Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Frustration

The plan for today was to leave Pigeon Forge for Florida. However on Sunday I noticed a very wet spot on the rug under the desk area. I called the dealer on Monday and he told us to stop by when they opened at 10am Tuesday on our way out. We thought we gave ourselves plenty of time to get all packed up but I guess being a newbie at the 5th wheel thing, it took us much longer. We even had help from a neighbor. So we arrived at the dealer at 11am. They immediately put out the slide and put the ladder up. Uh oh, the seal on top of the slide was coming off. He put his guy on it and told him to check the rest. Well 5 hours later we had 3 out of 4 slides resealed. Sloppy work by the manufacturer, he said they didnt prep the area first before applying the seals. Not happy and sure hope that will be the end of that.. He took pictures to send to Heartland.
We left the dealership at 4pm and headed out. We drove 3.5 hrs and decided to stop for the night at the same passport park that we stayed at a week ago in Alabama. So just relaxing and will start all over tomorrow.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Enjoying Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg

Our one day to see some of the area started out at the Applebarn for a great breakfast.

From there we drove to Gatlinburg and the Great Smokey Mountains

After talking with the Visitors Center, we decided to take the Roaring Fork auto tour.

It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed the calming effect of the forest and listening to the rushing stream. It is truly a place of beauty.

Before long we were getting tired and decided to head back to

our new home on wheels.

A New Journey/Its A Small World

Well, we arrived at the dealership around noon as we were told. Unfortunately they hadnt finished installing the light package that we had ordered. We started unloading things from our tt and putting them on a picnic table outside. We were parked directly behind the new 5er. One and a half hours later the work was completed, they had taken our truck to have the hitch installed and now we were home. That is, our new home. Once again the sky didnt look good and oh sure it started to rain. We had to work fast to get our things into the 5er before getting too wet. Didnt I hear that rain is good luck?! It took us many hours of in and out, up and down in the rain to transfer our things. We didnt quite finish but we were totally exhausted and just wanted to sit. They told us they would do our demo on Saturday before we left. Saturday brought not only rain but torential rains..all day. We did empty the tt but really couldnt do much else. Our reservations for Pigeon Forge would have to be postponed for one day. Late in the afternoon they sent someone to do our walk thru. We headed outside with jackets and umbrella's and did a pretty quick run thru. Since we have been rving before it was pretty understanding. The inside wasnt too bad but I did have a few questions I wrote down for later. Now, the dealership isnt open on Sundays but the owner would come first thing in the morning before church to show us how to hook up. He was here promptly at 8:15am , he showed us how the hookup went and off he and Kevin were for a test drive. Now we were on our own and on our way to Pigeon Forge .
We stopped on our way for breakfast and some errands at Wally World. Checked in, sent to our pull thru site and now....the landing gear won't raise to unhook.! There were several Big Horns here at this park, so I told Kevin to go over and ask one of them if they could take a look. A very nice couple helped us out, turned out the fuse was bad (lucky we had just purchased a box of fuses at WW). Took care of that problem and showed Kevin how to do it manually just in case.
Now we got settled.. Some time for relaxing and football. I coooked us a nice dinner and then went for a walk. I met a very nice woman and we laughed at how much we had in common. Her husband grew up in the next town from us in Ma., she has a best friend in the next town from us in Tx., she has a house in the next town from us in Fl..........hmmmm isnt it a small world. It gets better.. I went back to the rv and we heard a knock at the door. Another couple that had bought at the same dealership as us was also in the park and wanted to chat. While outside chatting, a woman from across the street, also with a Big Horn came over. We chatted and to make a long story short, she and her husband sell Rescue Tape and we had met and bought some tape from them at our RV Dreams rally last year! Now it is certainly a small world, especially in this new lifestyle. Her husband is really good with electronics and ended up hooking up our new vucube for us. They spent the next few hours with us wiring, explaining and labeling it all for us. We were thrilled. I tried to give them some money for all the help and time they spent, but they flatout refused. They said pay it back.. help someone else someday. That is what this RV lifestyle is all about......What a nice thought to end our first fulltiming day in our new fifth wheel!

Friday, September 25, 2009

What A Week It Was

Well hopefully the worst is behind us. We sorted, packed. sold and stored most of the week. At the garage sale we unloaded some of it, profiting a little over $200. We then sold the big screen tv and washer & dryer to people I work with. The refrigerator is still in the house and hopefully will sell before the house is gone. Our scheduled departure was for Tuesday morning. Monday night I took the evening off to go out to dinner with my co-workers. They took me to Pappadeaux and it was wonderful. They also gave me a big bag of gifts. (one being mexican train, which I will have to learn to play). I have enjoyed working as a cook at the golf course. The hours got to be a bit too much for me but we had a great crew and I will miss them. I have also gained experience, that perhaps will come in handy some day as a workcamper.
Tuesday morning rolled around. In fact we were up at 4am continuing to pack it up. As we began to load the tt the rains came. And they came and came.. We were drenched. We pulled out at 10:30 for our trip to Bay St. Louis, Ms where we would spend our first night. We had rain pretty much the whole day so it was slow moving. We also hit dead stop traffic just outside Baton Rouge, La. But we finally arrived at Hollywood Casino & RV Park. We weren't there long before we headed to the casino. We were tired and didnt stay too long. I came out with pockets a little heavier but Kevin's were lighter. Back at the camper we put on the a/c, oh no, it was shaking and rattling alot. We had this problem last year, called out a tech and it was mud dobbers that had to be removed. We had one fan and it saved us for the night. In the morning Kevin got up on the roof and looked at the unit. He removed one of them but he thinks there are more at an area he couldnt get to. Uh oh, we will have to make do without the a/c and hope that our dealer we our trading it to will be able to do a quick fix. We had breakfast at the casino, played a little black jack (me a winner, Kevin a loser)
We were on the road at 10:30. We had a decent travel day. That was until we hit highway 59.. it was so bumpy. We stopped at a passport park in Arkansas for the night. We noticed we had lost two hubcaps. Another thing to tell the dealer. The inside of the trailer had things thrown all over from the rough ride. Once again we just settled in for the night with the fan and trying to stay cool.
Day 3, we pulled out around 10am. We had a shorter drive today. I called ahead to an Escapee Park in Knoxville to see if they had any open sites and they did. We arrived at Raccoon Valley around 1:30. (oops 2:30 we changed time zones). I checked in and got my first hug. This was a first time at an escapees park. It is okay, sites are close together and gravel. Lots of nice people. I actually did laundry and met a very nice lady and we passed time just talking. I had washed the spread that came in the trailer but had forgotten to wash the shams so that was the reason for the laundry to be done. I called our dealer and we are scheduled tomorrow at noon to pick up the new 5th wheel. We will spend the night on their lot and then they will send us to Pigeon Forge for Sat and Sun night. That way we will be close by if anything goes wrong. Oh, we did go to Walmart for a few errands and picked up another fan to get us through another warm night.
It is now Friday morning and we have a few things to do here. Kevin is outside cleaning the grill that came with the tt. We are excited and hopefully all will go well today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oh, What A Week

Last Friday we were informed that the house here in Tx may be sold. Oh, no with that info in tow, we knew we had quite a week ahead. We are scheduled to pull out next Tuesday for our trip to Tn to pick up the new 5er. From there will go directly to Florida for the month of October. So we had no other choice but to start packing up our house. I had to work Sat and Sun and came home exhausted both days so nothing was accomplished. I told them at work I would not be available the rest of the week. Friday still isn't covered. But early Monday morning I was at it. Errands to be done, boxes to be picked up and storage rented. This is so much harder than just moving to another house. In that case, you just pack everything up and move. Here we have to decide what we need to take in the RV, what needs to be sold, what needs to be thrown out and what my kids can use. We have both been going non stop and looking around the house right now, it looks like a bomb hit.. The storage place is having a huge yard sale on Saturday so we decided to partake in that. Maybe we can unload some there and if not it will go straight to Goodwill. I have advertised the washer, dryer and refrig on what is like Craigslist here. No calls yet, so I guess I will have to try my hand at Craigslist.
Not too sure if we will have it all done in time. I get so stressed just looking at all of it, that I walk in circles. Too much for one week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Its Done

Okay I think we are almost there. We flew to Knoxville Tn yesterday and looked at the Big Horn we had found on the internet. We found it to be all that we had hoped for. We are adding a 2nd a/c in the bedroom, a lighting package and surge protector. We are scheduled for pickup on Sept. 25th. So unless the stock market crashes today or tomorrow, it should be a go.
We plan on leaving Tx on the 22nd and although we don't have a route yet, will arrive in Knoxville probably on the 24th and stay in a park close by. The day we pick up, we are to stay onsite for the night to be sure everything is working okay. The owner then puts us in a campground for two nights in Pigeon Forge. Hopefully all will work out fine and we can then take a few days to drive to Santa Rosa Beach, Fl for our arrival at Topsail on Oct 1st..
If anyone is looking for a Heartland RV, RV's For Less is definately a place to look. The owner is the best we have come across. He seems to have all the answers and actually told us he knows the units so well that he could build one from the ground up. I believe it! He will take all the time you need to sit and just ask away. We feel very comfortable with our purchase. He actually told us things about our new Dodge Ram that the dealership didnt tell us about. We can't wait to get back there and soak in all he has to teach us. We arrived back home last night about 7:30, tired but excited from a full day.
This morning we headed to Best Buy. My laptop has been acting up lately. Norton has been bothering me with all kinds of reminders for quite some time. Most recently it has been shutting down on me when I close a program, and the last few days I couldnt open an email or send one. Rick from the chatroom told me it sounded like a Norton thing because it kept saying Symantec has encountered a problem. So off to the Geek Squad we went. They ran a program to test it and also removed Norton for me. They assumed I had a virus and if I did it would cost $199 to fix. Yikes... We went to lunch and when we came back they said no virus detected. Yeah.. I asked what I owed and he said no charge.. I couldnt believe my ears.. So hats off to the Geek Squad. I am now home and all seems to be working okay. Can't imagine why Norton was causing all those problems. Will keep the fingers crossed.
Resting the remainder of the day. I am still exhausted from my 5 days of work. I start all over again tomorrow unless it rains.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Better Luck This Time

Well, keep those fingers crossed. We are one step closer to buying a 5th wheel. Our hopes of getting the Landmark Augusta quickly faded this past week when we couldnt get the financing. But not to worry, we had another plan in place in no time. We made the decision to withdraw retirement funds.. after all this is our retirement and what better way to spend it. This was extra money that I put away in an annuity account while I worked my part time job in Massachusetts for many years. Like everyone else I lost quite a bit when the market took a hit. So might as well put whats left to good use now. Never know if any would be left if we just leave it there. So plan B is to buy the Heartland Big Horn since it is $10k less. I researched and couldnt find one that I really wanted in Houston. I did find one in Tn that pretty much has all we wanted. The fireplace, the 4 door frig, the dual pane windows. So I was on the phone with the owner and told him we would like to come look and hopefully buy. A plan was made. We will fly in tomorrow and he will come pick us up at the airport. I thought that was very cool. We don't have to rent a car. If all goes well, we will make the deal. We should have our money by next week and hopefully can leave here on the 21st to drive to Tn to pick it up. We are on a schedule as we have our workcamp commitment in Destin area on Oct 1st. How nice if we have it in time for that.
I just finished working 5 straight days at the golf course and I am so tired. Working on my feet for 7 hours is a long day for me. I have given my notice however and my last day to work will be the 19th. Only two more weeks. Hooray! A few nights I was so tired I couldn't even think about chatting. Last night I tried a few times and couldnt get into the chat room at all. Whats up with that.. I shall try again tonight, that is if I can keep my eyes open.
I hav

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Waiting

Well the last week has been a busy one for me. Besides the usual working and babysitting we have been actively looking at 5th wheels to purchase. Our search has been narrowed to the Heartland product. I have researched quite a bit and it seems for the most part people are happy with the company. Sooo, our eyes were first on the Big Horn 3670. We went to Camping World in Katy and found one and liked it okay but then the salesman took us inside a 2009 Landmark Augusta and we really like it. We did get a good look at friends Lynette and Greg's while in Kerrville in March. It is beautiful. Pretty much the same setup as the Big Horn with just a few upgrades. Now there were several imperfections such as an inside molding missing over the slide, most of the doors and drawers were off line and a crack on a molding outside over the tire. They assured us it is normal and would be fixed before us taking possesion. So into the office we go. They do have a way of confusing me. They never would come out and tell us what they were giving us for our trade. Anyway to make a long story short we told them if we could get financing we would buy. They tried for 3 days to get us a loan thru one of the three banks left that will finance and we were denied. We don't have a big enough income for them. We felt it all happened for a reason. Next step back to surfing the internet for a Big Horn and yes, now an Augusta. I found a Big Horn in Virginia and Tn. that has sparked my attention. I have spoken to both and they are on our short list. But before commiting to them we found a Landmark Augusta in Oklahoma, just over the Tx line. We took off Tuesday night with an appt with the dealer for early Wednesday morning. We loved the unit and really liked the dealership. We tried to get them to come down on the price but they couldnt. Now we have a decision to make. Do we put out the extra money for the Augusta or go back to the Big Horn probably in Tn. The Tn location would be a long trip and they won't trade. We would have to sell the tt ourselves. That to me is a hassle. Another possibility is to put it on consignment. We have a dealer up the street that would like that. Of course we would then have to keep up with the payment on the tt and also carry insurance on both. Such big decisions! We will post when we know which route we take.
Also, while in Oklahoma we just had to find time for some casino action. Of course we left our donation with them.
For now I am off to have dinner with work friends. I am hoping for some rain over the weekend as I am scheduled to work 5 straight days..