We have a 2004 Safari Panther motorhome, a 42 foot giant with some wonderful features we have come to love.
Our huge kitchen is perhaps our most unique feature, especially when one realizes that almost all post-2008 motor coach designs appear to have sacrificed kitchen space to make room for a second bathroom. As we prefer to minimize time spent in the bathroom, we much prefer our floor plan, which offers us a huge kitchen with so much counter space, we can leave our espresso machine out all the time and still have ample room. Yes, we are coffee snobs . . . Americanos, Lattes, Cappuccinos, we do it all when on the road.
We also have a residential refrigerator, two sofas, a large coffee table and more cabinets than you can imagine (we have 114 cabinet doors! True! I counted them). All in all, very comfortable and the three slide-outs ensure we have a very spacious home when on the road.
We first purchased the Safari in 2015, intending initially to go out for short camping trips, a week here, two weeks there, etc. We quickly fell in love with the mobile lifestyle and the Panther turned out to be SO comfortable, we started to entertain the thoughts of longer trips, perhaps even going full-time.
However, for that to be possible we needed to make sure the Panther was fully wi-fi connected because I still work two days a week and a good Internet connection is essential. After much research and tests, we feel confident we can connect at decent speeds, pretty much everywhere. We have a WiFi Ranger permanently mounted on the roof and travel with three different LTE hotspots that connect to the Sprint, Verizon and AT&T networks. Between those 4 options, we have not yet found ourselves isolated from the Internet.
Our tow-vehicle is a Subaru Forrester, an All-Wheel-Drive vehicle which we fitted out with Snow and Mud tires. Not quite a 4×4, but pretty close. We have an SMI AirForce One braking system, which provides proportional breaking action and use a Roadmaster All Terrain tow bar. All-in-all a great rig.
For the technically inclined, the Safari Panther features:
- Caterpillar® C-12, 505 HP engine with Allison® 4000 MH 6-speed electronic transmission.
- A 600D Aquahot, a continuous, tank-less hot water and coach heating system
- Airbrakes and automatic, air-powered leveling system. Air suspension system with 10 airbags and 10 shock absorbers.
- Automatic Traction Control system to eliminate slippage and tightens control.
- Six, 225 Ah, 6V batteries with 300W solar panels.