Thursday, June 23, 2011

Maiden Voyage...Now a Memory

Yep, now my maiden voyage is just a memory...some of them great memories, some not so great.  Sounds like life, doesn't it?  

Before I go on I'd like to welcome two new followers:  Denise and I don't see a blog listed for you and 2 Tramps from Tramp's Camp.  Thanks for joining me on my journey.  In your case, I was on my first journey when you started as followers.  Stay tuned for more.  

Overall, I'd give my first trip a thumbs up.  I thought the RV park was great and I loved the unobstructed view of Granite Lake from my location.  When I first drove into my space I noticed that the man in the motorhome to my left was sitting outside leaning towards the side of his motorhome and my first thought was...TV.  I was right.  My hope was that he kept the volume down. Then I got out and smelled cigarette smoke and my first thought was...oh no, smokers.  I can't be by smokers.  Fortunately, I only smelled cigarette smoke once and I never heard the TV.  However, after I called it a night I heard the TV watcher clearing his throat every couple of minutes for hours. Then I heard them again at 6:30AM the next morning when he started his diesel pusher!!!

My first night in Olivia wasn't all that great.  I climbed into the overhead sleeper and it was pretty warm.  But it was better then the cold I'd been experiencing at home so I wasn't complaining.  I managed to get to sleep, despite the throat clearing, and woke up in the middle of the night freezing. So I moved down to the couch.  It wasn't all that great because it was too short.  Then the birds started serenading me at 3:45 AM and I wasn't happy. When the diesel pusher started at 6:30 AM, I gave up and got up.  

I started out my day walking, walking, walking.  Even though I hate Walmart, it was the closest store, besides Costco, so I walked there.  I wanted to buy ear plugs!!  Then I decided to go join Costco and walked around there.  The RV park was immediately behind Costco so it wasn't too difficult to get there.  First time I've ever been to Costco and couldn't find a think to buy.  When I got tired of walking I decided to check out my new rocker that I got at Camping World and I couldn't get it to open.  I was not happy.  Fortunately, before I took off on another walk, a man in the row behind me asked if he could check and see if he could fix and I gladly handed it over to him.  He got it fixed and I really appreciated that.

My second night I decided to inflate the mattress in the couch and that turned out to be a disaster.  After it was blown up I noticed that the mattress was resting at an angle  but decided to give it a try.  Not good.  It was so uncomfortable that nothing could help, so I deflated it and went back up over the cab.  That wasn't really comfortable either but it was better than the inflatable mattress.

A new motorhome pulled in late in the afternoon in the space to my left and I never got a chance to meet them.  The folks from Boise lent me their DVD of RV with Robin Williams so I was inside watching that.  They woke me up at 5:45 AM sitting outside their motorhome having a very loud conversation (not fighting, just talking loud).  I couldn't believe it!!  That had something to do with my decision to leave a day early.  I guess I need to beware of the space to my left. 

Here's how Olivia looks in the sun and heat in an RV Park where she belongs, instead of in storage...

Here's the view from our space...

When talking to the folks from Boise, they told me about a website that might have a better solution to helping my dog and it looks like this...

I think it looks more comfortable than this one...

and it's a lot cheaper. 

I know this trip was a great learning experience for me.  I have some things to think about but I'll take a couple more trips before making a decision. The most surprising is that I don't think Olivia is big enough.  I also don't care for the sleeping accommodations and I would prefer to have a dedicated sleeping space and not over the cab.  I had no trouble driving her and that's really important.  I would have liked to have a vehicle to drive around once I arrived in Clarkston or anywhere else I go.  If I were going to be there longer I would have rented a car.  If I were to full-time, I don't believe there's enough outside storage.  I took hardly anything this trip because it was so short so storage wasn't an issue.  I need to figure out how to get my dog inside so that we can take off whenever I want, or full-time if I decide that's the way to go.  I don't want to have to arrange dog sitting when I want to take off...I want to take off.  I think can hear the road calling me.  

If I were to replace Olivia I'm thinking a fifth-wheel.  I think they're the most livable and then I'd have a running around vehicle.  I towed one to Tucson back in '93 and lived in it for two years, without any slideouts.  The ones I looked at before I bought Olivia are pretty impressive.  

I have lots to think about.

Missing the sun and warmth,



  1. Sounds like you needed a campground with bigger sites to me. Sorry you had so many negatives for your first outing. :(

  2. WOW! Just look at all the important things you have learned on this trip. I think you're right about needing more space. Sometimes we are fearful of the big rigs but once we experience the lack of room it seems clear that an upgrade is needed. As far as inconsiderate people in campgrounds ... well... that is gonna happen. Let's just hope it doesn't happen often.

  3. sounds to me like you have a lot to think about and maybe some decisions to make?..give Oliva a few more chances before you make a big decision!

  4. Think about the kind of traveling you wish to do. Views are great for touring and moving around alot. Also great for escaping civilization and crowded RV parks! I just got a 4WD tow car for my View and am looking forward to using it when I wish to park the RV for a number of days in 1 place (or drive 4WD trails). But if I were giving up a house and full-timing, I'd want a slightly bigger rig. 5th wheels are huge and seem to have every convenience these days. But personally, having to drive around in a pickup truck and having to get my dog up in and out of a big truck would not be ideal for me or her. So, I've tended to keep thinking along the lines of a MH and smaller tow car instead. I really like the ability to pull off to a pretty side of the road, and immediately make lunch, etc without having to climate-control the rig first. Super convenient on rainy days too! But, if I were looking for a rig to stay parked in one spot for a long time, a 5th wheel would certainly be tops on the list.

    Give Olivia a bit more time and practice. New places always feel uncomfortable at first until you make them your own.

  5. I think that a 5th wheel is not such a good idea for someone traveling alone. I never felt quite as contained when I traveled with my friend in her fifth wheel. It's a lot to hook up. Also, when you said you weren't going to have a toad, I was a bit concerned about that. Hopefully you can possibly get a rig with a dedicated bed AND a little car to pull with it. Out MoHo is only 26 feet, but the bed is full time and accessible. Had to give up the dining table for the bed but it's worth it. We have a comfy sofa and small tables that we use. Just some thoughts. I couldn't sleep in one of those cabover thingies very well either, too tight! Good shakedown trip, Jeana, you learned a lot.

  6. We rented a 25' class C Cruise America that had a bed in back and a cab over as well. Our adult son slept in the cab over and was quite uncomfortable. Seems to me you should be able to improve the comfort level with a better mattress. I would think the View, being Diesel and all could pull a small towed if you wanted to.

  7. You learned alot on your maiden voyage. But here are a few tips for sleeping. Get one of those new memory foam mattress' There expensive but well worth the money. I bought a chair bed and the mattress was really not very good. So I got a 2.5 foam mattress and it is great. I guess you didn't find your ear plugs. I saw them the other day at walmart and it was a bag full.
    People who RV get up so find those ear plugs and maybe a more out of the way camp ground.
    There is a lady pulled in here last week with a 24' class c and she lives in it full time. She gave me the tour today and didn't even charge me .25 It is very much like mine but much newer. Give Olivia some time and you will know what you need to live in it with out bringing to much stuff. To much stuff is was caused me to buy this little trailer. But I do love it.
    I like the new dog helper harness better than to first one it does look a lot more comfy for the dog. Good luck with finding a way to take him along.

  8. Yes, the new dog harness does look a lot more comfortable for your dog, and probably easier for you.

    It sounds like you're re-thinking the View. I'm really sorry your trip didn't go as well as you'd hoped.

    I got a 2.5" memory foam mattress topper at Wal-Mart, covered it with my regular mattress topper and a sheet, and it gives me something to wrap my down comforter/duvet around. It's very comfortable laying on top of the bunk mattress. With a comfortable mattress and ear plugs, maybe it would have been different?

    I also woke up one morning with my neighbor, at 5 am, coughing and spitting (really nice!), and smoking, the smoke coming into my bunk window. I just closed the window, turned up the radio and luckily they moved the next day. That's the problem with parks that have sites really close. But now I have nice neighbors, which the rest have been.

    The people parked around me are very quiet in the mornings. It's like a ghost town, except occasionally someone leaving in their car or walking their dog. And remember, if you don't like your neighbors, you can move to another site. I hope you DO give Olivia a couple more tries. See if you can make some adjustments - it would be much easier than changing the RV.

  9. There is are real advantages to having a motor home over a fifth wheel, especially if you are traveling solo. Toads are easy to hitch up and unhitch. You don't have to leave your rig if you have to pull over for a potty stop or a lunch break. If you pull over and feel unsafe, you just drive away without having to exit the rv and enter the truck. I'm with the others...give Olivia another chance before you make a decision but then do what is right for YOU.

    Like that harness thing. My dogs are having trouble jumping into the car now so we may have to look into that. We have been picking them up buyt at 45 and 59 lbs. that gets old in a hurry!

    Good luck with everything and keep us informed.

  10. Sorry to hear your first adventure wasn't all good but sometimes that's how it goes. I have been very surprised how many RV'ers are smokers. We cruise on a sailboat in the winter and very, very few cruisers smoke. I guess it is just a different lifestyle.
    We have a 27' travel trailer that we live in all summer. The bed has a very comfortable mattress but I have added a pillow-top mattress pad that makes it feel luxurious. You might try that...and a couple extra blankets. Can you turn the heat up? I hate being cold!
    You're right about the lack of storage but if you look closely, most of the trailers/rv's/5th wheels are lacking in that area.
    Keep traveling. You'll find lots of wonderful places and people that will balance out the not so wonderful.

  11. If you decide to investigate a different rig, I can really, really recommend a Lazy Daze. You can get one that is only 25 feet long, and will have all that you need to be comfortable.

    Check out for floor plans and pictures.

    Virtual hugs,


  12. You may want to try out some state parks, they have large sites. You have to check out the websites because not all of the sites are full hookups and sometimes you have to make a reservation if you want to be guaranteed a full hookup.