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RV Trip – Day 1

Saturday June 24, 2017

It was exciting and a little frantic preparing for this RV trip. I’m sure the fact that it’s our first ever RV trip added some extra trepidation. Our RV was ready around 1pm, so Wendy and I went to pick it up. We received a 45 minute orientation from Michael T., a very very nice guy. No driving tips or practice on their parking lot, which surprised me considering this thing is 27 foot long, and neither Wendy or I have ever driven such a vehicle. This RV is a 2017 Thor Chateau. It has a bedroom with a queen size bed in the back, which you can only reply once you have deployed the pull out. Very cool. Bathroom with shower, full kitchen with fridge, microwave oven, regular oven, cooktop, dinette that converts into a bed, sofa that can convert into another bed, 2 big TVs, and a queen bed over the cab. For us, who know only camping in tents, this is the bomb. Once orientation is over, Wendy takes of with the car, while Regis drives the RV back home. First impressions: my goodness this thing is LOUD. Other remark: it is fairly easy to drive, and my apprehensions quickly dissipate. I also notice that other motorists are quite respectful of the RV, and slow down to help me change lanes. The RV rental place is only a 10-min drive from home. Lucas and Audrey are actually waiting on the driveway. I guess they are excited. They are impressed with the size of the RV: they did not think it would be so big.

It’s all relative: a 27 foot RV is nothing big compared to what’s out there. Its actually considered a relatively small RV. But for us, it’s a “chateau”! We start loading this thing. It’s great not to have to pack suitcases: piles on the floor are transferred to cupboards,  drawers and trunks. The shower is filled with beverages for now. Once done packing, to my surprise, we still have plenty of storage room available. Nice. Our neighbors, the Keysers, swing by to say hi. Erin gave us tons of advice in our preparation for this trip, as they did a very similar vacation 2 years ago (their RV was 34 foot long though! Hard to keep up with the neighbors 🙂

They also lend us their camping grill, which is going to get a lot of use I’m sure. Time flies, and the RV is still on our driveway. We’d better get out butt in gear: We’d like to get to Boise tonight, and it’s a solid 7 hour drive. It may be a lofty goal. We’ll see how far we get. Finally we’re off.

They gave us the RV with a 1/4 tank, so let’s fill it up to the nearest gas station.

Wow, that’s a big tank: $110 worth of gas. Let’s see how far that gets us. We hit the road at 6:30pm. I84 is the only road all the way. Again, the RV is easy to drive. Very loud though. It’s like driving a big truck. It’s a Ford E450 Engine. The fun part of driving an RV is mostly for the passengers: you can legally roam around, lounge in your bed, use the restroom, etc. Although for the driver who’s still getting his groove on, thats pretty distracting. But we make good time. I realize that I forgot to bring a bike lock for the 4 bicycles we have on the rack in the back, so we make a quick stop at a Walmart in Pendleton. Then back on the road, and this time Wendy is driving the rig. It’s dark and mountainous and Wendy is pretty tense, but eventually gets more comfortable as the road straightens. We made no plan for the first night, not knowing what time we would get the RV, and what time we would leave. We were told, however, that Walmart allows RV’ers to stay on their parking lot for one night free of charge. This actually allows for peace of mind and flexibility… until we realized, by calling along the way, that not all Walmart offer this convenience: the Boise Walmart doesn’t. Oh well, reaching Boise was actually a little too lofty of a goal, and there is another Walmart, one hour before Boise, in Ontario, OR, that will perfectly do. We reach it at about 1:30AM, and park two spots away from another similar RV.

Despite the long drive and the fatigue, Wendy and I find it hard to fall asleep. Maybe the excitement, maybe the Walmart parking lights right above our unit (but better safe than sorry), maybe a bit of stress of actually hanging out overnight in a Walmart parking lot 🙂 But we do fall asleep, and get good rest on an uneventful night.

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