So how was our first RV trip? Setting out with our 2014 Open Range TT was an exciting and nerve wrecking experience at the same time. The hitch and sway-bar system for the travel trailer got installed two days before the trip. The night before leaving we realized that we did not have a few essentials for the RV such as RV safe toilet paper, food, plates, cups, dish & hand soap, upon other items. Even when we thought we had bought everything we needed, there were still things missing. Our leveling blocks came in the morning of the day we were set to depart, we realized our batteries for the RV did not work as we were hooking up the TT to the truck, and we inadvertently left without our outside mat we were looking so forward to using. We still maintained our positive attitudes and stayed excited about our adventure.
The drive to the springs took a tad longer than expected. After getting stuck in traffic for almost 40 minutes, we finally made it to the campsite where we began the frustrating task of backing in our trailer. We used our phones to call each other. I stood behind the rig making sure Thomas wasn’t going to hit anything, and giving the most confusing instructions ever. After three failed attempts to back in, we finally managed to succeed on the fourth try. Meanwhile our neighbors across the way had perched up in their camping chairs, with popcorn, eager to watch the show. They managed to see bickering, hands flailing, and a few sour faces as we struggled to complete our site set up.
After the backing we decided to get the RV plugged in so we could get the A/C and fridge running. Then we immediately worked on getting the TT level. Luckily those leveling blocks came in because they made that part a breeze. All we had to do was lay the blocks in front of each tire and pull the rig forward. Within minutes we were level from side to side. Then came the leveling from front to back. Now I’m not what was going wrong, and I’m not sure even now how to successfully level from front to back because when I laid the level down in the living room floor it showed that we were too low in the front. However, when I laid it down in the front bay of the RV it showed that we were too high. After raising the TT up and then back down and then up again we finally decided to place a coke can on the living room floor and if it didn’t roll one way or the other we figured we were good. At that point we extending our jacks and let out the slides. We then finished hooking up the water hose and black tank hose and decided to check the leveling one last time.
Of course…just as things were starting to look up, and we thought we were level…the slides being let out caused our TT to become un-level from side to side again. At this point I was not about to let the jacks back up, re-hook the TT to the truck, and do this all over again. No Thank You! The leveling wasn’t off by much so we simply decided to stick with how we had it.
After the struggle of setting up it was time to enjoy our weekend. Our stay was pretty enjoyable overall. There were deer and turtles everywhere we went. We also saw a few wild turkeys. There were walking trails we adventured on, and a lake we fished. The springs were freezing cold with a deep cave you could dive down into, and we managed to even have a fun time playing cards under the stars. Now Wekiwa Spring is not the best spring in Florida to visit by any means, but for a short weekend getaway it was perfect for us.
By the end of the weekend we realized how much work it is to have an RV. Breaking down our camp took longer than setting it up, but it was not anywhere near as frustrating. We didn’t realize how long it would take to drain our gray and black tanks, and even after 30 minutes of black tank draining we still showed 1/3 full. Of course we forgot to bring our black tank water hose to flush it with so that could be the piece that was missing from us being able to fully empty it. At this point we still don’t know what we were doing wrong when it comes to that. We did manage to get the gray tank to show empty, however. I would have to say the worst part about breaking down camp was the heat. We cleverly waited until almost noon to begin the site break down, and in Florida that just isn’t the best time to decide to work outside. It was already scolding hot out and extremely muggy. On top of that, I decided to do it all in bluejeans. Being hooked up and ready to go was an extremely happy time for me.
At the end of the day we survived and went back home exactly how we came in….happy….excited….and feeling accomplished having our new found knowledge.