I had a great time this week when a friend of mine, Susan, from the healthcare industry and I had lunch together at the Lyfe Kitchen in Henderson. Surprise… she is a long time RVer and had lots of good tips to give me. Her and her husband have been on several “across the country” trips for a month or two at a time. I was so happy to hear about their experiences, and the fact that they did not kill each other on their trips. They even traveled with two big dogs. (As most of you know, ours are small poms.) It gives me hope for our success with our “across the US and Canada” trip coming up in just over a month now. She was so helpful and positive, it was a real pleasure seeing her and finding out about their exciting experiences. I’ll be meeting her again, and by then we will have finished our RV boot camp and I’m sure I will have lots more questions for her.
One of the best tips she gave me was to cook a few meals before we leave and freeze them for a quick meal on the road. We also hate fast food, so I am down with that idea. She suggested: marinara sauce, meatballs, and lasagna. Think she likes Italian food?
We are still in preparations mode. Last night we went to REI and purchased new lightweight, waterproof hiking boots for the trip. The salesperson there was soooo helpful and knowledgeable! Without him we would not have had such a great buying experience! Ours were so old they were falling apart. Besides, the technology has changed so much since I last purchased hiking boots about 30 years ago, it made sense. If your feet hurt, you will have miserable hiking experiences. Our aim is to visit as many national parks as possible on the way, so hiking will be one of our favorite activities. Thanks REI associates.
We are sill in the process of preparing for our five month saga across the US and Canada. We ordered an auto shield today for the Honda Fit and also a “apron” for under the tow bar. Both are meant to prevent the tow vehicle from being damaged from stones and rocks on the road. The shield will fit over the entire front of the car and the windshield. (Some Alaskan rocks have been known to fly high.) The “apron” fits from under the RV to under the tow vehicle and is like a drape, preventing rocks and debris from scattering upward. We had thought about a clear shield for the tow car, but that would not protect the windshield. We had also thought about those mud flap things that hang down in back of the RV tires, but heard that they can actually stir up the gravel throwing it into the tow vehicle. The RV itself has a clear shield protector applied on the front. If you are interested, two of the companies that sell these products are: http://www.coastlinervandoffroad.com and http://protectatow.tripod.com/
Since I am somewhat of a survivalist, I have packed some freeze dried meals, freeze dried fruit for snacks and even freeze dried ice cream. Honest, it is quite good. I know it sounds crazy, but you have to try it to believe it! These products are sold by Mountain House Freeze Dried food company. http://www.mountainhouse.com
We have a long list of things to accomplish yet, and one of those is to get a five month supply of medications and vitamins. We both take handfuls of vitamins. You just don’t know if your brand can be obtained in the wilds of Alaska or the swamps of Florida.
We are scheduled to go to RV boot camp this next weekend. We will be staying two nights and three days at Primm, NV. and will be learning how to drive the RV. Yes, I will be learning how to drive too. We will be practicing how to park and back into a RV spot and how to dry camp. It may seem a bit over the top, however, there are a lot of things as new RV people we just don’t know yet, and I am positive we will learn a lot of great information and tips. I will be posting after our Boot Camp. That is unless I have a little accident, and then I guess I will be banned from posting for awhile.
Our RV has been let out of jail. Jail being the heavy duty Ford repair shop to get the wheel bearings replaced. What? you say if you have been following this blog…you haven’t been anywhere yet. Yes, that is true. So I hope when we do head out there won’t be any mechanical problems. We are still waiting for the parts to arrive from Tiffin for the cosmetic repairs covered under warranty.
I’d like to say we are heading out soon, but we are not heading out until April, when we head all the way out to Primm Nevada (about 20 miles away from us) for a How to Drive RV Boot Camp. The RV club in our association is sponsoring it. I have to learn how to drive the rig before we head out on our across the country trip in the spring. This is preparation, just in case something happens to our primary driver…my husband – like he gets too tired to drive, or decides I have done enough back seat driving and deserve to have a turn at it.
Plans are still ongoing regarding the trip and the routes we will be taking. The fist caravan to Alaska we signed up for with Adventure Treks is not going now, so we are looking for another one to join that fits into our schedule. I have contacted Gilbert (Spike is what he says to call him) at Alaskan Discovery RV Tours Ltd. and we are on the waiting list to join their caravan. Oh the woes of waiting to hear.
So, we sent our RV to the Ford place because I had seen a small oil leak underneath it while it was parked. The mechanic found out that there was not a leak. He said that sometimes, if you take it uphill too fast you might get a small amount of transmission fluid that leaks. Good, I thought, nothing to be worried about.
Then he called and said our friends had trouble with their ball bearings on the same type of vehicle, and he wanted to check ours. Yep! sure enough we had one set (do they come in sets?) that was not right. At least it was covered by warranty and he changed them all for good measure, as we will be embarking on our trip to Alaska and around the US beginning in the first or second week in May. It is getting exciting.
I have been planning our trip on MapQuest and the Family Motor Coach website. Right now we have a trip that will be about 18,000 miles. Did I say 18,000 miles? Yes I did. That is really ambitious, and maybe we will be back in three weeks. Ha!
Who knows, maybe we will hate it and come home after Alaska. Or maybe even before we get there. All our friends have a bet on just where our “This is frigging not fun anymore” point will be. They range anywhere from 500 miles to 1,600 miles. None of them picked any point more that 2,00 miles. Hmmmm, they don’t have much faith in us do they?