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Part II - Getting Closer to Departure

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Jackhal49

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Getting all our worldly stuff sorted out -- what to take, to leave, to give away, to sell, or to just trash -- is not an easy task. But that is only part of the battle. Where to store everything is the second part of the stuff battle, but we found that was easier than the first part and we are just about finished. Hooray!

Now there are only tons of other things to get accomplished before the big day to shove off to see this Great Country of ours! Getting all of our bills and banking fixed so it will be easy to do on the road is easier than first thought, so that was pretty easy.

On to the next item of getting the motorhome in tip-top shape to go on our Great Adventure. We have to make sure all the routine maintenance is taken care of, because we don't want any unpleasant surprises on the road; or, we at least want to minimize the chance. This calls for making a nice checklist with all the required maintenance and the proper scheduling. I love lists to make sure all is done and nothing is left to chance.

Along with the mechanical maintenance, the inside and outside of the motorhome must be clean and protected. DW does the inside and I concentrate on the exterior. Get the roof washed and waxed (NuFinish) so the roof looks bright white. Next, wax and buff the sides, front and rear. This is time consuming but helps to protect the fiberglass and gelcoat.

Oops! Gravity works! I fell off the ladder while waxing it and broke my right heel bone! It has been a month after the operation, during which a plate and some screws were inserted. So far, all is going well, but it will be at least another eight weeks before I can drive the motorhome. With any luck, we will be able to head out full-timing by the middle of August.

DW now has to learn to drive the motorhome a little quicker than she thought, but I know she will be great at it once she gets over the initial nervousness of first driving it. We hired a professional driver/instructor, which made things a lot nicer for DW and she did an excellent job. It really helped bring up her confidence level and I gained a few good pointers as well. As they say, “Half the fun is getting there!â€

I also had to retire from teaching a month early as I had to stay off my broken heel, which is not quite the way I wanted to finish my teaching career. Not being mobile is driving me crazy and not doing much for DW, who is doing all the moving of stuff into the motorhome. But all and all we are getting there.

We did have the ABS light come on during the driving lessons, so our next step is to have the motorhome serviced a Freightliner this week. Hopefully, the ABS system will be fixed in time for our three-chapter rally over the 4th of July.

Have a great and safe holiday weekend, all!

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Not sure how you feel about being our forerunners and experimentors. However, we appreciate your writing your blog so we can feel more confident as we follow in your foot steps. We still have lots to pack up and are leaving some things in the house for showing purposes. We were thinking of getting a pod, but haven't fully researched that yet.

We did a preliminary overnight camping trip last week just to learn, without pressure, how to set up and take down while being only 50 miles from home with back up at home to bring us a vehicle if needed. All went well except we need to practice the leveling thing better. We relied too much on the bubble and only after seeing the motorhome from the front in the light of morning did we realize how "unlevel" we were. We have ordered our Blue Ox hook up and that should be in next week. We also want to get the full check up for the Motorhome as you are doing. We were told it was recently washed and waxed so hope we don't have to redo that right away. Since I am working with the Census, we won't be able to take off until August ourselves. Maybe we will cross paths somewhere out there in Adventure Land!! Judy and Jerry Aselton, Ellijay, Ga.

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Not sure how you feel about being our forerunners and experimentors. However, we appreciate your writing your blog so we can feel more confident as we follow in your foot steps. We still have lots to pack up and are leaving some things in the house for showing purposes. We were thinking of getting a pod, but haven't fully researched that yet.

We did a preliminary overnight camping trip last week just to learn, without pressure, how to set up and take down while being only 50 miles from home with back up at home to bring us a vehicle if needed. All went well except we need to practice the leveling thing better. We relied too much on the bubble and only after seeing the motorhome from the front in the light of morning did we realize how "unlevel" we were. We have ordered our Blue Ox hook up and that should be in next week. We also want to get the full check up for the Motorhome as you are doing. We were told it was recently washed and waxed so hope we don't have to redo that right away. Since I am working with the Census, we won't be able to take off until August ourselves. Maybe we will cross paths somewhere out there in Adventure Land!! Judy and Jerry Aselton, Ellijay, Ga.

Hi Judy & Jerry, Your are basically following the same path we did. Start out slow and learn lots from others. I hope our blog will help you out, I leaned tons from others on blogs and forums. The wonderful part of motor homing is all the motor homers are awesome and always will to help out. You may want to join a local FMCA chapter as you will met lots of experienced people that will help out also. Leveling can be a challenge as you found out. We have a round bubble level that really helps out. Keeping your jacks clean and lubed helps out when they retract. We will tow our Subaru Forester in the next month or so for the first time so that will be an experience. About a month to go before we depart for the wild west and we are getting anxious to get going. We just have to wait for my broken heel to mend enough to start driving and walking around. Take care and ask any questions we'll be more that glad to answer. Jack, Peg, and Little Annie Girl (little golden retriever)

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Hi Jack and Peg!

So glad that I found your blog as we have just purchased our first motorhome and plan on touring North America when we retire. In the meantime we'll have to learn a lot and get our feet wet with many mini trips! I will be following your adventures with great interest and how exciting for you!

Good Luck and may the wind always be at your back:)

Laura Regnier

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Hi Jack & Peg!

I too am glad I found your blog. My husband,Collins, and I, Karen, are getting ready to go full time too. We're also Newbies & have only had our RV out a couple of times, once to the FMCA rally in WI last month. We moved all our furniture out of our house this past weekend & are now sleeping in our RV in our driveway. We will be renting our house. I'm trying to get the rest of the stuff moved into the RV & figure out what we need & where to put it. We lived in our house in Elgin, IL for 25 years & believe me, it's been no easy feat trying to figure out what to keep & what to get rid of. Luckily for us, there is a Goodwill Store close to us & they have gotten car loads of stuff. I can't believe how many clothes we owned. Collins & I were realtors for almost 25 years & decided this was a good time to call it quits. We.ve talked about buying an RV for the last 5 or more years, but decided to go for it this year. We bought a 2006 Monaco & are busily trying to learn the things we need to know, which is a lot. We've discovered a bad leveling jack & an intermittant problem with the wiring. Right now, we're waiting on a new jack & don't know what they're going to do about the wiring. Every once in awhile all the breakers shut down. We were going to leave in April, but Collins ended up having knee replacement last month so it slowed us down. We are going to the big RV rally in Louisville on July 21-25 with or without the RV. I'm afraid it's going to be "without" since they haven't gotten the jack yet. Also, Collins hasn't been released from therapy for his knee, so we'll probably be back in IL for a few more weeks. I think what we're going to do is head to our friends in Nashville when we do leave, then go to the Smokey Mts & the Carolinas. We'll head down to FL & end up around the Tampa area In Dec. We'll leave the RV in storage & come back to IL for the holidays. Then we'll head to the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana, for 3 months. When we head out in April 2011 we plan to head up the east coast. I think the scariest thing for me right now is that there are so many things about the RV we don't know. Just moving in the past few days, we haven't been able to get our Satellite TV to work & it's so frustrating. We took a few hours of driving lessons from an instructor for the long haul truck driving school at the local junior college. I found it very helpful & have driven the RV myself. We've taken our car out on the dolly once. Our car can't be flat towed, so we have a tow dolly. I think we have it figured out. I'll be following your blog & hopefully I'll learn a few things along the way. I hope your heel gets better soon so you can head out. Where are you going. I'll be following with interest. Karen

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Hi Jack and Peg!

So glad that I found your blog as we have just purchased our first motorhome and plan on touring North America when we retire. In the meantime we'll have to learn a lot and get our feet wet with many mini trips! I will be following your adventures with great interest and how exciting for you!

Good Luck and may the wind always be at your back:)

Laura Regnier

Hi Laura, I hope our blog helps you out that is my intention. We learned so much from others and I hope to pass on the favor. There is so much to learn about motor homes it is incredible. We started thinking about it almost 5 years ago. I has been a long journey so far and lots of fun. We researched motor homes for over 3 years before we bought one and we bought a used DP as we couldn't afford a brand new one and were lucky enough to find a great coach at a great price. Taking lots of weekend and longer trips is the real way to learn. Reading lots of forums and blogs help and you learn a great deal from others. One awesome thing about motor homing is you will find most everyone is very helpful and a great bunch of people. Good Luck and Have a Great Time! Jack

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Hi Jack & Peg!

I too am glad I found your blog. My husband,Collins, and I, Karen, are getting ready to go full time too. We're also Newbies & have only had our RV out a couple of times, once to the FMCA rally in WI last month. We moved all our furniture out of our house this past weekend & are now sleeping in our RV in our driveway. We will be renting our house. I'm trying to get the rest of the stuff moved into the RV & figure out what we need & where to put it. We lived in our house in Elgin, IL for 25 years & believe me, it's been no easy feat trying to figure out what to keep & what to get rid of. Luckily for us, there is a Goodwill Store close to us & they have gotten car loads of stuff. I can't believe how many clothes we owned. Collins & I were realtors for almost 25 years & decided this was a good time to call it quits. We.ve talked about buying an RV for the last 5 or more years, but decided to go for it this year. We bought a 2006 Monaco & are busily trying to learn the things we need to know, which is a lot. We've discovered a bad leveling jack & an intermittant problem with the wiring. Right now, we're waiting on a new jack & don't know what they're going to do about the wiring. Every once in awhile all the breakers shut down. We were going to leave in April, but Collins ended up having knee replacement last month so it slowed us down. We are going to the big RV rally in Louisville on July 21-25 with or without the RV. I'm afraid it's going to be "without" since they haven't gotten the jack yet. Also, Collins hasn't been released from therapy for his knee, so we'll probably be back in IL for a few more weeks. I think what we're going to do is head to our friends in Nashville when we do leave, then go to the Smokey Mts & the Carolinas. We'll head down to FL & end up around the Tampa area In Dec. We'll leave the RV in storage & come back to IL for the holidays. Then we'll head to the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana, for 3 months. When we head out in April 2011 we plan to head up the east coast. I think the scariest thing for me right now is that there are so many things about the RV we don't know. Just moving in the past few days, we haven't been able to get our Satellite TV to work & it's so frustrating. We took a few hours of driving lessons from an instructor for the long haul truck driving school at the local junior college. I found it very helpful & have driven the RV myself. We've taken our car out on the dolly once. Our car can't be flat towed, so we have a tow dolly. I think we have it figured out. I'll be following your blog & hopefully I'll learn a few things along the way. I hope your heel gets better soon so you can head out. Where are you going. I'll be following with interest. Karen

Hi Karen & Collin, Wow! Lots of parallel things between the two of us. We are also living in our motor home with the upstairs of our house guttered. All our furniture was removed when we were at the Cape Cod Canal rally. Our son and family are taking over the house and he is renovating the entire upstairs. Really feels weird going in the house and seeing everything gone and the rooms bare. We have lived in the house for 25 years as well. Maine is a great state to live when you are young, but now the winters are not fun anymore it is time to migrate south with the birds. We will head out to South Dakota, then go to Colorado to visit our daughter and family. After a nice long stay in Colorado we head to southeastern Texas where we will do volunteer work for several state parks for the winter. I can sympathize with Collin as I am going through things with my broken heel, I have to start physical therapy the end of this month. The doc said I could just attend several sessions just to get some good tips on getting back to normal with walking, etc. We also will be coming up the East Coast in the spring to visit my wife's sister in Tenn. and a friend of hers in VA. Don't worry about not knowing much about your motor home, we all start that way. Following the forums and blogs on the internet really help and ask lots of questions. Also you will find other motor homers at campgrounds are more than willing to help. It seems I learn something everyday like with the windshield wiper arms, I asked lots of questions on several forums and got diagrams and lots of good advice. iRV2.com is a great place for forums and you will find a forum just for people who own Monaco motor homes which is a great resource. Another good forum place is www.rv.net. The FMCA and Motor Home magazines have great articles and you can subscribe to them online so you can get the magazines downloaded and not have to worry about having them mailed to you. You can also access all their past articles which have a world of information. We have not towed our car yet as Peg is just learning to drive the rig and I can't drive with my broken right heel. I have all the towing equipment ready to go now I just have to wait for the doc to say it is ok to drive. I am lucky as my father-in-law has been motor homing for quite a few years and is going to assist me in hooking up our toad which will be a great help. Hopefully, our blog will be of help to you all. Maybe we will hookup along the way sometime which would be lots of fun. Good Luck and Enjoy the Experience!

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Hi Jack & Peg!

I too am glad I found your blog. My husband,Collins, and I, Karen, are getting ready to go full time too. We're also Newbies & have only had our RV out a couple of times, once to the FMCA rally in WI last month. We moved all our furniture out of our house this past weekend & are now sleeping in our RV in our driveway. We will be renting our house. I'm trying to get the rest of the stuff moved into the RV & figure out what we need & where to put it. We lived in our house in Elgin, IL for 25 years & believe me, it's been no easy feat trying to figure out what to keep & what to get rid of. Luckily for us, there is a Goodwill Store close to us & they have gotten car loads of stuff. I can't believe how many clothes we owned. Collins & I were realtors for almost 25 years & decided this was a good time to call it quits. We.ve talked about buying an RV for the last 5 or more years, but decided to go for it this year. We bought a 2006 Monaco & are busily trying to learn the things we need to know, which is a lot. We've discovered a bad leveling jack & an intermittant problem with the wiring. Right now, we're waiting on a new jack & don't know what they're going to do about the wiring. Every once in awhile all the breakers shut down. We were going to leave in April, but Collins ended up having knee replacement last month so it slowed us down. We are going to the big RV rally in Louisville on July 21-25 with or without the RV. I'm afraid it's going to be "without" since they haven't gotten the jack yet. Also, Collins hasn't been released from therapy for his knee, so we'll probably be back in IL for a few more weeks. I think what we're going to do is head to our friends in Nashville when we do leave, then go to the Smokey Mts & the Carolinas. We'll head down to FL & end up around the Tampa area In Dec. We'll leave the RV in storage & come back to IL for the holidays. Then we'll head to the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana, for 3 months. When we head out in April 2011 we plan to head up the east coast. I think the scariest thing for me right now is that there are so many things about the RV we don't know. Just moving in the past few days, we haven't been able to get our Satellite TV to work & it's so frustrating. We took a few hours of driving lessons from an instructor for the long haul truck driving school at the local junior college. I found it very helpful & have driven the RV myself. We've taken our car out on the dolly once. Our car can't be flat towed, so we have a tow dolly. I think we have it figured out. I'll be following your blog & hopefully I'll learn a few things along the way. I hope your heel gets better soon so you can head out. Where are you going. I'll be following with interest. Karen

Hi Again Karen & Collin, One quick note on driving motor homes. Lazy Days has an excellent driver's confidence course with videos posted on this website http://betterrving.com/Article/RV_Tips/RV_...or_High_Quality . My wife and I both found the tips very helpful. Good Luck, Relax, and Enjoy!

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