Final leg of trip home and returning the RV. Leaving from the Amana Iowa RV Park:
For some reason when I dialed in the route on the GPS provided with the RV it notified me the trip today was six and a half hours. I’d not planned for this much driving on the last day as we had to have the rig returned by 5:00pm. I then thought I should have reviewed the route home last night rather than this morning. Lucky me! The GPS must have calculated a strange route as a couple of days ago I changed the routing preference to a truck from a car. Really weird Forrest River would put a GPS in a motorhome that did not at least include RV travel like so many of the after-market brands include.
It had stormed overnight and this morning the wind was blowing hard. Looked like I was going to receive a test of my new RV driving skills. Turned out the drive was not that bad although there were wind gusts forecasted at 25 miles per hour. I told Karen if we were fulltime already in an RV I would have extended our stay in Amana Iowa an extra day to wait out the wind. The park accepted Passport America membership discounts which would have meant $17 a night rather than the $34 we paid (water and electric).
I topped off the propane tank as we have to turn it in full with the RV rental. I did not want to complicate things by trying to find a station near home that sells propane. Took 3.7 pounds after running the refrigerator and hot water tank the past seven days on propane. Cost us $12. The park was well laid out for propane fueling as well as having four dump station points off a long gravel road. I had to help the clerk hold the propane refill hose at an angle so he could lift a valve, turning the propane on. Forrest River does not leave much room to fill a tank. The rig has a built-in tank so I could not remove it like if we had the smaller bottles.
I handled the wind like an all pro driver – kind of. I did have it easier than the guys pulling the extra light travel trailers and one driving a smaller gas Class A. They were all over their lanes similar to drunk drivers. I was glad to have this 11,000 plus pound Class C today. Seemed to make a difference with the wind. I also found out the worst part of a tractor trailer passing is at the point the front of the truck reaches the back corner of the RV. That really moved our rig so I made sure to keep an eye on the mirror for trucks. I also watched for passing cars, placing both hands on the wheel in case a gust of wind came up when they were passing.
We stopped for lunch at a rest stop. The hamburgers I had cooked up over the fire a couple of days ago were good and quick to fix up.
We have become experts at watching for various truck stop brands such as Pilot. Fueling the motorhome has become less stressful. After completing our 1,670 mile journey I can say driving the rig is no big deal. Once we buy our fifth wheel I’m feeling like driving it will become more comfortable after two or three fuel stops and a couple hundred miles. That is if the rental RV has taught me anything. It’s all about confidence building. Never thought I’d climb as high as two telephone poles and slide down a rope, upside down, but did it in the Army. Looked scary at first but the confidence course I went through worked as planned.
Sent a text message to the RV rental company we would be arriving at about 4:00 pm. Pulled the pickup truck next to the RV and unloaded our stuff. When we got home I drove the truck up to the front door and unloaded the stuff into the house. Yep, I was wishing I had no house to go home to. This was an amazing trip.
It was nice having Karen next to me in the cab of the RV. That may have made the decision not to have her follow in a separate vehicle once we go fulltime. We talked about the merits of buying our truck a little early along with a shorter fifth wheel for travel prior to retirement. Guess that’s a hint a Class C is not in our future.
I’ve also been working on the actual cost summary for the RV related costs. I’ve started a consolidated list of what we learned during the trip. I’ll get those posted soon.
We ran over about 50 miles for what we had paid in advance. They did not charge us for the extra miles and credited the $900 damage deposit to our credit card within hours. We lightly cleaned the rig the night before we turned it in out of courtesy and wanting to make a good impression in case we rented again. Having our truck parked at the rental return spot worked out well.
Thanks for reading and commenting. Karen and I will have a great time going back and reading about our trip and looking at all the pictures. Here are a few pictures of the park which I was unaware Karen had taken: