11 days to go. We’re still tying up all our loose ends and bringing everything together to make sure we hit that target date… even though that date has changed a dozen times. But the 25th is fairly set. After all, we have reservations at Clinton Lake in Lawrence, KS for 2 nights then another set of reservations in Colorado for a week, and the following week in South Dakota. All paid in full. Beyond that, we’ll make it up as we go, but we’d really rather not push the first couple days back any further.
The Beast is still in the shop. Not Clarke Power Services where the auto leveling system has yet to be fixed, but Byerly RV, where everything else is to be fixed. We did get some really good news from Clarke though…our Good Sam warranty actually covered the job. Most of it anyway. Instead of $2200 and change, we will pay just $690 ($500 deductible and $190 in additional labor charges not covered). I’ll take it. Unfortunately the parts did not arrive in time and Aimee needed the RV for a girls weekend in Hermann, MO so I had them manually retract the jacks so I could take it.
Monday morning when I tried calling to bring The Beast back in to Clarke, their phone lines were down. Rather than wait on them I brought it over to Byerly to have them fix a laundry list of things…
Electric Switch for hot water heater (Installed upside down. Easily fixed.)
Hot Water Heater (Turns out it works fine.)
LP Valve Switch (Replaced. Easy fix.)
Disconnected Power Cable in battery compartment. No idea where it belongs. (Main power cable to coach and Inverter Charger. So kind of a big deal. Reconnected, easy fix.)
Inverter Charger (Power Cable reconnected; wiring to remote replaced. Easy fix.)
Inspect/Service air conditioners (Broken fan blade on A/C. Replace entire unit. NOT good).
Inspect/Service furnace (No issues.)
Backup and side cameras not working (No diagnosis yet).
Grand total: $1500 and change to fix everything (except camera system).
HOWEVER, $1K of that was for replacing the whole front A/C unit. Carrier doesn’t make A/C units for RVs anymore, so replacement parts aren’t readily available either. Without thought, I gave the go-ahead, out of defeat more than anything. Because what’s another $1K at this point? That is, until my lovely wife had the nerve to suggest calling around to salvage yards for the fan blade. End result…I found the part at Colaw RV for $75.00 and will attempt to install it myself when it arrives on Tuesday. Huge win. Big savings.
We listed our Toyota Sienna mini van on Craigslist and it sold in a few days time, on just the second showing. So we promptly began our search for our toad; one that could be flat-towed behind The Beast. We had settled on a Honda CRV, so it was just a matter of finding a good deal. We found that deal at Dave Sinclair Ford. It had been sitting there for 70 days, so we got it for a steal.
In the beginning of this journey… way back when we were making plans, while we still had a home… I had the recurring thought, “wow, with no mortgage and utilities for a year, we’re really going to be able to save some money!” Hilarious. But once we’re past all this and finally on the road, I know it will all have been worth it.
At this stage, we’ve whittled our clothing down tremendously. When we transitioned from our house to my mom’s, we stored away quite a bit of it. Now that our departure is near, we’ve reduced that number down yet again. By the end of this weekend we should have our final selection for the road. For me, it’s really been a lot easier than I imagined. I’m fairly basic when it comes to clothes, and I tend to wear stuff long after they’ve expired anyway. My boys could care less, so long as I don’t make them wear jeans (which I will). And Aimee has actually enjoyed downsizing closets as well, so we’re all pretty much on the same page.
Aimee seems to have a firm grasp on homeschooling. I have a hard time envisioning that piece of the puzzle because it’s all so foreign to me. Sometimes my mind can’t get passed the structured, institutionalized model of public education I grew up with. And I often lose sight of how unbelievably valuable their actual hands-on experiences will be. The world will be my boys’ classroom. It will be our job as parents to guide them as much, or as little, as they need. There will still need to be a certain level of structure involved, but there will be so much more freedom as well. Our ability to manage that freedom will be a challenge.
So at this point all we’re really left with is a good, deep RV cleaning, and then we start loading up. Whatever else happens to pop up will have to be handled on the road. And things WILL pop up.
It’s already been a long journey and we have yet to actually go anywhere. We’ve had our shares of ups and downs, but mentally we’re ready. The finish line is in sight now. Can’t wait to finish so we can finally get started.