Currently at Escapees Rainbow’s End RV Park in Livingston, Texas:
Wow, it’s only been four days since my last blog post, but things have jumped ahead at light speed since Tuesday.
Early on Wednesday morning, I got a text message from the person we purchased our new RV from. She was back in Virginia and was at the DMV office to see what could be done about getting the title process expedited (she paid off her loan when we bought the rig and was waiting for paperwork from the bank verifying the release of lien so she could get the title). She is planning to leave for Asia in February and will be gone for about three months, so she was just as anxious as we were to get all the paperwork squared away.
When she got to the DMV, she found that they didn’t need that elusive letter from her bank after all–the bank had already electronically filed her release of lien on the rig. And since was at the DMV office in person, they would print out the new title for her immediately instead of her having to mail in a request for it, which could take weeks.
And about one hour after I received her initial text, she texted again to let us know she had the title in hand! We were doing the happy dance!!
She immediately took the title and the Bill of Sale to the local Fedex office and shipped it to us, and we received it the next day. That’s one big load off our minds!! Now our friend can leave for Asia with a clean conscience, and we can move forward with getting Lizzy Too registered.
So our next steps are to get the rig weighed and inspected. We have an appointment scheduled for the weigh-in on Tuesday morning at 10:00 AM, here at the Escapees SmartWeigh facility in the park. While this step is not required for registration, it’s something that we need to do to make sure that we are not overloaded to travel safely. We know what the weight capacities are for the rig and the truck, but we have no idea how much our “stuff” weighs, and this will answer that question for us.
When we move the rig over to the weigh station, it will be the very first time that we go through the process of stowing everything away, bringing in the slides, hitching her up to the truck and towing her. It’s going to be a little nerve-wracking, to say the least. So while we have her hitched up, we’re going to go ahead and tow her over to the inspection station as soon as the weigh-in is complete. It will only be about a 4-mile tow each way, but that should give us a little taste of what it’s going to feel like.
As soon as the inspection is complete, we can tow her back to the park and get our first lesson in backing her into a campsite and then getting her set up. That will also be a big stomach-churner, but I have complete faith in Andy and his trailer-backing skills. I just hope I can give him the appropriate hand signals and directions to make his job easier. Once we get her parked, we’ll get our first experience at using the auto-leveling system, and hopefully by the time we’re done, it will feel like we never left the camp site that morning.
At that point, we can take the inspection report and our other paperwork to the tax office in Livingston and get the rig registered. Paying the sales tax will be a big “ouch” but that’s the way it goes.
So, theoretically, we could have all of that done by the end of the day on Tuesday, the 14th. However, we have this site reserved through the 18th, and depending on what we find out at the weigh-in, we may need a few days to redistribute the load or even get rid of some excess weight.
But our current plan is to leave here on Saturday, January 18, and start making our way west to the Yuma, Arizona area. We plan to spend what’s left of the winter at the Pilot Knob BLM LTVA just west of Yuma in Winterhaven, California, the same place where we stayed last winter. I’ve already started putting together a tentative trip plan in the RV Trip Wizard website, but Andy and I will sit down together next week to finalize the plan. We still need to get a feel for how many miles and/or hours a day we want to travel; and with a new rig, we’ll probably need to build a little flexibility into the plan in case things don’t go as expected.
Since we got the title so much sooner than expected, we’ve had to accelerate the rest of our preparation activities. Some of the projects we’ve been working on since then are:
- Generator – We purchased a Honda 2200i portable inverter generator to run things like the microwave and Instant Pot while we’re boondocking. Last year, we didn’t use our air conditioner at all since we stayed in areas where it was cool enough without it. But if we decide we need to run the A/C this summer while boondocking, we will get the Honda 2200i Companion generator which runs in parallel with the one we just bought, and we can use a 30-to-50-amp dogbone connector to power the A/C from the two generators. But we’re really hoping we can get away without the A/C like we did last year. We also purchased some heavy-duty cable and a padlock so we can secure the generator to something heavy like the truck or the hitch to keep it from walking away when we’re not looking.
- Solar power – We picked up some extra battery cables so Andy can finish setting up the lithium batteries and the charge controller in the front storage bay of the rig. There was a pre-installed outlet right next to the bay door for a solar connection, but it’s wired for a small solar panel and not the amount of energy that our system will generate. However the outlet itself made a handy place for us to run our cables through the wall when we connect our panels, so Andy drilled out the existing solar plug using a hole saw so the original connector hardware wasn’t damaged (don’t ask me how he did it), and now he’s in the process of getting the charge controller set up to accept the connection to our solar panels when we get to our first boondocking location.
- Backup camera – We had ordered an iBall wireless hitch backup camera from Amazon, but when we tested it on arrival it was defective. I contacted the company and they told us to return it to Amazon, which we did, and we ordered a replacement. It came in yesterday, and it appears to work fine. We’ll give it a good workout on Tuesday, if we don’t decide to practice a time or two before then.
- Kitty transport – In our old rig, on travel days the cats rode in the RV with Andy so they never had to get out of the vehicle. They just found a comfortable spot to hunker down and go to sleep. With the new setup, we will have to take them out of the trailer and put them in the truck on travel days, and then move them back to the trailer at the end of the drive. Since they’re not used to being outside, we decided it would be best to outfit them with harnesses and leashes, so we picked those up on Wednesday at PetsMart. Let’s just say they’re not comfortable with them yet. But hopefully, with time, they’ll adjust and not mind them so much.
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With the change in rigs, the kitties will no longer have the luxury of riding in the RV on travel days. Instead we will have to move them from the trailer to the truck, and then back again. We have travel crates for them, but on long travel days we’ll need to let them out to stretch and do their business. So we’re introducing them to halters and leashes. We finally got Maggie in hers—she’s not wild about it, to say the least. But Molly is gonna fight us tooth and claw, so I’m resting up for that battle. 😼😾 . . . #rvlife #fulltimerv #lifeisgood #forliz #kitties #catsofinstagram #maggie
Everything on the inside is pretty much squared away, but my task for the next day or two is to develop my checklist of tasks to complete on moving days, and then to check all the cabinets and storage bins to make sure things are secure enough to ride without breaking or spilling. It’s not always a good thing to have empty space in an overhead bin, as things can slide around a lot. I just need to have a plan to make sure things are snug and secure.
So that’s where we are with Lizzy Too.
And what’s the news on our original Lizzy?
She is officially SOLD. We got the word on Friday that the sale was completed and the deal closed on Thursday. We got a decent price for her, although the consignment dealer will take 10% of the proceeds. But it was definitely worth that 10% to have them handle all the paperwork, advertising, detailing, showing and storing her on their lot during the process.
We’re going to miss Lizzy a lot, especially when we come across those little small prime camping spots where this longer rig won’t fit. But we hope that her new owner will enjoy her as much as we did and will appreciate all her little quirks and “features”. And they certainly should enjoy that awesome upgraded 8″ memory foam mattress that we left in her!!
So that’s pretty much where things stand at the moment. We made it safely through the storm front that moved through here last night–just some heavy rain and near-constant lightning, but no bad wind where we are. We were very lucky, as I found out this morning that this system was responsible for a lot of damage and some loss of life as it moved eastward during the night. Going through a thunderstorm in an RV is not fun, so I hope that all you fellow Rvers are safe and dry today!
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