The Advanced RV Configuration Experience
Custom building a motorhome from scratch is an amazing experience. We recently completed the Configuration with Advanced RV and we want to share all the details with you.
We are Damon and Mitzi Janis. Widowed in our forties after long and successful marriages, we found the courage to love again and married. We are rebuilding a life we love.
We love to travel and explore. We are inquisitive and love to learn. We love the open road and open spaces. We love freedom. We love beauty, peace, and quiet. We live slowly.
We are building a motorhome with Advanced RV to intentionally share in this experience together. Assuming we both continue to live — some subtle widow humor for you 🙂 — we will experience the joys and freedoms of traveling together and exploring this beautiful land.
For three days we worked with multiple team members at Advanced RV to define, to the smallest details, exactly how we want our motorhome to be configured and built.
The Configuration experience was exhilarating, satisfying, and a load of fun. On day three we visited a design center to pick out fabrics — Mitzi sews and quilts and knows and loves quality fabrics. As we left the design center, she sat in the back seat and said enthusiastically, “I absolutely love these fabrics!” Like a kid in a candy shop she had to see and touch them again without delay. So she pulled the samples out of the bag, spread them on her lap, took pictures of them, and ogled over them in happiness as we drove back to the Advanced RV factory.
Preparing for Configuration
Before the Configuration process starts, there are a couple of preliminary steps. First, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis was ordered. Second, we created our wishlist. And third, we got to name our motorhome.
There are several decisions to make on the chassis: size, color, and type. These decisions, like all the Configuration decisions, are driven by how you plan to use your motorhome.
We plan to live in our motorhome for extended periods of time. We plan on boondocking (being off the grid) frequently and living in it through the four seasons in all weather conditions and climates.
With that in mind, we decided on the 170 extended length Tenorite Grey 2×4. We told Mike Griffiths what we wanted and he placed the order with Mercedes, sending us the confirmation. Simple!
After ordering the chassis, we fully enjoyed creating our wishlist. Advanced RV can do anything, and they encouraged us to include everything we could think of on our wishlist. We used this list as a starting point for the Configuration.
For a couple weeks as we prepared for our trip to the factory in Ohio, we would have new ideas and we added to our list. We ended up with 34 items, including these:
-quilt racks for hanging Mitzi’s beautiful quilts
-curved overhead cabinets
-hooks for bathrobes in the bathroom
-workspace accommodation for an iMac computer and a Bernina sewing machine
-articulating bed and love seat combo
-all weather capability
Creating the wishlist got us excited about our upcoming Configuration. It helped us visualize what we wanted, how we would use the motorhome, and gave us hours of pleasure visualizing our perfect motorhome. We felt thrilled anticipating the moment when what we envisioned in our minds will become a physical reality.
All Advanced RVs are given a name. They are called by their name through the entire Configuration and Build process. We loved naming our motorhome.
We have eight children between us. We have experience naming a child. We might say that naming our motorhome was maybe just a little more enjoyable and less stressful… than naming our children 🙂
We discussed lots of naming options and finally settled on the Hawaiian word Malanah. Damon came across this word as a teenager. He always remembered the sound and feel of it. We looked it up and discovered it meant ‘buoyant’, ’to float’ and ‘to move together, as people’. For us it represents resurfacing after the loss of our spouses. Rebuilding a life we love, together. Letting in the happiness again.
And so with that we headed off to Willoughby Ohio to prepare for the birth of Malanah 🙂
Stay tuned for Part 2!