Park Model Setup
Wauchula, FL - Events of Monday, April 2 to Friday, April 6, 2018
After the delivery of the park model last Monday morning, the week-long setup process started. Winter Haven RV contracts with a separate companies to do their setups, and they handle the coordination of all the schedules.
The first step was to get the park model tied down. The tie-down crew showed up late on Monday afternoon and began boring holes through the existing concrete pad for the tie-downs. They had to pull the park model out into the street in order to get their boring machine in place. After removing the concrete plugs cut by the boring machine, the workers buried 4-foot anchors in the soil below the concrete.
In a previous blog about our visit to the factory, we mentioned that our park model meets Wind Class 3 even though our inland location only requires Wind Class 2. Wind Class 3 is required for coastal areas of Florida and specifies tie-downs approximately every 4 feet along the length. Our park model has 22 tie-downs. Unfortunately, the setup company only had 12 tie-downs with them so they didn't get them all installed, although they did get all 22 holes bored.
We were warned by Winter Haven RV that the people who did the tie-downs wouldn't start work until late in the morning, and they were right. They didn't show up until around 10:00 the next morning. They pulled the park model back out into the street, installed the remaining tie-downs, and backed the unit onto the site again. This time, they were careful to get the front-to-back position exactly where it was supposed to be.
They have a machine on tracks that they rolled under the back of the park model. The machine has a hydraulic lift that riased the rear of the park model off the ground. The truck used to tow the park model has a movable hitch that they used to raise the front. With both ends of the park model in the air, the workers removed the tires and axles.
The machine at the rear rolls on tracks and was used to move the rear of the park model left and right. The hitch on the truck is also hydraulically powered to slide sideways about 18" in either direction. Between the movable hitch in front and the machine in the back, they can move the park model sideways so it is exactly where they want it. Raising or lowering the machine and hitch levels the park model front to back, and the hydraulic machine also tilts to do the side to side leveling.
Once they get the unit positioned and leveled, they bring in concrete blocks and build piers under the frame. The piers are shimmed to the exact height required using wedges of treated lumber. Once the piers are wedged into place, the workers remove the hydraulic machine from the rear and the truck from the front. Then they fasten the tie-down brackets on the park model to the anchors in the ground with metal straps.
The tie-down crew was also responsible for the plumbing and sewer hookup, which they did after they got all the tie-downs installed. They completed their work around 5:00 on Tuesday.
On Wednesday morning, two workers from a different company showed up around 10:30 to install the air conditioner. They also had the job of hooking up electric power. Unlike an RV that just gets plugged in, park models are permanently hooked up to the power pedestal with an underground cable, which code requires to be buried at least 18" deep. The next photo shows the trench for the conduit for the cable.
After laying conduit in the trench, they pulled the wires through the conduit.
With the wiring in place and hooked up to the power pedestal outside and the breaker panel inside, the workers hooked up the AC unit, which had been placed on a pre-cast cement slab at the rear of the park model. By 5:30 on Wednesday, the AC was running.
We were starting to get used to the late start times, but when no one had shown up by 10:30 on Thursday morning, we called our sales rep at the RV dealership. She said the reason no one was there was that it was inspection day. She said the inspector could show any time up until 6 p.m. As long as we left the door unlocked, the inspector would just come and do his thing and there was no reason for us to hang around. Therefore, we headed out to Sebring in the late morning to pick up some supplies at Lowe's for the dryer vent and to stop at Walmart for a few groceries.
While we were out, we stopped for a late lunch at Dee's Place. We both had Philly cheese steaks, which were yummy. When we got back, we saw the inspector had been there and had signed off on the setup.
With a green light from the inspector, we were pretty sure the next crew would be there on Friday to do the final inside prep and install the skirting. As we said, we were getting used to the late start times so we were shocked when two guys arrived a few minutes after 8:00. They were from Winter Haven RV, which is located an hour away so they must have left at 7 a.m. Finally there were workers who were on Paul's schedule.
They got right to work. They installed the skirting, put the steps and railings in place, turned on the water and checked for leaks, ran coax to all the TV locations, and got all the the appliances, except for the stove, up and running. We specified a gas (propane) stove, and Paul will be doing the hookup of propane tanks himself once all the rest of the setup work was done. The workers did a quick sweep of the floor and were on their way shortly after noon.
Now it's our turn to work. We'll tell you about getting ready for the big move in our next post.