Loving the RV Life – Three months into our great escape.
It was three months ago that we left Shingletown and California in our rearview mirror. It would be the fourth time that we headed out to cross the country in our motorhome. This time was different because we are no longer residents of the “not so golden” state. Let’s face it. California has gone to hell in a handbag. Enough doom and gloom. Let’s talk about the RV lifestyle.
My last post left off with us enjoying the Chesapeake Bay Thousand Trails Resort in Gloucester, Virginia. On our way to our next park, we would be driving right by the home of our fantastic new friends June and Tom, who we met at Chesapeake. They suggested that we park in front of their house and ride with them to get some lunch. We didn’t have a very long drive that day, and it worked out perfectly. We were overwhelmed when they surprised us with a plaque for our motorhome. We’d talked about all of the RV signs you see with people’s names on them having a picture of a trailer and not a motorhome. June told us that her son made wooden signs and said he could put anything on it that we wanted. “We should talk to him,” I said. Somehow, we never got back to the subject. June and Tom didn’t bring it up because they were planning on surprising us with one. The plaque is perfect. June said that there wasn’t enough room to put Paddy’s name on it, but she had her son put a cat in the front window of the motorhome. We were astonished by their generosity. God blesses us with the most amazing people on our trips. We have made many lifelong friends.
Our next stop was Hertford, North Carolina, 60 miles from Gloucester, to meet up with Jon Moore. We realized that we had an electrical problem while in Fort Eustis, and a search for a mobile technician led to Jon. If you are an RVer, you probably know that mechanics are VERY busy right now. It seems that there are not enough of them to keep up with the current demand. If you have a mechanically inclined teenager that hasn’t figured out what they want to do for a living yet, guide them towards this very lucrative field.
Jon was very busy, but he had my husband go over the error message on our firefly panel and include a picture of our batteries. When he got back to Tommy, he informed him that we had a grave issue. One of the batteries was so swollen that we are lucky it didn’t explode. Jon was going to be in Gloucester the following week for some work, and he agreed to come and take care of the repairs. According to him, our batteries were being overcharged because we never turned off our inverter when we were hooked up to a shoreline.
We have had our motorhome for almost four years, and NO ONE ever mentioned turning off the inverter. It seems like something that the dealer should have gone over. We have taken it to a couple of repair shops for warranty work, and those folks never mentioned it either. Jon ordered our replacement batteries and brought them out to the Chesapeake Bay Resort. He was prompt, honest, and reliable. Since we had been having an issue with our levelers for quite some time, we asked him to look at them. Sure enough, our front-left jack was shot. When he looked into ordering a replacement, he told us that it would be a week to ten days to get the part and two weeks before he could install it. His dad has an RV park in Hertford, North Carolina, where Jon lives, and he told us that he could do the work there.
When you become a full-time RVer, repairs are a real pain in the backside. The warranty people want you to take the rig to a dealer for repairs. We did that in 2019 after returning from our cross-country trip, and the folks at Gander RV in Anderson had it for over two months. They still didn’t get everything fixed. The entire ordeal was frustrating at best. These guys want to keep your RV for at least 48 hours just to diagnose any problems. We tried to get the jack looked at before we left California. But, the folks at Gander couldn’t seem to wrap their brain around the fact that we couldn’t move out of our home for 48 hours while they took their sweet time identifying the issues, much less fixing them.
If you purchase an RV, do lots of research on extended warranties. Do not get talked into buying one at the dealership at the time of purchase. Most rigs are already covered for the first three years of ownership anyway. It depends on the manufacturer, but ours was covered for structural issues for three years or 45,000 miles and one year for the limited warranty. We were talked into an extended warranty for thousands of dollars that will expire at 50,000 miles which is right around the corner. Everything they have had to fix should have been covered by the manufacturer anyway. Sorry for the rant, but I’m hoping to save future RVers some money and trouble.
I was initially only able to get our reservation at the Chesapeake Bay for five days. When we checked in, I was allowed to add a few more. Now we had two weeks to kill in the area. Once Jon told me that it would be a couple of weeks to get to the repairs, I, once again, inquired about extra days with the young man at the front gate. When he said that he had extended our stay to our full 21-day’s I wanted to kiss him. It worked out perfectly. Jon’s dad couldn’t get us into his place until the 10th, and that was the day we had to check out. We spent three nights at the Strick’s Family Campground, and Jon replaced our jack. The day he repaired it, things went so smoothly that Jon invited us to join him and his family for a pontoon boat ride on the Perquimans River in the afternoon. Talk about blessed!
Our next stay at a Thousand Trails park in North Carolina left us with a couple of extra days to spend somewhere else. I found the Farm Country Campground in Williamston. I chose the park because people left rave reviews about the Deadwood Restaurant across the street from the campground. You all know Tommy, and I enjoy our restaurant meals. The campground didn’t have a bunch of amenities, but it was only $35.00 a day for full hookups. As touted online, the food at Deadwood was delicious. And it’s not your average eatery. It has a mini amusement park. If you are ever in the area, it is a must-see. The ribeye steak was to die for!
The park had a pasture next to it that was the home to a horse and her fowl. They were adorable and let me pet them. I gave them an apple and on our second morning there when they saw me they came running. It was so sweet. I took a video of them running to me on the morning of our departure, but I accidentally deleted it. I love horses, and this was such a blessing to me. The Farm Country Campground was a great two-night stop.
Whispering Pines RV Campground in Newport, North Carolina, is where we are now. It’s a bit of a disappointment after the Chesapeake Bay. There are no amenities to speak of besides the pool, which is closed. It’s a nice pool with lots of lounge chairs and some shade. I’m sure it’s a pleasure in season. We have enjoyed the area. Morehead City has lots of excellent restaurants on the water. There are plenty of places to shop in the area too. On the way to Morehead, we stopped at the Walmart and replenished our supplies. They had four live checkers. I planned to boycott the store because they have killed so many jobs with self-checking. I refuse to scan my groceries. It’s not laziness. It’s a matter of principle. The trouble is, one-stop shopping is easiest at Walmart. There’s that soapbox again. Sorry.
I’ll wrap things up. Thanks for hanging with me. I try to include the websites for our stops so that other RVers can check them out. I always leave reviews because I appreciate having them to help me with my decisions. We are headed to Asheville next to see the Biltmore Hotel. I wanted to check it out on last year’s trip, but it didn’t work out. I’m looking forward to sharing some fantastic photos. Then we’re off to Georgia to meet up with some friends. We met Tom and Mary in Virginia two years ago at a KOA and are finally visiting them in their Blue Ridge, Georgia home. I said it before, and I’ll repeat it, God blesses us with wonderful people that become great friends in all of our travels.