Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The shakedown cruise

For our shakedown cruise weekend we picked Pismo Beach - it's just under 200 miles away from home, it's a place we know and love with plenty of RV support, just about right for a shakedown cruise.
The RV park we picked turned out to be essentially a gravel parking lot, no grass or trees. After fighting the LA traffic and the wind to get there I would have been relieved to slip it into any parking spot at all, make a sundowner and call it a day.

Lance is still hobbling around on crutches and a knee scooter so we didn't roam far, all the same it was a good shakedown.

Things that work:
  • Love, love, love shopping at the grocery store and pulling the cart right up to the door of the bus, handing the groceries right in to the kitchen counter.
  • With the RV parked and the slideout open, it's so roomy.
  • With the windows closed the RV was much quieter inside than we expected, couldn't hear the neighbor kids hardly at all.
  • The bed is soooooo comfortable. I'm glad I spent some extra dough on top-shelf sheets and a duvet. My concerns about sharing a queen bed were unfounded - he didn't kick me with the cast-foot even once.
  • I love that when we get where we're going, we are totally there. Everything we need is at our fingertips. Want a sweater - got it. Want a swimsuit - got it. Want a steak and salad - got it. Want power for the laptop - got it. Want to close the door and enjoy alone time - got it.
Thanks that didn't work:
  • The RV parking was way too close for comfort at this park.  The 12 kids that Lance dubbed the "razor brigade" scooted around and around the park whooping and hollering, when they weren't splashing loudly in the pool.  Next time we'll choose our park more carefully to maintain some elbow room.
  • The hydraulic jacks weren't cooperating. Which made it difficult to get any work done without getting queasy, any hopping done by Lance and his crutches got my stomach to lurching.  In the end I carried the laptop outside to a shady table to finish the work.
  • We never did get the water pump or water heater working. Since it's a 12v problem we removed and replaced every fuse we could find. No dice there.
  • Both of which lead me to... the manuals that came with our Tiffin are pretty lame.  We know every inch of them backwards and forwards now and still can't solve our own problems and we usually can. It's clear we need a guru and some hand-holding.
  • We won't be doing any more trips until Lance has two proper shoes. He's supposed to be staying off his foot, but the call of the RV troubleshooting and nature outside had him hopping around way more than the doctor requested.
The cruise home was much better, mostly because there was no wind to fight and we selected a better traffic window for getting across LA, and also because I am getting more comfortable with the way the RV shifts and when the exhaust brake kicks in, so the overall effect is a smoother ride.

I've come to the conclusion that every sport has one particular skill, which when mastered makes everything else work better.  With scuba it's buoyancy control.  With sailing it's learning to balance the boat.  With motorcycle and horse riding it's unclenching your hips and releasing the death grip.  With RVing it appears to be spatial awareness.  I find that it's natural to allow it to drift to the right and hug the lane to my right, which makes Lance nervous and the resulting irritating noises are difficult to ignore.  I have found a spot on the dash which when lined up with the middle divider places us in perfect center of the lane, I will focus and and practice this until it's second nature for I believe this to be the kingpin skill in becoming one with the RV handling and all it's hugeness.

My Dad, a truck driver, calls this sideways drift a "novice mistake". 
Well, I am a novice but not everybody on the road needs to know about it, right?

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