2012 - 2017 Travel Map - Now in East Glacier Park MT


Tuesday – August 28, 2012 – Travel Day: Butler OH – Crawfordsville IN

Looks like we may have a standard forming around our leaving time ritual.   It’s taking us around 1.5 to 2 hours to fully pack up and be ready to move.   This morning it took the entire 2 hours as we needed to go to the dump station at the campsite.  Were on the road by 11 am and had 288 miles to travel today. 

Today we were going to finally be traveling flat roads so we could see how the fuel mileage was without the hills.  We went from 8 MPH to 9.5 MPH which I think is pretty good.  Just wish the truck had better mileage by its self without pulling.  But for pulling it is pretty good.

We arrived at the campsite in Crawfordsville (my home town) around 4:30 pm.  The site is the best we have had so far.  It is a pull through with full hook-ups and 50A electrical.  We have the se-up routine down now it seems.  It took us about 30 minutes to set up.  

Patty’s right elbow was hurting her more so we decided to take her to the hospital here and see if it is more than just a bruise.  After a 2 hour wait and an x-ray we found out that it was just a bruise.  She got some really good pain meds and we were off to see the grandkids J

We stopped for a pizza and Patty got her prescription filled and then we went over to see the grandkids.  They were allowed to stay up to see us as long as they promised to get up for school in the morning.  Even at 8:30 everybody had pizza. 

Tomorrow everybody comes to visit us at the campground!
Stay tuned!

Butler Ohio - Bikes and Campfire


Monday – August 27, 2012 –  Butler OH

OK, Monday looks like rain L  We decide to get on our bikes and do a ride on the bike path early before the rain.  We started at 8:30 am and went 2 miles east to the end of the trail in Butler.  We then turned around and rode 5 miles past our campsite and then turned around and headed back as it was really looking like rain any minute.  

Entrance to the Butler OH Campground

This is at the start of the bike trail in Butler.

Patty in Butler

In Butler.  I like these old signs on barns.

Along the bike trail
   
The access from the campsite to the trail is via a gravel road with a somewhat steep U-turn up on to the paved trail.  When we got back to this access point,  we going a little too fast.  I was in the lead and when I made the corner going down the turn I started to slide but able to gain control.  I looked back to check on Patty and that’s when  I heard her fall.  She lost control and went over the handle bars on to the mixed gravel and pavement.  She only had minor scrapes however her right elbow was hurting.  We got back to the RV just as it started to rain which it did most of the day.  Patty iced the elbow and we just hung out watching TV, reading, and took a nap J

The rain finally stopped and it really completely cleared up around 6 pm.  I went on a wood expedition with the roll-ez and found some good but wet wood for a campfire.   We bought jumbo marshmallows and roster forks just before we left NJ and wanted to use them.  With liter fluid and a roll of paper towels we got the fire going very well.  It was a great ending to a wet but wonderful day.

First camp fire.  There is a creek just in front of us.
View from the creek-side
First marshmallow roasted! 

Tomorrow we leave for Indiana.


Stay tuned!

Travel Day and Free Camping!


Sunday – August 26, 2012 – Travel Day, Grand Island NY to Butler OH

Today is going to be our longest pull so far at 295 miles.  This will mean that we will need to fuel up mid-way with the RV attached, first time for that also.

We started getting ready to leave at 9am.  We needed to stow everything, bikes, ground matt, grille, and then dump the tanks and stow the electrical cable,  water and sewer hose.  The process from start to finish (hitched and ready to go) took 1 hour and 45 minute.  We left the campsite at 11am and headed south on I190 to I90 to I271 to I71 in Ohio. 

Just over the state line in to Ohio (150 miles from Grand Island) we made a stop for fuel.  We were wanting to stop at a flying J as they are supposed to be very RV friendly.  We pulled over where there was a Flying J but on the way saw that fuel was cheaper by 6 cents at another station so we went there.  Not sure if this is true at all big diesel fuel stations but the last 2 we have been at do not take credit cards at the pump.  You pump your fuel and then go in to pay.  Seems weird to pump $100 worth of diesel fuel without talking to anyone.

First time getting fuel with the RV attached.  Store had LARGE drinks for just 70 cents each so we each got something as a prize!
Nice trip down in to Ohio.   We arrived at the River Trail Crossing RV Park around 4:30pm.  The park is located about 10 miles off I71 and is bordered by corn on one side, a stream, and an 18 mile bike trail.  The bike trail was one of the reasons to stay here.  The other reason being it is half way to our stay in Indiana.  

We pulled in and met the owner who said that she messed up and gave away our nice pull through full hook-up 50A spot L  However, she had several 30A water and electric only spots right on the stream.  We took a look and these spots were wide open, perfect.  Also, we have found that we can easily go 3 days without need to dump the tanks and probably up to 7 days if we are careful and used the camp showers. 

The only problem with 30 amps is we can’t use both AC units.  Most of the time one AC unit is OK.  However, today the temp is 93 and very humid.  It will just take longer to cool down the RV with just one running.  We took one of the spaces all the way on the end with the most room.

One other good thing about this site is that the owner decided to not charge us for the 2 nights for our  inconvenience . Also there are no trees in the way of the satellite TV reception :)  So a free stay with satellite TV! 

We got set up, opened the wine bar, made dinner, and then took a walk around the campground.  Looks like a lot of full timers here as several of the license plates were from Texas and Florida 2 of the 3 favorite states for Full timers.  South Dakota is the other favorite state of full timers.

Our set up for the next couple of days.
Tomorrow we plan to bike some of the trail and just veg out as it to rain in the afternoon.

Stay tuned!

Lewiston NY Jazz festival


Saturday – August 25, 2012 – Lewiston Jazz Festival

We decided to go to the Lewiston Jazz festival in Lewiston NY today.  Lewiston NY is located at the top of Niagara Falls and is bordered by Canada.  Lewiston is known for a couple of things; the invention of the cocktail, and it was the last city in the underground railway leading slaves to Canada.  Anyway, today it’s known for the jazz festival.

Lewiston is 13 miles north of Grand Island where we are camped.  We did our usual morning routine, coffee, internet, and breakfast.  This morning I made us egg sandwiches with a fried egg, 2 slices of bacon, cheese all on a multigrain roll.  The festival starts at noon so we left about noon.  It was a very hot day with the temperatures reaching 93F with little or no breeze!  The festival is set up on Center Street and covers something like 10 blocks.  There are 2 main stages, one on each end of the street and several smaller venues at various pubs along the street.  I was surprised at the number of pubs and restaurants along this street.  This is a hopping town at night!

We walked the length of the festival area and did a little shopping at the large jewelry tent.  Hopefully the granddaughters like the items we got for them.  We also checked out the old British sports cars.  They were mostly Jaguars and MGs with a couple of Triumphs thrown in. After getting hot we found a couple of shaded spots to sit and listen to the music and drink a couple glasses of wine.  We spent about 2 hours there and had a good time.  Next time I would go later in the day when it is not so hot.


Cool fountain in Lewiston NY

British Sports cars

Patty with an old MG

One of the side Jazz venues at this pub

Another old Jaguar

Looking about midway on Center Street toward the one of the main stages on the other end of the street

Another nice pub

Not a good picture, but this is the border crossing to Canada as you leave Lewiston

Saturday evening we went to Amherst NY to have dinner with Patty’s parents.  We picked up chicken and beef kabobs and Patty’s mom had fresh corn for dinner.   Patty’s dad had an old torque wrench that he let me have so now I can check my 5ers lug nuts.  I was going to get one at Harbor Freight when he said that I could have his.  Thanks Tom!

We got back home to the RV around 9:30 and watched a little TV and were ready for bed.  Tomorrow will be a long day as we are moving to Mansfield OH.  Mansfield is about 300 miles away and half way to Crawfordsville Indiana where we will be before heading to Oregon.  We are still new at RVing so packing up and setting out is still a great adventure for us.  I’ll let you know how the move goes tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

Beautiful Day In Grand Island NY


Wednesday – August 22, 2012 – Grand Island, NY

We are back on track with Patty feeling much better now.  The weather here in Grand Island is getting hotter again.  Today we had 80f but the humidity was only 40%.  It could reach 90f during the coming weekend.  We would like the weather to stay this way all of the time.

We had a nice morning with Patty’s sister Cheryl who stopped in to visit and see the RV.  I made breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast for all of us.  I’m still getting use to the kitchen, mostly how to utilize the available space.  This will take a little time but mostly I am only cooking for 2 people so it’s not a problem.

The visit wore Patty out so she took a nap around noon.  I then took off on my bike to ride the entire circle from our campground through Buckhorn State Park and back.  It was not as far as I thought at only 6 miles.  How do I know the route is 6 miles?   Let me plug a great FREE app for the Android phone (may be for the Apple also) called MapMyRide.  The app records your route on Google maps and gives you your speeds, elevations, calories burned, and distance.  The route through the park runs next to the Niagara River. I’m hoping to get Patty to ride this this week before we leave.


Nice house along the path



Niagra River looking north toward the Falls



Stay tuned!

Released - Back to normal!!


Monday - Tuesday:  August 20-21, 2012

Monday Patty was still not holding down much food although she was holding down a little.  The Dr. said that he was pretty sure that tomorrow, Tuesday, she should be released. 

Tuesday was very much a better day for Patty.  She wasn’t puking and was now holding down food.  The Dr. came in and made the assessment that she could now go home!!!  I really not sure how she got what she did but I’m so glad it’s over.

We decided to go out to eat with Patty’s parent again as I wanted a fish fry.  I wanted the fish fry that I didn’t get last Friday.  We also picked up our mail at her parents’ house which had our new plate for the RV from South Dakota.  Patty did pretty good and had a simple soup.  The evening tired her out so we went back to the RV after dinner.  Patty was in bed early tonight.

Not much to say as this has slowed us down some.  Tomorrow I plan to take a bike ride around the entire Buckhorn State Park.

Stay tuned!

Virus doesn’t want to leave


Saturday - Sunday:  

Patty was still feeling the virus so we went to a real hospital on Saturday morning.   We went to DeGraff in North Tonawanda NY about 10 miles away.  Since she had lost a lot of fluids she was dehydrated and her blood sugars were high so it was decided to admit her overnight.   It really sucks for her as we are here to visit her family.

On Sunday morning I went to visit hoping that I would be taking her home.  She was still not holding anything down!  We saw the Dr. twice and each time he believes this to be a virus and would pass.  All of her vitals as well as her blood work were normal now.  Looks like another 24 hrs. in the hospital for Patty.  She really is not happy now.

I left the hospital at 2:30 to get some errands done.  Needed to get fuel and wanted to get the truck washed which I did.  I also was going to start to do laundry.  I told Patty that I would be back at 6pm to eat dinner with her so I went to the grocery store and got some salmon and brussel sprouts to cook on the grille.  I took this dinner to the hospital and made the place smell like fish J

Before I went to the hospital on Sunday morning I went for a bike ride.  The weather has been great here, lows in the morning around 55 with highs in the upper 70s with very low humidity at 45.  I found a very nice trail with the trail head being just around the block from our campsite.  I only rode on the trail for a couple of miles but will go back and ride the whole thing sometime this week.  The map shows that it goes all the way to the Niagara River and follows is for a short distance.  I hope Patty is up to doing this trail with me sometime this week.

It looks like the trail was the Power Lines access road



Here’s hoping Monday is better for Patty!

Stay tuned!

Down time and a Virus


Friday: August 17th 2012

Woke to the sound of Patty puking at 2am!  I got up and made coffee for me and to see if she needed me to get her anything.  She wanted some Pepto-Bismol and we didn’t have any in the RV.  There is a large open 24h TOPS grocery store just up the road about a mile so I decided to go and get it.

Patty slept and puked most of the day.  I went for a short 2 mile walk, did some resistance exercises, and just piddled around the RV.   Around 2 in the afternoon Patty decided she should see a DR.  I found an Urgent care place about 5 miles away so we went there.  They gave her some anti-nausea pills and a prescription for more.  They told her to only eat clear foods today and go slowly to more solid stuff like bananas and pudding in a day or two.   I went back to the TOPS and loaded up on beef and chicken broth, bananas, and pudding.

While I was out I also got some cable TV cable to hook-up the RV to the free campground cable.  I needed to do this as again we are blocked by trees for the satellite system.  The cable is really pretty good, we get about 80 channels J

I cooked a couple of dogs for my dinner and then watched TV until time for bed.  Not sure what is in store for tomorrow.  This week is mostly family time.

Stay tuned!

Grand Island NY - Arrival and Lesson Learned!


Thursday:  Arrival at Grand Island NY -  More lessons Learned!

We got up this morning and ready to travel to Grand Island NY.  Grand Island is 190 miles from our current campsite in Cortland NY.  We will take I81 30 miles north to Syracuse and get on the I90 toll road for 145 miles to Buffalo and then the last 15 miles on I290 North to our next campsite on Grand Island.  We have a reservation at the Cinderella Campground and motel.  It will be our first full hook-up site.

We did pretty good getting ready to leave, took us about an hour this time.  I plan to tell all of my lessons here so everyone gets a since of what this is like.  Two little things happened and we learned two lessons and, so far, without real damage to ourselves or to our rig.  First, I didn’t follow the check list item to inspect the underside of the rig before we pull away.  We were both sitting in the truck, I put the truck in drive and just then I said to myself, self, you should look under the rig.  So I put the truck in park and went to inspect the underside of the rig.  Sure enough, I had left the front landing gear down but a few inches from the ground.  I did not go back and raise them after I performed the pull test to make sure I was coupled to the rig.  If I had not stopped to check, I most probably would have seriously damaged the landing gear.  My next stop would have been a service shop for a MAJOR repair.

The next issue and lesson was at the dump station.   This was our first time at a dump station.  This station was a good one to learn from as we were the only people there, no line to get in.  I pulled the rig up to where I thought I was close enough to the sewer pipe.  I turned off the truck, got out and found that I was more than 15 feet away and downhill from the sewer pipe.  I mistakenly decided not to move the rig up a few feet where the rig would be closer and, more importantly, uphill from the sewer pipe.   "I sound so lazy as I read what I am writing here".  Anyway, I put my 2 sewer houses together to make a hose of 25 feet and attach to the rig and Patty holds the other end in to the dump station pipe.  I first dump the black water tank and after some time the fluid stops running but the hose is full as the dump station is up hill from the rig.  I now open both grey water tanks and the flow starts again.  At least the fluid is now mostly clear.  When the flow stops this time I need to get the remaining fluid out of my hose and into the dump station pipe.  So I pick up the hose sort of in the middle, (its heavy) to get fluid in to the dump station and out of part of the hose.  Seems the fluid created a suction lock and would not drain.  So picked up the hose closer to the dump station pipe and that seemed to work.  After getting some of the fluid out, I went back to the center of the hose and again raised it up.  That’s when shit hit the ground, literally!  The connection between the 2 hoses parted due to the weight of the fluid and the fact that I didn’t do a good job of securing the pipe connection.  I got my feet soaked with mostly grey water which had a stink to it I got the hoses back together correctly and finished up.  Now I needed a shower.  Luckily there was a shower house next to the dump station so I could wash up.

The 2 lessons: 1. ALWAYS inspect the rig top, sides, bottom before pulling, FOLLOW the check list!!  2. Don’t be lazy!

The drive to Grand Island was very easy.  Put the cruise control on for most of the trip and just took it easy. 
Grand Island is an Island in the middle of the Niagara River.  It is located about 20 miles south of the Niagara Falls and borders Canada on one side. 


 The tent area of the campground

Our rig 2nd from right

Patty’s parents came to visit and had dinner with us.  That makes them our first house dinner guests.  After dinner we went to a local restaurant / bar where a friend of theirs was the entertainment.  The Friend, Burnsey is an old time Jazz/Ragtime piano player and singer.  He is quite the character!  We stayed for a couple of hours and drank way too much wine.  A good time was had by all!

Patty's Parents and Burnsey

A guy playing along with a ukulele

Tomorrow is reported to be cool, 73f and rain.  We are really looking forward to some quite time.  We have been working pretty hard the past couple of weeks.  It’s also going to be nice staying in one place for 10 days too! J

Stay tuned!

!st Day as Full Time RVers!


Wednesday:  Full Time RV Start!!!

August 15th we started our full time RV life!  We got up as usual at 7am and made our coffee and did our internet routine.  The difference this morning is that we stated to close up the RV for transport.  Our plan was to leave our friends driveway at 10am and travel 230 miles to the Country Music Campground in Cortland NY.  

I printed out a check list the night before and have it in the truck for last minute check off before we leave.  Rob and Cindy said they wanted to be there when we put the slides in so we did everything up to that point so they could be there.  They showed up for the slide pull in right on time, we must have been synchronized!  Got the slides in and did the truck hitch and now for the very hard part, saying good bye L

It's finally time to get in and go!

It’s always hard to say good bye dam it!  The larger picture for me is that we always sort of say good bye to most of our friends at the end of the Beach season as most of our friends are associated with Gunnison beach.  This season was very different from previous seasons in that we sold our house and moved temporarily to our beach house in May.  So we have actually lived near most of our friends for the past 3 months.  It has made all of our friends feel much closer to us making our leaving that much more hard.  Another aspect to this is that we are not actually going to a place, we are just leaving.   So, for me, I’m not sure how I will actually feel for a while yet.  I do know that we will reconnect with many family members in NY and IN and friends through out the US who we moved away from many years ago.

Anyway, enough about that emotional stuff.  We were ready to go by 10:30 on a beautiful sunny day to start “living our dream” J  As we just pulled on to Broadway in Keyport a saying came to mind and I said it to Patty.  The saying is “And we rolled clean out of sight”.  I think it’s a Bob Seeger song lyric.

We traveled 230 miles from Keyport NJ and arrived at the Country music Campground a little after 2pm.  The campground is basically a circle of RV sites around a small pond about 1.5 miles off I81 and 30 miles south of Syracuse NY.

A little corny, but nice,,and cheap!

 Looks to us like about half of the people here are here full time for the season with the rest here as we are, in transit.  You can’t beat the price of $11.00 with water and electric! They also have a dump station for when we leave in the morning.  We backed into the site with very little problem in about 15 minutes.  Only one little problem that added another 15 minutes to the set up.  We didn’t position the RV correctly taking in to account the slides.  The left rear slide was too close to the power station so we had to re-hitch and move about a foot to clear the power station.  One more lesson learned without damage!

Our first camping site

We needed to go into town and get fuel and we decided to get steaks for dinner.  We had our fresh steaks with our left over Jersey sweet corn we brought with us.  Both were very good.  I took a walk around the campground (counted 54 RV here) and then we watched some TV.  It didn’t take long and we were ready for bed.

Tomorrow will be our trip to Grand Island NY where we will stay for the next 10 days.

Stay tuned!

Rig warming and farewell party


Saturday:  RV “House Warming” and Going Away Party

Well it’s here, a party to see our new rig (house) and to say good bye for a while.  Our friends Rob and Cindy, at whose driveway we are using to move into our rig, helped arrange this party.  We can’t thank them enough for this and all of their help. Thanks guys!

Not sure how many people attended but we think around 35 came to wish us good luck and to say good bye.  Between us we must have given 30 tours of the rig during the day.   There was a lot of food and all of it got eaten very quickly.  Usually at these parties, in our experience, there is left overs.  Not at this party!  We had 20 lbs of BBQ beef short ribs, 7 lbs of salt potatoes, 10 lbs of BBQ chicken pieces, and multiple salads. We also had the usual summer time fare of hamburgers and hot dogs.  To top it all off we had a 1/4 keg of Blue Moon beer, red and white wines, assorted liquors and mixers including a variety of sodas and water.

One of the highlights was the cake that our friend Leo made for us.  He has made a few cakes we have seen in the past that were fantastic.  

Thanks Leo!

We didn't know he was going to make this so it was a real surprise.  The 5th wheel part got eaten and we froze the truck part to be eaten next year at this time.  We plan to be back in the drive way for the month of August next year.

The next couple of days we are going to finish moving into the rig.  Hope we don’t overload it!  We are planning to have it weighed when we get to the Rally in Oregon next month.

Stay tuned!


Thursday:  RV Modification

From my reading and researching for the past few years it became apparent to me that our FW would need a power management system.  I purchased the most popular system the Progressive industries HC50.  It protects the RVs electrical system from surges like lightning and bad camp ground power.  It also protects the electrical system from improperly wired camp ground systems.  It protects against over and under voltage, under and over frequency, improper grounds and neutrals.  When you plug into a camp ground system it will wait 15 seconds to analysis the electrical power before turning on the RV.  If the power is not right, it will not turn on power to the RV.  It will also turn off the power to the RV if the power gets bad.  It also has a by-pass switch if something goes wrong with the unit.

Got to go in there to install the power management system


What a rats nest!

The power management system before install


Installation requires that it is installed in to the main power cable for the RV.  I will need to cut the main cable and wire the two ends into the management system.  Before I can do that, I need to remove our stuff from the storage area under the RV and remove two wall panels.  Next is locate the main power cable and cut it where there is room to place the management system.  Also need to run a data cable into the RV where it connects to a display unit.

After cutting the main power cable

The display unit

I started the install around 10 am and finished it around 1:30 pm.  During the install I found a leaking pipe from the shower.  RVs are really not put together very well.  I put silicone in and around the drain pipe joint which seems to have fixed that.  If I had not put the power system in I would not have caught that.  It was a small leak that would have eventually rotted the wood under it.


Anyway, after the power management system installation I turned back on the power to the RV and,,,,,it works!  It’s really nice when something works the first time!

Nice dinner with Rob and Cindy.  We got fresh salmon and cod for the grille with fresh corn on the cob.  Yum!

Tomorrow will be finishing moving out of the shack and starting to move the stored stuff out of Rob and Cindy’s house.

Stay tuned!

Warranty Fix for the FW


Tuesday:  First time hitching on our own and then Karaoke

The hitching / securing process went very smoothly.  I can see how one can become complacent though.  I’m thinking I should put together a list, we will see.

We were a little apprehensive moving the rig during a NJ rush hour.  However, we were going south which is mostly in the opposite direction of the people going to New York City.   We made a mistake right away by getting on the north bound side of the Garden State Parkway, going right into traffic!  However, it was only 2 miles to the exit where we could turn around.  This exit was very busy as it is a park and ride exit.  The turnaround was smooth until we needed to make a left to the south entrance ramp.  This is also the park and ride entrance and exit on the opposite side just ahead of us.  Just getting to the south entrance we backed up about ¼ mile of traffic!  Now we needed to turn left across traffic with a very sharp turn.  It looked like we could be there for a long time.  After just a couple of minutes, a nice woman in the left lane stopped her car and traffic for us to turn!  Jersey gets way too many bad raps when this sort of thing with nice people happens all of the time.

We had a very uneventful trip to the RV service area after the wrong turn incident.  We went back to our friend’s house and just veg’d the rest of the day.  We didn’t know what to do if our house was missing.  We did get the paper work together for registering it in South Dakota.  We will be ready for that tomorrow.  
We got the call back from RV service and were told that the levelers were in fact installed too high and would be covered under warranty.  The work would be done tomorrow morning and it would be ready by around noon.  That was good news.

Our friends Cindy and Rob were going out to a local bar for karaoke and asked if we wanted to go.  We accepted and off we went to MJ’s bar and restaurant in Neptune NJ.  We had a good time while Patty, Cindy, and Rob sang, I watched the Olympics on the big screen TVs.  I just love the women’s sand volleyball.

Looking out the back window of MJ's


Patty in the center singing Karaoke

We were back to their house by 10pm.

We pick up the rig (our house) tomorrow!


Stay tuned!

First RV Issue


Monday: Auto Level System Issue

When we first leveled the FW on Saturday for the first time, the jack near the door did not touch the ground.  Also, the wheels on that side of the FW were slightly off the ground, enough where I could turn them.  I didn’t think this was right but for then I was just going to leave it alone.  I reasoned that maybe it was supposed to be that way.

This morning I started to investigate the leveling issue just to satisfy myself.  I started by doing some research on the internet.  I found that the situation I had was not correct but I wasn’t finding any satisfactory ways to correct it.  The system is made by Lippert and is called the Level UP Auto Level System.  It has 6 hydraulic jacks under the FW that are used to level and to hold the FW when it is disconnected from the truck.   Lippert makes a lot of things for RVs including most of the frames, axles, and suspension equipment for most of the RV manufacturers.  They are known to have good customer service so I sent an e-mail to them describing the issue I was having.

Lippert (Dave) called me back within an hour to run through the issue I was having.  We discounted several things first like the levelness of the driveway.  The driveway is not perfectly level, but darn close as campsites go, so that was ruled out.  After re-leveling the FW, Dave had me measure the  length of the piston that wasn’t touching the ground.  The length was 15 inches.   After some adjustments in manual mode and more measuring, Dave determined that the system was installed wrong.  The jacks were installed by the RV manufacturer too high.  Dave explained the general instructions given to the RV manufactures by Lippert.  Basically, Lippert only tells the manufactures to install the jacks to meet the minimum clearance under the RV.  In other words, as long as the jacks are higher than the minimum all is well with Lippert.  In this case, the jacks are installed fine for clearance but could and should be brought closer to the clearance line, closer to the ground.

Patty called a local Forest river dealer and we made an appointment for Tuesday morning at 9 am to correct the leveling system.  So far in just 3 days I have reinstalled one of the bathroom doors and now the leveling system needs to be adjusted.  From what I have read, this is normal stuff for RVs!

After we got the leveling issue squared away, we went to the shack to move our stuff out.  It was very hot and humid, around 90 in the shack.  We didn’t put any AC on as we had the front doors open so we could haul stuff out.  We spent about 2 and ½ hours loading the truck and didn't completely finish.  Still need to pack up some of the food.  We will be back later in the week.

Patty packing some cleaning supplies

This was our bedroom for the past 3 months


The truck looked like the Beverly Hillbillies truck, just needed the rocking chair on top for Granny to ride. 



Inside the shack looking out to the truck





We returned to the RV with the stuff from the shack around 3pm.   Then we spent the next 4 hot hours unloading and arranging the stuff into the RV.  The RV is not full yet but we made a good start at it.
Tomorrow we get to hitch up again and take the RV for service about 45 minutes away.  This will be our first time hitching up by ourselves.

Stay tuned!

Picked up our new home and 1st docking


Friday:  Last day in the Shack

We spent the day getting ready for our trip to the RV dealer in Shoemakersville PA. on Saturday morning.  I made sure that the truck tires were the correct pressures and the monitoring system was working.  This has been a long process as finding a place with high enough air pressure has been less than convenient to say the least.  At the last minute the drivers front tire valve stem dill valve was too far recessed to activate the monitor sensor.  Our neighbor helped out with a tool to adjust the dill valve so it would work.

Patty and I got out the suit cases and assorted bags to fill for our trip to get the RV in the morning.  We were not going to move everything, just enough so we would have some stuff to set up camp for the first time at our friends, Cindy and Robs, house in Keyport NJ.  The main things to get were the daily drugs, coffee and the coffee pot, and change of clothes.  We will go back to the shack on Monday to get the remaining items.

Our Shack mates/friends Tom and Michele arrived early evening to start our final night.  They made us our favorite food, a fantastic dinner of king crab legs.  They were delicious!  Thanks Tom and Michele. The plan was to go to sleep early so we could get up rested and early, 4:30 am on Saturday.   We were too excited and it was, our last night in the Shack.  After dinner we sat, talked, and drank wine for way, way, too long!  I think I got 4 hours of restless sleep. 


Saturday:  The start of our RV life

Big day!  4:45 am we are up and getting the coffee ready.  So are Tom and Michele to see us off.  They really are good friends.  Most stuff was already packed, just needed to get the last minute stuff like the coffee pot and computers.  We did our hugs and said goodbye and we were off to our new home!

We arrived at 8:00 am and ready for our inspection and tour of the RV.  The tour/inspection took about 4 hours.  I was pretty happy that I knew most everything from my years of research.  Still, nothing like seeing it yourself.  The big challenges will come when we actually doing it by ourselves.  The inspection showed us that the RV doesn’t come with much in the way of essential accessories, like water and sewer hoses, electrical adaptors, and wheel chocks.

At around 11:30 we were ready to hook up the truck for the first time.   This is the stuff that I could not really research, we were now moving to brand new experiences.  We tried first to hook up to the RV while it was still inside the work area, however, the truck was too high to couple to in and the ceiling was too low to raise the RV.  So they coupled up a tow vehicle to the RV and put it in the back parking lot.  

Moving our Sanibel to the back lot


Here it comes around the corner

Getting it ready for me to hitch up to it for the first time


It took several attempts to get the RV to hitch to the truck as the hitch was brand new and not worn in.  Finally we got hitched and we were ready to go.  

Finally got it hitched!

Here it is ready to head east to NJ



First, need to make the final payments, get the title, and purchase the stuff we need that the RV did not come with.  We added a water pressure regulator, 10 feet of extra sewer hose for a total of 25 feet, 30 foot 50 amp extension cable for a total of 55 feet, and adapters for 30 amp and 15 amp electrical service connections.  Oh, one last thing, Patty got extendable marshmallow forks.  All for a grand total of over $300 for essential accessories!  Now we are ready to take the RV  120 miles to our first camp spot.

The trip was fairly uneventful, thankfully!  We went from PA state road 61 to I78 to I287 in NJ and then to the Garden state parkway to exit 117a.  A few thing stood out though.  First was the relative ease of pulling the RV.  The truck actually rides and handles better.  However, I was surprised that the truck really does a lot of work going up long hills.  I didn’t think it would rev as high as it did with almost full turbo boost.  I was maintaining a 65mph highway speed though.  The other interesting thing was that people would actually give me room to change lanes, even in NJ!

Now for the real test and one that I didn’t think would be as hard as it was, backing in to the camp site, in this case a driveway.  This site is actually a very forgiving site with a wide road in front and nothing overhead.  Even with this easy site, It took us about an hour to accomplish the feat!  I learned a few things but not enough yet.  This will be very embarrassing to do with an audience!

I think we did good for the first time parking it


No room left in the driveway, need to park in the street


We have a great view from  of the back yard




We got the electrical and water hooked up the slides out and the AC on.  All good.  We were exhausted!  We ordered out for a strombolie and watched the olimpics until 9pm and then went to bed.  We slept like dead logs for 10 hours. All is good!

Stay tuned!