Elvis has left the building…for the last time. Saying goodbye to our Thor Vegas 24.1 motorhome called “Elvis the Vegas”

It’s funny how we RVers develop a love-hate relationship with our campers.

For some of you, it’s less about love and more of a relationship filled with headaches. The thorn in the side could stem from the RV manufacturer’s defect or poor workmanship, not enough storage or finding that the new trailer didn’t come equipped with a self-backing feature!

Kim and I had come to love our small motorhome. We actually found more to like about the Thor Vegas 24.1 than find anything to hate about the rig. Sure, we had minor annoyances that we just put up with, or tried to ignore, such as sloppy steering and suspension. But for the most part, our time traveling and camping in Elvis the Vegas had been very enjoyable.

So, as we say goodbye to our Elvis, it’s bittersweet for sure.

Elvis came into our lives as RV Number 3.

Read last week’s blog for the full rundown on all our previous campers. jkandkiminthecamper.com/2022/04/19/making-the-big-move-to-vanlife/

We owned a Four Winds Class C cabover style motorhome for a few years before Elvis, but there were just too many things that annoyed us about that rig to want to keep it forever.

When we discovered the Vegas 24.1, we fell in love with the floorplan that featured twin rear beds that were “just long enough” for JK to get fully stretched out at night and with enough interior height to stand up straight.

Finding any kind of RV with enough space where it counts is no easy task. There was adequate headroom and with one slide out, and the double doors to the dry bathroom created a large space to get dressed and ready for the day’s activities without being cramped. We can’t say to same for the postage stamp shower in our model of Vegas, however.

For a 25-foot motorhome, “It was as close to a perfect RV as we could ever get,” Kim explained. She related how comfortable it truly was with three different areas to sit and relax, plus the large bathroom, room for two dogs and lots of storage.

As we outlined in last week’s blog, we were looking for a camper that would enable us to go more places easier, be less fatigued after a driving day, and play a dual role as camper and daily driver that would not have to be put away over the long Midwest winter months. A van seemed like the right next rig for us.

So, now we have begun our journey of van life camping.

In a major leap of faith, we purchased our used 2019 Ford Transit camper van with hopes and prayers that we would be able to quickly sell Elvis and get out from under the monthly RV payments.

In late March, Elvis awoke from his long winter’s nap and was brought home. All the bins of winter-proof stuff stored inside the RV was removed and surprisingly, we didn’t have any evidence of mousey “visitors.” Actually, Elvis smelled fresh and clean – because of all the dryer sheets we placed everywhere. The RV seemed ready for the start of another camping season.

The very cold Spring we all had been experiencing this year delayed us from any early camping getaways. We kept the camper winterized so water lines would not freeze and remain safe, which ended up being a great decision on our part as temperatures regularly dropped below freezing overnight.

Elvis seemed sad with the shiny new van parked in the driveway.  “The King” was later delegated to lowly street parking in front of our house. If we were going to try and sell our motorhome, we needed to do it soon before 2022 RVing season got into full swing.

I took new photos inside and out of Elvis and Kim placed several ads on internet RVs for sale sites. We received a couple nice comments about Elvis, but nobody seemed too interested in purchasing. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any wiggle room on the price since we needed to get enough from the sale to pay off the bank loan.

The couple seemed committed to buy and were willing to make the eight-hour drive.

A couple more ads published on other RV sites finally yielded a potential buyer in Illinois. After lots of back and forth of emails, texts, phone conversations and a facetime video, the couple seemed committed to buy and were willing to make the eight-hour drive to see Elvis for themselves.

Now this is strange, but we took it as a positive omen that we were going to let the motorhome go when our Elvis bobblehead mascot mysteriously took an apparent suicidal leap from atop a box in our garage.

Elvis, who was our constant travel companion up on the dashboard for all those many miles, hit the concrete garage floor with such force, he was shattered into unrepairable fragments. To this day, we still haven’t found his hand holding his microphone!

Long story short on the sale, we all came to an agreement, made all the necessary banking maneuvers and handed over the keys. We watched, wiping away tears as the motorhome, formally known as Elvis the Vegas drove off into the morning sunshine headed East towards Chicago.

Like we said at the beginning of this post, we never really disliked the Thor Vegas. As a matter of fact, we’ve had some truly epic road trips in that camper.

The one trip that will standout in our memories was our “Elvis’ Viva the Wild West Tour 2020.”

We traveled through 11 states in 18 days covering just about 4,200 miles roundtrip. Starting in Iowa, we traveled to Minnesota and up into Devils Lake, North Dakota with an overnight stop in each state.

Staying on our northern route, we boondocked at a roadside rest stop in Montana. Between the threat of raging wildfires to the west and an impending snowstorm baring down on our intended route, we instead dove south into Idaho, to Nevada then into wildfire-ravaged California to visit family.

On the return leg, we headed southwest into Arizona with a visit to the Grand Canyon. Then it was up into Utah to Bryce Canyon National Park for some of the most breathtaking scenery we’ve ever seen.

We thought we experienced one of the scarious drives of our lives as we maneuvered the motor home along a narrow ridge top on our way out of the Utah.

But Highway 70 dropping, and we mean “dropping” off the Rocky Mountains into Denver, Colorado in the motorhome topped them all! Somehow, we survived. It was a quick dash across Colorado, into Nebraska and home again to Iowa to end that epic trip.

Another memorable trip was last Fall with Elvis the Vegas and our excursion to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Fall colors were near peak as we drove through Minnesota, Wisconsin and into Michigan. Find out more about that trip by watching the JK and Kim in the Camper “Fall Colors Tour” series on our YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcimpqqW-OlaK4zW2T8LF-g

Some of the other great memories with Elvis include driving sections of the Great River Road along the Mississippi River to the old stomping grounds of Mark Twain, including Florida, MO – and Hannibal, MO with river boats and craft beers. We’ll share more on that exciting trip in future blogs!

(See our story about Florida, MO: https://wordpress.com/view/jkandkiminthecamper.com)

But it wasn’t always the once-in-a-lifetime RVing trips that made life with Elvis the Vegas so enjoyable. It was the nearby weekend camping getaways that were also fun. We love going to the many city, county and state park campgrounds around our region. In less than an hour most times, we could be parked and set up for a Friday night to Sunday morning camping stay.

We feel many RVers are missing similar good times by always thinking of the weeks-long epic trips instead of finding a handful of local camping spots perfect for “just to getting away from the house for the weekend.”

Elvis the Vegas will surely be missed.

We toyed with the idea of calling our new Ford Transit van Elvis 2.0, but after the mysterious fall by our Elvis bobblehead, we got the message loud and clear. ‘There can only be one King of RVs. Elvis the Vegas!

Needless to say, Elvis has left the building.

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