The Shrums are finally on the run. The day we have been discussing now for almost a year has arrived.
After many months of searching we finally found our dream RV, back in February. It is a 2011 Tiffin Breeze 28. However, it was in Memphis, TN. So that meant a flight to Memphis and driving the new RV home. Since we are newbies, this was quite an experience for us.
We are fortunate that we live in Tampa close to Lazy Days and was able to attend several of their classes, including their driving class prior to flying to Memphis. We also are fortunate that some of our best friends live in the Memphis area, are experienced RV’ers and assisted us from A to Z.
We had to stay in Memphis for a few days to get everything on the motor home done to our satisfaction. We stayed in a Yogi Bear campground in Dixon, Mississippi, which was perfect as it had all the great features of the better RV parks have.
Our first time driving the RV from the campground back to the dealership for some maintenance, as we come off the Interstate ramp on our exit, several cars and trucks were beeping their horns and waving at us. We panic and start looking for what they were seeing. Right away we notice the steps are down, not good, we failed to set the steps to automatically close when the door was closed. We were only about 2 blocks from our destination so we parked and got out, only to find one of the bay doors standing wide open. Fortunately nothing was lost but another lesson learned, close and “lock” the bays. Double checking is also a good thing.
I can’t say our trip home was totally uneventful, however they were lots little things that we could chalk up to lessons learned. There have been so many “little” lessons learned these past few months.
We have subscribed to multiple RV magazines, clubs and websites, we read everyone’s advice, recommendations and suggestions from experienced people who have been there and done that and are kind enough to share so we don’t have to make the same mistakes. But do we apply what we have been told?
Nope, we want the full experience and have to learn for ourselves.
Of course the first recommendation by everyone who has ever RV’ed is to take a few short trips before the big one. No, we had no time for that so our first trip is the big one., 3-5 months.
High level, we will head to Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., to see our grandson graduate from the Army’s basic training. That does not take place until May 27, so we have plenty of time. Our current itinerary is as follows:
Troy, Alabama (nothing there but it is a halfway point to Memphis which is our next stop.)
We will stay 2 nights.
Then we will head to Memphis for the big annual Memphis in May festival Bar-B-Que competition. We will actually stay in an RV park in Dixon, MS, which is close by and quite nice. That is where we stayed when we went to Memphis to pick up the RV. Of course, we will visit our friends while there and try to catch some live music on Beale St.
We will stay there for about a week and then head to Missouri. We will have a few extra days so we will select another location before heading to Ft. Leonard Wood.
We will be in Ft. Leonard Wood for another week and then we will head to Branson, Mo. At that time, our brother and sister-in-law will join us and will travel with us to California. We haven’t decided on route or stops yet, that is too far in advance for us.
The plan was to have the RV all packed and ready to go and to be on the road by 9:00 AM.
Everything was in the RV except clothes and food. No problem, so we thought. Somehow my shorts and slacks that were to total 5/6 pairs ended up being 15. My 10/12 shirts/tops turned out to be about 20. I’m fairly experienced in packing for short trips, this was new to me so I now have 3 large duffle bags plus another 3 smaller ones for all of the personal stuff. On the guy side of things, it was two collapesable bags, and way too much electronics.
I also had about 3 crates of food. It’s not that we couldn’t buy stuff along the way, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw away perfectly good food knowing it would not be any good when we returned. (Did I mention that I also loaded my daughter down with as much as she was willing to take?) Anyway, it is what it is. Now the “toad,” that is the new Jeep we bought to pull behind the RV, is loaded and all of this stuff has to go into the RV and be securely packed away. Right, that’s not going to happen if we plan to leave today.
So the plan now is to get to the RV by 8:00 AM, finish loading everything and be on the road by 9:00 AM, well it just didn’t happen that way. However, without going into all of the details, we decided if we got it into the RV, the actual putting everything away could be done once we arrived at the campground. We just had to make sure it wouldn’t fly around the RV while traveling. And, if all of my clothes can’t fit, I will just have to store some in the toad. So after doing everything that “had” to be done, we finally were on the road at 10:00 AM. Not bad for the first time out.
Our first stop was a rest stop where we walked around a bit to stretch the legs, had a brief lunch and hit the road. We should arrive at our campground around 5:00 PM.
And we did, we got to the campground around 5:00 PM, the only glitch is one of the A/C unites stopped working. Unfortunately it isn’t just a fuse so we will have to get that fixed in short order. However, the 2nd unit which is smaller is located in the bedroom and with the fans on, it kept us somewhat comfortable.
We took a break for dinner, it was pleasant outside so we dined outside on fresh fruit, cheese, crackers and champagne to celebrate our first night.
We began unpacking and storing all of the things we did not get put away before leaving. About 10 PM we called it a night. We put away about 90% of everything and I will have to admit, we had to be very creative. We won’t be using the shower as a shower, we hadn’t really planned on that anyway except in extreme circumstances as the RV parks have very nice and spacious shower facilities.
We got ready for bed, watched a little TV and read a bit and by 11:30, lights were out. (That is early for me.) Day 1 was good.