52014-04-20 – After months of searching for the “perfect” 5th wheel trailer, we made our purchase in February and selected a site at Hidden Valley Campground (driving through about a foot of snow to pick out the site. Thank goodness Mickey had 4-wheel drive!). So, now it is two months later and the two hours of training on all the RV systems seems like it was a lifetime ago, and now we need to put our memories to the test. Since we have not yet taken the plunge to buy a “350 class” dual rear wheel pickup truck, we contacted RCI-Wave to have the 5th wheel delivered. We arrived at the site about an hour before the driver, so we could see the site without the snow and finalize our plan on how we wanted to situate our home on wheels.
When the driver called to say he was about 30 minutes away, Judith went to the road to guide him in. When she saw the trailer coming down the road, she was literally jumping up and down with excitement. While I was a little more restrained, I was pretty excited too.
Where we wanted to place the trailer was a little challenge for the driver – something about that big tree … But he did a pretty good job, and we are happy. We found out just how soft the ground is, and just how heavy 12,500 pounds is; and it has changed our plan for leveling. We didn’t end up with the trailer as level as we would like, but will bring some more 2×12’s to improve that!
We decided to place the trailer well back on the campsite. While it was a good idea and makes a lovely view out our back picture window, it DID add some complications — like our power connection (which is at the back of the trailer) is now almost 75 ft. from the connector (our 25 ft. cord just isn’t going to reach!); and the water connector is now about 50 ft. from the “pedestal”, so again a problem with our 25 ft. hose. Oh, and the dealer completely forgot to replace the missing tank drain hose. Off to Walmart!
We knew that we were connecting a 50 AMP trailer to a 30 amp connection, and we knew there would be some limitations. When we ended up with 75 ft. of electrical cable, we also knew there would be some voltage drop — we soon learned just what that means! Our trailer (we have decided to call her “Lucy”) has a power protection unit installed. We learned that whenever the Microwave or Toaster Oven or similar appliances are running, the voltage drops very close to – or sometimes below – the low voltage protection point of 104 V. That trips the protector and all “shore power” is turned off. So, now we know that before we run any power hungry appliances, we need to turn off any sensitive items and then temporarily turn OFF the power protection circuit. When we’re done with the appliance, we can turn the protector back on. Not the most convenient, but the site is worth it!
The staff at Hidden Valley are really great! When we were figuring out the electrical stuff, two of the owners came down (one is actually a trained electrical engineer) to help us figure out what was happening. The other helped me figure out which switches controlled the electric & propane hot water heater. (Hot water for a shower is a wonderful thing!)
I grilled some steaks for dinner, while Judith made the baked yams and asparagus spears. While “I” was out slaving over a hot grill, she was sitting reading a book while the asparagus cooked in the microwave. This “camping” stuff is tough!
This morning we took a little walk around the campground. While many people leave their RV’s at the campground over the winter, as we will this fall, we are among the first people to arrive for the new season. The creek and the setting are really lovely.
When you come to visit, here’s what you’ll see (although Judith may – or may not – be standing there!
This morning, before lunch, we took a little hike — and walked to PENNSYLVANIA !!! Evidence that spring is upon us was everywhere.
But before you are “too” impressed: