The 2001 Beaver Marquis….. OK Nice Beaver!

 Having served our apprenticeship on the 1996 Safari we decide to go and take a look at
something a little more up market as the AHRMA long distance trials were proving to be so much
fun. September 2005,  E-bay has a superb Beaver Marquis listed and after drooling over the 30+
pictures we see the vehicle is just down the road from us in Mesa AZ.

Arrive and salesman shows us everything new in the inventory, which are OK, but seems
reluctant to show us what we came to see. Eventually we get to the Beaver…. it even looks
better than the new ones and is a 2001 with 21,000 miles. Open the door and the smell of real
wood and leather wafts across the parking lot, step on board and its a jaw dropping experience
and you are inside decadent oppulence that would make the Orient Express look tacky!

The inside of the Orient Express

This is something else and within the week we take delivery of the monster. It was a very simple
choice really, either 2 and 1/2 acres of prime desert and scrub with a few cactus or this, a
remodelled kitchen, a vacation home in Colorado and a MV F4 1000 for me! Not really that much
to decide!

Desert or new kitchen ?

A Mountain Retreat as well

A new Toy for ME!

I drive it home and first impression is that it is a bit bouncy! I’m thinking I’d better tell her to
wear a “sports bra” for travelling and on reflection thinking perhaps I should get one too! It also
has an annoying high pitched scream a bit like the “low air” warning but air pressure is good and
the brakes are excellent. This one is a 42 footer, has a “his and her’s” bathroom with 2 toilets,
gorgeous shower and every appliance you could think of. 2 slide outs, double blinds and drapes
all electrically operated, under floor heating, insta hot water, a 10,000 watt generator (enough
for a small village) and navigation, and other computers for everything else.

His & Hers Sinks and Seperate Loos

The first run is going to be Sandia for mid September 2005 and knowing what I need I get the
all singing/dancing multiplug for the trailer. Filled up with water, a fridge/freezer that works and
no “smudging” required I move the huge bus a little closer to the house and as I set off the
pantry door opens depositing a bottle of virgin oil and a packet of flour into the goop! Well at
least we have a clean floor and another item for the check list of things to lock before departure.

Thursday and up through Flagstaff and along I40 to Albuquerque with that little high pitched
whine again, but Brenda can drown it out with music so forget it. En-route she collects 14 hand
controllers from around the bus, God knows what they are all for? Anyhoo, on the front dash
there is a very pretty little roll top desk thing which only houses the navigation DVD so this looks
like a good stowage for all of those. Much cleaning and windexing is taking place as we hurtle
along brushing 18 wheelers aside with 500 horses and watching them fight for control as they
join the “Benouli Club”. This coach has the TAG axel and with the extra weight/length and power
I’m not fighting for control and in fact it drives like a sports car and is exceedingly comfortable
apart from the bouncy ride.

Sometime later there is a sign “BUMP”…… well what’s new here? …….. we rocket over the
continental divide and bus, trailer, dogs and Brenda are now in space as the Beaver Marquis
emulates the Wright Brothers early attempts. We land to an almighty crash, the air suspension
taking it in manly fashion, and as we do I can only assume that the impact sent the lower half of
the steering column upwards as the Titanic horn sounded without me touching anything.

Bras back in place, disgruntled dogs back on seats, we continue to our destination. Suitably
parked and leveled the whine goes away and the self leveler is pretty clever! Lots of hissing and
puffing as airbags empty and fill and then it all stops and says “I’m level”

Sandia is cold, windy and a bit wet which is not what we were expecting for mid September but
the event was great and a lot of entertaining done in the new coach. This one has an auto
awning retract system which rewinds if the windspeed reaches 15 mph……..and it did! sounds
good, providing the system detects it, otherwise you have yourself an America’s Cup land yatch!
Prior to entertaining, we discover the roll top writing bureau thing is now locked as all the hand
controllers that were neatly stacked inside also got airborne and came down forming a log jam
inside. Some removal of dash required here but we now know not to put them in there again
and also leave the wine glasses in the bar rack as that’s where they are designed to go!

Saturday and off up to our RV park and check on work in progress. No more problems other than
the slight whine? ….. and so the first mission is complete. Take it back to find out what the whine
is all about only to find its another “gotcha” and when you get on the road the little green light
that shows “all up” on the jacks sometimes goes out and just needs to be reselected and all is
quiet! Yet another RV learning experience. A couple of local trips and we discover the generator
can sometimes quit for no good reason and also the DVD keeps stopping and freeze framing, and
one gas burner is difficult to light. Believe me when you are driving hearing a continuous click
clicking of the gas igniter it is disconcerting as you await the fearful explosion to come.

Back into service again and Brenda’s parents come for a visit. The Coach is ready and we collect
it and they elect to come back with me and all is well until our exit off the 101 loop when a whole
line of cars slam on the anchors! the airbrakes come on and Brenda’s mother, who was in the
leather recliner with footstool, shoots forward like a sled on the cresta run and collides with the
immovable desk breaking a couple of ribs.

The generator was plugged up with road grime flying up on to it’s own radiator and took 3 cans
of Gunk to remove and the new burner for the stove had to come from France? Already I’m
wondering about this “bumper to bumper” warranty as every time the part is $498 and we have
a $500 deductable per visit!

On the way home from Colorado the shower door keeps jumping off it’s rail but other than that

Perris…. not stuck

2006 comes along and first trip is Perris for a double header and amazingly all goes well, on
reflection there must have been something but apart from denting a rear panel on a rock I think
that was it. Next major outing is the BMW rally in Panguitch UT and here the insta hot starts
playing up and the house A/C doesn’t seem quite as cool as one would like.

Entertaining at Panguitch

Next up Donner in mid July and we set off into the setting sun to our first night stop the other
side of LA. It has to be the hottest day of the year and by the time we join the lunatic drivers in
LA  most things including the driver are overheating and just to add to the amusement the driver’s
A/C is now blowing warm! Arrive at our planned, and reserved nightstop only to find our 50 amp
slot has been given to a f****** Winnebago and we have 30 amp which won’t power the
cigarette lighter in this coach much less the ac! No choice run the gene and then camp security
arrives who says we can’t use the gene after 2200. I explain to Dum Dum that we WILL be
running the gene and he is welcome to rearrange a popular phrase concerning sex and travel!

Beautiful Dash

Donner goes well and the duty repair, costing $498 to repair a little ac pipe is complete.

All ready for Casper and time for some new wiper blades from Napa. As expected these don’t
quite stay in contact with the windshield and I’m driving looking through an arrow slit like a
mediaeval  archer. On arrival at Casper the main house AC quits along with the insta hot water

They repair the AC as a new unit won’t be available until late October, and that would be
covered under warranty, or they can repair it for ……….$498!!!

Sandia, cold, windy and now the little awning auto retract windmill sensor has gone! Just left
the ship without any word… just went. On the way home stop for gas and while doing my
walkround notice one of the tires on the TAG axel is a most peculiar shape…. fortunately the
truck stop has one that doesn’t cost $498 , but we are close at $380!

Back to service once more as the “insta hot”  has arrived and we need the alignment checked
on this Tag axel. Our next trip is a “Brenda Bonus” …. a few days in the Napa valley, wine
tastings, trip to SanFran on the new Harley, across to Hollister for the last AHRMA trial and a
quick run down to Clint Eastwood’s bar “The Hog’s Breath” in Monterey.

Pick up the bus Monday lunchtime and start prepping for the Tuesday dawn departure. Water
on board, I’m about to load tools when there is that well known scream from inside “TOE-KNEEE”
………”there is no ******* water!”

Sure enough no water, but I had noticed that the panel for the inside water services was lying
on it’s side in the bay, which presumably they had undone fitting the “insta hot”…… tap the water
pump and it runs for 30 seconds then stops…… well that’s shot. We carry on loading food and
clothes, although I must say the more you use these coaches the easier it gets as a lot of
clothes and non perishable foodstuffs stay on board. Can’t load the trailer or bikes as that
Harley is coming and I’ll never lift that lot.

Many tears later and a lot of whining (justifiably) we are finished and none too impressed with
the last service, or lack thereof. By the time I get back from the yard at 0700 Brenda has ripped
Holiday Motorhomes a “new one” and they are very apologetic and say it’s all their fault and
they meant to fit a new one but forgot….. or some other pathetic excuse. I leap into the bus and
drive the 40 miles in the wrong direction to Mesa and find the mechanic standing in the yard with
the water pump in his hand. 45 minutes later I’m back on the road again and heading home.

Quick loading of trailer and bikes and we are on the road at 1200 some 5 hours behind schedule.
To save any more tears I drive the 14 hours and a little after 2 in the morning we pull into our
berth in the State fairgrounds at Callistoga CA. (we are now back on Brenda’s schedule!).

The Rock, no not me, the Prison

The Chowder

Perfect Line-Up on the “Bridge”

Do all the duty things, the ride to San Fran, the chocolates, the pictures of the rock, the chowder
lunch and back over the bridge. Next day the duty wine tasting and all that entails. A lovely trip,
now down to Hollister but we miss the turn as the Ranger had told us the OTHER side of the
road……. 12 miles later we manage to turn round and by the time we get to the location my
learned colleague has decided a sleep is preferred to another Harley ride.

Some wine you say?

Home on the Sunday and now RV’ing is over for 2006 so in again to Holiday Motorhomes for a
few odds and sods, a generator and engine service, check all ac’s and some bodywork repairs
caused by me with the rock at Perris and a whole load of “pin-striping”. Need a few locks
changed and a general spruce up for 2007.

Still a nice Beaver!

Get a bigger bed

What have we learnt after 2 RV’s ?

1.   If it can go wrong it will!
2.   Keep checking your generator, it’s your lifeline
3.   Make sure all latches, tits, knobs, doodads are secure
4.   Don’t park where other people tell you
5.   AC’s break with monotonous regularity
6.   Everything, and I mean everything has a circuit breaker, fuse or both!
7.   RV plumbing is a nightmare
8.   RV entertainment systems are designed to be non user friendly!
9.   Have you found ALL the hand controllers?
10. King size bed=a must
11. Warranties are not that good!
12. Don’t piss off the Driver or Stewardess

While we are at Holiday Motorhomes and waiting for the Tech to do his write up Brenda goes to
look at the newest Beaver Marquis and I find her and, excuse the pun (with Eager Beaver
Salesman), looking over a 2006 with everything and only 7000 miles.

I’m somewhat indifferent about the 2006 but of course it does have some nice new features, as
you would expect for something costing $625,000, but I’ve seen enough and I’m ready to go.
Salesman invites us to come in and talk figures……. I decline and tell him as our bus will be there
for a week he can go play figures all he likes and can call me providing he doesn’t insult me with
any dumbarse offer. ……. and with that we leave.

The following day he rings and quotes us a price……….


Tony Down & Brenda  and Cadbury as “DOOF” the dog.

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