The Gulf Stream Motor Coach

"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
The Windseeker with our Catalina 22 sailboat, the Anne Marie, in tow - picture in front of Mt Shasta

This webpage for the Bounty Hunter provides historical perspective on our Motorhome Odyssey
In August 2012 we sold the Bounty Hunter and purchased a 43' Country Coach
In March 2014 we traded in the Country Coach for a newer Tiffin Allegro Bus 43QRP

My wife and I are avid sailors with a keen sense of Wanderlust... we want to see and sail the far reaches of this great country in our golden years. In 2010 we decided to take our beautiful Anne Marie, a splendid Catalina 22 sailboat, tow it behind us and sail every inviting body of water we discover as we travel around the USA. We had been visiting lakes with our smaller truck camper. We enjoyed it so much we wanted to spend more time at it and have more room. And what better way to enjoy it we thought, than living in a magnificent 40' Motor Coach. But we faced one major dilemma... if we tow our sailboat behind our motorhome, what do we drive when we get there? And what do we use to launch the boat? Certainly not a massive 40' Motor Coach.

We solved this dilemma in August 2011 when we discovered the magnificent Gulf Stream Bounty Hunter, a unique 40' Motor Coach that is also a motorized toyhauler, featuring a unique 12' garage bay in the back. Point to any of the pix at the right to see larger photos. A little research yielded the perfect companion vehicle for this venture... a little Chevy Geo Tracker. Just 11'9" long and 2300 lbs, it fits snugly inside the garage bay of the coach, so we could carry it with us. With 4WD low range, the little Tracker was able to pull the Catalina up even the steepest boat launch ramp with relative ease. And with removable hardtop, we could enjoy the wind in our hair as we meandered about the lower 48.

We named our new coach the Windseeker, and designed a custom logo for the rear tailgate. Windseeker was a powerful Road Warrior. Gulf Stream built only a few of these with its top of the line powertrain and chassis... a powerful 6.7L Cummins ISB Turbo Diesel (350 HP / 650 LB-FT torque) with an Allison 5 speed automatic transmission on a Freightliner custom chassis. It has no equal... other companies have attempted motorized toyhaulers, but not one we have seen even comes close. Windseeker was built to haul... and in considerable comfort. This unique home on wheels sports a long list of features.

Mouse over photos to enlarge
The Windseeker from the passenger side
The Windseeker from the driver's side
The front of the Windseeker and the rear garage bay

Our portable local transportation for this grand adventure was the capable little Geo Tracker, built for Chevrolet by Suzuki who rebranded their popular Sidekick compact SUV. The Tracker was sold in both 2 and 4 door models from 1990-2004, but the original 2 door, made from 1990-1998, was very small, just 2300 lbs. & 11'9" in length, yet surprisingly roomy inside. These peppy little 4x4 convertible SUV's have something of a cult following, much like the small Jeeps CJ5 & CJ7. The Tracker and Sidekick are popular tow-behind vehicles for people in large motorhomes. But since we want to tow our sailboat, we needed a daily driver small enough to carry *on board* in the RV's 12' garage, yet with enough grunt to pull our sailboat up a boat launch ramp. Not many choices available! But the little Geo Tracker with its low range 4WD fit the bill perfectly.

The humble little Geo Tracker, without which this dream would not be possible

But don't think for a minute this powerful hauler is little more than a motorized garage. Quite the contrary, this is a deluxe Motor Coach, designed to leave its wayfaring inhabitants wanting for little. With a 12' slide on the driver's side which slides out 3 feet, it turns the main cabin of the coach into a spacious living room with a very comfortable floorplan. With a leather convertible sofa behind the driver's seat and a convertible 4 seat dinette behind that, there's plenty of room for relaxed living. Behind the passenger seat it had another small sofa bed, which I replaced with a Lazyboy recliner. The large kitchen has a double stainless sink, gas range, ample counter space, a convection/microwave oven and a generous AC/Propane Dometic refrigerator.

The main cabin features an upgraded 37" LED HDTV and another smaller one as well. There are two surround sound CD stereos, and wifi internet capable Blu-ray player which can be routed to any of the 4 TV's on board. The 12x8 garage which carries the car and our bicycles on the road, doubles as an office and rec room once we arrive at our destination, with its own HD television and stereo. We'd roll out a persian rug, set up folding tables and chairs for our office, plus a spare twin bed, and assorted other gear, providing welcome additional living space. The bathroom is very comfortable. With a 9 foot ceiling and a full sized 24x36" shower, it has a bathroom sink and porcelain head, and is nicely appointed in oak, granite-look counters and beautiful tile-look flooring, all with a luxurious appearance but still relatively light weight in mind.

Storage is always at a premium in RV life, and there is ample cabinet space inside the coach, large storage bins in the 'basement' and a pair of large Thule pods on the roof. At the rear of the main cabin is a door leading to the garage, and adjacent to that there are a set of stairs leading up to the master bedroom area in the loft located above the garage. The master features a king sized bed (which we've upgraded to a Tempur-pedic Cloud), cabinets and another 24'' HDTV. And by not giving up 1/3 of our floorspace for a bedroom and putting it in a loft instead, it has the equivalent living space of a mythical 52' motor coach. There's also a skylight for sleeping under the stars which also provides access out onto the roof that also serves as a nice sundeck.

Our coach has two roof mounted air conditioners, a furnace, 75 gallon fresh water tank, 10 gallon hot water heater, backup cameras, Dish Network Satellite HD TV with DVR, 4G Wifi Internet with Verizon, onboard Viair 400P-RV air compressor, Sanitaire Commerical Carpet Cleaner by Electrolux, Powergear automatic leveling jacks, and a powerful 7.5 kW Generac diesel generator which can power both A/C's, the microwave and various lights and other appliances. As you can see from this dealer sales video, Gulf Stream has packed a lot of comfort, luxury, convenience and utility into this package. They put it all on a heavy duty road warrior chassis and powertrain, providing us with the ability to effortlessly cruise the U.S. highway system, with our Catalina sailboat in tow, visiting as many lakes and waterways as we can for the next decade and beyond.

After a successful shakedown cruise in fall of 2011, we began our adventures in the late spring of 2012 as we set out to explore the great Pacific Northwest and get to know our new coach. On the docket to start was a month at Fernridge Reservoir in Oregon, and from there on to Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho, Flathead Lake in Montana, and Lake Okanagan in B.C., before we returned to Hayden Island Marina for the fall sailing season on the mighty Columbia River out of Portland OR. We spent about a month in each place, but in August 2012 we decided we wanted a larger coach more suitable for extended travels and chose a 2008 Country Coach to replace the Bounty Hunter.

The Windseeker cabin from the driver's side looking aft from the cockpit
The driver's side of the Windseeker cabin looking forward
The Windseeker's expansive kitchen
The master bedroom located in the loft above the rear garage bay
The captain's cockpit at the helm of the Windseeker

Over the next few years in our newest motorhome, we'll be exploring lakes from coast to coast. Future travels will take us across country to Florida and up the east coast through Charleston SC to the Chesapeake Bay, then on to Long Island, NY, Lake George N.Y. and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway and the Thousand Islands. After wintering in Florida again, in 2016 we plan to go back up for a second trip and then in 2017, we'll travel up thru the midwest via Lake Lanier near Atlanta, Tellico Lake, TN, over through St Louis and Nashville up to Lake Superior around the Apostle Islands then down through Stockton Lake, MO and to the mighty Lake Texoma before wintering at one of our favorites, Canyon Lake, near San Antonio TX.

We feel most fortunate to have the time, health, energy, ability and the funds to live the dream. Traveling in our modest truck camper for a year and a half, 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 irresistable. Once we found this setup... the splendid Gulf Stream Bounty Hunter... enabling us to live and travel in luxurious comfort and tow our beloved Catalina sailboat with us, and yet be able to have something appropriate and fun to drive, like our little Geo Tracker, when we reach our various destinations... well, it seemed like an opportunity we simply could not pass up.

Arriving at a new lake with the Anne Marie, our splendid Catalina 22
Click to see a full color brochure from Gulf Steam Coach Inc. for the Bounty Hunter Class A Toyhauler Motor Coach

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