Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And So It Begins....

Two weeks ago, Jenny and I were still going round and round on the whole motor home vs. fifth wheel thing, a debate we've had for close to two years. Suddenly, we now own a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 TurboDiesel (a truck that guys think is pretty cool) AND a 2013 Denali 330RLS. It looks like this:

 Pretty cool, huh? And, yes, that is a dent in the rear panel. See that tree, the one just to the right of the driver? Jenny had a disagreement with that tree the first time she tried to put the truck in the driveway. (We used to drive a Prius that would fit in the bed of this hurking big truck.)

Our first trip was last week, to Cannon Beach. One of our all-time favorite beaches. If you go there, stay at the Cannon Beach RV Resort. Not too expensive, all the amenities, big spaces, and virtually empty during the week in the winter. Did start to fill up on Saturday, but we were on our way home, and as you will discover, we were glad it was full.

Back to those trees. Inconveniently located for anything bigger than a Prius. In fact, we couldn't turn left, the direction we needed to go, so we had to turn right. Which established dilemma one.  From the right hand path, we could only go so far until we run into a) another creek with a weaker culvert, and b) a sharp right hand turn. By sharp I mean imagine a bobby pin.

So, at some point we had to  turn this mother around. Jenny was intent on backing it up slowly, carefully, staying on the gravel road as much as possible. She should not have listened to me. New rule: If you are driving and I'm not, ignore me.

Because I told her to just turn around in the large grassy swath. In Oregon. In March. Following a rain. Which is how this came to be:

Those little sticks were my feeble attempt to create something to give us traction. Mind you, this is right in front of our house. See how far we got? We called various people like Brooks Motors who we adore (no tow truck) then AAA (account had lapsed) and finally Baker and Baker Towing. $150 dollars later, we had been towed about 10 feet, just far enough to get back on the road. However, in the process, we caught one side of the trailer on yet another tree. We live in the country, on a creek, near lots of trees. We aren't very good with trees. Well, I am, but I avoid driving as much as possible and have yet to pull the trailer. I did, however, slide the truck into the driveway without harm on my very first try.

Finally, we were off. But we had to go to Camping World because we needed a couple things that didn't come with the trailer.  Like an inline water filter and something else related to the water system. I forget what. I'm old. Live with it.

We got those, a non-spill water dish for Good Dog Gwyneth, a bed and leash for same, a step stool because we are both short and neither one of us can reach all the various parts of the hitch that have to be reached in the back of the truck bed, some chemicals to put in the black water tank, and a Good Sam membership. If you are keeping track, we have now spent too much money. Plus, I needed yet another Diet Coke.

Good Dog Gwyneth in her natural element:

We got to Cannon Beach while it was still light. But we couldn't get the truck off the hitch. Looked so easy when they had us do it at the dealership. Was super easy when we did it earlier that same day. Now it was impossible.  A neighbor in the campground tried to help. We ended up lifting the back end of the truck off the ground. Finally, we called our sons-in-law to come help.  Four men, plus Jenny, plus about an hour of time, managed to get it separated. My only job was to say, "Don't you think you should raise the rear stabilizers first?" over and over.  I am, by my own account, chopped liver on the grocery store shelves of life.  So naturally no one listened. They should have.

Finally, we were unhitched, and our new home (once we go full time after Jenny retires later in the year) was set up.  This is what it looks like inside:

Pretty, huh?

Total tally first day out:

Dollars spent: Too many
Tow trucks utilized: One
Dings to truck: One
Dings to trailer: Two
Hours spent unhitching: Two or more
Exhaustion level: VERY HIGH

Oh, and our new friend Ray (neighbor in campground) hooked up the water which was then crossthreaded and missing a washer so the basement of the rig started to flood. See, I knew there was a reason I brought too many towels this trip.

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