Happy Trails to the SeaBreeze

In everyone’s life there are defining moments. One of ours was the moment we bought the SeaBreeze. We didn’t realized it at the time we made the purchase. The realization came later when we began living a nomadic life.

After years of research and searching for the perfect RV, we found the SeaBreeze by accident. I was looking for an RV that met specific criteria, most of which one could not see by looking at it. Mary was looking for an RV with a comfortable recliner and a large outside storage compartment. We were looking for a new RV when a six year old used one showed up. I routinely checked the new 5th wheel inventory of local RV dealers . One day a 2001 National RV SeaBreeze appeared in my search for new 5th wheels. All the specs on the SeaBreeze appeared to be what I was looking for. The next day, I drove about a hundred miles to look at it. It was definitely used and the interior decor looked like someone’s grandmother’s house - lots of flowers - big tacky blue flowers everywhere that made the RV look even smaller than it was. Although the decor was certainly not something I would choose, it had Corian countertops; real wood cabinets; extra-large holding tanks; a hundred gallon fresh water tank; a solar panel to charge the batteries; tons of indoor storage; a fair amount of outdoor storage; a large hot water tank; a shower with a small bathtub; a microwave / convection oven; and many more amenities. The asking price was under $20,000.00. The next day I told Mary that she might want to go look at it. We drove back to the RV dealer, Mary looked at the outdoor storage, sat in the recliner and said she loved it.

Within a week we were the proud owner of the SeaBreeze. This was somewhat of a problem, because we did not have a truck to pull it. We looked around to find a truck that could pull it and realized that there was not an abundance of big trucks made for towing heavy RVs sitting on lots waiting to be sold. As luck would have it within a couple of days, the RV dealership took an F-350 dually, 4x4 longed truck that was set up to tow a large RV in on trade. They checked the truck out and told us it was in good shape. Since there were no other choices available and there was nothing wrong with the truck, we bought it. Now we had a way to tow the RV we had already purchased. The dealer spent a couple of days going through the SeaBreeze cleaning and making sure everything worked before we took possession of it. We spent a couple of weeks learning how to operate all the systems within the SeaBreeze and how to drive it. There was a lot to learn and it took us a while to become comfortable with the RV. My sister and my dad help redo the interior of the RV to make it look more like a space in which we would live rather than an old lady space. We also made some modifications to make life in the RV more comfortable.

We took the SeaBreeze on many short trips. With each trip we tweeked how we did things and what we took with us. Trips got longer and we became more confident in our RVing skills. We went from weekend trips, to week long trips, to several months long trips. In a couple of years we were ready to try full-timing. Amazingly we were able to fit everything we needed in and on the RV and truck including all our toys (five bicycles; three kayaks; hiking, camping & backpacking gear; snowboards, skis and snowshoes, etc.).

We rented our house and started our life on the road. We spent nights at truck stops, Walmarts and rest areas as we traveled across the country. We called RV parks home and became friends with our RVing neighbors. We lived comfortably in bad weather and extreme temperatures (104° to -28°Winking. We had all the comforts of home and found RV living to be very pleasant. Much of the reason we were so comfy was because of the quality of the SeaBreeze. We did not know a lot about how to determine the quality of an RV when we purchased the SeaBreeze - we got lucky. We did not know that the SeaBreeze was not the average RV. We realized it was top of the line when we started looking for a new RV. Dealers would ask what we had and would tell us what good RVs National RV built. Most of the RVs we looked at did not compare to the eleven year old Seabreeze. The SeaBreeze was better built and had amenities that newer and much more expensive RVs did not have. This made looking for a new RV difficult - we had come to expect the best and we just weren’t finding it.

The SeaBreeze was one tough RV we have bounced her over miles and miles of poorly maintained roads, over curbs and over speed bumps at too high of speed. She held on for dear life and continued to follow us. We have tried to take her thru Dairy Queen drive-thus (not very successfully). We ripped her roof off in Colorado. Despite our not so gentle treatment, she stayed with us. She quite possibly saved our lives one night when our next door RV neighbor decided to blow up his RV. His RV landed on top of us. The SeaBreeze sustained a little damage, but nothing like the other RVs that were near by. We were the closest to the explosion - the bedroom was less than ten feet from the propane explosion. We took the brunt of the explosion but had the least amount of damage of the nearby RVs. The insurance company was going to total the SeaBreeze without even looking at her. We insisted that they come look because we did not think it was that badly damaged (we continued to live in it following the explosion). Upon seeing the SeaBreeze the insurance company decided to repair it. The company that did the repairs repeatedly commented on how well the SeaBreeze was built.

The SeaBreeze was our introduction to the nomadic lifestyle. Full-time RVing is a less stressful, less complicated more simple life than living in a stick and brick house with a yard. An RV has less space for “things.” Not having a lot of “things” is very freeing. There is very little housework in an RV. Responsibilities are fewer in an RV. It’s a great lifestyle except for not having frequent contact with family and old friends.

We have many, many happy memories that involve the SeaBreeze. Not having her will seem strange and perhaps a little lonely for a while. There are a lot of things we will miss. We will wonder about her new owners and hope that they love her and care for her as much as we did. The SeaBreeze offered us so many experiences that we might not have had or even thought possible. She provided us a new lifestyle - that of vagabonds, kept us warm and dry in many new places, and gave us the opportunity to make friends with people from all over the country.

Happy trails to a wonderful RV!! Congrats to the lucky person/people who buy her.