Finally, made it out today! Got up at about 6:30 a.m. but it still took four hours to finish getting the last bits packed and the house closed up. I can’t believe that we stuffed everything from our (not full) house refrigerator/freezer into the truck camper refrigerator/freezer. And then of course, cleaned the house fridge out so the ants don’t move in. Oh, it would be so much easier being full time (I didn’t just say that!) It was 92 degrees at home when we left. We drove for a leisurely 5 hours with a nice lunch stop along the grass at a Travel Plaza, and made it into our campsite at Lake Wissota State Park in Wisconsin by 3:30. The temperature on our truck said it was now 71 degrees. Much better!
Our travel plans this summer / fall are to head back out to the west coast again, this time focusing on Washington instead of Oregon. And we’ll be taking the truck camper, not the fifth-wheel.
We’ll be starting by meeting the local Excel fifth-wheel group at a summer outing. (Not sure what the reaction of the Excel group will be when meet them for the first time, not in our Excel, but in our truck camper.) From there, we’re meeting friends in Grand Marais. After that, we have only one commitment, a solar and small inverter install in Oregon.
The entire rest of the trip is mostly unplanned. We will definitely hit the Olympic pennisula. We also expect to go through the Cascades in Washington, including Mt. Rainer and Mt. St. Helens.
Beyond that, it really depends on how we feel and what the weather does. The truck camper is definitely not as comfortable as the fifth-wheel, so we may decide to head home after a couple of months. On the other hand, if we’re still enjoying ourselves, we may work our way to the south, following decent weather, and not come home until Thanksgiving. It’s great to have that flexibility.
We picked up Belle in Michigan. The dealership did a nice job with the walk-through and fixed several minor issues before we took possession. They also made backing the truck under the camper seem doable, although the real test will come when we do it on our own.
Although Arctic Fox truck campers are pretty well-made (for an RV), it has been a bit jarring to be back to the standard RV stuff – locks that don’t like keys, tank levels that might be accurate to the nearest 20 gallons, rv parts that are cheap, and so on. We’ve gotten spoiled with the Excel and were taking its higher-quality for granted.