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Old 07-20-2015, 05:24 PM   #1
Fleetwood Owners Club
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Story of our first RV trip on 4th of July weekend!

One of my first posts around a month ago was about the DW test driving an RV that we were going to rent. The test drive went fine. The RV is a 2005 Damon Intruder. It did not feel like I was driving anything that big until I looked behind me. I had a lot of questions but the owner was very patient.

Being first timers, the DW and I prepared and got all of the supplies that we thought we needed, loaded up the RV and away we went. Our reservation was at New River State Park in NC for three days. Never heard of it before but when I was looking online for a place to stay I didn't want to be to close to home and I wanted to be near water. All of the popular places were booked by the time I started searching. I secured the last full-hookup site a New River (50amp, water, sewer). Beautiful place and we really enjoyed our stay but had I known what I was in for, I probably would not have gone.

We left from Fredericksburg, VA on Friday, July 3rd. GPS said to go I-64 to I-81. I wanted to avoid driving near mountains so I took I-85 to I-40 to 421 and 221 (I think it was 221). I do not like driving in mountainous areas but do it when I have to. Anyway, New River State Park is on top of a mountain! Here I am, driving an RV for the first time going up mountains, some times only mustering 30mph and praying that I make it to the top. Then a thunderstorm hits, it gets dark (at 4pm) and it is raining very hard. It seems like the rain cloud was right on top of the mountain. I have the pedal-to-the metal, inching along, holding the steering wheel as tight as I can, trying to stay in my lane and praying that the rain stops soon. By then I had been driving for 6 hours and was tired and wanted to get the drive over with. After about 30 minutes the rain stops. It stopped just in time for me to get on a narrow two lane road that seem to be made for two small cars. I was really on edge for about 30 more minutes on the small road.

Finally, we made it to the park. I was looking for our spot and when I found it, backing into our gravel pad looked like it was going to be a challenge. Right about that time the camp hosts' wife came outside and suggested a better approach to backing the the RV in. I followed her suggestion and was able to get it backed-in almost perfectly on the first try (with the help of the DW guiding me back).

The camp hosts', Alan and his wife Lane, were very nice people and were very knowledgeable about the park. They have been working as camp hosts there for about 7 years. Glad we met them. They have a DP so I was asking him questions about his rig. When I look at motorhomes (we plan to get one next year) I always think about the debate over diesel vs. gas.

We got just what we asked for during out stay at New River on Friday and Saturday night. Peace and quiet. Serenity. Nice people. Relaxing. We would definitely stay there again. Not much there, but that is what we wanted.

When Saturday rolls around there is only one thing on my mind and that is getting off of the mountain in good weather, so, Saturday night (I brought a Verizon MiFI, decent reception) I went searching for a spot on our route home that was near VA. I found a site at Kerr Lake State Park in NC. Not far from the VA border. We spent some time with Alan and Lane on Saturday evening and Allan explained the best route to "get off the mountain" in an RV.

We departed Sunday morning with clear skies and a little wind. Still a little scary for me but a better route than I took to get there. I had to manage my speed going downhill and be ready for the occasional gust. 18 wheelers and even minivans would push me toward the right so I was always on the lookout for them. Once we got back to fairly flat land I was able to relax and it was smooth sailing from then on. When we arrived at Kerr Lake and backed up at our site we were within 20 feet of the water. Beautiful. I brought my fishing poles and tried my luck for a few minutes. No luck but hadn't been fishing in ages. It was fun. Other than a few quick rain showers it was an uneventful day. We departed on Monday morning and returned the RV, with RV and passengers unscathed but with a heck of an adventure to remember! We enjoyed ourselves immenselyand learned alot. We definitely plan to become members of the RV'ing community!
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:41 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good learning trip.

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Old 07-20-2015, 05:56 PM   #3
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Sounds like you had a good time, other than the rain and road issues.
2014 Itasca Spirit 31K
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:08 PM   #4
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Glad you got through it unscathed except for the new knowledge emblazoned into your brain! Enjoy your future RV'g!
Al & Ellen
No longer 'New To Us' 1999 HR Vacationer

Hanging on for the ride!
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:24 PM   #5
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There is nothing that ever compares to your first trip in the first RV. Everything after this will be more relaxed (at least that's what I keep telling myself).
George Schweikle Lexington, KY
1999 Safari TREK 2830, FMCA 190830, Safari International chapter
1995 Safari TREK 2630, 1983 Winnebago Chieftain, 1976 Midas Mini
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:31 PM   #6
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Too late Swoop!! We voted and your already in.

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Old 07-20-2015, 10:39 PM   #7
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Sound like a good weekend. many more to come hopefully
Ken & Cyn
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:04 AM   #8
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Welcome Swoop and congratulations surviving your first weekend!

I love the saying: Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. Every time I feel like I'm in a less-than-great situation due to a less-than-great decision, I try to remember that I am gaining experience!
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:22 AM   #9
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Welcome aboard, Swoop. Nice story and glad it had a happy ending! I pull a fifth wheel and just a few weeks ago was reminded to never forget it is back there when I cut a curve too tight in a narrow campground road and dropped two wheels of the fiver into a marsh. I had to put it in 4WD to get it out, but seening our home on wheels tilting 30 degrees was scary.
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:11 AM   #10
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Congrats swoop. Welcome to the community. As you found out, you will meet some really nice folks.
And the first trip, its over and you guys had a blast. Now you guys are on your way to becomong road warriors. Many more road adventures await you. Lots of memories out there.
Good luck in your search for your own RV.
2015 Chateau 31W. '08 HHR.
Life is a trip, ENJOY the ride.
Save Travels.
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:57 PM   #11
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Congrats on the first trip Swoop. Hope you have many more.
1999 NEWMAR American Star (for sale) SOLD !!![* Newmar Kountry Kklub # 19708 * THOUSAND TRAILS * 2006 Chevy 3500 Dually Dmax/Ally SOLD* Curt Q20 (For Sale)* Prodigy P2 *US ARMY 1965-1967 * Disabled Vietnam Veteran 1966-1967 * Life Member VFW *
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:30 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing
Jay & Peggy Monroe with Dolly
Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by swoop View Post
We definitely plan to become members of the RV'ing community!
Newsflash ---->
You have already joined the RVing Community!

Congratulations on your successful adventure. While you may not have caught a fish, you're hooked.

Keep us informed of your hunt for your very own RV. Many here will be ready to help with any questions you have.

Good luck!
Steve & Annie (RVM2)
2008 Fleetwood Bounder 38F ~ 325 ISB Turbo ~ Freightliner XC 2014 CR-V ~ Invisibrake / Sterling All Terrain
Sioux Falls, SD (FullTime Since Nov 5th 2014)
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:57 PM   #14
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Enjoyed your story! Congratulations -- you got 'er done and you're a veteran now. Hope you have many years of great RV adventures!

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