Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eventful Weekend, RV Basic Training, Dinner


Getting  ready to take “My Spot” on the road.  I took today off so that I can go through some of the stuff in the shed.  I was able to empty  three crates.  Off I went to donate some things to St. Johns Women’s Center.

Right across the street was Holley Generators.  Lionel gave me a written quote on an Onan 5500 Generator installed and some specs on various Honda Generators.  He says that if I go for the Onan, it will take three days to complete the job.  That would mean staying in their lot during that time.  I still haven’t made up my mind on which way to go.

Has anyone ever camped directly on the sand at Pismo Beach?  I understand that it can be quite windy.  Someone has suggested that I might want to block the wind from getting under the rig especially if I have a generator.  Sand should not get in the vents.  It would also help if we want to sit out side.


This morning I started securing everything inside for tomorrow’s trip.  I know it might be a bit premature, but since I’ve never done this before, I will need to go everything, cabinets and loose things.  Most everything in the cabinet should be fine, but I added some bars and padding around some things that might move while moving.  The things that are loose, I will put into tubs that can be left on the floor.  I’ll wait until tomorrow to strap the furniture down and clear the floor where the slides come in.  that shouldn’t take too long.

Ted will be coming in tonight and will help with the last minute things in the morning.  I think that I am becoming a bit nervous about towing  this HUGE 5th wheel.  I keep thinking, “What have I gotten my self into?” 


Saturday’s Saga

I really have gotten myself into something.  Last night, Ted came in late and after visiting for a little while we both went to bed.  We would be getting up early to finish securing the rig for travel.  When we finished, there still was time to go to IHOP for breakfast.  As usual, I couldn’t finish my meal, so I brought it back to the refrigerator (for another four meals later).

When we got back, we started to go through the process of hitching the fifth wheel to the truck.  That’s when Karen Anderson arrived. She was our instructor from RV Basic Training.  Once we we hooked up, we went inside for the Power Point Presentation and were given the Manuel for Fifth Wheels.  After that and Q/A’s, it was time to do the pre trip inspection.  With that finished, I got behind the wheel and pulled out of the RV Park and down the road we went, heading for an open parking lot. 

Karen set out her cones in a straight line and asked me to back the rig parallel to them.  Yea! Sure!  That was really hard,  for some reason I kept drifting to the left.  Ted did it in two tries.  She then set up a course to simulate my site, sans the overhanging tree, the oleander/crape myrtle bushes, concrete pad and the utility pole.  I had to use my imagination for all of those.  I practiced backing in from the left side and the right (blind) side. I think that I did that much better.  (Left side is easier.)

Oh No!  Karen spotted some fluid coming out from under the hood.  Ted checked to see what it was, the power steering cable spewed out fluid all over the engine, hood and fender.  Then he got on the internet to find a replacement hose.  “Sure we can order that for you.”  “No!”  “We can get by Monday.”  “No!”  After checking out Everywhere he finally found one in south Sac. It was the wrong one, but didn’t realize it until he tried to install it. He had called Kyle and she came over to take him to get the hose.  Thank you to our savior, Kyle.  It is good to have friends to recue you.

We finally broke down ( no pun intended) and had to go to the dealer to get the right one.  Once he had that, it didn’t take long to get us going again.


In the meantime, while Ted was installing the hose, Karen and I walked over to Carl’s Jr. to get something to eat. -- Fortunately for me I hand my house with me.  ;-)   I think the soda did a number on my digestive system. (too much sugar)  I’m sure Rudee and Phil of Workin’RVers know what I’m referring to.  I know TMI !


When Ted was finished, we were back on the road to do some freeway driving and  some “controlled” braking.  I did pretty well keeping in the center of the lane.  It was time to head on home.  Okay, now was the test,  I need to bring “My Spot” home and park it.  Fun Time!    I DID IT!  I backed it into a very tight space about eight inches farther back from where it was before in spite of the water tank and the forgotten mail box on a post, and because I had a couple of Great Spotters (Ted and Karen).

Wow, what a rewarding experience.  I am really glad that I paid the money for the training and would definitely recommend Karen as an instructor.  Thank You Karen!

Once home, while I got everything in order inside, Ted decided to go over to Kyle’s to take a long hot shower.  He was covered with grease and didn’t want to get my shower messed up.

While Ted was gone, my neighbor, John stopped by to congratulate me on my accomplishment.  He stayed for a while and we had a game or two of Pente and he taught me how to play Mexican Train.  It was an enjoyable hour or so until Ted came home. We said our good byes and  soon went to bed.  What a long and exhausting day!  

Sunday     A less eventful day! 

After another breakfast out, his time it was at the Waffle Shop, we went to church.  Afterwards we went to clean the engine and return the wrong hose.  The afternoon was spent napping until we went over to Steve and Kyle’s.   We had a lovely dinner of grilled tri-tip, corn and portabella mushrooms, steamed  asparagus  and a tossed salad. We had a blackberry cobbler with ice cream for dessert. A big thank you to our hosts. 

That was it for our weekend.  Ted left to get back to San Francisco where he lives. before it got too late.  It was off to bed for Angel and me.


Thank you for visiting

Susan and Angel


  1. A big congratulations to you! It sounds like some instruction makes all the difference. Once you get that rig out on the highway you will be just fine. They are really not hard to drive on the open road.

  2. Scary, but it all worked out for you. It was smart to take the time to learn how to do it with a good instructor and good helpers.

    My husband did watch the short videos I sent him while I was away in San Diego. Next week Tuesday is our big day. it will be no small feat to drive down our road and park our new coach. He wouldn't hear of parking it in a lot for awhile until we got used to driving it.

    Oh well, once he had parked it once, I will be able to sleep better.

  3. Congrats on a great day of driving and especially the parking. Jim is really good at backing into sites - me not so much.

  4. Boy that was a busy weekend!! Sounds like Karen did a great job with her RV training course! :-)

  5. The Pismo sand can be very soft. The area to park " camp " is long and skinny. Only the young and foolish go out on the beach with RV's They usually have toy hauler 5th wheels and friends to pull when they do get stuck. Any salt water creates permanent havoc on your rig and truck. Several local companies make a great living towing rigs out and welding broken frames !

  6. Wow, good for you! You can tackle anything now.

  7. Good idea to take the class before you get out on the road. Now you'll have more confidence and do a better job on your first trip. Good job!