Header Picture

View From the Trail to Mount Colvin

My Readers

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We Did It!

Survived Day One, that is! It was quite the day. This is a long blog entry – so be prepared! Be right back

We started out with an early rising, because our slide awnings were coming in, and the guys were going to get started on them right away. We had to be away from the camper while they were working, so we had planned to go out for breakfast and then make a couple stops at a store. It didn’t quite end up working like that!

Here’s the “short” version (which like I said, is not very short)…nothing really happened all morning because we were waiting for stuff to happen. We didn’t end up having breakfast out, or breakfast at all, for that matter!

Our awnings were delivered around 12:30 pm. I think it was around 1 o’clock when they started working on the installation. Around 1:30 or 2, Butch came over to go over all the systems with us. Thanks to everyone who mentioned videoing them, because I did and it is great to know we have all that info on video. It is way too much to take in all at once.

We did as much of the walk through as we could – all of the inside, and about half of the outside. Then we got to a point where we couldn’t do anymore, because the guys were installing the slide awnings in the area we were heading for. So at that point, it was decided that we would run the couple errands that we had planned on for the morning, as well as get a bite to eat! At this point, it was almost 3 o’clock.

We went to Texas Roadhouse, then made a couple stops at Walmart and Harbor Freight. We then headed back to the dealership, where we found the guys just getting ready to start work on the last slide awning. It was almost 5 o’clock at this point. We watched them work for awhile, and then Butch came over to finish our walk through.

And then it was time for the first hitching. It actually went really smoothly. Harry said that the window in the truck is low enough that he can actually see the hitch and where it connects to the trailer, so that made getting the truck in position much easier.

And then it was time for the first drive! Butch drove at first, showing Harry how it moved, giving him some pointers, and demonstrating a few turns. After maybe 15 minutes, he pulled over and it was Harry’s moment to get behind that wheel! He did great. He took everyone’s advice and took it slow and easy. After driving back to the dealership, Butch had him drive into the truck lot next to the dealership and had him make a few turns. He backed it up, and took it in a half circle.

Then, we were on our own. After handshakes, and a couple more words of advice, we drove out of the dealership on our own with our new fiver. At this point it was about 10 after 7, and we had a 40 minute drive ahead of us to the campground.

One thing I have neglected to mention is that there were dark clouds all around us from about 5:30 on. We could see the lightning off in the distance as we were riding along. So on top of just the normal getting set up stuff that we were thinking about, we also knew that it was just a matter of time before the storms came through. We actually hit a couple periods of hard rain as we were driving to the campground, but when we arrived here, it was only cloudy – no rain.

At the campground is where we took our first wrong move – we went straight into the campground as we had been told, but we actually should have turned left. So we had to make a circle, and then Harry had his second experience with backing up, so that we could go in the opposite direction. But thankfully, the area was large and straight and he backed up with no problem at all.

So we went back in the correct direction this time and our site was the third site on the left. I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but it seems tight. There was not much wiggle room – basically one strip in which the fiver had to go. Hmmm, all I’m going to say here is that both of us have room for improvement. We are going to practice in a large lot when we get home, so that I can give better directions, and Harry will have a better idea of how the fiver moves when he makes certain turns of the wheel. And you know all those stories of “newbie” parkers drawing a crowd? Yup. It really happens. But the good thing is that a couple guys who were watching helped give Harry directions as he was backing in, and we made it in to our site!

And I wish that was the end of the story – but it’s not.

So we are getting ready to start hooking up. We get the truck unhitched, and Harry took his bin out of the basement. There were people in the pool across from us, and other people had a campfire going at their site. And all of a sudden, we hear thunder. And we turned around and looked over the treeline, and we could see really dark clouds and lightning heading our way, and fast! So we ran over and got the electric hooked up, and that was all we had time for. It was starting to rain, and it was obvious the storm was very close. Harry threw the bin back into the basement and I ran to the truck and grabbed our stuff and we ran into the fiver – just in time! It was raining – HARD!

We then discovered that we really didn’t have electric, because in the rush to beat the storm, we hadn’t turned the breaker on. So we just sat there, in our warm, stuffy fiver, with a couple lights on, and waited for it to pass. It was maybe another 15, 20 minutes. I’m not sure because at that point we weren’t looking at the time. Thinking smile

Afterwards we headed back outside – with a flashlight, because at this point, it was dark. We got the electric turned on, and hooked up the water. That was all we did last night. It was still raining, and the storms were still around – but they were far enough away that we were able to get outside to do those things.

So that was our first day! This morning it was nice when we woke up, so we got our sewer hooked up, and our water filter out, and the satellite is locked on so we have tv. We are just enjoying the fact that we don’t have to move today!

Here we are…



Even with all the difficulties and challenges of the first day, we LOVE it!

Tomorrow we head for a campground in VA – a KOA campground. And we have a pull through site! Woohoo!!


  1. Yay! You survived your first day...even in the middle of a storm! Harry will be an old-pro at this in no time.
    Did you sing Kum-by-Ya when you were sitting in the dark?
    What a story and you gave the campers something to talk about...
    We've all been there.
    Hope today is wonderful!

  2. By the way, there have been a few times in our early adventures where we would have loved to have had a "been there- done that with a Landmark" friend to answer questions. So, I'll share our phone number with you if you'll email me. Believe me, we had lots of questions when we started which hasn't been that long ago!

  3. Exciting! Congratulations on a big step!


  4. You look mighty fine sitting on that site!! She is a real beauty!!
    Congratulations on surviving your first day and night! Now you are on your way!! :-)

  5. I'm so proud of you two!! Thanks for all the details, I can't wait to hear more :)

  6. I know you're really excited... It is just beautiful!!!
    Have fun!

  7. Welcome to the RV life! A back-in site on your first night, and with storms on the way. Looks like you did good. Enjoy.

  8. Welcome to the RV life! A back-in site on your first night, and with storms on the way. Looks like you did good. Enjoy.

  9. That first day was so scary for us, sounds like you handled it very well. It is a little stressful when you are learning all these new things but it is so worth it. Enjoy your trip.

  10. Glad you survived!! Your outfit looks good parked there in the campground. You'll be experts in no time at all. Have fun.

  11. Well, we left RV's for Less, back to Chattanooga, pulled into our "Pull Thru" and luckily the couple parked next to us had a Mobile Suites just like ours and was able to help us unhitch as I seemed to have forgotten everything I was told. Thank goodness Phil and the couple next door knew what to do! We head out of here next week going to our first back-in. Sounds like you all did a great job! By the way....looks great with your truck!

  12. glad you survived the first day!..whats a little rain!?..rig looks nice parked in the campsite!

  13. It won't be long before you will be helping others.

  14. Wow!! It's been a while since I dropped in on ya. Seems like y'all have been real busy! Great looking truck and rig!