Country Roads Recap – Lessons Learned

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  • Trip Duration: 11 days
  • Miles traveled in RV: 914
  • Miles traveled in rental car: 1,293
  • Campgrounds visited: 3

We’ve been back now for lilt over a week and have had enough time to reflect on the good, and not-so-good, times we had during our adventure to West Virginia.

We rented the same motorhome we took on our Maiden Voyage to Maine last year. I’m not sure if it was because the motorhome was broken in and had 10,000 more miles on it, or, if I was used to it, but this trip I had no problems maintaining 65 mph on the highways. That is of course, until we got close to West Virginia and started up and down the mountains. Even though the speed limit was 70, I maintained 60  to 65. The FR3 ran great and I was able to average 8.6MPG, that’s significantly higher than the 5 mpg we averaged on the Maine trip.

I guess we were the first to rent the RV this season because it was not de-winterized. You can imagine my surprise when after hooking up the first night, I turned on the faucet and had ‘pink” water (antifreeze). It wasn’t hard to correct, all I had to do was run all of the faucets and shower until the water was clear and not foamy. Unfortunately, our first stop did not have sewer hook-ups so the grey tank was 2/3 full on the trip from Pennsylvania to West Virginia. Maybe that’s why we got better gas mileage and the added weight probably helped me to maintain control.

The only other “issue” I had with the RV was the windshield curtain did not work. That wasn’t too much of a problem the first night because we faced an open field. However, once we got to Briar Point there were more campers around us, and with us being home all dayI was a little concerned that someone could see in and know there wasn’t anyone home. A couple of emails back and forth with Robyn at Scott’s and I was able to get it lowered. Great! windshield covered, nothing to worry about now.  Well not exactly, Just for the hell of it, a couple of days before we were going to leave Briar Point, I decided to try to raise the curtain, and you guessed it, it wouldn’t go up. I had to manually roll up the curtain. it took me a while to do it, and some strength since my hands are bigger than the allowable space. Eventually I did get it up and decided to leave it alone since by this time there was only three or four campers around us.

An important lesson I learned was with the rental car. Since we just switched our insurance over to Progressive, I wasn’t sure what , or if anything, they covered on rental cars. To be on the safe side, I added all of Enterprise’s insurance which almost doubled the cost of the car. I checked our policy when we got back and we are covered, so I won’t make that mistake again.

We bought three new items to use on this, and future trips:

Stok Gridiron grill
Stok Gridiron grill

The first was a portable Stok grill. this is a really nice grill that has different inserts you can use depending on what your cooking. I used the flat griddle insert to cook bacon for breakfast. It worked really well and the bacon was perfectly cooked.  The grill breaks down so that transporting, and storing it, is very easy.

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The second was an Ivation dimmable , rechargeable, LED lantern. This lantern is awesome and really lights up the area. It lasts for a really long time (up to 9 hours) and has a USB cable so you can recharge it by connecting it to your computer. Definitely worth the money.

Winegard Pathway X1 Lastly, and most expensive, was the Winegard satellite dish and two TV receivers. Some might think this was a crazy purchase for someone who doesn’t own an RV yet, and that may be true, however, we like to watch our news programs and Jeopardy. Except for the first stop, cable was not provided at any of the campsites. When I look into the over-the air reception for Briar Point, it did not exist. So we made the purchase and set up a “pay as you go” service with Dish Network.  The satellite dish worked great at Briar Point except for one of the receivers was bad and wouldn’t connect. I ended up returning it to Dish, when we got back, after they sent me a replacement.

It’s an investment and can be used on all of our future trips. When we go full-time, the coach most likely will have a built-in satellite system and I will then sell this one on Ebay.

All in all, it was a very good trip and we had a great time at most of the campgrounds. If you’ve been following along you’ve already read my reviews. I will say, compared to West Virginia, New Jersey is flat, and Briar Points golf course looked very difficult with all of them “hills”.  Also, I have a lot of respect for West Virginia drivers who drive up and down the mountains at 70 mph on a regular basis. I apologize to all that came up behind mean had to change lanes to pass. Surprisingly, no one ever blew their horns, or “saluted” me, which is how I knew I wasn’t in New Jersey.

Thank you for the hospitality West Virginia.

 

Until next time,

Safe travels to all.

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