Packing up the RV

Trip Start Sep 15, 2011
1
6
Trip End Sep 22, 2011


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Where I stayed
The Threatte Family Farm
What I did
Loaded up the RV

Flag of United States  , Old Dominion
Thursday, September 15, 2011

I have long wondered what it would be like to live in an RV. One notion I have had for my retirement life is to roam the nation living in an RV.  We would go from park to park, forest to forest, beach to beach, town to town.  Stay a month, six months, or whatever.  We would explore the wild and natural beauty of our nation, imbedding ourselves in each area and becoming part of the culture, the scenery, the vibe.

Of course, this is all theoretical.  To put this notion to a test, we decided to rent an RV for a one week vacation.  Cruise America offers three rental RVs.  A modest 19 foot sporty thing that would drive much like a large van.  With this thing, you sleep over the cab or you can convert your dining room table into a bed too.  You basically shower while standing next to the head soaking yourself, the head and the toilet paper.  You can easily maneuver this thing into and out of any venue. 

A more comfortable 25 foot RV boasts a separate shower area in the bathroom and a comfortable "master bed" which is a full size bed in the back.  The person sleeping on the outside wall must climb over their mate to get out.  Of course you can split up and sleep over the cab or convert the dining room into a bed as well.

At the top end of the scale is a 30 foot behemoth which has a master bedroom suite with a queen bed on a pedestal that you can walk around, a totally separate shower area and loads of “basement” storage space.

Now normally, you would not need a massive RV for a simple one week vacation.  However, I felt it was important to rent a vehicle that would be close to the one that I would actually want to purchase for my retirement.  We really needed to get the feel of what the future might look like.  However, I did not want to drive the 30 foot behemoth on my first outing through the notoriously narrow roads of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

The other critical decision we made was that we would not tow a vehicle.  In the RV world, this is called a “toad”.  The last thing I wanted to do on a maiden RV voyage was to deal with hauling a vehicle behind my already much too large vehicle.  We decided to bring our bikes and that would be sufficient for any transportation needs once we hit the campsite.

So, I went online and placed my reservation for the 25 footer with a bike rack.  We picked it up in Manassas.  During the pre-departure inspection, I noted that the floor plan was not the same as the one I had seen online.  The proprietor stated that there were two floor plans for the model I rented and this was a much nicer floor plan with a queen size platform bed and more basement storage space.  Cool! 

It was not until I returned the rental one week later that I learned that what they had really done was “upgrade” me from the 25 footer I rented to the 30 foot monster.  Basically, I spent the entire week driving a 30 footer thinking I was in a 25 footer.  Pulling into the campsite I had reserved for 25 feet of RV, happy as a clam wondering why my RV took up so much room.

As you can see from the pictures, this monster took up most of our driveway. We packed it the afternoon before out departure and left early the next day.
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