not a single failure to start the Cat engine with a few turns, not even a single "check engine" light in all that time. We know we were lucky to get one of the "good years" of Tiffin motorhomes, and we had the good sense to have her lovingly serviced all that time. That is probably the main reason she has been so faithful. There is also the fact that she's been driven fairly often instead of setting idle--something that is supposedly not good for big motorhomes. Sandy will definitely cry when Phannie leaves for the last time, and I can't promise that I won't.

We're getting her ready for sale now, and even that is saddening. It seems every personal thing we remove brings back a memory, and that slows down the progress. Moreover, I'm conflicted as to what kind of price is appropriate. It's so hard to put a value on something that is so much like a friend.

I do know that whoever gets Phannie will have an inexpensive, well-maintained coach fully set up for fulltiming. We added so many extras--a residential refrigerator (and door icemaker) with a new pure sine-wave inverter. In addition, we removed the old TVs and put flat screens in their places; it has a Trav'ler dish for Direct TV. We installed a third air conditioner (2006s only came with two). We had MCD powered shades installed in the cockpit and manual MCDs in the "parlor." We replaced the unreliable Atwood jacks with Bigfoot levelers--there are a number of other goodies like upgraded headlights, a powered reel for the electrical cord, fancy lighting under the main slide and under the awning...there are others, and I can't think of them all, but they cost tens of thousands of dollars. And there are the service records--every single one since NEW. And, painful as it was, financially, she has just had all her belts, hoses and airbags replaced, along with new Koni shocks. That was about six grand that the new owner will probably never have to pay. And, oh yes, you won't ever have to spend a penny on DEF; it's not required for these classic coaches. The Cat C7 diesel engine's average overhaul comes at around 500,000 miles, but I'll bet this one would go much longer. I even use a special additive that replaces the diesel fuel lubricant that was taken away by the EPA.

I'm giving you all this information, dear readers, because there may be someone out there or someone you know who would like to get an older classic Phaeton that may be the best-equipped in the country for a small fraction of her original $315,000 price tag. I'm seeing prices now in the 70s, and the lower end of that is what I'm initially thinking. Oh, yes, and Mae is for sale, too. A 2014 Honda CRV with 115,000 miles that has been equally well maintained. This would be a complete reliable fulltiming package for someone who doesn't want to spend much money--around 80k. Anyone interested can email me at mikemills159 at

It is incredibly difficult to say goodbye; let's just say, "See you later."

Thank you all for twenty wonderful years!