Stocking the 5th Wheel

A lot has happened in the last week.

We left our friends in Louisiana Tuesday morning and arrived at a campground in Joplin, MO about 5:30 that afternoon. It was a lovely drive but we've learned a huge lesson. We'd read of many RVers saying they never planned to drive more than 250 miles a day - or 4 to 5 hours. Now we know why. It's very tiring riding in a truck for long periods that's pulling a 5th wheel! We were exhausted when we got here! But we got settled, ate supper, and still managed to get to Bible Class at some friends' house. Lovely evening.

Wednesday we ran around Joplin doing errands and picking up our mail. Lots of little loose ends we needed to finish off that we hadn't had time to do before we left for Florida. Then Mike hitched up the 5th wheel and dropped me off at our friends while he went and got 4 new tires for the unit. When we checked out the tires at the dealership, they'd been shined with something so they looked like new tires (great tread). But as we drove, that shine disappeared and the dry rot cracking appeared. We were not pleased! Made it here safely but wasted no time getting those tires replaced.

Unfortunately, while replacing the tires, they discovered that the brake pads were worn and peeling. That really upset Mike because, although we bought the unit 'AS-IS', by state law the dealership was required to do a safety check and fix things like that before we drove away. (Plus we'd been assured when we were buying it, that the tires and brakes were in good condition.) We already knew our truck needed new brake pads so Mike made an appointment for Friday to get all those done.

Thursday we spent some time in the storage unit and started getting real discouraged because things hadn't been packed into it in logical order - i.e., things we knew we wouldn't take with us in the back and things we would take with us in the front. UGH! Got a few things but we were having a lot of trouble locating what we wanted.

Friday, Mike dropped me off at our friends at 7:30 while he took the unit to get those brakes fixed. I was able to do our laundry and have a good visit with Donna. But Mike didn't come and didn't come and didn't come so I finally called him after lunch. They had finished all the brake pads but had discovered that the brakes on the rear axle of the rig wouldn't engage even though they were getting electricity. Now explain to me how those brakes passed a safety test! It took some time but finally they had everything working. Mike is just amazed at the difference when he hits the brakes now. Never having towed something like this before, neither one of us knew how it was supposed to feel. I will be writing to the General Manager of the dealership and complain again. This is just ridiculous. We have learned a big lesson - WATCH them do the safety check and confirm to ourselves that everything really is alright. Afraid we couldn't recommend this dealership to anyone.

We had finally received the title to the unit on Thursday after the dealership over-nighted it to us. The registry was just a few blocks from where the brake work was being done so Mike planned on going over there when the work was finished and getting it registered. I called ahead and asked about getting the unit inspected but they said because it was a pull-behind, we didn't need an inspection. Yay!

Mike finally got over there about 4 and was told that yes, he did need to get it inspected; to go across the street to get it done. The man there said there was no way he could inspect something so large so Mike called me completely frustrated. I was shocked at what the woman in the registry had told him and suggested he go back and tell them what I was told. The woman apologized all over herself. She hadn't picked up that Mike was registering a tow-behind, not something with a motor in it. Sigh. Then he found out if he used his debit card to pay for for the registration (we had to pay more tax over what we paid in Florida), they would charge an extra 2.8%. So off he trudged with the 5th wheel in tow to find an ATM machine. It was 5 pm before he got back to pick me up. He was exhausted but everything was done. We are legal and safe!

Saturday we slept in and finally left the campground in time to have lunch. Then back to the storage unit. This time we had better luck finding lots of stuff which was a big relief. Now we're just wondering if we've gotten everything we need AND if we've gotten things we really don't need. Guess we'll find out through experience. We can always change things around when we're back here in the Fall. I have realized that I forgot to grab a small bin that contains all the fabric to make a specific quilt. I'd hoped to work on that while we're in New England. Kind of tough to do when you don't have it with you. Mike was 'thrilled' when I told him we have to go back to the storage unit before we leave.

While we were doing all the searching yesterday afternoon, the temp got up to 87. UGH! There was a good breeze that helped but if you were in the back of the unit, you weren't getting any breeze. We drank lots of water and took breaks but we were both miserable. By the time we got back here at a quarter to 6, it was all I could do to crawl in the door. Mike wasn't a whole lot better. Thank heavens for air conditioning! I was so hot, it was like I had a furnace inside me. I never do well in heat! I sat for a while then took a cool shower and started to feel 'human' again.

We needed to go grocery shopping but Mike decided to take me out for a really nice dinner first. A last splurge. We went to Jim Bob's Steak & Ribs on Range Line in Joplin. What a fabulous place! We lived here over 2 years and never went to that place before. Wish we had. They were running a special on a 12 oz prime rib with 2 sides. It was fabulous! Biggest 12 oz. prime ribs we had ever seen; they had to have been well over a pound and the smokey, BBQ flavor was wonderful!

The service was what really impressed us though. We placed our order and had all of our food and drinks in less than 10 minutes. Everything from iced tea to hot, fresh out of the oven rolls, their own whipped butter, a generous salad, huge baked potatoes, butter-sauteed mushrooms, and those huge prime ribs. The waitress made sure no empty dishes remained on our table but quietly whisked them away as we finished something. The place was very busy (it was Saturday night) but we noticed that all tables were experiencing the same, efficient service. It has a Texas/Western theme, is spacious inside, and just all-in-all a great place to eat. If you're ever in Joplin, give it a try!

Today we are working at finding a place for everything we brought back yesterday so that tomorrow morning we'll be ready to take off. It's going to be interesting today; we need to get our sea legs. The wind is blowing pretty hard; I'm told to expect gusts up to 40 mph. We are rocking and rolling. We're expecting thunderstorms this afternoon with all this wind. We might have to bring the slides in which will really make it tight putting things away. Here's hoping it doesn't get that bad.

Tomorrow is supposed to be calm and sunny; good day for traveling. We've checked the weather for our route across the country and it looks like we'll have good traveling all week.

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout


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