We  were anxious to get going on our first trip — but we knew we had to do the repairs/reviewing and checking.  There is nothing less fun than getting out on the open road, headed for a cool place to camp and finding out something serious is wrong with the truck.  Especially for newbies like us!

At the least it’s a delay, at the worse it’s a trip killer.

So we worked as hard as we all could checking and rechecking things.  Making sure everything was in good working order on the truck was primary, but also we made lists of things we needed to bring with us for a comfortable trip.  Things like my tailgating grill, food, snacks, paper products – pillows, blankets, towels — you get the idea.  When you are first starting out with a motor home,  you just don’t have a feel for everything you might need!  I am thankful for a friend who does have a motor home,  and the time she spent letting me know about some very important items to make sure you have with you.   Some of those items included a first aid kit, bug spray, sun screen and loads of paper towels!

The first trip was just going to be to the Breezewood Proving Grounds. DSC05903 It’s located in Pennsylvania — and lets say about 100 or so miles away.  Breezewood is an ATV/Motorcycle park which allows you not only to ride around the grounds with your chosen mode of transportation, but also has 3 “race” tracks for you to ride on, a campground with and without plug ins and other amenities.

The first spot they assigned us to park in…  wasn’t working.  We couldn’t back in to hook up because we had to be able to get the Razor, and ATV’s out of the back garage — and we couldn’t pull in because we didn’t have a long enough electrical hookup cord.

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We learned from that, and was able  to park “sideways” in a different spot at this park, but made a note to get an additional electrical cord for our next adventure.

Additionally, a pull thru spot might also work for this huge truck — so it’s something we will look for in the future.

We didn’t take the “extra” trailer we have talked about taking to carry a car.  This trip we weren’t expecting to have to make any trips outside the park or to any other location — but there will be times we will need an extra vehicle.  We would have had to park the tow vehicle in another location – because even being sideways there would not have been enough space right behind our truck for it.

This park was relatively empty when we arrived and we were the only one in the RV lot – but as the weekend approached, so did the other campers.  We learned there are some who come by each weekend to ride, party and camp.  I am thankful even though they were close to us and we could hear the music, it was not overwhelming and did not stop us from going to bed early or “eventually” sleeping.



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The first of our preparations are all centered around the motor home being “road ready”.  So we set about looking at all the systems to make sure they were in good working order.

WHEELS

First, we had the wheels all aligned, as the truck “felt” like it needed it when it got up to speed on a highway.  And those with “super trucks” like this one, already know that you need a real expert to do that well.  We thankfully had one within a short distance away – and took the truck there.  It did need it.  The alignment was adjusted, and while there we also paid extra to have the “steering wheel” re-aligned correctly.  That little additional aspect will help with knowing more about how the wheels are turned without getting out, or having someone else get out to look. To us it was important as first time owners.

Additionally, we are considering new tires even though the ones on the truck are in very good condition — the reason is that they are “worn” a bit funny from the alignment being off — and new tires would make the vehicle experience less drag and therefore better gas mileage.  The current tires would/could be sold to make up a good portion of the new price – and so at this point it’s a consideration, but not a necessity.

LEVELING SYSTEM

There was the small matter of a continuous beeping noise.  A sensor  was beeping and for a LONG time we couldn’t find out what it could be causing it to do that.  Out came the manuals and we had to read what it could be, run through them and start to rule things out.   Turned out it was the leveling system.  Some of the the stands under the rig needed to be welded and a few needed more serious re-threading work.  We could do this work ourselves (or should I say the “men” could do that themselves!) and so this was minor in costs.  We had to buy a tool or two to help with this but you know men love buying tools so that wasn’t a problem.

PROPANE TANK

We found as we went from one system to another checking “everything” like it was an airplane getting ready for a flight, that our propane tank was empty.  And old.  That meant that we would have to have it “tested” and certified before they would fill it up with propane.  It’s a safety issue and we knew it had to be done.  However, we found out that we could replace the tank with a totally different configuration using 2 tanks and it was less expensive than testing and refueling the old tank.  It would also be easier to hook up to our tailgating grill, DSC05911so we set about doing that.  We now have 2 new tanks and they are full of fuel for less than certification and fuel was for the old one.  Even better these are more or less removable and refillable at any propane location.  I am guessing that the old tank (from 2005) was the best way to do it at the time, but technology has advanced since then.

AIR BRAKES

These were leaking — and we have had to reseal them.  Right now they are holding air, yay!

Phase 1 — Complete!

Phase 2 – Taking it out for a night or two coming up.

 



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