Shakedown Review

(Tucson AZ to Jacksonville FL)
Time for a look at the completed First Road Trip with the new-to-me Lazy Daze Twin-King motorhome. While the 2,020 mile trip was quick, it included several very different camps, getting to know the rig, and lessons learned.
At first it would seem a waste to cover so much ground in such a short time. It turns out that it provided a good shakedown of me and the rig, which would not have happened with a short outing.
I overnighted at six locations; two campgrounds, two parking lots, one backyard, and one driveway. That’s a good variety for a single trip.
Friday night was the first camp in my new rig at a New Mexico State Park. It was an unimproved site, meaning no hook-ups, but had a great view. Cost $10
Saturday evening found me at a Texas Safety Rest Area along I-20 a few miles shy of Abilene. I pulled in a bit before dark this time. It was rather close to the highway, and the winds were blowing fiercely (forecast for 50 MPH in the west Texas area I just passed through). Cost FREE
Sunday night I made it to just south of Jackson MS in a Wal-mart parking lot. Did a little shopping there but could not find the night manager. There were a couple of big rig trucks, but no other RVs. I took a chance and stayed the night. No problems. Cost FREE
Monday evening, when my first choice was found to be full, I went around the lake to an Army Corp of Engineers (ACE) campground on Lake Seminole that borders the Georgia-Florida state line. Electric and water hook-ups and a lake front site. COST $11 with the America the Beautiful Senior Pass
Tuesday afternoon: A side trip, when leaving the ACE camp, to my cousin who lives only an hour away in a rural area of southern Georgia. This was a nice private Family Camp with 30 amp electric, water and septic outlet for a dump. I’ll surely return on my swing up the east coast to visit other family members. Cost FREE
Wednesday night, I arrived back at the sticks-n-bricks and leveled the rig in the driveway. I treated it just like a regular camp eating, washing-up and sleeping overnight in the RV. Cost FREE

Tardis at the sticks-n-bricks

So for each stop-over I was able to experience a different type of camp. State Park, Rest Area, Walmart Lot, Army Corps of Engineers, Family backyard, Driveway of home. National Parks (NPS) and other types of camps will be added in the coming weeks as I move into my new home on wheels. That is really an amazing feat!
This Class C RV is 23.5 ft long which makes it easy to drive, with a comfortable and relatively quiet ride, and backing into a site is not difficult. The floor plan is very functional with all necessary features; a galley, a head, a lounge with dining table, a bed, lots of storage inside and outside, and fantastic views out the many windows. All appliances work as they should, including the generator, fans and vents, lights, inside-outside thermometer, furnace, air conditioner, frig, stove, microwave, water heater and water pump. The rig has it all, is very well built and exactly what I thought it would be. It took me over a year to find it, and I’m glad I was patient enough to wait for the right one.
There are lots of interesting places to see if I have the time, and I will. This trip I had to rush, but normally there’s no need to hurry, and I won’t. I can stop when needed, and I did. All the conveniences are with me all the time. I’ll have to be more diligent about getting supplies when I stop; once at the camp it is too late. I learned how to start the water pump and water heater, use the furnace and air conditioner, use the generator, operate the propane (when it should be off and when it’s OK to be on), start the frig and switch it between gas and electric, hook to the shore power electric post and check it for safety, how to fill the fresh water tank, flush the john and dump the waste tanks. It stays a good 10 or so degrees warmer on the inside than outside at night. I learned how to keep it between the lines on the highway. A walk around to inspect the rig inside and outside is needed before leaving, while traveling and upon arriving; I expect to get better at this with more experience. I learned that I don’t care much for parking lot sites, but that it is sometimes necessary and doable. Oh, and I was able to get onto the internet almost anywhere I went. The hotspot combined with my iPod touch and Google Maps worked almost as good as a GPS unit.
Besides purchasing the RV of my dreams, a lot of other important things were accomplished on this shakedown trip. I so dreaded the quick return, and wanted to take a month to leisurely meander my way back. Circumstances demanded otherwise. As it turns out, it was a blessing in disguise by providing all these experiences prior to my moving into the rig full-time. Now, I will be learning to live stationary in the rig for longer periods while I finish my time at my job. I would rate this a successful adventure.
Camp: Various
Scene: Along the highways & byways

4 Responses to Shakedown Review

  1. J. RICHARD SECOR March 31, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    Sounds like you are well on the road to being a seasoned RV-er

  2. J. RICHARD SECOR April 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Suggestion – if you take out the need to enter all those characters – which usually take 2-3 attempts, I think you’d get more comments – people hate those things. Just choose to moderate comments before they get published – much better!!!

  3. ralphparker April 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    I’m now caught up with your adventure, and it sounds like your off to a great start. Good job on stopping at a range of different places on your first trip. Every stop is just a little bit different from the last one, so that’s good experience. As with painting, you’ll never stop learning. Are you going to be pulling a toad?

  4. Pleinguy April 3, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    Thanks for the suggestion about comments Dick. I’ll consider that option.

    Nice to hear from you Ralph. I’m going to try going without a toad for now. My rig is pretty small, and drives like a van, so I can go and park just about anywhere with it.

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