FINALLY – Trip #1 (2017): Part 1

NOVEMBER 7, 2017

50 amp power cord

If you’ve been following this series of blog posts, you’ll remember that in It’s Getting Closer – Part 2 we left off with us being at RV General Store picking up our 5th Wheel after being in the shop for some repairs to the electrical system.  In short, it turned out that it was as simple fix . . . a new power cord and a new converter, that the old power cord fried, was all it needed.  This is the second one that has been replace because of a bad power cord.  The power cord had a burnt out the ground and it was unable to charge the batteries correctly.  So when we thought we were ‘plugged in’, we were not.  Thankfully, it wasn’t something worse!!  Just frustrating that it has kept us from being able to use our brand new 2016 Vilano 325RL for 5 months. . . until now!!!  We are FINALLY getting to take a real trip in our new baby!!

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In one of our trips back and forth from Amarillo, TX to Oklahoma City, OK to RV General Store, we decided to explore a State Park we kept seeing . . . Foss Lake State Park.  It is half way between Amarillo & Oklahoma City and we thought it might be a place we could stay to give the RV a good trial run.  Plus, we’d be close enough to RV General Store if we had any issues.   We LOVED it this State Park!!  There are several nice pull thru spots right on the lake and there are trees on most of them.  The only disappointment is there are no sewer connections at the sites but they do have a dump station.  Being new to this RVing thing, we’ll soon find out that is pretty much the case at most State Parks.

We picked up the RV and headed to Foss Lake State Park.  Once we got to the campground, we picked out our spot, #9, and then went up to the station to pay for our stay.  Our original plan was to stay 4 days.  However, with our one day delay at dealership, we could only stay 3 days.  The site we picked was booked on that fourth day.  We were okay with it because we really wanted to get back to Amarillo to pick up some more things before heading out to our next destination.  Each “trip” we’ve made, we have brought a few things.  We can’t really call them trips because they were full of issues and we ended up back at the dealership . . . so this was a REAL TRIP.   This trip to Foss Lake State Park was also to help us see what else we might need to load into or purchase for the RV since it was our first time to actually use the RV for any length of time over 1.5 days . . . that has been the time frame when all HELL would break loose!!

When we purchased our 2016 Vilano 324RL in May, we had planned on having to deal with HOT weather on our first trip(s).  This trip was so different . . . it was COLD! and WINDY!  Our first day there was spent inside the RV enjoying our beautiful views of the lake and just relaxing while we enjoyed finally getting to spend time in our new RV.  At first we just listened to music because we couldn’t figure out how to find TV Channels.  I had found them before at Fort Amarillo RV Park but for some reason I couldn’t figure it out here.  It was the second day before I finally figured out what to do.  OH . . . and we finally got to open up the nice bottle of Champagne that our realtor gave us when he sold our home to make this journey possible.

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I should be hanging out by the cozy fire, instead it’s via an electric heater.

Since this was our first trip to actually spend more than 1.5 days in the RV, we wanted to use this time to test out as many of the features and systems as we could.  Since it was so cold, the first thing we tried was the fireplace.  Guess what?  Yep, it didn’t work.  So we had to break out the small space heater that I threw in . . . just in case.  However, everything else seemed to work just fine.  It seems kind of silly to point out things like the TV, shower, the toilet, the stove, microwave/convection combo, refrigerator, furnace, water pump, black/grey tanks switches and the Maxx vents all worked.  Because the power cord fried two converters, we were surprised that nothing else got fried.  That we knew of at the time.  More about that later.  However, during this trip, those items didn’t hinder us from enjoying it.

Speaking of cold and heat . . . we were very impressed how ‘cozy’ we were in this Rig.  When we had a trailer before . . .  years and years and years ago, it was not insulated.  Knowing this is a recreational vehicle and not a home, we didn’t expect it to be so insulated. . . even tho it is advertised as being insulated for “full time living”.  It also helps that we have double pane windows as well as having the night shades to block even more cold air out.  So we were pleasantly surprised how comfortable we were in this colder weather.  We shall see how it holds up in the heat later on in the summer.



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Our second and third days were much better.  We got to walk around and explore the area.  It was kind of weird . . . when we first got there, we had two neighbors.  One left the second day and the other left on the third day.  So at one time, we were the only one in the campground.  In fact, the rangers (I think that’s what they were) drove by and when I stopped them to ask about a fishing license, one said “Did you run everyone off?”  LOL!!  I guess we did.

We never did get a fishing license because Walmart told us that Oklahoma no longer sold one day licenses.  Then when I talked to the ranger, he said they did.  By that time, it was too late to get one because we were leaving the next day.  However, next Spring, we will be back and will be doing some fishing.


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This was just the beginning of our “first trip” . . .

Stay tuned for more excitement to come from “The Ole Rooster and his Hen” . . .








UPDATE: on Truck & RV situation

blogupdateHubby retired 2 months ago and we’ve been busy dealing with trying to get our 2016 Taxes done, setting up all of the insurance, social security, pensions and medicare plans for hubby and I since he retired.  I can’t believe that was 2 months ago next week!!  Time is flying by so fast and we still haven’t been able to take a trip!!

Looking on the bright side . . . which I tried to do as much as possible . . .  since we haven’t been able to leave on a trip, we are able to watch our 2 grand sons play football.  The 10 yr old is playing tackle football and is doing really well . . . to our surprise!!  He is a very ‘sensitive’ boy but he’s showing his ‘tough side’ in football and he’s loving it.  The 6 yr old is playing flag football.  At this age it’s pretty much just watching them run around the field trying to grab a flag.  And the baby, who is 3, gets to watch his big brothers waiting for his turn to get on the field.


The RAM has been in the shop for about a month due to all kinds of complications.  I am not a mechanical kind of person.  So I will give you the short version . . . drive shaft and transmission are brand new.  (I think that’s what hubby told me).  I just know that he kept telling me “When he gets done with it, we’ll have a brand new truck”.  That is all that matters to me.  That and the fact that now we are safe to pull the 5th Wheel!!!  Especially since she got some new shoes too.  Yep . . . we took off the really cool tires and opted for more safe and a more highway friendly tires.

(Top picture – mud tires; Bottom Picture – more highway friendly tires)

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Now that the truck is out of the shop, we could FINALLY get the 5th wheel inspected and tagged!!  But doing so wasn’t without problems. Why would anything we do concerning this truck and RV be easy???  When we went to the storage unit to just check on the RV . . . you know, since it’s been so long since we’ve seen her . . . guess what we find?  The batteries were completely dead!!  AND, that was with the battery disconnect off (or is it on?)!!  In any case, we were told that when you use that switch, the batteries will not discharge . . . WRONG!!  Thanks to the Vilano Facebook group I’m in, I found out that the hydraulic lifts can still drain the battery even with you use the disconnect switch.  So you should disconnect the ground (black) terminal on the batteries when it’s in storage.  WHY OH WHY did the dealership not tell us this????  I purposely asked them several time “So?  When you use this battery disconnect switch, you will not be using any power . . . correct?”  I got the same answer every time “That is correct.”  Oh well . . .

One of the men on the Vilano Facebook group showed me the battery jumper/charger that he uses and we decided to get one too.  Even tho we already bought one with our first fiasco in Oklahoma City (see story here).  But that one needs power to plug it in.  This new one we purchased doesn’t need power.  You just charge it up and then it’s ready when you need it.  If you don’t use it within 30 days, they say you need to recharge it.  The STANLEY is what the man said he uses and we purchased the SCHUMACHER.  Which worked PERFECTLY I might add.  It got the batteries charged up enough to raise the legs so we could take it to get it inspected.


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Once we got it inspected, we took it back to storage and then took the paperwork to the ANNEX to get the tags where we got a ‘not so good’ surprise.  We thought we were just getting the tags for the 5th Wheel.  What we forgot . . . since we bought this RV at the end of May . . . is that we hadn’t paid the tax on the 5th Wheel yet!!!!  When you are expecting to hear “That’ll be $xx.xx ” but instead you hear “That’ll be $x,xxx.xx”, it’s quit a shock!!!  As hubby said “Well . . . there went the Tax refund!!”  FYI . . . I had just filed our 2016 Tax return a few days before this!!!!!

There are two more hurdles we need to cross over before we can actually take a trip . . . 1) Get the electrical issues on the 5th wheel fixed and all the ‘parts’ installed that were missing when we picked her up months ago and 2) get the cruise control put into the truck at the dealer we purchased it from.  The #1 issue should be easy peasy . . .we hope!!!  Probably just a bad power cord.  Keep fingers crossed that’s all it is and they don’t have to keep it for some major electrical wiring issue.  However, the #2 issue is already a problem.  Yep . . . we can’t have anything go smoothly now can we?

Hubby had been in contact with the RAM dealer in Dallas were we purchased the truck and they said they’d make good on it and replace the computer and get the cruise put in vs us doing it here and they reimbursing us for it.  However, that meant that we had to take the truck to Dallas.  Which is fine but we’ve been waiting on the parts for the RV to come in so we can make the trip to OKC, drop off the 5th Wheel, then go on to Dallas to get the truck fixed and then back to OKC to pick up the 5th Wheel.  We’ve just been so busy, we haven’t had the time to leave.  Now that we do, guess what?  Yep . . . more problems . . . the guy hubby has been talking to no longer works there.  THANKFULLY, one of the mechanics remembered hubby and the salesman conversations.  So we are waiting to hear if they are still going to honor the deal the original salesman made with us.  Just when we thought we were seeing light at the end of the tunnel . . . we see a train coming instead!!!!

Monday morning we are headed to OKC to get the 5th Wheel items handled.  It’s up in the air as to what will happen with the truck and whether we head to Dallas or not.  But we are getting closer to taking our first trip.  It may not be where we originally planned it to be, but we will take one before the end of the year . . . WE HOPE!!!!

Stay tuned for more excitement to come from “The Ole Rooster and his Hen” . . .