Sunday, May 29, 2016

Shakedown Report and Upcoming Trips

We're still waiting.  Waiting to really, seriously, finally, and with great commitment take off in our motorhome and see the country.  Waiting is painful.  My DW has told me that I'm wishing my life away and should live in the moment.  But that's easier said than done.

I've finally decided to retire in August 2016, and my wife will do the same the following April.  That means we're within 12 months of "taking off".  But after a dozen years of researching RVs, renting them for vacations, and buying our own dream home on wheels late last year, I'm chomping at the bit to hit the road.

Since we bought it, we've visited Stone Mountain in Georgia, attended the Newmar Rally at the 2016 Tampa RV Show, stayed at Lazydays in Tampa for a few days, camped at Fort Wilderness, and made two or three small 3-5 day trips to local parks.  The Newmar techs at the rally fixed a few minor things and we took it into a dealer for a few other minor tweaks.  I'm really glad we got it when we did, because this year of "shakedown" cruises has been invaluable.

Along the way, we've already met a lot of interesting people, like our friends Norm and Ellen - who also bought a 2016 Dutch Star (see their great web site/blog at  Seasoned full-timers have given us incredible insight into the lifestyle, and we have heard more great stories about RVs than we can count.

The second half of this year is going to be a busy one.  In July, we'll be staying at Up the River, a campground in Pigeon Forge, TN and then at the KOA in Cherokee, NC.  We'll follow that up with a week at Davidson River campground in Brevard, NC.  The trip will be topped off by attending Camp Freightliner in Gaffney, SC, where we'll spend a couple of days learning about our chassis and getting the one-year recommended factory service.  We'll spend three nights in their FHU parking lot.

After that trip, we'll return to Florida for a few weeks before we head out again around the third week of September.  By then, I'll be retired and will really be able to kick back and take it easy!  This time, our destination will be Nappanee, IN, where Newmar will be replacing our upholstery under warranty and we'll ask them to look at any coach issues we may have by then. (I have a blog almost finished that talks about the upholstery changeout, but want to confirm a few things first).

After an estimated 1.5 week stay at the factory, we'll head to southern Indiana to visit family for a couple of days, then on to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky for a bit of siteseeing.  Once that's done, it's back down to our second home in Brevard, NC for a few weeks before we head back to Florida.

I can't wait to get things going.   Our house is about to go up for sale and we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.


  1. Mike...I hope you guys have an excellent trip. Please let us know all about Davidson River. We spent two weeks at Mama Gertie's Hideaway...and loved it. While exploring Brevard...we found a bike trail that we got onto from the Oskar Blues Brewery parking lot. It meandered for a while on asphalt by residential housing and parks...but after crossing the road near Home Depot...we found a BEAUTIFUL trail that follows the Davidson River. It brought us right up to the campground entrance. We're anxious to know more about the campground...for us --- nothing could be better than a campground with bike trails...and a bike trail that goes to a Brewery??? Even better!!!

    Safe travels!!!

    1. Charlie - I'm familiar with the trails you describe. For others who may be reading this, the road you crossed was actually Highway 280 in front of the Lowes. You can park your car in the back of the Lowes parking lot and ride your bike right across the street into very nicely shaded (and wide!) paths that run along the river. Brevard is a beautiful area; that's why we have a home there!

    2. Ah must have been the post ride offerings at Oskar Blues that got me mixing up Lowes with Home Depot. We love the area...and look forward to putting it on our annual list of must visit places.