Day One Travel Update

Even though we are having a little trouble with the new owners of the house arguing about the renters deposit we have to put that stuff behind us and get on the road. We clearly should have planned more time to get the RV ready for the road. But that’s how we procrastinate (I mean planned). We had to just put our things in any cabinet available to get them out of the way for the trip.

But at 12:34, we were on the road.

Sometimes its good to have a crummy car.

Well sort of, we had to drive to Manassas and pick up a tow dolly to tow the car with.  After a quick lesson in how tow dolly brakes work and then why we didn’t need them. We got a quick lesson in how to hook up the trailer and car to the dolly. Then I gave them a quick lesson in how to rip off a big section of the plastic ‘air dam’ under my car. But that thing had been hanging down for years, so it’s good to finally just cut it off.

Towing the car was really scary for a the first couple miles, I kept looking in the rear view camera thinking that it was going to fly off at some point. But it didn’t. I didn’t notice a great dip in power while towing until we started to reach some of the bigger mountains, then I just clicked on the flashers and went at a steady pace.

Cats aren’t usually happy in a car.

I guess we should have seen this coming, our cat Dina didn’t even like it when the generator and AC were on in the RV in the driveway. So at this point she thinks everything is going to collapse and kill her. So she tries to get into any small space she can to protect herself. But it just so happens that with the bedroom slide pulled in that there’s a 4″ gap under the bed. So she crams herself in there and wont come out for the whole drive to the first stop. Cat parenting lesson learned.

Remember your RV training Luke.

Another lesson we learned is to listen closely during the RV walkthrough. There are a bunch of switches that we only kind of know what they do. It was really hot in the front of the RV so we topped and picked up some Gatorades. about halfway through them we decided to water them down with  some water from the sink. One sip and I remembered the voice of our walkthrough guy saying. “You’ll want to run fresh water through the tank for about 20 minutes before you use it.” Even thought it is pink the sanitizer they user in the tank does not taste like candy, unless its pre-eaten candy.

Older RVs have weird problems

We hadn’t even gotten on 66 to get out of town when we try to turn on the fans that point at driver and passenger hanging below the hood.   Find out we can’t have both fans on because it blow the fuse on the gauge cluster that shows water tank levels,  propane, and battery voltage. Luckily they all should be good at this point. So we spend a sweaty hour due to the setting sun blazing through the windshield as we head West toward 81. Then I remember that we can have the chassis fans on without turning on the AC. Which we didn’t want to do because it drops the MPG down about  2 MPG.

A few days prior we realized that the lights on the living room/dinette slide would short out when the center lamp is turned OFF.  So until I fix that we have had to take the bulbs out and leave it on.

Arriving at Jellystone, the happiest place on earth.

We call Yogi Bear Jellystone RV resort in Natural Bridge about three hours out from arrival.   Told no need to reserve a spot, they say. We arrive right at sundown to find the place packed and the clerk astounded that we would arrive without a reservation.   Luckily one spot is available but not long enough for dolly in tow.  We have to back car off (scary first again) and we forgot to remove the chains.  Whoops!  Luckily we noticed before going too far.   But either way,  the front end of the car ripped off a little bit more  on the way down.  We’ve decided we need the extender for the dolly that would prevent the front of the car from scraping against the ramp. Then we follow Eugene in his golf cart  as the sun dips lower in the sky,  down the hill to the spot.   Everyone is staring for some reason we can’t figure out. must be that no one would check into this waterslide family resort after dark. You’re missing all the fun!  We take off the dolly and pull it to the side of the site then back the RV in, no problems there, we’re getting good at this.

There’s a dj playing a loud, weird mix of gangster rap and twangy country on the sandy beach area at the swimming hole. Loaded with families dancing, no crap, it was pretty cool.

Be careful as articles may have shifted during travel.

Mark opened the cabinet with the washer/dryer where the laundry detergent is kept and the bottle fell to the linoleum (cap first),  broke the cap and the detergent burst all over
the floor. He got to it before all of it spilled out. We had to improvise with two pieces of cardboard to get the soap off the floor and back in to the bottle.  Without a cap,  we decided to transfer the detergent in to a Tupperware container.   The lesson here,  store things better and be more careful when opening cabinets.

Dina is  still under bed at this point two hours after getting to the park so Mark has to coax her out. With a combination of poking her with my hand and shaming he for being a wimp. Now we can move bed slide out.

Time to make a drink and dance with some teenagers on the beach for a couple minutes to de-stress from the first day on the road.

2 comments to Day One Travel Update

  • Laurie  says:

    Can’t wait to see you all and the behemoth!

  • Sue  says:

    Hilarious, great commentary, loved the lesson for the tow place in Manassas on how to remove the bottom of the car! How’s Dina now? Looks like the dog is adapting just fine.

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