We’ve been the happy owners of Lizzy 3 for a little over a month now, and we’re still so excited! It just makes my heart happy to look out my dining room window and see her parked in the driveway right next to our home base, just waiting for us to take her on a trip!
We actually did take her out for a short drive in February, when we drove from Deming down to Columbus (about 30 miles one way) so that we could get her registered and tagged. Since our local MVD office was still closed for COVID, we opted to take her to the Fast Lane MVD office in Columbus, which is a privately-run affiliate of the State MVD office so they were still open for business for the most part. We did have to pay an extra fee for their services, but it was worth it to get that New Mexico license plate on her so we can take advantage of lower fees at state parks for in-state residents.
Since we were in Columbus over the lunch hour, we drove to our favorite little dining spot, Borderland Cafe, to get some of their delicious food. The restaurants were still all closed for indoor dining, but we just got our food and ate inside our own dining room while parked in the empty lot across from the cafe. I love doing that!
So here’s a quick tour of the inside of Lizzy 3, exactly as she looked when we brought her home, and before we started adding our own furnishings and accessories.
We’ll start with the cab. She’s on a Ford E350 chassis, and it’s pretty basic. The upholstery is in great condition, and the seats are nice and comfy.
There is plenty of storage room above the cab, with a capacity of up to 500 pounds. The cushions would make it a comfy sleeping spot if we needed to use it for that. The television is also located up there on an arm that swings out for viewing from the main part of the rig. There is also a ladder to make the space easily accessible, something our first rig didn’t have (which explains a lot about how I wound up falling out of the overhead one morning….but that’s a different story!)
The dinette is a bench-style instead of the U-shaped one that we had previously, and it’s one of the reasons we wanted this floor plan. With only two of us in the rig, we didn’t need the extra seating of the U-shape, and instead we appreciate the extra floor space that the bench-dinette provides. Also, this dinette has extra storage space under one of the benches, cup-holders in the table, and the table lowers easily so that the dinette can be converted into a bed/lounging space.
The kitchen has a large stainless-steel sink with a sprayer faucet, microwave oven, three-burner cooktop with cover for additional counter space, propane oven, electric/propane refrigerator, pantry space, and lots of storage. There is also an additional section of countertop that can be flipped up and locked into place for extra prep area. The only thing that I may complain about later is that the refrigerator is elevated above the furnace, so I may need a stool to grab things from the rear of the freezer at the top. Not a big issue, though. There is a small vent fan located in the ceiling above the cooking area, but we’ve already purchased a Maxx Air fan to replace it. Andy will be installing that upgrade soon.
The bedroom is located in the rear on the driver’s side in a slide-out, which makes this a huge improvement over Lizzy 1 where the small full-size bed was tucked into a corner. Lizzy 3 has a queen-size bed with easy access from either side, so Andy doesn’t have to crawl over me and two cats to get up in the middle of the night. The bedroom slide has small windows on either side of the bed, allowing for cross-ventilation, and there’s an overhead vent as well (although we wish it were a Maxx Air fan, and not just a vent). There is also a large window located in the back wall at the foot of the bed which allows a lot of natural light into the space, as well as serving as an emergency exit if needed.
The bedroom has a wardrobe for hanging clothes, three overhead bins over the headboard, and a large drawer under the wardrobe for storage. Cool thing about the wardrobe–while it is not accessible from the bedroom while the slide is in, it can also be accessed from a “secret” door behind the mirror that hangs over the dinette on the other side of that wall. Great design idea for those times when you need to grab a sweater from the closet while on the road! The thermostat for the propane furnace is located on the wall at the foot of the bed, and there is a curtain that can be drawn over the opening to provide some privacy or block out light from the front while trying to sleep.
The bathroom has a full shower, porcelain toilet, and vanity with a small stainless-steel sink. There’s a corner medicine cabinet as well as some storage area below the sink.
And that’s the 50-cent tour of the inside of Lizzy 3, on the day we brought her home. Since then, we’ve been gradually adding a few things to get her outfitted for our own camping style, and I’ll catch you up on all that in a week or two, because…
WE’RE GETTING READY TO TRAVEL!
Yes, we’ve made reservations for our first outing in Lizzy 3, leaving on March 15. The state parks in New Mexico have finally been re-opened for camping, although it’s by reservation only. Yesterday I went online and purchased our annual camping permit for the state parks ($180 for NM residents). I made sure to wait until March 1 to buy it, because it’s actually good through the end of the same month next year (March 31, 2022), so we get 13 months instead of 12 for our money. As soon as I got the permit number, I turned around and booked reservations in two different state parks:
- March 15-18 (four nights) at City of Rocks State Park
- March 19-22 (four nights) at Leasburg Dam State Park
Both of these parks are within easy driving distance from our home base in Deming, and there’s a reason we’re staying this close to home–neither of us have had our COVID vaccine yet, and we want to be fairly close to home when we get the notification that we’re finally eligible. In fact, Andy has gotten that notification once already, via text message, but when he went online to make his appointment the next morning, all the slots at that particular vaccination event had already been booked. Lesson learned–when the notification comes, you have to move fast. So until we’re both vaccinated, we will be staying within reasonable driving distance from Deming/Luna County in case we need to get back in a hurry.
We’ve been to Leasburg Dam SP several times, but we’ve never stayed at City of Rocks. It’s about 30 miles north of Deming, out in the middle of nowhere, in a setting that is truly surreal. We could have reserved a site with electricity, but the really good sites are all dry-camping among the rocks, and this is just the kind of location that Lizzy 3 was made for. There’s no way we could have gotten our fifth wheel into most of these campsites, but Lizzy 3 will easily tuck into just about any site there. We actually drove through the park in Pepper (our Prius) on Sunday so we could scout it out and select the site numbers that we really liked so that I would have good intel for making our reservations on Monday morning. I can’t wait to share photos of our site with you in a couple of weeks!
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been incredibly busy here at home base. We had to make a couple of trips to the Toyota dealership in Silver City to have the windshield replaced in Pepper after she was hit by a flying rock in Tucson on our way back from picking up Lizzy 3. And then we (um, “I”) decided that it was time to finally take care of painting the kitchen, dining room and laundry room to eliminate once and for all that horrendous 1990 pattern on the walls.
So far we’ve knocked out the dining room and the back entryway. It’s taking two coats of primer, and then two coats of paint (which also includes primer) to completely cover the pattern. We still have to do the areas that involve moving appliances–the kitchen wall behind the refrigerator and around the cabinets, and then the laundry room which involves moving the washer and dryer. Don’t tell anyone, but we are NOT going to pull that gas stove out–we’re just going to do the best we can to paint around it.
We have loved, loved, loved having this home base property as a haven during the craziness that was 2020. It’s hard to believe, but in just a few days, on March 13, it will have been exactly one year since we were politely thrown out of Pancho Villa State Park when everything started shutting down for COVID. We had no idea that our lives would change so much in that year–we bought a home base property in Deming, sold our truck and fifth wheel (Alberta and Lizzy Too), and bought our second Class C and Prius (Lizzy 3 and Pepper). I’ve worked 55 jigsaw puzzles, and Andy has started making jewelry again, even selling a couple of pieces.
But now we are super-excited about getting on the road again, even if it’s only for short trips initially. My biggest dream for this year is to finally get to travel eastward to visit my family in Mississippi, and hug my Mom and Dad again!! Hopefully it won’t be much longer!!
We’ll never be “full-time” RVers again, but we’re definitely still nomads at heart and the urge to travel is still strong. So stay tuned as we get our RV legs back under us and get ready to hit the road again!
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