We are packed and ready for the quick move to Florida from our RV parked in New Jersey. We started out toward FL at about 10:30 am, a little later than the planned 9am leave time! We have 1200 miles to travel from Keyport NJ to our house in North Port FL. We planned on either 2 days or 3 days of travel depending on how much distance we could make.
|Packed and ready|
|Chas' car to come later|
We ended up making the trip in 2.5 days! The first day we traveled to just south of the I95/295 junction in Petersburg Virginia. That was just 360 miles for the 9 hours for travel for the day! The traffic and construction from just before Baltimore MD and most of 295 around Washington DC was horrendous! We are already planning to do some other route when we return in a couple of weeks.
|At a rest park on the way down to FL|
|Dinner out first night on the road|
The second day we made much better time. We traveled all the way to Jacksonville Florida before calling it a day. We made 570 miles in 11 hours which included time for a sit down lunch of about an hour. That is what we had planned to do the first day. Anyway, this leaves us just 190 miles for the third and last day.
|Cute dog the next morning at the hotel|
|Just had to stop at South of the Border for lunch on second travel day|
|Dinner Jacksonville FL at the end of the second travel day|
|Truck and trailer ready to go at the hotel|
We arrived at the house just after lunch time, around 1pm. And as expected, we already had packages sitting in our front screened in porch. Since we no longer own any type of home furnishings we are buying everything new and having it delivered in the next couple of weeks. The plan is to stay on top of the deliveries and get the stuff unboxed, assembled if needed, and moved into place ASAP. We didn’t want stuff to start to pile up.
After moving the first boxes into the house I had to deal with the water issue. A couple of weeks ago we had the water shut off because water was coming out of our front yard and traveling across the sidewalk. It seems that the leach field was somehow being over saturated and then leaking out of the yard. With some outside help we determined that the issue was the master bath toilet continuously running. After turning on the water to the house, nothing was running except the suspect toilet. When I had left it in May it was running sometimes and just a little bit. Now it was running full bore! I had the thing adjusted and all is good now.
There are a few puzzling things about this house we have found. The master bath toilet is one of them. The puzzling thing about the toilet is that there seemed to be nothing wrong with it except it needed adjusting. How does that happen? This flush mechanism is not a standard the standard I am familiar with. The float was not adjustable. The adjustment was made in the height of the entire flush valve using presets. So, was the toilet always running in the past and the owners turned it off! Who knows!
Another thing was the ceiling fan in the sitting area of the house. Its wall switch was wired around! The only way to turn it on was via the chain that we needed a ladder to get to. I opened the wall switch and found that the wires were taken off the switch and placed together via a wire nut! Why would someone do that?! I wired back in the switch and again, all is good!
The dining room doesn’t have any installed lights! It has a ceiling fan but no lights. How did anyone ever eat there?! On top of that, some past owner put in a new ceiling fan in the kitchen with lights when there was already 2 sets of lights there. We have nothing against more lights but it would have seemed the priority should have been putting the lights into the dining room. We ended up switching the ceiling fans from the kitchen and dining room and adding lights to the now new old kitchen fan. Weird!
One thing I have not got to yet is the ceiling area above the outside lanai area by the pool. The ceiling has 2 new looking electrical covers over what looks to be fan installs. Both have wall switches inside the house. At least here we think we have an explanation. We think that the original house had outside fans with lights and that over time they deteriorated with exposure to the pool and the chemicals. Instead of replacing them they just took them off and put up cover plates. That is a project for later though.
Another issue was the remote keypad for the garage door. We found in the paperwork what the combination was but the remote didn’t work when we tried it. I figured that someone had changed the code and forgot to write it down. Well no, that wasn’t the case at all! I went on YouTube and found out how to reprogram the remote. But before doing the remote I thought I should just check the obvious and make sure it had a battery and that it was good. To my surprise the battery was not only missing but the 9 volt connector had been cut off! Now why the f@#k would somebody do that! To make sure the remote works I temporarily connected a new 9 volt to the wires and damn, it works!
The dishwasher leaked the first time we used it! The thing looks like it is new too. I let it fill up to where to point where it would leak and then opened the door. What I found was that the float switch was stuck. It looks like the dishwasher had not been used and the switch plunger dried completely out and was just stuck. All I had to do was flick it once and it worked. Had no one been using the dishwasher either?! All good now though.
Lastly were the miscellaneous light bulbs that were left all over the house. The way the bulbs were left it looked like the owners had no idea what bulb to put where and didn’t finish the job either. Some of the new bulbs were left near where bulbs were burnt out but were the wrong bulbs. In other places the wrong bulbs were mixed in with other wrong bulbs and all burnt out! We now have all new correct LED bulbs in the house. Again, all is good!
All of this stuff is was trivial but really weird! The house is also extremely clean! I mean clean to the point it looks like it had not been lived in sort of clean! For instance, the back of the 11 year old refrigerator doesn’t have any dust on it. It looks brand new inside and out. Not even scratches on the plastic veggie drawers or below them. Not only did the ceiling fans not have dust on the blades there wasn’t any dust on the top of the motor 12 feet off of the floor! We are not complaining, just seems like the previous owners didn’t use the house very much and also didn’t fix simple things like lights when they burnt out. Strange!
|Lizards are everywhere! One on our cactus in the front yard|
|First bird after Patty put bird seed out|
|Another lizard out our bedroom window|
OK, now we are in the house the first afternoon and we have nothing to eat or drink in the house. We took care of the packages that were there when we arrived and then headed out to the local Publix for food and stuff. Since we didn’t even have salt in the house we had one of the largest grocery bills ever. The clerk who rung up the order said we had the largest bill of the day! She fully understood that we were just moving in. Then there was the thing I hate most about grocery shopping, putting it all away. It was even more tedious as we had to find places to put everything for the first time. That will probably change as time goes on.
For the next 8 days we built 2 huge mounds in the garage, one for cardboard and the other for styrofoam. At one point we couldn’t even move around in the garage. We were having 3-4 deliveries a day and once we had one waiting the other to leave!
|Pictures of pre-assembly process. Bedroom set here|
|Delivery truck outside again!|
|Chas' car being delivered at 11pm!|
We arrived on a Friday and Fridays are garbage and recycling pickup in our area. So we had a whole week before we could get rid of the first batch of cardboard. The Styrofoam had to wait another week as the town alternates between the two each week.
|Most of the cardboard after breaking it down|
We went from empty house to full in about 10 days. I managed to get my 10k steps in most days, just in the house. And a little pool time to cool off too! It really was a great experience to furnish and decorate a house with mostly new stuff. All of our lives before was just moving our old stuff to a new place and replacing a little at a time. We fully knew this would happen 7 years ago when we got rid of everything we owned. We didn’t yet know just what we would do after living full time in an RV but we knew and had planned on having to purchase everything new if and when the time came. It was fun too especially after 7 years of not buying anything for a house.
|Not all work! Took a short tour around Boca Grande about 30 minutes away|
|Chas has this really cool bloody mary with a slice of bacon in it at Boca Grande|
|Crab House dinner out in Punta Gorda 15 miles south of us|
|Sunset at the Crab House in Punta Gorda|
|First BBQ at the house.|
|Dinner out in Englewood on the Gulf about 30 minutes away|
|Gulf view from the restaurant|
|Chas had a couple of friends over who |
live in Tampa FL but are from our area in NJ
|Pool at night|
|Our bedroom Complete|
|Our bedroom with an added net decoration|
|Completed dining room with lights!|
|Chas hanging out in the kitchen on the new stools|
|Outside lanai furniture|
|TV room complete|
|Almost complete sitting area at the aquarium window. The pub table is back ordered and will be delivered in a month|
We now have the truck and 5th wheel up for sale on Facebook and on RV Trader. It would be great if we could sell them before we get back to Florida in mid-October. If not we will need to store the RV in a lot somewhere. If anyone knows of someone who may want a 40 foot 6 year old 5th wheel and 2008 F450 tow vehicle please let us know!!
2013 Sanibel and 2008 F450 For Sale Link
On Saturday the 25th we left Chas at the house and we headed back to New Jersey. We knew we could make good time the first half of the trip. We went 585 miles the first day! We weren't sure we could do the remaining 615 in one day especially through the Washington DC and Baltimore areas.
Our second day we got on the road by 8am. We like to be off the road by dark so we didn't want to travel after about 8pm. So we have 12 hours to travel 615 miles which should be very doable. We decide we would determine if we go the entire distance after we get through Baltimore. We took a slightly different route and didn't use 495 to go around DC this time. We stayed on I395 to I295 and back on to 495 to 95 north of DC. I would not say this was too much faster for us but it was a little better. W also go behind a car fire on 295 where we lost about 30 minutes. We finally arrived back in NJ after 615 miles at 8:45pm, almost 13 hours!
|Finally, the Delaware Memorial Bridge leading into New Jersey|
|Temperature outside our RV in New NJ after getting back. It has been hotter here in NJ than it was in FL. The humidity is lower most of the day than FL though|