It's officially official! 

Well we did it. It took a year and half of planning, saving, selling, donating and throwing our belongings in the trash. But on the day Pookie had set as our launch date we said goodbye to our land lord and the house we had lived in for 8 years and moved ourselves and what we thought was everything we couldn’t live without into our motorhome and set off on this crazy journey. Just like we planned. In truth that’s probably the only thing that went as planned.
Honestly I carried this thought in my mind that if we could just get to the launch date we could take a moment to breathe. The stress would let up and it would be smooth sailing. I was even looking forward to it. Ha! We have been working on this for 18 months. It consumed our every thought and steered our decisions. The launch date felt like a finish line to the work and the party would begin.
And then it was upon us. It’s go time. Nothing left to sell, repair or clean. All we had were a few pieces of furniture and an old tv to throw out and we could go. I have to tell you that launch day was the most stressful yet. With the excitement of the adventure ahead and the last minute things we had to get done I was running around trying to get out the door like a angry lunatic. It’s been unseasonably warm here in South Florida (which we affectionately refer to as the Devil’s armpit) so I was hot, sweaty and thirsty. Now you don’t know me but if you did you’d know that makes me grouchy. For whatever reason I decided I wanted to wait to check my tire pressure and lug nuts that morning. We have a 3 axle rig with 8 tires and the 4 tires on the Volkswagen. So tire pressure and torque check is actually a pretty big job. 60 lug nuts at 150 foot pounds in the sun is a serious workout. And then 20 more on the van. I was pretty tired as you can imagine. At last we get the rig into the street and we’re getting Twinkie hooked up to leave and I can’t find the ever loving key to the lock for the towbar. A few trips back and forth checking keys and eventually I realize I do have it and get it locked up. The next step is to do a lights check and wouldn’t you know we can’t get the tow lights working. Ahhhhh! As you can imagine my boiling point is rapidly approaching from the heat stress combo that I’m now eating for lunch because it’s after noon and I haven’t been able to eat much of anything. I check and recheck the connections and some how they all decided to work at the same time that time. Finally! GAWD Tina! For all I know they quit working after we made the first left out of our neighborhood. We said our final farewells and we buckled up and began this adventure we had so painstakingly planned. You’d think great, chill the worst part is over. You’d be very wrong indeed.

This was the first we had ever taken Regina out loaded. The problem with class A motorhomes is they are big. We have tons and tons of storage. Not all of it is the most useful spaces but we have a lot of room. This creates a problem. We thought because we have all this room and some of the spaces weren’t packed full we should be good to go. What you might not know is that all vehicles have what is known as a GVWR. Which means Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Our GVWR is the maximum the big rolling turd can weigh. That’s the vehicle itself and everything in it including us. Most manufacturers don’t leave much for your stuff. A full tank of gas weighs 450 pounds. A full tank of water weighs 800 pounds and your stuff and you quickly hit your limit. It’s dangerous to be over weight. Tires are rated to handle only so much weight. As well as your axles. Too much weight on any one axle can cause it to fail. Over weight and under inflated tires is a recipe for disaster.
Next stop for Regina is the scale. Most of your truck stops will have a scale to weigh your rig. This was my first time and it was pretty painless. Pull on the scale and hit the button. The attendant will ask for some information, after which you go park and go inside and pay the fee. It cost me 11 dollars to weigh the coach. We had all our stuff, everything we own in the world. The gas tank was almost full and a half a tank of water. The waste tanks were mostly empty. These details are important because if we had intended to go off dry camping and we wanted to take a full tank of water with us that greatly changes the weight. As I said a full tank of water is 800 pounds.
I pulled around and parked the coach to go inside. I’m still pretty hot, tired and stressed out because I’m nervous about the weight. If we’re too heavy…that’s it… game over. I’m picturing us out behind the flying J chucking our remaining belongings into the dumpster just so we don’t die going down the highway. I’ve got my fingers, toes and eyes crossed hoping for a good number. She prints my ticket and passes it to me…..aaaaand we’re overweight!
Son of a! But I was relieved a little. It wasn’t too crazy. I’ll get into our GVWR and the specific numbers in a later post. After doing some math and thinking about it for a minute we decided since we have new tires all the way around and we weren’t crazy heavy like we feared we would be and I was sure of our tire pressure it was an acceptable risk. We decided to roll out and do some reevaluating of our stuff these next 2 weeks here at our first stop.
The trip from the Flying J to our campground was about a 3 hour drive. The roads were pretty smooth and the traffic was relatively light. We pulled into the campground about 5:30 pm. Pookie goes in to check us in while I wait with the rig. She was in and out pretty quick. But…. At this point she noticed we lost the cover to our water heater.

No point crying over damage done but I was not happy about it.  Time to find a spot. The campground is busy. It’s winter in Florida. We’re lucky to have a reservation thanks to Pookie. She made the reservation almost a year ago. We find an acceptable spot unhook Twinkie and settle in as the sun is beginning to set.
We made it here alive and well. Mostly intact. Hopefully we can begin to relax a little soon.
I called the Camping World in Bartow about 35 miles away and low and behold they had a cover for me it’s white but it will fit. So the following day I made the drive and we have hot water again.

So far so good. The weather has been beautiful. The folks here all seem to be really nice. Everyone waves and says hello. It’s almost creepy how great everyone is here. But we’re here safe and sound and the first leg of this journey is in the log book.
Now I need to go sort through my stuff and see what else I can ditch by the side of the road that’s not an essential part of our rig.
The Bear

0 thoughts on “It's officially official! 

  1. Aunt Dorrie says:

    Well you did it …the major hurdle had been jumped…
    Now the real adventure begins
    And your future looks smooth sailing ahead

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