RVHer Fulltiming With a Dog and a Dude

Oh, hello Tampa. ‘Bout time.

October 11, 2009…

Woo hoo! Looks like we were finally going to make it to Florida. We cleared out of the cut-rate Holiday Inn Express and had Daytona as our destination for that day. It was a totally uneventful trip that saw us making a short jaunt through Savannah, GA. (Seriously short. We were there for all of 30 minutes, winding around of the squares, which made the Dude sick and then driving over the historic cobblestone street on the edge of the water and that made the Dude even more ill.) Oh, the bridge connecting SC to Savannah is absolutely gorgeous.

We were on the road for about five hours and got into Daytona and found our last hotel of the trip. We stayed at the La Quinta (kinda jinky on their pet policy) and had a beautiful view of the Atlantic. Pity we were only there one night.

We walked on the beach a little bit and then went to dinner.

Biketoberfest was to start on the 14th so there were already a ton of bikers and their old ladies in town, which meant old biker chicks and their tittays. By the time you’ve reached 45+ you really need to wear a bra and if you think you don’t need to wear a bra you have bolt-ons or you’re just altogether wrong. (OK, I will say that there are a few women who due to their good genes don’t have to wear a bra ’cause their boobs are still where nature and not gravity intended. Lucky them.)

Anyway, the next day was the final push to Tampa to pick up the Winnebago. Thank god.
2003 Winnebago Chieftain, 39'

There’s not much to say about Tampa because we really didn’t do anything there except hang out at LazyDays RV dealership for six weeks. Oh sure, we sold the truck and bought a tow car (2003 Honda CR-V. Go Honda! Shonda’s Honda yet again. And an absolutely immaculate car. I am not kidding. Two tiny door dings that you can’t see unless you are looking at just the right angle and in the right light, flawless interior, no sign of wear at all. I mean shit, the engine, the freaking engine was clean. And shiny.) and learned how to boondock (see next paragraph) but other than a few trips to La Teresita we really didn’t do anything other than get the Winnebago ready to roll. We had wanted to spend maybe two weeks at the dealership but that didn’t happen. We were there for Halloween and while we didn’t have any trick-or-treaters at our door, we did have a nice lady dressed as a witch riding around on a golf cart, passing out candy. That was sweet, in more ways than one.

Because we had many things to do to the Winnebago and the Honda we boondocked in the make-ready section of the dealership. (I suppose it wasn’t full boondocking because we did have electricity instead of running the generator, but still.) The spots all had electricity but no water or sewage hook up. Why? Because most people would only be there to either transfer their stuff from one RV to another or just picking up their RV, both scenarios only take a day or two, maybe a week maximum. We were there for six weeks, which meant that every fourth day or so we had to unhook, pull in the slides, strap down anything that might fall over, and drive to the dump station and then stop and fill the water tank. It was not a far trip, about 50 yards or so but still a production that would take about 45 minutes. On the bright side, we did learn a lot about what our Winnebago could do if we actually had to boondock for a while.

The moving pod was delivered with no problems and we got most everything we wanted to keep in the RV. I had to say “see you later” to a bunch of books as they were way too heavy to keep with us. I didn’t get rid of them. They’re just in storage.

LazyDays was very good to us and went above and beyond and really the only issue with them was the mistake they made in installing our tow system on the Honda.

Now you have to know right now that the Dude doesn’t do anything, ANYTHING without having researched it and every possible iteration of what “it” is or can be. I do believe that if we aged backward that instead of just letting nature do its thing, the man would research the digestive process to see if there was a better, more efficient way of dropping a deuce. The point is that the tow system he decided on was absolutely THE best one because of aesthetics, durability, and ease of installation. The company, Blue Ox, has fool-proof instructions that are specific to each car model so we had the instructions for installing on a 2003 Honda CR-V. Where other towing systems require drilling and alterations to the tow car, this system was made to make use of existing grill openings so that there would be no damage to the vehicle. Please note this again: The system utilizes existing grill openings. You must see exactly where this is going. Yes, the mechanic who was assigned to our gorgeous tow car did not read the instructions and just, I don’t know, did what he was used to doing. When he took the bumper off he laid it on its face so it got all scratched up. He put the base plate on upside down, which meant he had to CUT HUGE HOLES in the bumper, something he wouldn’t have had to do if he had…read the instructions! (Normally the tow bar attachment points of the base plate go through the existing openings in the grill for a nice clean install.) *head shake*

To give LazyDays credit, as soon as they were aware of what happened they fixed it within a matter of days (with a different mechanic) and with, of course, no charge to us but that just added to the time we stayed there. I will say this about them: If you ever plan to buy an RV of any type, it is worth your while to go to LazyDays.

After our six weeks of LazyDay goodness we were finally ready to actually go somewhere. We were equipped with a brand-new satellite system, a subscription to Dish Network (Screw you. I love TV. I won’t apologize. I still read a shitload of books so get over your holier-than-thou self.) and a reservation at Thousand Trails Orlando.

So there you go. The story of leaving Philly and getting to Florida.

Next up: What has happened since we finally hit the road. Universal Studios, Quebecois, Mile Marker 0, Christmas, New Year’s, amazing neighbors, conch horns, “It’s always 5:00 somewhere.”

2 Thoughts on “Oh, hello Tampa. ‘Bout time.

  1. Beth and Cass on January 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm said:

    Well look who learned how to insert links beautifully! And pictures… well a picture but still! 🙂

    We’re digging reading your blog…
    Beth and Cass

  2. Ahhhh, my first comment from someone who isn’t sort of related to me! Beth and Cass for the win!

    Thanks, ladies, for the vote of confidence. I’m trying to write every day but the process is still so slow that even though I’m writing I’m not posting fast enough. That learning curve thing. Oy!

    Hope y’all are well!

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