Summertime, whew. It was busy for us but, we had fun. We spent much of the summer camping in our truck. It was almost every other weekend that we took off for a different place, with different circumstances, and different types of campgrounds. We went places that the truck wasn’t happy going, and we weren’t happy taking her. We went places we probably shouldn’t have taken her. It was all for a good cause though.
What we really spent the summer doing was building a relationship with our truck, learning how to drive her in tight places and in traffic. We were also trying to figure out what modifications we wanted to make to the truck to make it more livable for us.
We decided that we needed to add shore power to the truck, so we added 30 amp service to the truck. Additionally we added 2 double plugs to the truck. Then we added a refrigerator/freezer and a microwave. We’ve been out twice with the truck since the additions and it was wonderful to have the additional conveniences.
It’s been 7 months so I suppose it’s time I started catching up on what’s been going on. There has been so much going on that it’ll be a wonder if I can remember it all.
On April 1 we flew down to Phoenix, Arizona to get our truck. Dan, the guy we bought the truck from, picked us met us at Phoenix airport, in the truck. Dan drove us to a parking lot in Mesa where he gave us lessons in driving the truck. He spent 4 or 5 hours instructing us and letting us practice before we finally took the truck out onto the freeway.
Finally, after Dan figured we’d had enough training (or he was tired of dealing with us), we paid him, got the keys and went to our hotel room, so excited that we could hardly sleep, despite being bone-tired from getting up at 2am, the flight and hours of practice.
The next day we started home, stopping overnight at Trish’s sister’s place. We made the trip home, about 950 miles, in 2 days. Not bad for 2 women who’d never driven a truck this big before then.
Our truck is currently in Phoenix, Arizona, waiting for us. Sunday we fly to Phoenix and will spend the next 2 days driving our truck back home. It has been nearly 4 weeks since the truck was offered to us and we agreed to buy it. I think that it’s been the longest 4 weeks of our lives. I’m not sure if I’ll do it along the way or wait until we get home but, I’ll be posting photos of our “new to us” truck and, the trip back home
Yesterday I got a photo of our new truck from the seller. On April 1 we’re flying to Phoenix to pick our truck up, so the seller figured he should wash it up before we got there. Isn’t it beautiful?
The month of February turned out to be a difficult one for us. We were offered a truck that someone was selling. I went to work and learned everything I could about the truck and made an offer on it. Time went on with several emails, back and forth, which were mostly chat, but, not hearing whether our offer was accepted or even a counter-offer. The month closed with not having heard anything back from the prospective seller and we were devastated.
Starting March was difficult for us, realizing that we had to start the search again. Then, out of nowhere, we were offered another truck. I searched for everything I could find on the truck and the modifications that had been made to it. The seller was very up front and has answered every question that I had about the truck.
After speaking to the seller on the phone, we agreed to buy the truck! It’s a 2005 Volvo VNL64T780 over the road tractor that has been modified and is registered as a motor home, including already having what we consider to be the best air-ride 5th wheel hitch already installed on it. We fly to Phoenix, AZ at the end of the month to drive our new truck home!
After spending some time getting used to driving such a huge vehicle, it’s on to the next step in “The Plan”, finding just the right 5th-wheel trailer. We have an idea what we want, but, we’re open to other ideas.
Of course, we’ll be posting photos of our new truck once we get to see it!
The problem with some goals is that, at times, it seems there’s no progress being made. At times like that it helps to take steps that at least make it appear that progress is being made.
Yesterday, Trish and I took a trip up to the Volvo truck dealer in Redding, CA, just to meet with a sales person and to, perhaps, be able to sit in a Volvo truck. Redding is about a two hour drive from here, so we knew that we were in for an afternoon trip. It was a nice drive on the way up, with hazy skies and temperatures of about 60 degrees.
We met with Tom King, a sales person for Western Truck Parts & Equipment. We talked with Tom for quite awhile, explaining what we wanted, and why, as well as chatting about retirement, and grand kids. Then for the “show topper” he took us out to be able to sit in a truck. The truck we sat in was a Volvo VNL670 and what we want is a VNL780, which has a sleeper that’s about 12 inches bigger.
Trish has a difficult time spatially visualizing things so, it was really fun to watch her when we went out to look the truck over. When Tom unlocked the truck so that we could see inside, Trish went over to stand beside the truck. Trish looked up, with the floor of the truck coming to about her shoulders, her eyes got bigger, she said, “This is big!”. When she climbed up into the driver’s seat a great big goofy grin appeared on her face, and she was sold … and the seat wasn’t even aired up!
We had a good chance to look over the insides of the cab and the sleeper while we talked with Tom about various things concerning the truck. All in all, it was a very good afternoon. Afterwards we did a little bit of shopping in Redding and came back home, each of us with this dreamy look on our faces.
I’ve tried keeping a blog a few times in the past but, it never seems to go well. After blogging for awhile I have looked back on what I’d written up to that point and it all seemed so inane. I’ve shared parts of my personal story and I’ve shared my thoughts about politics, and then I’ve wondered who in the world would read what I’d written. However, I’m determined to try this blogging thing again, so, here I go.
I’m retired and Trish has a few more years before she can retire. Our goal is, that once Trish retires we’re going to live/travel North America full-time in our 5th
wheel RV. The purpose of this blog is to document our travels both with words and photos. We want to share our travels with our friends and family. Until that time, I’ll be posting about the steps we take to reach the point where we actually hit the road. Of course, there are likely to be some musings, politics and just plain chit-chat along the way but, the main goal of this blog is to share our travels … once they begin.