Starting spring break… and viewing the future?

Oh, hallelujah, spring break has sprung. We’ve been looking forward to this trip for months and it has finally arrived. We haven’t done a longer Qubie trip since Thanksgiving and we’ve missed it.

Wednesday night we packed everything into Subie and drove out to Qubie’s storage to transfer everything so we could get going Thursday morning. Then today we got up reasonably early so we could get on the road by 8 on our way to our overnight stop near Atlanta. We got to experience the particular joys of Interstate 85 through NC, SC, and Georgia and its exciting melange of traffic, construction, gusty winds, and punishing roads… which, while expected, had interesting connotations later. We stopped about halfway for lunch at the SC welcome center — the location for the featured picture above — and continued on after a quick gas up. We pulled into our overnight site at Jones RV Park just this side of Atlanta a little before 4. I’d stayed here for overnighters on my trip to Red Bay last year as well and knew it as a reasonably-priced place for an overnight stay with easy access to 85 which is just what I needed.

Tomorrow we continue on our way through Montgomery, AL eventually reaching the Florida panhandle where we plan to stay for a week. We’ve booked an RV park on the bay near Destin in a waterfront site. Right now the forecast looks pretty amazing, perfect for our plans to do beach things, visit my old stomping grounds in Pensacola, and see the Blue Angels practice.

A glimpse into the future?

Admittedly, one of the things we’ve been looking forward to during our stopover here in Atlanta is a visit to a local place of business. Cagey, I know. They sell things. Large, expensive things. Moving things.

Yes, yes. It’s an RV dealership. National Indoor RV Centers to be accurate.

We love Qubie. Still do, every day. She’s literally perfect for the RVing lifestyle we’re living with Julia.

  • The bunks are perfect for Julia and a friend which happens frequently if not frequently enough. It’s so easy for them!
  • The vast majority of our trips are to Jordan Lake, a very short distance away.
  • We still just love her style and comfort.
  • I can do all of the maintenance and much of the repairs.

That said, we know the things we’d find wanting in the future, when it’s just Cat and I hopefully traveling more often, for longer times and longer distances.

  • The absolute biggest thing is the ride. I85 showed us that Qubie, for all her positives, is still a truck chassis with a heavy house on it. I’ve done (almost) everything I can to improve the ride with aftermarket additions. It’s manageable, I’m confident driving her, but no one will ever call it a comfortable, non-tiring ride. And Cat just will not drive her. No confidence in her ability to control the coach, and watching me constantly correcting her as we get tossed around by the wind does nothing to help.
  • Insulation. It’s raining on us as I type this and I had to crank the volume on the TV to hear it over the cacophony from the rain pounding on the roof. Similarly, temperature control is a weak point. Hard to cool in the summer, hard to warm in the winter. The moment the AC/heater turns off begins the immediate process of leeching the heat in or out.
  • The entertainment area layout is less than ideal in Qubie, with the main TV toward the back of the cabin. Snuggling on the couch while watching a movie just isn’t a thing, since you’d have to turn your head literally 90°. I’m typically in the recliner, Julia’s laying on the couch, and Cat’s in the (turned around) passenger seat. Less than ideal.
  • If it’s just the two of us, we don’t need the bunks.

We know all this, but we still love her and think she’s perfect for now.

But someday will be later. And I’ve been looking around and researching and found a brand that we wanted to take a look at with an eye to the future. NIRVC carries that brand.


Sure, we have had good luck with our Tiffin, but in reading the forums and hearing from owners we’ve heard that at least one of our desires isn’t addressed by Tiffin, even in more expensive coaches: insulation. Even the most expensive Tiffins aren’t insulated as well as Entegras.

So, we got Qubie set up at the RV park, got Julia situated since she didn’t have a great desire to see RVs, and took off for the dealership. By the time we got there we had about an hour before they closed. A salesman got some info and then took us on a quick jaunt through the Entegra trim lines before then inviting us on a test drive.

Hot damn.

The interior of the Anthem 44F, in its closed state right before we drove off. Later, Cat would sit on the recliner on the left with her legs up on the right and just marvel at how cushy it is, even in motion.

We test drove a just-arrived 2019 Entegra Anthem 44F. The Anthem trim line was the one I figured we’d try to lean toward as the sweet spot of Entegra’s line, given cost and feature set. I hadn’t seen 44F layout but it’s grown on us considerably. But I’m taking a tangent.

The test drive. I’ll just say it: it exceeded our expectations considerably. It worked out perfectly, really. We’d just spent about 7 hours getting pounded on some of the worst interstate on god’s green earth, it was a perfect time to compare.

The ride? Comfortable. Expansion joints could be felt ever-so-slightly. Harder hits were soaked up almost entirely. Big overpass bumps could be felt as a lift, but the landing was like floating down into it softly, and I never felt like there was any change in the feeling of control, whereas Qubie on those big bumps often feels like you’re holding on for dear life and the rebounds are lively and extended.

Given it’s a rear-engine diesel the difference in noise level was incredible compared with our front-engine gasser. On our way up while climbing hills and talking, we’d be talking rather loudly to be heard. Regardless of our speed in the Entegra, we could just talk in a normal voice. Just an astonishing difference in noise level.

Finally, the driving inputs were on another level. I honestly felt like it was easier to drive than Subie, our Subaru Outback toad. I wasn’t doing course corrections constantly, I wasn’t getting shoved around by the wind, it was just like driving a car except with vastly superior visibility and a cushier ride.

The other things were cake. The air brakes were impressive, feeling like it could stand on its nose if needed. The turning radius was ridiculous, with something like a 61° wheel cut. Power wasn’t exceptional but seemed adequate and comparable given it’s a much heavier vehicle.

IMG_20180329_182109Most impressively, Cat drove it. Not on the road, but around the dealership. She got confidence watching me drive with pretty much zero effort and was convinced she could drive it with no problem. So, she took a quick spin around the building. She agreed, it felt pretty amazingly simple.

So what does this mean? I guess we have some figuring and thinking to do. We will likely never go full-time, as we prefer having a home base. Extended part-time seems really likely. Take journeys through the National Parks, the Canadian Rockies, the northeast, hell, everywhere. And when we do that, if we can work it out, maybe we’ll retire Qubie and move up. We’d always wondered whether the diesels were actually that much better on the road and now we know: to us, absolutely. It’s a huge difference in cost and we’ll have to figure out what that means, but now we know what the price would give us.

Exciting times now and in the future! Tomorrow, Florida.

2 Comments on “Starting spring break… and viewing the future?

  1. Comparing Qubie to a 45-foot tag axle diesel pusher seems so unfair! But if money is no object, then of course you should make the jump. Still, there’s always a LiquidSpring test drive waiting for you . . .

    • Oh, if only money was no object 😀! We’re at least partly daydreaming I guess. Justifying that kind of difference is exceedingly hard. Though Cat does say I should play the lottery more often. I really should take you up on that LiquidSpring test drive… that would be way cheaper than a DP!

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