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RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-13-2006, 08:25 PM   #1
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RV Shakedown Cruise

Well, we took our new RV on it's maiden voyage last weekend, billed as a technical shake-down cruise. It's a Class B and a half (i.e. bigger than a van, smaller than most class C's). Destination was Fort Desoto park, a gorgeous beachfront destination with heavily wooded campgrounds - souhern pine, palmetto, live oaks, spanish moss.

The RV was great: all systems worked well except the water heater, which I am working on (looks to be a pilot light issue). It was a hot night as usual, and we admittedly took some perverse pleasure at just pulling in and being all set while our neighbor campers spent an hour putting up their tent, drenched in sweat. Cooked dinner, watched a DVD of the old Robin Williams movie "RV" as we fell asleep (nice sound system). Felt almost self-conscious at not having to do anything but enjoy. Fridge provided nice cold drinks and produce, microwave great for quick cup of tea or a reheated meal.

We have a nearby place here where you can pre-cook meals and freeze them, and plan to stock up on nice ready-to-cook meals before our next longer trip, so the cooking will be more optional.

Sophie the Big Black Dog loved it - country walks, cozy den, no obvious distress. Couple of folding camp chairs and decent nonalcoholic wine (alcohol not allowed in most gov't campgrounds). Dolphin sitings. Lots of Class A's around, too -- many decked out for what looked like a long stay.

Things are really cozy in this RV, as expected. But the way it's set up allows one of us to be at the dinette table up front (front seats swivel 180 degrees to face a small table) while the other is lounging on the sofa bed in back, 15 feet or so away.

The vehicle is impressive. It's a Dodge Sprinter diesel, 23 mpg, decent handling, ABS, small enought that now that I am used to it, it's SUV-like in feel.

Moment of truth on Sunday as we addressed the issue of waste water. We'd agreed that we would confine our use of the RV to..., well... liquid waste only for this trip. I followed the instructions and tips I had gleaned from various web sites, pulled up to the dump site, donned my gloves, and 5 minutes later we were on the road. Anticlimactic.

I added a 3 foot pour of concrete to the sides of my city driveway allowing us to keep the Pod (new official name) in the driveway while we can scoot around it to the garage in our cars. Motion detector alerts us to any visitors as a spotlight goes on.

Conclusion: so far so good. One more shake-down to the Venice, FL area (kayaks and bikes for rent), then a 5-dayer to St. Augustine and Charleston where we hope to hook up with Astro and anyone else en route.
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-13-2006, 11:08 PM   #2
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

drool... I've been eyeing those Sprinters for a long time now, Rich -- what van conversion company did you go with -- I understand that there are several?

I like the 15-feet-apart comment -- I love my SO to pieces, but don't want him in my pocket 24/7, and he feels the same about me. I sometimes worry about what would happen if we had a fight in one of those little things, but then, there are the wide open spaces all around you if you need a break!

Congrats on the shakedown and I hope there are MANY more great trips in your future!


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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 08:24 AM   #3
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

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Originally Posted by Caroline
drool... I've been eyeing those Sprinters for a long time now, Rich -- what van conversion company did you go with -- I understand that there are several?
Great West Vans.

Also liked the Roadtrek and Leisure Vans, but the GW was a cut above for us, and we got a good deal.
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 08:32 AM   #4
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

Rich, how cool and glad you managed the first dump station without a problem. We dump at home a lot of the time and have only had one catastrophic hose failure--but that was enough!

Where are you going to stay when you come up to Charleston? The KOA that is kinda near Astro's house (it is on Hwy 17 in Mt. Pleasant) is really nice; there are Airstream meetings held there sometime.

We are planning a few weekend trips in the Argosy to go kayaking now that it is a bit cooler. We are going to take the inflatables, but that is a good idea to find places you can rent kayaks and bikes instead of lugging them along--thanks for the tip! We also really like staying at the Hunting Island state campground--oh, and if you pour the wine or beer in a cup, there are no problems with the rangers.

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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 10:45 AM   #5
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

We went with different units but arived at the same place.
RVing is nice I've been doing it full time for 2 months now.

http://www.casitatraveltrailers.com/spirit.html
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 10:54 AM   #6
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
We went with different units but arived at the same place.
RVing is nice I've been doing it full time for 2 months now.

http://www.casitatraveltrailers.com/spirit.html
That's a nice rig. We have city neighborhood space restrictions, so the big "B" was perfect for us. See ya down the road.
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 11:02 AM   #7
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
... then a 5-dayer to St. Augustine and Charleston where we hope to hook up with Astro and anyone else en route.

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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa

You are a sick, sick man.
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 12:17 PM   #9
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

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...our neighbor campers spent an hour putting up their tent, drenched in sweat.
This is the part you exaggerated, right?
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 12:55 PM   #10
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
This is the part you exaggerated, right?

Wish I did. It was kind of a keystone cops segment. She bought a new tent to sleep 10 people (actually looked comfortable for 2), and it had igloo entries, high tech framing system, vents and all that. He got inside while she tried to get it framed up from the outside. Couple of times she had the frame under tension to fit pieces together, and accidentally lost her grip. The frame would snap apart shrouding him in tent.

They were assisted by their little dog who had apparently slipped a disk and was paralyzed in her hind legs. Cute but sad little thing spent much of the time dragging itself around the pulsating mass of cloth barking. It was a magic moment.

I offered to help, but "Nope - we're OK." That's when we set up the chairs and watched the show. Ya know, there's a reason there are so many RV comedy films out there.
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 01:21 PM   #11
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

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Rich, how cool and glad you managed the first dump station without a problem.* We dump at home a lot of the time and have only had one catastrophic hose failure--but that was enough!
Ah, yes.* Reminds me of a multi-day, multi-person private rafting trip down the Deschutes River.* One of the rules on a desert river is that you pack it ALL out.*

Simple in theory.* You get a big paint bucket and a special-made lid with a little hole and a big hole.* You go to a dump station, connect a water hose to the little hole, a waste hose to the big hole, and flush the thing out.

Simple, that is, until the bozo I was with got to the dump station, attached the hoses, and turned on the water -- FULL BLAST!!!

The big hose did its best "chicken-in-a-python" imitation, folllowed by a low rumble, a violent shaking of the whole system, my screaming "she's gonna blow...!!!!!"

One of us got out of the way in time.


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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 05:31 PM   #12
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
Simple, that is, until the bozo I was with got to the dump station, attached the hoses, and turned on the water -- FULL BLAST!!!
The big hose did its best "chicken-in-a-python" imitation, folllowed by a low rumble, a violent shaking of the whole system, my screaming "she's gonna blow...!!!!!"
In cold climates (e.g., New London CT) an inport submarine's sanitary tank is connected to two hoses via a Y-gate. One hose goes to the pierside sewage connection and the other goes to a pressurized seawater tank. The idea is that after you puimp the sanitary tank over to the pier sewage system, you backflush the tank line and the sewage hose from the seawater source.

Of course someone always forgets the backflush on the nights when the temperature dips below the freezing point... of sewage, anyway. And next morning the first thing that the duty section tries to do is to pump the night's sanitary-tank accumulation over to the pier. Once the tank contents hit that chunk of frozen hose, though, and someone cranks up the pump pressure, the hose explodes. It really gets messy...
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 07:29 PM   #13
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

This thread has gotten really gross. And it started so nicely, with Rich wanting to hook-up with friends along his travel route.*

Ha
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 09:03 PM   #14
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

On come on

Everyone loves a good poop story.

heh heh heh heh heh heh heh
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-14-2006, 09:43 PM   #15
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

Congrats Rich on the maiden voyage!

DW is still in recovery after back surgery and complications but we are still looking at a nice Class C early next year. We plan on snowbirding to AZ so we need a bit more room than a B and don't want a Bus like in an A.

The search continues.................
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-15-2006, 06:41 AM   #16
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
This thread has gotten really gross. And it started so nicely, with Rich wanting to hook-up with friends along his travel route.

Ha
I wasn't following this one but then Rich's "you are a sick, sick man" and this quote flew by on my feed reader and I tuned in. Oh, well, some things with potential just don't pan out.

Let me know when the cruiser gets up to DC or Virginia's Northern Neck and lets "hook up" Rich.
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-15-2006, 02:09 PM   #17
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

Rich, we loved the look of you rig... so much in fact it looks like we are heading up to Hersey Pa. on Sat. to see one in person at a big RV show there. Checked locally but know one has any.
Thought we had squeelched the RV desire last year when we didn't see any rigs that would suit us, but the links on your last thread won't leave our thoughts....
Glad to here your shake down trip went well.
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise
Old 09-15-2006, 03:55 PM   #18
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Re: RV Shakedown Cruise

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Originally Posted by 5j404
Rich, we loved the look of you rig... so much in fact it looks like we are heading up to Hersey Pa. on Sat. to see one in person at a big RV show there. Checked locally but know one has any.
Thought we had squeelched the RV desire last year when we didn't see any rigs that would suit us, but the links on your last thread won't leave our thoughts....
Have fun at the show. The Leisure Travel, RoadTrek, PleasureWay and Airstream have similar rigs. Great West is kind of a small, niche manufacturer. For what it's worth, I've had a few calls to them with dumb questions and they have been very responsive. The RV has lots of small touches we wouldn't have thought of, but which are included - sediment filter on the freesh water intake, sewage hose storage built in to the drain area, barbeque valve on the propane, and more. I like getting more than I counted on.

We are going out again tomorrow for an overnighter.
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