It's amazing to me how fast things develop once you decide to make a big change. Suddenly the 16 weeks between now and our journey seem very short. This week was productive and we carved out a lot of details in our departure plans. It's nice to have direction.
Last weekend we took the camper out for the maiden voyage. There is a county park about 35 miles north of us that we pulled the trailer to. We tested out everything. We were able to get TWO showers in without overflowing the grey water tank. This is something that was UNHEARD of in the popup. We also tested out the digital TV antenna. I never thought watching "This Old House" and "Monk" could bring me so much comfort. The weather was beautiful outside but I was busy flipping through channels chasing a familiar feeling from my childhood that I couldn't quite put my finger on. We went to the campground directly from Noah's birthday party so the boys spent the whole weekend pulling out new toys whenever they got bored. I can't really complain because it kept them busy and gave me plenty of cardboard to start fires with. I don't think
this weekend was a good indication of how the boys will be on the camper but Jessica loves it and when she is happy, we are all happy.
A big part of the reason I wanted to take the camper out this weekend was to get a feel for the handling and try to calculate gas mileage. We are towing this large trailer with a full-size SUV (Chevy Tahoe) so special consideration needs to be taken since we don't have the luxury of a full-size pickup or diesel engine. I kept a close eye on the RPMs and concluded that our most efficient speed is between 55-60 MPH. Not really ideal for driving on the Interstates but it should do fine on the highways and back roads. Since we have an entire year I am not worried about it. I look forward to touring the country the way people did before the interstate highway system came along and ruined everything. I might be bias on this topic since I am a touring cyclist but I can't wait to get my kicks on ROUTE 66!
We decided we are going to sell the house. We are listing it next week. I know it sounds like an extreme measure but we have been looking for a way to get out from under this house for a couple years now. Our real estate agent said that the market in our area is dry right now so it gives us a good chance. Home values have finally recovered to the point where we can actually make a few bucks on the sale. (Literally a FEW bucks. About $200 after closing). So, if anyone is looking for a well kept, brick ranch in a great school district I know a place.
We are taking the camper to the Pinery in Grand Bend, ON, Canada this weekend. It will be her longest voyage ever. Last night I grabbed our rig from storage and it was running hot. I expected this might be a problem. My dad is a mechanic and he says there are things we can do to beef up the cooling system. We will see how it goes this weekend. If it runs hot then I will consider making the modifications to my truck or I may just upgrade to a full size truck.
We have notified everyone in our friends, family and work network of our plans. Everyone is being really supportive. If I forget to thank you all later, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING AWESOME!