We bought our trusty, dependable, awesome little Subaru Forester in 2002 when it was but an infant car 2 years of age. Its only fault was that it was silver, and we were not looking to add more silver to our stable of 4 wheeled steeds. But, alas, there it was. Perfect in every way except that its color blended into the pavement. The Subaru was bought to tow behind our motor home long long long before we ever used our motor home enough to tow a vehicle – that was a dream on our horizon. David had researched tow vehicles exhaustively, we knew what we wanted in a tow vehicle, and we were fortunate to have a number of camping friends who already had a dinghy/toad (what it is called depends on who you are talking to). We learned a lot from everyone we talked to. So when we found the Subaru, we knew it was just perfect for our needs (except for that silver thing).
And so the Subaru became my daily driver to work until we realized that we were going to use it up before we ever got to take it ‘on the road’ behind our motor home. So we stabled it and bought a late 90’s Maxima, which became my daily driver. It was a great car, and we were glad that we had it. It was a comfortable car for our parents to ride around in AND it did a very good job of saving the Subaru for its intended purpose…..wheels for when we were ready to go play in our motor home.
To date, we have towed the Subaru behind 3 motorhomes: Ark I (1998 National Seabreeze), Ark II (2005 Tiffin Open Road), and Ark III (2006 Tiffin Allegro Bay front engine diesel). In its role as a dinghy, it has been to Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, Washington State, Idaho, Montana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. We can’t even guess how many miles it has spent absorbing the road muck and grime kicked up by whichever Ark it was obediently following. It has been an excellent dinghy, towing straight and true. There have been many times that it doubled as a trailer, hauling cots, pictures, and boxes of stuff belonging to our kids, lamps, tables to name a few items. It had a life outside of its dinghy role, but it was as a dinghy that our baby car really shined. We have lavished love and attention on it, and David has been meticulous in its maintenance.
Here are just a few pictures of the many, many adventures we have had with our baby car. Call it a walk down memory lane with us………..
Why, you may be thinking, did I feel like taking a walk down memory lane with our car? Well, it’s like this. In the world of vehicles that can be towed behind a motor home 4 down (not on a trailer or a dolly, just all four wheels on the ground), there are getting to be fewer and fewer choices. Depending on your vehicle needs and preferences and on your motor home’s towing capabilities (engine size, tow rating), you will not have many options. When David and I talked about what we wanted in a dinghy, our options were limited and getting more so with each passing model year. Even though the Subaru is doing very well, we had made the decision to start exploring the market to see what might work for us when the time came for us to move the Subaru into a semi-retired status. David began his initial research a couple of years ago, just casually looking at the options that fit our needs and preferences. The more he looked around, the more it appeared that the Honda CRV AWD was going to be our best option. Research continued, but it felt like we had a direction to go when the time came to take that step. Then, David began to read about changes made in the CRV’s transmission starting with the 2015 model that rendered it un-towable. Egad, now what??!! So then David began to look online for 2014 CRV’s. We wanted to get something late model before small towable vehicles went the way of the dinosaur. He found one here in Houston not far from us. After a few weeks of back and forth on price (they thought it was worth more than we did – imagine that), the dealer called us back and came down more on their price, and we sealed the deal. So as of April 8, we are the proud owners of a 2014 Honda CRV AWD with heated seats (which, as we all know, are an essential feature here in Houston in the summer ).
So, what happens to our trusty, faithful little Subaru? Do we really need 2 cars in Houston? As you can see from the picture above, we don’t have room to park 2 cars. And it is so rare that we might find it handy to have 2 vehicles, that it seemed an unnecessary thing to do. This begs the question – how do we get the Subaru back home to Kevin’s place in Colorado? As good fortune would have it, a way to get our Subaru home presented itself beautifully – kind of made us think that the Holy Spirit was at work. Our son Kevin’s friends, Amy and Carey, own a bronze sculpting business in Loveland, CO. Rocky Mountain Bronze He is an incredibly talented sculptor who designs and sculpts his own work as well as building the designs of other artists. The weekend after we bought the CRV, Amy and Carey were delivering a huge bronze sculpture of the University of Houston Cougars mascot to be displayed at the UH football stadium. Carey had built this beautiful piece from the design of another artist. It was so big and heavy that they were bringing it down to Houston on their car trailer (wrapped per UH request in a tarp so as to disguise it’s identity as Shasta the mascot until the official unveiling).
Once Shasta had been offloaded and installed in front of the football stadium
guess what Amy and Carey were towing back to Colorado. You guessed it! An EMPTY car trailer. Hmmmm. Do you see where this is going??? Kevin had talked with Amy and Carey before their trip to Houston and had asked them about the possibility of bringing the Subaru back to Colorado with them. They said, Sure, why not?? So after Shasta had been offloaded, they loaded the Subaru onto the now empty car trailer.
How cool was that??!! What a nice thing for them to do for us. For some gas money and dinner with these very delightful folks, we were able to get our Subaru back to Colorado.
How grateful we are for the kindnesses of the good people in our lives, and Carey and Amy are good people. The Subaru’s role as a dinghy is not over, however. We are still planning our RV caravan to Alaska (supposed to be this summer, now moved to Summer 2018), and our faithful friend will follow us all the way to Alaska and home again. In the meantime, it will rest in Colorado, and Kevin will drive it from time to time to keep its juices flowing.