My sincerest apologies to those of you who might be following us (or trying to) on our blog. It has, indeed, been two months since our last post. I will try to bring you up to speed, and hopefully we can keep things current in the future. It’s a pretty long read, so bear with me.
- We closed on our house July 8 and had to “vacate the premises.” Problem was Connie had a wedding to play for July 9, and our RV would not be ready to occupy until July 27! Solution: Rent a 6 x 12′ U-Haul trailer and load all our worldly possessions in it, which we finished only 30 minutes before closing. After spending two nights in Candlewood Suites in Mooresville (for the wedding) we headed to Wilmington to bunk at Matthew’s house until we would go to Elkhart to pick up the RV.
- Time to head to Elkhart, Indiana after more than 2 weeks at Matt’s house. But things didn’t go quite as planned. Check engine light came on in the West Virginia mountains. Had to stop and purchase a new battery for the Liberty. A while later, the coolant boiled over (we were working her pretty hard pulling what was probably an overloaded trailer. Finally made it to Elkhart with no other problems.
- Arrived at the Nexus factory the morning of July 27th to meet our new home. Had a nice parking space next to the factory for us to make our transfer from trailer to motorhome over the next couple of days while getting used to motorhome living. Oh that it was that easy! We had waaaay too much stuff in the trailer to fit in the motorhome. We managed to trim down the load with a couple of trash pickups and two trips to Goodwill. Unfortunately, we gave a wrong bag to Goodwill which had most of my favorite t-shirts in it, you know, the Mast Store t-shirts.
- Okay, we’ve moved in, dropped off the trailer and figured out how to hook up the Jeep Liberty for towing. Let’s start our full-time journey with a drive to the Amish country in Berlin, Ohio. On the way to Berlin, we ran into torrential rain and discovered that we had a leak in the bathroom vent. On top of that, our refrigerator quit working! We had to buy an ice chest to keep things cold. Too far to go back to the factory, so let’s try the nearest “factory authorized” service facility, which happened to be due north in Loraine, Ohio. Spent the night in their parking lot so they could see us first thing the next morning. Well, contrary to what we expected, they had no agreement with Nexus, but they were kind enough to find and fix our leak and check the fridge. Said they fixed it, so we headed south to Mooresville. Spent the night on the way in a riverside city park in St. Albans, WV. Nice.
- You guessed it! Fridge still on the fritz. Checked into the Statesville, NC KOA for a few nights so Connie could see her horse, Lady, and we could see about getting the fridge fixed (still a warranty issue). Called Camping World, but that was a joke. Might be able to work us in in two or three days. Yeah, right. So I called a mobile RV repair service out of Hickory, NC. He said he’s stop by the next morning, which he did, in the pouring rain. Seems we had two problems with the fridge. The circuit board was defective and would not run on 110 volts, and the gas valve for gas operation was almost closed. No wonder it wouldn’t run on gas. He opened the valve but didn’t have a circuit board. We decided we’d wait ’til we got to Florida and let the Nexus Clearwater dealership fix it. It was working fine on gas. This fella drove 40 miles to our location and spent an hour checking out the fridge. Only charged us $40!! Gave us a handmade cross to boot. Time to head to Bushnell, Florida to establish our residency.
- On the way to Florida, we boondocked at a Wal-Mart near Alpharetta and got to see Mike, Allison and Nora. They brought us supper. Nice. Still had 7 hours to go to Bushnell, so we “Wally-docked” again, this time in Valdosta, GA. Fridge still working!
- Arrived a Sumter Oaks RV Park in Bushnell, FL on August 8. Older park, but very nice with live oak trees full of Spanish moss all over. This is our “official residence address.” First things first. I called the Nexus dealership in Clearwater, FL, told them our fridge story, and they said they would order the part and we could drive down and have it installed when they got it in. Next on the agenda was to get Florida based insurance and go to the Sumter County Tax Office to declare our residency, get Florida driver’s licenses and register our Jeep and RV in the state of Florida. That’s right, it’s one stop does it all in Sumter County Florida! Only downside was having to pay Florida sales tax on the motorhome, even though it was expected ($7,000). We also were able to visit with our daughter Melinda, her husband Ben, and Haden and Landen (our grandsons) a few times during this first stay at Sumter Oaks. That was nice! By the way, that fridge part still had not arrived by August 18!
- Mike, Allison and Nora had made reservations for a cabin at Live Oak Landing in Freeport, FL, north of Panama City. They were coming down for a greyhound event at the greyhound track in Ebro, FL. Mike and Allison are really into the greyhound rescue program, and they have three greyhounds themselves. Live Oak Landing also has RV spaces, so we checked out of Sumter Oaks and drove to Freeport to meet Mike and Allison for a few days. Saw our first greyhound races in person and enjoyed some beach time and a day at Gulf World (Connie got to kiss a dolphin!).
- Last day at Live Oak Landing we got the call that our refrigerator part was in, Hallelujah! So, we made a beeline for Clearwater, FL, spending the night at a Wal-Mart in Hudson, FL before showing of at the Nexus dealership first thing the next morning. Patrick at Nexus fixed our fridge as well as a few other items that needed attention. Then it was back to Bushnell on August 26 (had to pick up the tag for the Jeep).
- We have been chilling here at Sumter Oaks RV Park since August 26. We survived hurricane Hermine, along with a tornado warning and a tornado watch (not to be taken lightly when living in an RV). The doggies are doing fine since they get to play in the dog park at least once a day. Biggest casualty so far has been my right foot. I was dumping our black tank the other day (RV’ers know what I’m talking about) when I looked down and my foot was covered with ants! I had inadvertently stepped on an anthill. Fortunately they were sugar ants, nor fire ants, because I got stung over 25 times! You should see my foot!! On a less painful note, we finally have made our RV a home with some personal touches, pictures, etc. And we have our satellite up and running. We’ve also seen Melinda and the boys again. Not sure when we’ll leave Florida. We’d like to stop by Wilmington, NC so Matt, Jen and Mason can see our new home, and then we must go back to Mooresville, NC for a time. Connie’s horse, Lady, has moved into a new barn, and we need to see her new home. Until next time…
The Princess and the Frog