We took our trip last week to acquaint ourselves with our new RV, and to see what we need to learn and do before we make our way around the country this summer.
Dennis made reservations at an RV park at Lake Havasu. We knew nothing about the area, but decided to give it a go. Lake Havasu City, Arizona sits on the Arizona – California border. Driving our RV to this location would take 4 to 5 hours.
We had this trip planned for a few weeks, so much was done in advance. We had loaded it with the stuff that would stay there permanently. This included bath and kitchen towels, dishes, flatware, and all kitchen tools and cookware. We do not have it down to an art in getting it ready. The morning of the trip, Dennis brought the RV to the house. I had all our clothes on hangers and in a laundry basket to put into the bedroom. Since we cannot open the slides on our street, we just hung everything in the closet that we could open as the other one is blocked by the bed being slid in. I figured I could organize the clothes in the proper drawers and closets upon arrival. We loaded the food in last and headed for the western boundary of the state. We were not towing our car on this trip. There has to have some work done on the RV and the car to make it towable. We were good not needing to depend on a vehicle on this trip.
It is really fun sitting in the passenger seat. The huge windshield and side windows give a panoramic view of the scenery. I must say that Arizona is an amazing state. In northern Arizona one drives through high mountains that are forests with evergreens. It gets cold there in the winter and often has snow covered ground. Going south in Arizona is the desert. The cactus start popping up and the color is more brown—it’s desert but also with palm trees. This ride west took me by surprise. Once we got off Interstate 10 and headed north to Lake Havasu City, the landscape again changed. I am not sure how to describe it. It’s like giant rocks and dirt hills just popped up out of the ground. I couldn’t take my eyes off the terrain. Then we started following the Colorado River as we were approaching our destination. I have never before seen a river where the water was so blue. It’s nothing like the muddy Mississippi that I was used to living most of my life in St. Louis.
The wind on our trip was crazy. Dennis had to work hard to keep the RV in its intended lane. You could feel every gust, and when a truck passed us, you could feel the sudden pull. Dennis already has an appointment to get a larger sway attachment that will prevent the wind gusts from trying to push the RV.
We arrived at our destination in the late afternoon. I was tired and cranky. I was looking forward to getting our RV settled, and making a quick dinner of eggs and toast—the only thing that sounded good to this weary traveler. Our spot for parking was not a pull-through. Dennis was okay with that, and I had to trust that he could handle backing this big rig into place. We arrive at our location, and there was a speed boat sitting in it. Dennis got out and knocked on the door of the neighboring RV. It was their boat, and they hooked it up to their truck and moved to another destination. As I mentioned before, I was tired and cranky. Dennis had to get the RV leveled, although it had automatic levelers, which made the job simple. He hooked up the water, but there was no sewer hookup. We were aware of this when we made reservations. Because these spaces were directly on the lake, they could not have sewers that close. A sewer service arrives twice a week for those RVers if they don’t want to move their rig to a dump station.
Everything was set up. I went to the refrigerator to get the eggs and butter to whip up a quick dinner. There were no eggs and butter! How did I miss that? We loaded a lot of food from the refrigerator and freezer, but somehow missed the eggs and butter. I was so tire and dismayed. Dennis said that was no problem. There is a little store at the entrance and he would walk there to pick some up. About a half hour later he arrived back at our RV, but I saw him exit a car. I thought some kind soul offered him a ride. Actually, he went to the little store, and it was closed—found out later that they carry hardly any groceries at all. Dennis called an Uber and went to the Safeway across the bridge. It was my lifesaver for that evening.
Lesson #1: Make a list to check off to be sure we have everything we plan on packing at the last minute.
We kicked back for the evening, watched some television, and got a good night’s sleep. Everything was working well except for the fact our Wifi quit working. We have a wifi system on the roof of our RV. It was working well on the drive in, but once we arrived, I could not get connection on any devise. That will go back to the RV store for them to figure the problem. In the meantime, we had really good cell phone connection. My hotspot on my phone could work for my computer.
The next day, our RV neighbors, the ones with the boat, invited us to take a ride in their dune buggy. Okay, that sounds like fun. Much to my surprise, that is exactly what we did. We rode those hilly dunes. It was scary at first, and then it was fun. Just the fact one can zoom down those steep grades and back up again, was rather exhilarating. Then we rode around the island as they pointed out the various location of interest. Back at our RV park, we had them come in and visit in our RV—it was fun to have our first guests. It was just a nice end to a slow relaxing day.
Day three we walked to over the London Bridge, an went on the shore of the lake to wait for my friend to arrive on the ferry from the other side of the lake. She is taking some time at Lake Havasu, but didn’t realize until later that she was on the California side of the lake. It would take an hour and a half to drive to our side, or 1/2 hour and $2.00 to take the ferry round trip. We had lunch together at the Blue Chair. It was a beautiful day as we sat outside enjoying fish tacos, and Dennis and Kim drinking their green beer for St. Patrick’s Day. After the three of us finished lunch we all walked back to our RV. Guest #2 at our new little home on wheels.
The following day was our day to walk and explore the island. There is a paved walking trail that is over 3 miles that circles within the center of the island. It was a beautiful walk. There are some amazing homes being built on the island. As we got 3/4 of the way on our circular trail, we spotted a restaurant calling our name. We headed across the street an had a delightful lunch before heading back to the RV. It took most of the after noon to take this walk and then walk throughout the whole area of the Crazy Horse Campgrounds. There are a lot of RV’s, an small cabins. The views of the lake are seen pretty much everywhere, but our view couldn’t be beat. We were right on the edge of the water.
It seemed that all our systems were working well in the RV. Our shower is large, the bathroom spacious for an RV, and cabinets are plentiful. We love the electric recliners. One evening we popped “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” into the DVD player. It was fun to watch some of our old DVD’s again. I understand how someone could do full time living in an RV like this. It is large and spacious. It had most of the comforts of home. I could see staying for long periods at different places around the country.
Friday was the last day we were there. Our RV neighbors invited us to take a ride on their boat. We would go out to lunch where we could park the boat. We were there along with some of their friends from home. These couples are the age of our children, and we felt loved that they wanted us to come along. What I thought was going to be short trip literally took the whole day, and it was so much fun. We took the boat over by the London Bridge—have do go slow—no wake allowed in that area. Then we crossed the other side and went to Turtle Bay for lunch. Finishing lunch we hopped back on the boat and now it was time for Garren to open the throttle and get this boat moving.
We spent the whole afternoon in the boat. Since I was anticipating this as a short boat ride, I didn’t dress appropriately. I had a good sunburn from our walk the day before, but I should have worn shorts and sandals on this boat trip. Regardless, it was really fun, and our new RV neighbors have become new friends. Who could ask for more.
Driving home Saturday morning was much better. There was no wind trying to knock us off the road. We arrived at our storage location. I moved Dennis’ car from the slot, and he pulled in. We unloaded our clothes and perishables into the car and drove the last mile home.
We learned a few lessons, and had a shopping spree online.
Lesson #2: Dennis needed to get pads for under the leveling feet of the RV.
The RV dealer wanted to sell some, but Dennis wasn’t sure about it. Our RV neighbors stated why it was a good thing to have. Dennis realize the kind the RV dealer was selling was not going to work with our RV. He researched and found some made the style of leveler feet our RV has.
Lesson #3: Find a way to keep things from flying out of the cabinets after a drive.
I had commented to Dennis that I was surprised there isn’t a bar in front of the cabinet shelves to prevent stuff from falling out when first opening a cabinet door. I did my best in the bathroom cabinet to tightly pack the items using toilet paper packages to hold everything in place. That worked, except the toilet paper packages came flying out the first time I opened the cabinets. I found tension rods made for the cabinets to hold things from falling out in transit. I ordered them from Amazon, and hope they will take care of the problem.
Lesson #4: Find better organization so we can be prepared for a long summer journey.
I have on order plate orders that will hold my dishes upright in the cabin, thus giving room for more items, and not having everything stacked up on each other. That dish holder will arrive next week. I also purchased silicone collapsible bowls and storage containers with lids. I found a small holder for glasses and cell phones that can be attached to the wall by our bed. There was no place to set these items nearby. I even found a miniature dominos set that will fit playing on the RV table! Online RV shopping was kind of fun, and all this week and next deliveries are happening!
On the whole, everything went well on the trip. Yesterday I mapped out our journey to St. Louis. It will be a 17 day journey starting on May 6. Some of the locations we will stay a few days to see the sites before moving on. Today, Dennis made reservations for our stay each night. Some will be RV parks, some free spots to boondock. We will meander through Missouri to see the sites, visit with family and friends, catch some entertainment in Branson, visit Missouri Star Quilt Co, take a few days in mid-Missouri, and then on to the St. Louis area where we will stay for two weeks. We will make it there in time for my granddaughter’s high school graduation.
The second part of our trip has not yet been planned. The goal is to drop south and go to the east coast, and drive up the coastal states. We probably won’t go any farther than Pennsylvania. Then the 3rd leg of our trip will bring us across some of the northern states, places for site seeing, and places to visit friends and relatives. We are not sure yet if we will drive south back toward Missouri and home, or take the northern states all the way to the west coast, drop south down through the west cost and back to Arizona. We have time to figure that out. I really want to go to California (where I have children), but I want the state to be open fully when we go there. If that will not happen soon, we may wait for the west coast adventure.
In the meantime, I have a quilt to make for our RV bed. I found the perfect pattern for travelers, and the fabric that my husband will love. I better get to work!
When I showed this pattern and the fabrics to Dennis, as a Navy veteran, he was all smiles!
I really enjoyed your post! Retirement starts for us in May and we too will be looking for a new Motorhome for long trips. We have taken short trips with the current one but see there is much to learn!
Thank you, Wendy. I am sure we have much to learn still. Your retirement is not far off. You will love the new adventure!
Hi Andrea, your blog was recommended to me by Regina of Isaiah46ministries! My family is travelling from FL to CA this summer in a rented motorhome. I so enjoyed reading your blog post about your trip to Lake Havasu!! May you have many more treasured trips ahead!
Hello, Vanessa! A friend of Regina is a friend of mine. Welcome. You will have great adventures this summer.