Thursday, October 25, 2007


YAY! The time-consuming, stressful "new auto" search is over; Jules II is parked outside as I write this.

After 145,000 miles driven and 60,000 more towed behind Scoopy, we had used up Original Jules, a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. We bought her, used, 5 years ago, our first SUV with 75,000 miles. Many, many times during our travels, we have remarked on how comfortable Jules was, how much we liked the leather seats and all the "luxury" (to us) features - so we were sad that it obviously was time to move on.

A new, wierd loud rumble was beginning to scare us when we drove; the remote door locks no longer worked; the sun roof opened 10% of the time; the CD player had quit working long ago; the back tailgate fell on our heads as we loaded stuff into the back; the dashboard lights flickered and went out randomly while driving at night; the A/C sometimes switched from comfortably cold to full blast HEAT. Time to say goodbye!

We decided to downsize to a smaller vehicle for better gas mileage and a smaller "carbon footprint", so test drove both a Honda CRV and a Jeep Liberty, popular "toweds" among the fulltiming crowd. For Odel, the step down in legroom and seat comfort was a disappointment, and the ride was noticeably less smooth to both of us.

Driving home in Original Jules, we realized we weren't ready to give up our big, comfortable ride. Before long we had found our replacement vehicle: a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with 75,000 miles.

Jules II is four years newer than Original Jules, with the same mileage and for approximately the same price as our purchase 5 years ago. No scary driving sounds, and ALL the technology works: door locks, sound system, sunroof... we even had a 10 disc CD changer. The body has a few imperfections: a minor boo-boo near one of the rear lights, dings and scratches that are noticeable when you get close, and we need to work on removing some spots on the headliner. A vehicle that is towed around the country behind a motorhome gets dings and nicks anyway, so we were willing to trade a less-than-perfect body for a very affordable price. You can find great deals on gas-guzzlers these days!

We put on 30 miles or so yesterday after we picked up Jules II and traded in Original Jules. Another couple of weeks should tell us whether we traded our known problems for unknown problems, but we're feeling pretty good right now.

1 comment:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS & WELCOME to Jules II. Isn't it amazing that Jules II is beginning with exactly the same mileage!!!!!! That sure is no coinsidence!!!!!!