Saturday, February 7, 2015

First Post From the First Day in Our First Rig

"And the gods will test your resolve......."  and your sense of humor, your patience, your stamina and your friendships!

February 6, 2015, the day we have been looking forward to like children seeing presents under the tree having to wait for Christmas morning. The alarm is set for 5:30, but we're both up before 5:00. The Jeep is packed with all the things we have for the motorhome - every inch of the inside is stuffed and the chairs are strapped on the top. We head out around 6:30 for Montclair where we have a 9:00 appointment with the Giant RV sales department to do our walk through.

We have the new tow bar that they are going to run the wiring through so it's all set up the right way. We drop that off at the service department when they open at 8:00, and drive around the area to kill the hour. I lived there over 30 years ago so we go see if we can find the old house. Naturally it looks so much smaller, and except for the shape of the front, is completely different. Hour killed, back to the dealer for 90 minutes, and then on the road with motorhome and toad!

The sales department has no clue who we are (we bought the rig from the dealer's RV show, not from their lot). After being asked three times if I was Mrs Hill, I finally asked what the Hills bought - maybe I AM Mrs Hill, at least you're expecting her! About 9:40 I am finally greeted as Mrs. Gravel. Progress.

Slow progress. Our rig is in the bay having scratches buffed off the side, they'll have it ready for us in the afternoon. "Like hell you will buddy, we expect to be driving out of here in a couple hours and you'd better light a fire under everybody's ass now"....I say in my head. Knowing this guy is in a position to make or break our day, I instead calmly explain that the afternoon is not acceptable, that we have reservations at a park in the desert, that we live 90 miles away, and we really need to be on the road at noon. Oh, and there's that walk-through I scheduled three weeks ago that no one is even acknowledging.


Still in the service bay


Not where we pictured spending our first day

So while he is adding a team of body buffers and interior cleaning ladies to get the rig ready, I head over to double check that the Invisibrake wiring I sent by FedEx last week has been installed. "My" service guy says he'll check for me. It's now after 10:00. When I come out of the restroom Bill tells me the wiring will be done by noon. You can likely guess what I say in my head.

Bill is the master of "water off a duck's back", and I'm very even-tempered most of the time. But we're feeling a bit "testy" at almost 11:00, still sitting in the lobby. I knew who I scheduled the appointment with, and about this time she comes out of the finance office and introduces herself. And owns the mistake. A genuine apology makes a huge difference to me. I always hope that mine will be accepted. We accept hers. Tessa is wagging her tail. We can't stay mad now.


The walk-through tech is good. He immediately "gets" how to work with us, and we have fun with him while confirming that "buttons you push, and knobs you turn". Even though we have passed noon, while we're in the rig we don't care how long it's taking. The ten minutes back in the lobby while no one knows what we're waiting for puts us back into OMG-can-we-just-get-the-rig-and-go mode. Next Bill sees our rig pull out of the lot and disappear down the road. We surmise that filling up the propane happens off site. It finally returns and we are finally able to pull up the Jeep and attach the tow bar. 


Check the water in the batteries regularly


Accommodating much longer legs than mine

Now that I'm all dirty from the RV lot, can we go already?

So close. But nope, not yet. Although we knew the procedure for putting the Jeep's transfer case in neutral for towing, it won't do it. After a few unsuccessful attempts Bill goes to find our service rep who worked for Jeep for ten years. We have now spent enough time here to know such things. The decade of experience does us no good. It's not going to work. Unhooking the tow bar brings out a few curses......long overdue at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Without hesitation we unload the boxes and assorted stuff, wrap up the tow bar cables on the rig, park the Jeep in the shade, and finally drive the rig off the lot! Three hours later than planned, still have to get groceries, over two hours of driving ahead of us - we are so not getting to the park before dark.

Both acceleration and stopping taking longer than in a car or truck. Getting the speedometer to 75 mph takes much less time (I attempt to keep it at 65) on a nice flat freeway. It's a dream to drive. I'm in love. All is right with the world
.


Center lane, 65 mph, smooth as silk

Damn, groceries. Double damn, Walmart is the most convenient place to stop. I bite the bullet and do my first ever shopping in the den of the enemy. I knew I would have to do it when we got on the road, so I suppose adding it to this already crazy day is fitting. Groceries are purchased. It's not a terrible experience. I'm not struck by lightning.

We pull the grade on I10 out of Indio at 55 and when we pass the exit at Chiraco Summit the sky is completely dark. Desert dark. Although we've never been to the RV park we have known this area for 50+ years so we have no anxiety about finding where we need to be. We will take our time and get in to the site just fine. We're in site #48.

Most of the lots are permanent residences. Nice. Very clean. Only about half of them have numbers. There's no street lights on the narrow streets. We finally find #48 (we figure it's the one between 47 and 49). Wait for it.......

There's a fifth wheel parked there with awning out and chairs set up. 


We laugh.

I leave a message on the rv park's phone number and Bill calls our friend from high school who lives here at Lake Tamarisk. Coy knows way too much about each of us, and loves us anyway. Come on over, there's hookups, stay as long as you like. Sweet!

The location of the hookups requires backing the rig through brush, past a large eucalyptus, beside the patio cover and house (in the dark). Bring it on! With Bill under the backup camera and Coy at the driver's window I get it in place in one shot.

Slides out, power hooked up, we're set up in five minutes. Several cold beers on the patio, lots of stories shared, Cheetos for dinner. The stars are incredible - bright and nearly close enough to touch. The night is soundless (when we finally shut up about 11:30).

This morning the sunrise over the little lake made yesterday's trials seem like a long time ago....



Watching the sun rise from the dining table

Prime spot at Chez Hamby - thanks Coy!

Living the dream
 

50 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It looks so much better off the dealer lot! Thanks :-)

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  2. Wow !!
    What a day !! What a beautiful rig !!!
    Wishing much joy and great adventures ahead...may the wind be always at your back!!

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    1. Thank you Betty. The day definitely tested us :-)

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  3. OMG! Isn't it true that once you sign on the dotted line they forget all about you. And I cannot believe someone else was in your site. That's too much. You are a much calmer woman than I but thankfully you have friends in the area which of course I wouldn't have. So what happens to the toad now? If you left it there, they may have it sold before you get back . I share your distain for the evil Mallwart. It turns out to be a necessary evil on the road especially in places where you know nothing or aren't going to be there long enough to know something. But usually you'll at least be able to find other groceries. WELCOME TO FULL TIMING. It has problems just like real life but it has much greater rewards we think.

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    1. Although everyone at the dealership were genuinely nice people, the lack of communication between the sales and service depts was ridiculous. I'm hoping the lack of keys kept the Jeep where we left it - we'll both drive home from the dealer this afternoon and get it to the Jeep dealer this week. Our real Plan B was to just boondock for the night and then get into another spot in the morning. But when Coy offered his yard it turned out that our filled site was a blessing. The rewards were immediate - yesterday was amazing :-)

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  4. Well that was quite a Day 1. Sherry nailed it when she said "once you sign on the dotted line they forget all about you". Happened to us with our Sunseeker deal. Your first day will always remain memorable although not in the way you would like to look back & remember it. Nice looking coach you have there & welcome to the RV life:)).

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    1. Thanks Al. It was definitely memorable!

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  5. I am glad you were finally able to get on the road. I have had days like that. Enjoy!!!!

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    1. I kept remembering that I've read of others having similar days and that you all survived. It helped :-)

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  6. The turmoil, the excitement...the landing safe just where you need to be! I think it was a great first ride!

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    1. It was indeed great! We feel like we passed a test :-)

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  7. Why is it the time quoted at repair lots are always under exaggerated. The time clock only matters when it's to come to work, eat lunch and then go home. I'm glad you're finally in your new home. I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun experiences ahead of you.

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    1. Indeed - you'd think they'd know how long something takes and at least sometimes be finished within their quoted time! Thanks Jeri, we've definitely had fun even though Bill has to go back to work tomorrow :-( We go fulltime in June, but plan to be out playing several times before then.

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  8. Well, it may not have been the smoothest first day...but it was the first day none the less! You've got an RV!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Well said Lisa! We were laughing about calling out the "firsts" all day - first song we listened to, first meal fixed, etc. We're still over the moon to have the rig :-)

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  9. All I can say is YEA!!!! Nothing like that first night. Everything else doesn't matter, cause it will all work out eventually.

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    1. Yep - to finally be in the rig, sleeping in that bed the first time - it was all worth it to realize that dream!

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  10. I am so excited for you reading this! You got it down pat already... roll with the punches! You took it all in stride and having fun! Nothing like that first night. Relax, have fun putting everything away and enjoy! How did Tessa do?

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    1. Thanks Debbie! I thought about you and some of the other Class of 2014 and knew we'd get through it :-) Tessa was a champ all day and has settled in nicely. She may be less happy when we return to the apartment (just like us), but when we are in the rig fulltime I know she's going to love it. Of course she'd really love it if we always had a nice big grassy front yard like this one :-)))))

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  11. Congratulations, you are finally on the road! Let the fun begin......

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  12. Congrats on your new home on wheels!
    you know of course, that this first day will be but a distant memory soon enough!
    can't wait till the next post!!

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    1. Thank you Sue :-) We can't wait to get out here fulltime - and I'm hoping the next couple months are soon a distant memory as well.

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  13. Congratulations on taking delivery, sounds much less eventful than our first day (and I'm really, really happy for you). We almost destroyed one of our leveling jacks less than 3 miles from the dealer. I chose our first RV Park almost a month ahead of our trip so I'd be sure to have our site less than 100 yards from a Super Walmart so we could get groceries and supplies to get us from Florida to Arizona. Happy trails!

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    1. I kept reminding myself that others have had worse :-( Proximity to groceries and supplies was a good call for your first trip - we're 70 miles from them here!

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  14. With the first day over, you survived and it will only get better. Congrats, you're on the road.

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    1. Thanks Gaelyn! I sort of feel like we should get a badge or something :-)

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  15. Finally you made it to a wonderful fulltime lifestyle, enjoy every minute creating new memories everyminute.
    We are still doing that after 9 years on the road and love it.

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    1. We have loved our weekend introduction for sure and are so looking forward to this being our life for many years to come!!

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  16. Congrats on taking possession of your new rig, its a beauty.
    Enjoy!!!

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    1. Thank you Mike - we are so happy with it!

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  17. You guys have way more patience than this lady does!! I hope the rest of this shake down cruise is much easier!!

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    1. We kept telling ourselves it would all come together in the end while really wanting to throw a big ol' hissy fit! So far everything is working fine inside the rig (we haven't run the washer and dryer yet), and I think we've found all the light switches :-)

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  18. Yippee! You are on the road you are now full timers kind of. Just wait till June when you can stay out forever. Nice-looking rig picture.

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    1. Thanks Nan, we loved seeing it somewhere besides the dealer lot!! It was a pretty spot. Not rushing home will be heaven.

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  19. It must be a requirement for picking up a new unit that you have to wait!! We had a similar experience and we wanted to pull our hair out. But, like you, we finally hit the road!! Wahoo! With all you went through day one, the rest will be piece of cake:) I can just see you two grinning from ear to ear as you drove down the road:) Congratulations! She's a beauty!!

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    1. And look how long you've been having fun out there!! It's a good sign I think :-) Yep, we felt like we had won the lottery at that point!! Thanks Pam - we think so too.

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  20. Ohhhh my goodness -- and I thought our first day back on the road last month was bad! You win, hands down! So glad that you were able to handle whatever happened and to get that baby on the road. I laughed about Walmart -- I never, ever shopped there until we started full-timing, but we've since discovered that it's sometimes the only option for organic veggies and the black tank enzyme stuff we prefer. Wishing you joy in your first journey in your beautiful new rig!

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    1. I knew we would have to go there in places where there are few other options - but I didn't think it would be the very first trip! Thanks Laurel, it was a weekend that confirmed that everything we did to get this far has been worth it (even Friday).

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  21. Your rig is beautiful...and it is 'Tessa approved'! :)

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    1. Thanks! Oh yes, she's going to love living the life :-)

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  22. What a first day! And what a great first day story. I imagine you'll have many more first this and first that stories to tell around campfires of the future.
    Enjoy the ride!

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    1. I strongly recommend you call to confirm your appointments at the dealership next year and avoid our fiasco! I still can't believe we had Cheetos for our first dinner :-))))

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  23. I feel your RV pick up pain. We hada one hour appt just to go thru our 24' travel trailer - a much simpler rv than yours. It took 5 hours. But, all is now good in our world as it appears to be in yours. Enjoy!

    Mike

    from

    https://irefusetoliveanuninterestinglife.wordpress.com/

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    1. Also, Jodee, we are originally from Valencia, CA. Maybe we were neighbors?

      Mike

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    2. Wow! I can't imagine 5 hours even for our rig! Maybe we were neighbors indeed, it's not that big of a town :-) We were near Henry Mayo Hospital and now off Pico Canyon.

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  24. Congrats you two! So great to hear from you on the road. While it might not have been a perfect first day (they never are), you'll remember it the rest of your lives. Enjoy your new life. :)

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    1. Thanks Becky! It was fun to post from the rig, but it reminded me my internet speed is going to be different "out there" :-)

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