Our New Home on Wheels
Fort Meyers, FL and Bushnell, FL - Events of Monday, January 19 to Friday, January 23, 2015
Last Monday, we drove about three hours to North Trail RV in Fort Meyers, FL to pick up our new 5th wheel. Paul drove the motor home, and Margery followed in the truck. We arrived a little before our scheduled 1:00 p.m walk-through. As we parked, we saw our new fiver sitting there in the prep area.
As we were taking pictures, our salesman drove up in a golf cart and took us inside the rig. Shortly, we were joined by Lew, who did the walk-through and explained how all the systems work. Lew, who is a retired pastor, was excellent. More than providing technical explanations, Lew was our contact for follow-up questions and other issues that arose during our transition.
After the walk-through, we headed inside to take care of the paperwork. By the time we finished, it was pushing 4:00.
Our initial inclination was to work on putting shelf liner into some of the drawers and shelves in the kitchen of the 5th wheel, to begin making decisions about where we wanted to put things and to spend that first night in the motor home. However, when they pulled the motor home in front of the 5th wheel to be closer for us to unload, there was was no room left to back the motor home in to be close to an electrical hookup. Since the motor home has a residential refrigerator and limited battery capacity, we realized the batteries would probably not last the night so we decided we needed to transfer the contents of the refrigerator to the 5th wheel.
One thing led to another, and we soon made the decision to go ahead and spend the night in the 5th wheel. However, in order to do that, we needed accomplish one more very important task - to get our TV satellite receiver working with the Winegard automatic satellite dish in the 5th wheel.
Lew came to the rescue. Even though it was approaching 5:00 quitting time, he quickly had North Trail's resident satellite guru and a helper at our rig. They worked for at least an hour before they finally got the receiver functioning. Paul is really glad because it would have probably taken him days to figure it all out on his own.
After spending our first night in our new rig, we had a quick breakfast then hit the ground running. We spent the entire day carrying things from the motor home to the 5th wheel. Who knew we had accumulated so much stuff!
Not only did we have to carry everything to the 5th wheel, we had to find someplace to put it. By the end of the day, we were both exhausted. The last few things that remained in the motor home had to wait until the following morning.
North Trail preps all RVs for delivery at their motor home repair facility. They currently have a new facility under construction a short distance away, which is a good thing because the existing facility is very congested. Consequently, it is also very noisy. There are diesel engines running, back-up beepers beeping and pressure washers roaring away most of the day. Fortunately, it quiets down around 5:00 or 5:30 when everyone goes home.
Poor Freeway was having difficulty with all the noise and with all the people walking by our door all day. He also seemed to be missing his old home. We kept assuring him everything would be fine eventually and he would actually like the 5th wheel better than the motor home once he got used to it.
We finished up packing around 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Lew got one of the techs from the shop to come over to walk Paul through hooking up.
We pulled out of North Trail RV and headed north on I-95. We didn't get more than 2 miles up the interstate when Paul happened to glance at the rear view mirror just in time to see the two hubcaps from the left side of the trailer fly off and get run over by the car that was about to pass us.
We got off at the next exit and headed back to North Trail RV. Unfortunately, they didn't have replacement hubcaps in stock, but they said they would order two new ones and send them to us at Blueberry Hill no cost. Paul wasn't taking any chances with the two hubcaps that remained. He popped them off (which was super easy) and threw them into the back of the truck. Something will need to be done to make them more secure before they go back on.
The rest of the drive was uneventful. Paul thought driving the truck pulling the 5th wheel was easier than driving the motor home. The 5th wheel tracks very well whereas the motor home always tended to wander a bit and required constant steering corrections. The truck is also a lot more quiet than the motor home plus it has a MUCH better radio than the motor home.
We pulled into Blueberry Hill around 4:00. After we got set up, we had dinner, did a little organizing inside the rig then headed off to bed.
On Thursday morning, we did more organizing inside then took a few photos of the outside.
After the photos, we went to Walmart and Home Depot in The Villages to look for a paper towel holder, some small containers to help us with our organizing and some hooks to stick up in the cupboards to hang things from.
By the time we finished at Walmart, it was late afternoon and we were hungry. There is a Chinese restaurant called Cheng's adjacent to Walmart so we headed there for lupper. Cheng's has lunch combos before 3:00 p.m. that include an entree, won ton or egg drop soup, pork fried rice and an egg roll for $6 to $7. Margery had General Tso's chicken. Paul decided to try orange chicken, which is similar to General Tso's except it has orange-flavored sauce.
The General Tso's chicken was good, but Paul thought the orange flavoring in the sauce of the orange chicken was a little too intense and tasted somewhat artificial.
After we finished our errands, we headed back to Blueberry Hill to do a little more organizing before relaxing for the evening with a little TV.
On Friday, it was more organizing and rearranging. We finally got enough put away to take a photo of the living area.
We love, love, LOVE our new digs! Even Freeway is getting used to his new surroundings. The 5th wheel is so roomy and comfortable. The furnace, air conditioner and even the rain on the roof are all much quieter than the motor home. About the only complaint we have so far is Freeway keeps losing his toys under our theater seating.
We are finally getting settled, at least inside the RV. However, we still have a shed full of stuff that has to be sorted before we can stow it in the basement of the fiver. There are also several small modifications we want to make soon and several bigger mods we have in mind that we'll make sometime in the future.
In the meantime, we had a different activity scheduled for Saturday. We'll tell you about it in our next post.