We left Honolulu on Sunday night heading for Montana where we were planning to pick up both the truck and trailer, get it setup, and drive it to Oregon for winter storage. We were full of anticipation on our mid afternoon arrival on Monday, ready to start our exciting new adventure. Our truck salesman had graciously offered to pick us up at the airport and carry us to the dealership to take possession of our ” new ” used truck. Our intent was to pick up the truck, go by the sound guy to get our instructions on the back up camera and sensor systems he had installed, and then head to the RV dealership for our walk through on the trailer. We assumed ( there’s that dreaded word again ) that he would be picking us up in our truck, so when he drove up in another vehicle, that uh-oh feeling struck, and sure enough the first thing out of his mouth was, ” Well …. there’s a little bit of a problem.” Apparently, the hitch which had finally come in on Saturday, had come in with some incorrect parts, and the correct ones were being overnighted. Our first thought of course was that we had an instructor coming in from Utah expecting to start a driving lesson first thing Wednesday morning, the next thought was concern about making our flight out of Portland later that week. Without that hitch we were completely stuck.
After a bit of time at the truck dealership, who was kind enough to give us a loaner vehicle, we had just enough time to get by the sound guy’s place, but unfortunately not enough for our RV walk through. Since we didn’t have the truck, not getting the trailer was a non-issue.
We woke up the next morning full of excitement and hope that all the pieces would fall into place, and we’d be official RVers. Expecting to find our trailer all clean, shiny and ready to rumble, we drove into the dealership to find that unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. In fact, it wasn’t any of those. Our walk through found lights out, stove burners not working, generator problems, inverter problems, awning problems, fireplace problems, and of the 3 things extra that we had asked them to do, only 1 had been completed. Needless to say, the entire day was spent at the dealership waiting while they worked to fix the numerous problems. By 2pm the hitch parts were there, and by 5pm, we were in possession of our truck, but the trailer wasn’t even close to being ready. Our instructor had arrived and wanted to get the power point part of the lesson done that evening so we could start the driving portion first thing in the morning. He helped us get the trailer into an RV park for the night, went through the power point, and bid us Good Evening at about 9:30pm. We grabbed a quick bite, headed to WalMart to pick up a few essentials; pillows, towels, soap etc., and finally hit the hay about 2am.
6am came very early, and very cold. We hadn’t learned yet how to work the heater, and one thing most RV’s aren’t, is insulated, burrrrr. After numerous attempts to get the 5th wheel hitch hooked up ( more about that later ), we were on the road. The instructor found a large empty parking area at a school to use for the training which was a fabulous way to get started. Don aced it, he was a natural, and in a couple hours, the instructor took him on the streets for the real challenge of driving with a monster on your tail. By noon, we said our goodbye’s and headed back to the dealership so they could try and finish up the repair work. At the end of the day the lights, fireplace, awning, and stove had been repaired, and they had finished the install of the coffee pot. The generator, and inverter still were not working, and the washlets were not installed, but we were out of time. In order to make our flight, we had to get on the road first thing in the morning. The good news is that we learned about the heater, so we had a very warm and comfortable sleep, something we desperately needed at that point, especially when we had such a big day ahead.
To be continued …
By the way, the video is Don’s first attempt at parallel parking. I was so impressed, I have a hard time doing that with a little car. The man walking by the truck was our driving instructor John Hanson with RV Basic Training. He was a great teacher and a lovely man. We highly recommend this type of training to all our fellow newbies.
Mission Positive Films