June 16, 2021
It doesn’t matter how well we plan things out, life being what it is sometimes gets in the way often changing our well thought out plans. This appears very true for me as recent events have shown.
I started having thoughts of going in a different direction in my RV’ing life and basically trading the Eagle for a Class C Motor Home primarily for the ease of towing and setting up. When I eventually do hit the road hopefully in the next month or so, I plan on moving around and taking in the sights and maybe staying for a week at a time at different campgrounds as I head towards New York State where I have family.
I decided that in order to make life a little easier, especially as I am on my own and getting older by the minute with the dogs not very much help , I should probably change RV’s to a Class C for several different reasons. The first on the list was that it is easier not having to hook and unhook the 5th wheel and to back up one of these 5th wheel rigs when you are on your own. Many people do it but they usually have help in the form of a wife or a travel companion or the occasional camper next door who is only too willing to help. One time in Bastrop, I very neatly backed the Eagle into a parking spot only to discover that I had turned it a full 90 degrees and had ended up between two trees. Luckily, I did not run into anything and in truth, It was a great back up job except it was not what was needed at the time.
Another problem is when it comes to levelling from side to side. This usually entails the use of wood or plastic blocks and sometimes requires pulling forward to raise or lower the requisite number of levelling blocks. Not difficult by itself but much easier if someone else replaces or adds to the blocking so the driver does not have to keep getting out of the truck. Hooking and unhooking a 5th wheel is not always straightforward as again, without a spotter, it is hard on your own trying to get everything lined up both in direction and height and sometime the situation is aggravated when the 5th wheel will not lock or unlock. At least with a Class C, one does not have to deal with most of these types of problems although backing is still a problem but at least a much easier one. The Class C is not going to jackknife.
I contemplated keeping the F250 King Ranch truck and using it as a Toad (tow vehicle) but the more I thought about, decided that it was too big and heavy on gas or in my case, diesel to be used solely as a means of transport from the campsites, and because it is a much heavier vehicle, more difficult to tow. So I started to look around at good used vehicles suitable to be towed with 4 wheels on the road. I found one at South Park Jeep and ended up with a 2017 Jeep Cherokee in very good shape. With the tow vehicle purchased, I turned my attention to Class C RV’s. I decided to stay with Crestview as they had always done me right in the past with the two RV’s I had purchased from them. I looked on line and the Waco Branch had a very nice one that I thought I should take a look at and I made arrangements to view it.
On the way, I had to pass Crestview Georgetown so what the heck, I stopped in “just to take a look”. Long story short, I inspected several that they had and settled on a 2021 Coachman RV Leprechaun. One of the reasons for this particular choice is that it is a self levelling unit as my first question to the Salesman was that it must be self levelling. I wasn’t necessarily shooting for a brand new one so that was an additional bonus. I continued on to Waco, checked out the only one that they had and turned it down because it was too small for full time living and headed back to Georgetown. I wanted to make a deal on the one I had viewed earlier putting some money down in order to seal the deal and headed back home.
On the way I took an exit from the Interstate and to my dismay, discovered that a very large dumpster was parked in the road and even though I slowed down, it was still a very tight squeeze and unfortunately, one of my mirrors caught some overhanging obstruction and damaged it. Not a good way to end a very busy day in which I had covered 240 miles.
With the tow vehicle purchased, I needed to get it to Hitch and Truck for them to install a Blueox Towing system that will enable me to tow the jeep behind the new RV and as it turns out, behind the truck. I drove the Jeep to their shop from the dealership and then one of their mechanics drove me back to pick up my truck. Four hours later, I received a call telling me that the Jeep was ready so I drove back to Hitch and Truck and they proceeded to show me how the Blueox system works as we hooked up the Jeep. Satisfied that I understood the complexities of the towing system and aided by several pages of printed instructions and with the jeep safely following my every move, we drove back to Henly. Unhooking was a bit of a challenge but only because I was not on level ground. I rectified my mistake and I pulled forward to a more level spot and completed the unhooking. I put the tow bars and other parts in the back of the Jeep for safe keeping but when we hit the road, that part will stay attached to the RV when we are camped and the Jeep unhooked.
While waiting for the Jeep, I had also stopped at Firestone as the check engine light was on in the F250. They gave me a report which indicated there was a problem but I chose to get the work performed elsewhere just up the street from Henly. So, again, we went through the process of hitching the car up to the truck but this time, it was faster as I knew a couple of the tricks involved and then driving both a couple of miles up the road to get the truck repaired. I reversed the process and unhooked the Jeep which I drove back to Henly. I gotta say that the Jeep is a very nice little car to drive and I found myself going too fast in places as my heavy foot used to the truck, made the adjustments to the more sensitive controls of the car.
In some ways, I was kinda proud that I was able to not only figure out a way and also have the means to make things like dropping off a truck when you are on your own and you don’t have anyone close handy to pick you up. If I hadn’t had two vehicles and a towing system, I would have been in a right old pickle trying to make arrangements to get one of them to the repair shop and leave it there and then get back home. Same is true after the truck is repaired as I will just do everything in reverse and drive back to Henly. Only after that has happened can I make arrangements to tow the Eagle to Georgetown to complete the deal and get us a brand new Class C. The Jeep at Henly will be our mode of transport for the future as it will be goodbye to the 2016 F250 King Ranch, a really beautiful truck. Not knowing what the future holds but it will probably be the very last truck I ever own.
More on this saga to follow.
Check out my old blog at https://pondblog2011.com