You saw the smiling pictures of our take off, the exciting posts and comments… Now the whole truth about the first 24 hours. It took a week to get over it enough to write about it.
Let me start by saying that Pete only had a few small chances to practice towing the camper.
The time we had dreamed about had finally arrived. Yippee! But when we pulled off the site in Ft. Pierce where we had been stationary, we were so frazzled with hooking up for the first time, that we both forgot which way to the turnpike. We weren’t ready to try our hand at a turnaround so we drove about 15 miles out of our way to get on the road. No big deal. We managed to make our way to the FL turnpike and let out a big sigh of relief. We made it on the road! Was this really happening? We did it!
The first big truck passed and sucked us in and immediately blew us out, as they always do. Pete’s knuckles whitened as I felt my back sweating on the seat. It was just a little sway. OK Pete can handle this I thought to myself. About 15 minute passed and I was starting to feel more relaxed. Many passing trucks but we were taking it easy and it felt good.
It was then that the heavens opened up. Rain and wind for the rest of the day. We decided to call it quits a little early and get a hotel for the first night so we wouldn’t have to set up for the first time in the rain. Remember, we are totally new to RVing! So we found an Econo Lodge that would allow pets.
As we pulled up to the hotel we quickly tried to assess the parking lot. We were so busy looking for a way in and out that we took the entrance slightly too sharp and eeeeeeek! We heard the scraping sound as the left side of the trailer scraped along a barrier pole. Oh! bleepity @%&* bleep! We straightened out and Pete got out to assess the damage. Whew! Only cosmetic , no holes or crushed slides thank God! I went inside to check-in and the receptionist told me to have Pete pull up front. Oops! Too late as I watched him on the security camera creeping the camper slowly around back of the building. Oh, bleepity @%&* bleep! I ran out to help direct. “Let me help you back up” I said. This is where my gross inexperience came into play. From where I was standing he looked like he had enough room. Yikes! Apparently not. Another barrier pole bites the dust. This time it was all on me 🙁 The back corner molding pulled slightly away from the rear of the camper revealing a tiny opening where rain could intrude. Still only minimal damage but this one would have to be repaired ASAP.
We took a few breathes and tried not to kill each other. Pete and I are very good at taking turns with our meltdowns. We both know that they cannot happen simultaneously or we are doomed. Now it was his turn… SERENITY NOW, SERENITY NOW!!!
We got a room and ordered a pizza. The kids were happy to be out and about and doing their usual hotel happy dance and jumping from bed to bed. The A/C in the room kept turning off and on. So after the pizza we notified the office and they moved us to the next room over.
In the morning Pete made some calls and we were off to Camper World to get our repairs. As we set out carefully back to the turnpike and entered the ramp, Pete started again…”Bleepity @%&* bleep! I left my wallet in the drawer and it’s full of cash, $500 to be exact!” I called the hotel and they said they would look for it. We had to drive to the next exit to turn around. It seemed like an eternity! Pete was insisting that the housekeeper he saw was a psycho meth head who would steal the wallet and immediately order up some crystal.
It was our first stroke of good fortune when we discovered that the wallet was in the drawer of the first room we stayed in. Luckily no one else had been in there all night and our small fortune was recovered.
We were finally back on route to Camper World. After some time there, they suggested that Pete fix the molding himself with some calking and they also helped him make some adjustments to the hitch. (Did I mention we were swarmed with love bugs and sweltering heat through all of this? Because it really helps to get the whole picture.)
So here was the final tally in case you are curious:
Gas- $175 to fill up the beast
Econo Lodge- $85 Rest stop lunch- $30 Pizza- $25
Camper World- $150 (just for service fee and calking)
$465 for our first day! At this rate we would barely make it to the border of FL. Calgon take me away…
Nevertheless, It is a week later and things are getting better every day. Maybe it was a blessing to have so many lessons in the first 24 hours. We’ve experienced the beautiful powdery beaches of the Gulf Coast, the orange sun setting over the bayous of Louisiana, and now we are excited to explore Texas and all of its grandiosity. The support of our blog has been truly amazing! Thanks so much and we’ll be sure to keep “y’all” posted…