So after picking up the RV, we “practiced” for 2 weeks at a local RV park. I drove it around town about 10 miles for fuel and to the RV park – not much but I felt pretty confident quickly. But nothing quite prepared me for hitting the road.
Towing our new “camp car’ SUV was a bit unnerving > 41ft RV + 3ft tow bar + 17ft SUV = 61ft. I had hoped to try it around town but the wrong cable and RV/SUV wiring issues pushed us to the final day. So our first tow was 500 miles and 7 hours. Crazy but so far so good.
The next obstacle was just driving at speed and realizing THIS is a big rig – not just long, but wide. Once I masted keeping the RV centered in a lane, it became more obvious that we completely consume a lane. Even when centered, cars that passed were hugging the shoulder of the road going by us.
But the most alarming thing to learn on the fly – operating the windshield wipers. I actually did intend to test those before we left, but again time slipped. What we did in 7 weeks was fast, efficient and impressive. To do it again however, I would take 20m to test the windshield wipers. It’s quite an adrenaline rush to learn “wiper operation” while it rains on your first drive. And you’re probably thinking – “How hard is it to operate windshield wipers?” That was my first thought too.
But it wasn’t quite intuitive enough for me. The outer dial of the knob controls the speed. The inner button pushes to spray and clean. What was lost on me was turning the inside/pushable knob to turn them on. Doh. Julie Googled and found we weren’t alone.
Then she called Fleetwood – the manufacturer. The tech relayed through Julie to me, “Has he pulled on that outer knob hard enough?”
I thought I had, but let’s try it again. The next thing I know, those two knobs are bouncing around the cabin. “Yes, I pulled it hard enough.” We managed to find and replace the knobs quickly which is when I discovered the inner knob turned.
So the moral of THAT story is – if you want to fix things, take them apart. Get down to basics. Even if you’re rolling down the interstate at 65 miles per hour in a huge box on wheels.
All in all though – a great day on our journey to see some amazing places across the U.S. and Canada.