Saturday, April 7, 2012


I kinda left everyone hanging there! As soon as I got home other things took my attention away from blogging! 

It was a chilly night in Williamsburg on Thursday night, but I was toasty warm in my next of blankets! 

Friday morning was more RV learning – this time we were studying the generator.  I have a propane generator and most bigger RVs have either a gas or diesel generator depending on what type of fuel the vehicle uses.  My dad was skeptical about the propane generator but as we studied the book and then crawled around under the coach to get a good look at it we realized that the propane generator is way easier to maintain!

After our final RV school lessons for the week we went to show her off to my grandmother and take her to lunch.  After lunch I was ready to finish the drive home!  It was a little nerve-wracking leaving “Professor Pleasure-Way” aka my dad, and taking her out on my own, but it had to happen sooner or later!

While we were messing around with stuff and examining the sewer hose we discovered that my sewer cap had gotten broken somewhere between Waldo, FL and Williamsburg!  Somewhere in South Carolina I hit a piece of truck tire and I heard it bang stuff in the undercarriage so I’m guessing that’s what did it.  Luckily for me there’s an RV dealer with a parts store on the way home! 

I zipped across 64 and 295 and then when I hit 95 it was a parking lot.  Of course it was. 

I stopped at McGeorge’s Rolling Hills RV and had my 1st park-between-two-parked-cars experience!  Every other time I’ve parked I’ve parked out in the boonies of the parking lot all by myself.  Gotta learn sometime!  I pulled right in and tucked her right between the 2 cars!  A little closer to the one on the driver side, but between my lines! It did stick out a bit (it’s about 3-4 feet too long for a standard spot, if you back in you can get the overhang over the curb, but I knew I couldn’t back in here – I’m not good enough yet, I’m working on it!).  I went in and quickly found the part I needed and attempted to get the sales clerk to answer some of my other questions but all he knew about Pleasure-Ways was that that they were built in Canada.   I was able to expertly back the RV out of the spot and continued on my way!

I didn’t have space to install the new sewer cap at the RV dealer so I went across to the Bass Pro Shop and pulled into their big parking lot.  I found a spot way out and spent about 10 minutes practicing backing into parking spots.  By the end of my practice session I was able to get it into the parking spot I intended!  The 1st few times I did it I missed the intended spot by a mile! I quickly got the new sewer cap on and set off to explore the store. 

It was around 3:00 when I started back up 95.  Traffic was still slow.  I saw that diesel was $3.93 at the Flying J, so decided to stop since it was so cheap, even though I didn’t really need it.  Ended up doing several laps around the fuel islands so I could get to the diesel pump and get there going the right direction.

Back on 95 traffic was on and off bumper-to-bumper inching along and stopped.  Took almost 2 to get home – it’s less than 50 miles. 

Once home I parked the RV on the main road into my development, but it wasn’t level and I couldn’t see it, and since I’m not supposed to park it here I kinda wanted to keep it close.  I walked in and moved the VUE to the main road and pulled the RV into Bromley Ct!  Backed her right into my parking spots!  I used both, but I backed her in on the 1st try and didn’t do any damage to the cars on either side! :-) 

On the way home I’d discovered that we had a freeze warning so I spent some time on the phone with Dad and kinda drained the lines – not winterized but I got enough water out that should it freeze a little it hopefully won’t burst the water lines.  I also unloaded pretty much everything into the house.  It wasn’t level in my spot either but Dad pointed out that if I turn the fridge off then it doesn’t need to be level, so since I’d emptied it I turned it off!

So ended up staying in the house last night, although I considered sleeping in the RV in the court!  It was kinda nice sleeping in my bed, but I wasn’t a fan of the long walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night!

This morning I tried to pack and organize the coach!  I tried to think of each event – sleeping, clothing, bathroom, kitchen, entertainment, technology, etc, and what I would need and I what I could store in the coach and what needed to go in the day of a trip.  I used the Awesome Note app on my iPhone to record the stuff I need to pack later in the week before I take her out for the weekend.  I was pretty much just walking around the house & collecting stuff!  Made about a million trips back and forth so I was glad it was parked in my spot!  I have all kinds of stuff in there and I’m prepared for most any event! And it’s not even “full” yet!  I don’t have the kitchen stuff yet though – having a hard time figuring out what I’ll need and what the best tools are to put in there.  I’m starting to think of meals I can make and what I’d need to for each one. 

Of course the RV drew the attention of the neighbors!  The 1st tours I gave were to 2 of the little boys who live across the court, naturally they were most interested in the bathroom!  They also wanted to know if it had video games.  I talked to a few other neighbors all of whom think the RV is awesome and are jealous!  No one seemed to mind it being parked there!  One of my neighbors suggested that I rent it out on the weekends I’m not using it...she could be on to something, although if I didn’t want it out of my sight overnight I’m not sure I’ll be able to let someone else take it on a trip!

Around noon I decided I was done loading and organizing and headed out to get the safety inspection, run to Wal-Mart for a few things, and take it to storage. 

I started at Lake Ridge Auto Care, which is where I take the VUE for it’s inspection & maintenance.  The guy told me that he couldn’t do my inspection because he thought I was too tall to get into the garage.  He suggested that I go to Holly Acres, which is where I’m storing it!  I thought they only inspected trailers, but the guy told me they did motor homes.   So I decided to hit Wal-Mart 1st then go to Holly Acres get the inspection and put her away.  

They are expanding our Wal-Mart and the parking lot is full of construction stuff and half of it is blocked off.  There was no place to park!  All the spots were filled up with cars!  I drove around the parking lot a bit and then decided to try Target.  I found a whole empty lot at Target, which was perfect for backup practice before I went in.  Taking fewer tries to get it exactly where I want it!

After Target I headed over to Holly Acres.  After thoroughly confusing one of the parts guys who didn’t understand that “Class B”, “van”, & “Mercedes Chassis” all indicated a driveable RV I learned what I’d kinda already known, Holly Acres can only inspect trailers.  

They sent me over to Ward’s Towing – I know them because they are the people I call when someone parks in my spot.  I called ahead and yes they could inspect me and if I came in the next hour we could do it today!  I zipped right over there.   When I got there I was directed to go around back and find "Mr. Kelly.  I drove around and found a huge 2 bay truck garage and parked right in the middle and walked in – there were 2 guys standing there talking – one had a auto mechanic jumpsuit on that said “Kelly” so I knew I had the right guy, the other was a younger guy wearing a Wards Towing T-shirt.  I explained that I needed a state inspection.  He asked me to pull the RV into the garage.  Both the guys said they’d help guide me.  I walked out, fired her up and pulled her right in.  As I jumped out the younger guy said “WOW, you know your way around a corner!  You are for sure the primary driver for that van!”   I was floored by such a compliment from a real truck driver!  Never mind that the van is so easy to drive!  I told them it was new and I hadn’t even had it a week yet!  They both had a bunch of questions about the van and then we started talking road trips and it was like social hour here in the garage!  Eventually, Michael, the young guy who was very nice and very cute, had gone back to his work, and we got the inspection underway.  It was a full interactive inspection as I got to turn it on it and operate the turn signal and the brakes and the wipers and such.  The whole time Michael was in and out and we kept chatting.  Turns out he’s the guy who drives the rig that could tow my van should she have difficulty!  Good to know that he’ll come for me if I need him! Assuming whatever issue happens here not in Montana or something! About an hour later, inspection done & new friends made I headed back to Holly Acres to leave the RV!

My storage spot is quite tight between 2 boats.  I knew I couldn’t back in, not yet anyway, so I pulled in forward.  She slid right in, no problem! The site is no where near level, but the fridge is turned off.  I backed her up a few times trying to make sure she was straight so they boats could get out if they needed to.  There’s a bump at the edge of the space that she doesn’t like backing over – gotta give her a lot of gas to pop her over!  But I know I can back her right out so no worries there! 

Andy was home and probably would have come to get me but I wanted to walk home! It’s 5 miles with sidewalk the whole way.  It wasn’t the most pleasant walk – it was mostly along 2 busy roads, but it only took me an hour and half and it was a lovely afternoon!  On my way out of the storage lot I saw another Sprinter pull in! I had to walk by their storage spot so I stopped to talk!  Theirs is made by a different company but they love it!

In all the running around today I actually got to drive on hills!  1,100 miles from FL and no real hills!  I guess because it’s so short in the front going down hill is kinda like sitting in the front car on a roller coaster!  Driving in the mountains is going to fun! :-)

So, she’s all tucked away in her spot!  I’ll probably go check on her at least once and I’m going to get her out Thursday night so I can go to SNP this weekend!

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