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"Light-hearted, I take to the open road,
 I inhale great draughts of space;
 The east and the west are mine,
 the north and the south are mine."
     Walt Whitman - Song of the Open Road
Tiffin on the Open Road


My wife and I have a keen sense of Wanderlust. We're life long avid sailors and we want to see and sail the far reaches of this great country in our golden years. We plan to take our beautiful Anne Marie , a splendid Catalina 22 MKII sailboat, tow it behind us and sail every inviting body of water we can find as we travel around the USA. And what better way to enjoy our travels than this magnificent 43' luxury diesel pusher, a late model Tiffin Allegro Bus 43QRP, our newest RV which we purchased in March 2014 and have named the Windseeker, also shown at the right. On the road just three years, it only had 18K miles on it. We secured our purchase with a new 3 year unlimited miles bumper-to-bumper USWC extended warranty for worryfree travels. Tiffin, one of the premier manufacturers of luxury motorhomes in the world for four decades, is based in Red Bay, Alabama. For the full WOW factor, watch the Tiffin dealer's virtual tour video.

Mouse over photos to enlarge
The Windseeker is a massive luxury land yacht

For the past few years we have owned several different RV's, visiting lakes first in 2010 and 2011 with our compact Lance truck camper, and then in 2012 with our Gulf Stream Bounty Hunter, a unique 40' Motor Coach, also shown at the right. This Class A Motorhome was also a motorized toyhauler, and featured a unique 12' garage bay in the back. This way we were able to carry the perfect companion vehicle for this venture... a little Chevy Geo Tracker, the only 4WD car made which could fit snugly inside the garage bay of the coach, so we could carry it with us while towing our sailboat. With 4WD low range, the little Tracker could pull the Catalina up any boat launch ramp with ease. By all accounts, a pretty neat arrangement!

The original Windseeker - 2008 Gulfstream Bounty Hunter - sold in August 2012

After five months touring in 2012 we enjoyed the lifestyle so much we decided to take it to the next level. Everything in life is a compromise and we knew that the Gulf Stream was the only option where we could travel in one vehicle, tow the boat and carry a 4WD car on board. A larger, more luxurious motorhome, ideal for extended travels, would mean we would have to drive a separate car. After much discussion, we decided it was worth the tradeoff, and we sold the Gulf Stream and purchased a 2008 Country Coach Inspire 360 43' special "Founders Edition". Although we have since sold it and traded up to the new Allegro Bus, we have kept a gallery on this beauty as well as the original brochure which lists all the great features of this mega coach. Someone who saw the coach suggested it warranted having its own zipcode!

The Windseeker II Country Coach was an imposing land yacht - sold in March 2014

After a year and a half of touring in the Country Coach, we just couldn't pass up a golden opportunity in March 2014 to trade up to my dream coach, a Tiffin Allegro Bus 43QRP. See the original Allegro Bus brochure. A builder of top quality motorhomes for 40+ years, Tiffin emerged from the Great Recession undaunted, at a time when many other RV manufacturers like Country Coach went bankrupt. Tiffin has a peerless reputation in the RV industry for quality products and superior customer satisfaction and support. They truly go the extra mile for their customers. The Allegro Bus is at the high end of Tiffin's product line, just behind their Zephyr model which has an MSRP over $600K. The 2010 Allegro Bus 43QRP gets RV Guide's highest 5 star rating .

The newest Windseeker is an Allegro Bus 43QRP built by Tiffin Motorhomes

When we upgraded from the Gulf Stream to the Country Coach, we knew we would have a lot more room in a larger motorhome with four slides, a spacious kingsize bedroom, larger kitchen, fridge, bath, etc. Likewise the new Allegro Bus is also designed for full time RVing and offers a commensurate level of quality, comfort, convenience and luxury. And either I tow our Catalina sailboat with the bus, while Libby drives the SUV, or she can tow the boat. Either way, this will give us a more comfortable daily driver for local touring wherever we go, and one that can also comfortably tow the sailboat anywhere we want to go. And since most of the hops on our planned 2014, 15 & 16 itineraries would only be a few hours apart, the issue of driving two vehicles is relatively small. We could also take non-boating side trips towing the right car.

The Windseeker from the driver side with the slides pulled out

So in October 2012 we decided that our future travels could be greatly enhanced if we upgraded our beloved Lincoln Aviator SUV to a flat-towable vehicle or 'dinghy' as they are referred to in motorhome circles. Reluctantly, we traded in the Aviator on a late model fully loaded Chevrolet Suburban 4x4 LTZ . Unlike the AWD Lincoln, the Suburban with hi/lo 4WD is designed to be flat-towed behind our coach. We also needed something with a V-8 engine, strong enough to pull our boat through the mountains, and with a comfortable ride for touring. And something large enough to carry our Hobie Outfitter Pedal Kayak and Thule Pod on top both for transport between destinations, and for kayaking day trips to local rivers and lakes... and to carry our bicycles on a hitch mount bike rack. For flat towing, I had the premium Roadmaster Blackhawk 2 All-Terrain tow bar & SMI Air Force One airbrake system installed... so now we have every option covered!

See the USA in your Chevrolet, America is asking you to call… Drive your Chevrolet through the USA, America's the greatest land of all. 1952 TV commercial

Back to the Allegro Bus, friends have asked why we decided to trade in our magnificent Country Coach. After all, the 2008 Country Coach Inspire 360 43' special "Founders Edition" was a splendid motorhome. Why reinvent the wheel, so to speak, and switch to a 2010 Tiffin Allegro Bus 43QRP?   Well for one thing, it is the motorhome I always dreamed of owning, above all others. You can read why on a brief page with a full explanation of all the benefits.

Click to read a full explanation of why we chose to upgrade to the Allegro Bus.

Our new Tiffin Allegro Bus 43QRP with its 10,000 lb. towing capacity is the ultimate Road Warrior, a super duty diesel pusher powered by an 8.9L Cummins ISL 425 Turbo Diesel engine generating 425 HP and a massive 1200 ft-lbs of torque. Windseeker was built to haul... but in almost decadent comfort. This is a true luxury Motor Coach built on a custom Powerglide air ride chassis featuring Tuthill double wishbone independent front suspension with anti-sway bar, Bilstein shocks, large bus-style air springs, and air assisted ABS brakes coupled with a two stage Jacobs compression brake. Power is delivered via the Allison 3000MH 6-speed transmission to the Powerglide Meritor drive/tag axle running huge new steel-belted 295/80Rx22.5 Michelin tires on all eight alloy wheels. From the cockpit, the driver can keep an eye on all essential systems, including all eight tire pressures, with the sophisticated Silverleaf Engine Monitoring System.

Cummins' powerful 8.9L ISL 425 Turbo Diesel engine with 425 HP generating 1200 ft lbs of torque

This Tiffin land yacht's 'Bellagio' interior is designed to leave its wayfaring inhabitants wanting for little. It is 43.5' long and features 4 slides, two on each side. Opposing 16' & 15' slides in front turns the main cabin of the coach into a very spacious 13' wide living room with an exceptionally comfortable floorplan. The front of the coach features two 6-way power leather Flexsteel™ captain's chairs, which can swivel all the way to the rear to add additional seating for the living area when parked. There is a kick out footrest for the passenger with a power step slide cover in front of the extra wide entry door, and more than two dozen beautiful premium glazed cherry overhead cabinets for plenty of storage. There are power sun shades on all front windows and a large power patio awning over the right side as well as window awnings on all the windows.

The forward looking view of the Windseeker main cabin and driver and passenger seats at the front

Behind the driver's seat is a small table/desk and leather recliner which I replaced with a custom king size ultra suede Lazyboy swivel rocker recliner, especially designed for the big boys. Behind that is the polished Avonite® dining table which slides out of a side console, with 4 chairs and adjacent hutch, for relaxed living in luxury. And with the side console the table doubles as a desk as well. Behind the passenger seat is an ultra leather convertible sofa and beyond that a large kitchen with a residential size double stainless sink, gas range, dishwasher, and ample polished Avonite counter space including a 3' slide out counter left of the stove top. There's a convection / microwave oven and a 22 cu. ft. stainless steel Maytag residential refrigerator. There's a Maytag stack washer dryer in the hallway, making the coach completely self contained on the road.

The rearward looking view of the Windseeker main cabin with Corey in his usual spot

The spacious main cabin has the latest in electronics, featuring an upgraded 40" Panasonic LED TV up front connected to a new Yamaha RX-V377BL surround sound home theater system, wired in with the roof mounted HD Dish Network satellite system and wifi internet capable Blu-ray player. There is also a 26" TV in the kitchen and a CD stereo system. Down the hallway past the kitchen, the master bath is truly wondrous with a nice tall full sized sliding door shower and sink on one side and a separate commode and sink across the hall. Storage is always at a premium in RV life, and there is ample cabinet and closet space inside the coach to accommodate full time living, with large pass-through storage bins in the 'basement'. Our coach has 3 roof mounted air conditioners with heatpumps, 2 floor level gas heat zones, Aqua-Hot water heater with electric elements or diesel burner for an endless supply of hot water, and a 90 gallon fresh water tank.

The Windseeker's expansive kitchen

At the rear of the coach down the hall past the bathroom is the sliding door to the master bedroom. With 2 slides it features an upgraded kingsize Easy-Rest 10 inch Supreme Memory Foam Mattress, mirrored closet, lots of closet and cabinet space and a third 26'' Panasonic HDTV connected to the satellite Home Theater System. The coach also employs side and rear backup cameras, HWH 625 series Bi-Axis automatic hydraulic leveling system, in dash GPS and a powerful 10 kW Onan diesel generator which can power all three A/C's, microwave, lights and other appliances. Also included is a 2800 watt Magnum inverter and a large roof-mounted solar panel. It is also fitted with central vacuum and remote operated power MCD day/night shades on all main cabin windows. A complete list of all factory installed features can be found here.

The comfortable master bedroom features an upgraded kingsize Easy-Rest 10 inch Supreme Memory Foam Mattress and plenty of closet and cabinet space.

We also upgraded the satellite system to a triple option Dish Network HDTV system with DVR, a Garmin Dezl GPS, 4G Wifi Internet with Verizon, WaterBoss Water Softener and On-the-Go® Deionizer, onboard Viair 400P-RV tire inflation air compressor, and a Sanitaire Commercial Carpet Cleaner by Electrolux. With our enhancements, this magnificent Allegro Bus offers plenty of comfort, luxury, convenience and utility. And loaded on the heavy duty road warrior Powerglide chassis and powertrain, it provides us with the ability to effortlessly cruise the U.S. highway system, with our Catalina sailboat in tow visiting many lakes and waterways across the U.S. for the next decade. We have named our coach the Windseeker, and designed a custom logo for the rear.

The master bedroom located in the rear of the coach

In the fall of 2011 we took Windseeker I, the Bounty Hunter, on her initial shakedown cruise to Clear Lake, CA with sailboat in tow. In the spring of 2012 we continued our adventures, setting out to explore the great Pacific Northwest, starting with a month at Fernridge Reservoir in Oregon. From there we went on to Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho, Flathead Lake in Montana, and Lake Okanagan in B.C., before returning to Hayden Island Marina in Portland OR for the fall sailing season on the Columbia River. We spent about a month in each place, but always remained flexible, never knowing where the wind might blow us! Therein lies the real adventure.

Arriving at a new lake with the Anne Marie, our splendid Catalina 22

2013 was our year of touring with Windseeker II, the Country Coach. Towing the Suburban we headed south for the winter with our two indefatigable Westies. We slipped out of Oregon through the mountain passes in January down through California and Arizona for several months on our 2013 itinerary. In spring we drove north again to pick up the sailboat from storage and spent a month sailing Clear Lake CA once again before heading up the Oregon coast (right) to spend another summer at two of our favorite northwestern lakes, Fernridge, and Coeur d'Alene. We had to cut short our trip and skip Flathead Lake, because we got word we had a buyer for our home. So we headed back to Oregon to start packing. We returned to sail all 3 NW lakes in the summer of 2014 as part of our shakedown cruise with Windseeker III, the new Allegro Bus.

The Country Coach at the Oregon Coast near Florence

In late 2014 we had our boat transported the 3500 miles to Florida while we headed across country in the Allegro Bus towing our car to winter at Lake Monroe, Florida near family. Flying home for occasional breaks, our 2015 itinerary took us up the east coast with stops in Savannah GA, Lake Murray SC, and on to Lake George NY, and the St. Lawrence Seaway's Thousand Islands.Heading back down to Florida for another winter, we made stops in L.I., NY, Philadelphia, Asheville, NC and more. Our 2016 itinerary will take us back to the Thousand Islands for the summer, as well as Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay in Ontario. In the coming years with the invaluable aid of Active Captain's Interactive Cruising Guidebook, we'll travel in our Allegro Bus with Corey, our intrepid Westie as we explore dozens of other new lakes from coast to coast.

Sailing Lake Coeur d'Alene in NW Idaho

Here I am with another of our favorite traveling toys... a remote control sailboat. We actually have two of them and my wife and I sail them together, anywhere there is a small body of water and a light breeze. Ours are Thunder Tiger Victoria sailboats. Google that and you will get thousands of results, including Amazon.com, youtube videos, etc. But the Victoria is a kit you have to build and most owners will tell you you have to get rid of all the parts but the hull. We were lucky to buy ours from hobbyists who had built them race-ready. That is not easy to do, however I might recommend you consider the Dragon Force RTR RC Sailboat or its larger cousin the Legend 900mm RTR RC Sailboat. Whatever you get, we highly recommend RC Model Sailboats as a very entertaining, challenging and portable hobby for RV'ers.

Joe with his remote controlled Thunder Tiger Victoria sailboat.

In March 2016, while spending part of our winter in Florida, we discovered the marvelous powerboat called the C-Dory. Billed as the finest fiberglass pilothouse style boats in the industry, they are manufactured in Bellingham, WA. Being from the Pacific Northwest ourselves we were intrigued, and located this exceptional little 2005 C-Dory 16' Cruiser which we promptly purchased.. Fitted with a 2005 50 HP Honda 4-stroke outboard with electric start, power tilt and dual hydraulic trim tabs, this marvelous little day cruiser also offers a camping-out enclosure added on to the small cuddy cabin which is unique in a boat of this size. This will be the perfect little boat to quickly launch and explore many locations not accessible to us in our sailboat.

We feel most fortunate to have the time, health, energy, ability and the funds to live the dream. Traveling in our modest truck camper, our king size Gulf Stream Bounty Hunter, and our magnificent Country Coach, we met many retired folks living in their motorhomes full-time as they travel around this great country. The lure of this joyous nomadic lifestyle was irresistible. Besides exploring all the wonderful lakes, we enjoy discovering new places and the incredible beauty this great country has to offer. Once we found this setup... this splendid Allegro Bus... enabling us to live and travel in luxurious comfort and tow our beloved Catalina sailboat with us, well, it seemed like an opportunity we simply could not pass up. To travel as Tiffin proudly proclaims, "Roughing It Smoothly". Thus, as Walt Whitman so aptly put it in his Leaves of Grass:

Click to see a full color brochure from Tiffin Motorhomes for the 2010 Allegro Bus 43QRP

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune - I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.


traveling the open road


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