Our new life hasn't quite started yet the way we were planning, but we are living full-time in our 5ver in the driveway of our home, just not traveling. I underestimated how much time I would need to get my materials sorted out to go into the 5ver, my wife needed a knee replacement, and we had a death in the family. Needless to say caused a delay. What was planned for April ended up being moved to June. We put the house on the market June 1st, it was seen May 31st, and because my wife and daughter did such a great job staging, we got an offer of full price which we accepted. But, you knew there was a BUT there didn't you, but the sale fell through, we don't really know why, but we suspect after a couple weeks the purchasers realized how big our house is and got cold feet and pulled out. Anyhow, we are still on the market and waiting to sell.
On the positive side we are effectively retired; and living in the 5ver has allowed us to do a great shakedown in living in the 5ver although we realize we are spoiled because we have water and electric hook-ups. We are slowly finding where we want to put/store everything, learning what we need and what we don't need. So far it has been a great shakedown, especially if finding issues are great news.
1st - Our refrigerator main power board went.
2nd - Our stove gas regulator went.
3rd - A hose out of our propane regulator started leaking.
The good news with that is I have been able to do all the repairs myself with minimal fuss.
There is also the modifications and sorting/storing we have been doing in the camper. We have almost all of our clothes stored, except the one nice outfit each we are taking and a couple light coats. All the kitchen stuff has been moved into the camper, just need to organize for how we want it, mostly where we want it, but still some arranging to go.
The only piece of furniture we brought into the camper was an ottoman to act as a foot rest, stand to put the dogs on for grooming, and as storage for the dogs leashes, bandanas, grooming supplies, costumes, life vests, etc.
My wife is finally bringing out all the office supplies she figures we will need on a regular basis and arranging where they will go. We do have a small wireless printer that we have set up in the overhead storage above the recliners. Nice part is I had a long USB cord so we do not have to use wirelessly, we can, but we do not have to, we just attach directly via USB. The paper in use will be stored on top of the printer, any extra paper will be stored with the stuff in the ottoman.
I still have some stuff in the basement I need to store in the 5ver and some tools in the garage that will go into the truck toolbox. I may have to cut back but won't know until we get everything loaded, or I run out of space while trying to load everything.
We are starting to get the 5ver decluttered. My wife was approading homicidal with all the clutter we had in the 5ver for awhile. She doesn't do well with clutter and we were just taking stuff out of the house and putting in the living room of the 5ver. Took a while to get everything put away. Still some clutter but, getting to a level she can accept.
We are pretty well set. My retirement is final, 1st check received, still in the process of getting all the addresses changed and paperwork submitted for insurances and such, but the hump has been crossed. The wife's retirement is final and she is receiving her check. Our biggest concern now is whether the 5ver will be overweight once we are completely moved in and then whether we can afford the lifestyle. Don't forsee a problem but I am a cynic and expect the worst.
Author kpp010 Posted on July 13, 2018
We did one full week at Buck Pond, a NYS campground in NYS Adirondack area. Michelle joined us for the week, and we learned that the Arctic Fox 27-5L blow up bed works as a bed, but it is a major annoyance when trying to live in the camper for a week. A little to long to take down and set up every day, but really blocks living space if you leave it blown up.
We also did a couple long weekend camping, but for the summer we pretty much got the camper set up to go full-timing in 2018 and worked on prepping the house to sell.
We do have the checklist for attach/detach and set up pretty well done. We will tweak as we do more and learn more.
Author kpp010 Posted on July 13, 2018
Our second trip with the RV is nowhere near as big as our first trip from Oklahoma City, OK to Albany, NY. No we only went to Fredrick, MD for the Washington Metro Dachtoberfest and back to Albany. Do you see what some of our travels are related to?
The Dachtoberfest is a fundraiser and fun time for Dachshunds and owners. This year they had a lovely set up on a fairgrounds. They were able to provide us with water and electric for our fiver. We were able to use a dump site after the festivities where we ran into our first minor issue, more on this later.
Driving to the fairground the GPS took us right through downtown historic (read narrow streets) Frederick, MD. Got a lot of looks driving a full size Ram 3500 towing our 30 foot fiver. I didn't hit anything so I think I did pretty well :-)
Once at the fairgrounds I got my second chance to practice backing up, fairly successful, only a couple tries to get lined up an where we needed it. We were in place, we then leveled us out using blocks, fairly easy. Once all set side to side, disconnected and finished setting up, leveling front to back. We had started a checklist for attaching and detaching the fiver in Oklahoma when we picked it up, we tweaked in Albany, and we tested it out here in Frederick, MD, worked pretty well, but still needs tweaks.
Our first relaxing overnighter was a blast. The pop-up was comfortable, but set up a real hassle compared to the fiver. Our fiver isn't self-leveling, but leveling side to side is fairly easy and front to back is push-button. Stabilizers in the back is push button. Plug in, connect hose for water and you are ready to go.
The only issue we had this trip was the draining of the black water tank. It plugged. After much rinsing, water through the hose up the drain-pipe into a five gallon pail, multiple repeats of the process got us cleaned out. I don't think the seller had drained well when he last used it, I think he thought it was well drained, but there were some remains sitting on the bottom of the tank that semi-solidified and plugged up when we tried to drain.
Author kpp010 Posted on October 25, 2016
Our very first trip with the RV is a big one….returning home to Albany, NY from Oklahoma City, OK. No one can accuse us of doing things in a small way! Took two very long days of driving to get here, but we are taking an extra day to get home.
We met the seller in Oklahoma City, OK. He met us in a parking lot and showed us the fiver, then helped us hook up, gave a quick driving lesson. He had arranged for an overnight at a nearby full service RV Park. After arriving he gave us a complete rundown on how the Northwood Arctic Fox 27-5L operated. He then left us for the night to give the rig a test stay.
The seller met us the next morning to go to the bank to finalize the deal, we left OK about 6pm. Not having driven a rig this big, we decided to leave late in the day to avoid
traffic and take our time just getting the “feel” of it all. We did about 5 hours of driving and pulled into an RV Park just north of Columbus, OH, where we had arranged for a pull through site, as
we have yet to tackle backing up! Pulled in, plugged in electric and went to sleep. Didn’t even bother to open the slides, a fact I’m sure our neighbors appreciated as it was after midnight. We only
had two minor issues that first night. (1) we had set the AC too low and we were all a little cold, as all we had with us were sheets and no blanket (dogs were little furry radiators as they cuddled
right up to stay warm). I knew we had a problem when I realized Oscar was under the sheet behind my knees and starting to shiver (not quite as bad as it sounds, as he shivers when it is 70 out!) (2)
Prior to leaving Oklahoma City, Yvonne had put the dog food into the pantry, which ended up behind the slide out when it was closed. We weren’t even remotely level at the campground, so after
unplugging, we drove to a travel center where it was level and opened the slide just enough to get the dog food out. Other than the pantry, everything is readily accessible with the slides closed.
Note to self: put nothing in the pantry we might need going down the road.
After feeding the dogs”brunch”, we put in a twelve hour (10 hours driving) travel day, mostly interstate. The truck has no problem towing the RV, and can even accelerate going up hills. It actually seems to ride better with the trailer weight on the hitch. While still not as comfortable as a luxury car, it is much gentler and easier on the bones with the weight on.
Arriving in St Louis about midnight, we had once again arranged for a pull through and all we did was plug in and go to bed. We set the AC much higher this time, and all had a good night’s sleep. It’s 9:30 am and Yvonne is still sleeping. Trip has drained her.
We are using RV parks because we weren’t completely prepared for this trip (everything happened so fast!). I use CPAP and I didn’t bring the invertor or battery we were using in the popup, so I needed electric hookup. In the future I will have some sort of set up to run off battery and we will overnight at someplace like a Flying J/Pilot travel center (much more cost effective when all you are looking for is a place to crash for the night). Future plans will also not regularly include travel days over eight hours…. much less twelve! Yvonne is awake now, so off to get ready for the end of this trip. Another 12 hour travel day, but then we will be
Made it safely home where I got my first try at backing the fiver up. We have a two car wide driveway and I was able to park it in the drive with minimal issues. Trying to backup with the pop-up was great practice for backing up the fiver.
Author kpp010Posted on October 3, 2016
Categories 5th wheel, Arctic Fox, fulltime, RAM 3500, RV, Tow vehicle, Truck
Prepping For RV Pickup
Massive change of plans. We were all set for a camping trip with our pop-up and new truck and a fifth wheeler fell into our laps. Again very early for us, but a great deal fell into our laps. From Craigslist of all places.
We have put down a downpayment. Good sign, seller is still communicating with us. We have knocked down many little steps, such as what do we need to do to register RV to bring from Oklahoma to NY, how to get a clear title, how to get insurance on the RV, and multiple other little steps. I knew my betterhalf was a godsend, but I am really appreciating all she has done to make this happen. She contacted seller, communicated with the seller, and has made all the plans with the seller on how we will pick up the RV and get some training on it. We plan on
staying at a couple hotels for a couple nights on the way our and plan on stopping and sleeping in the RV on the way home. So far everything is falling into place. Biggest impediment so far is my
wife hasn’t gotten coverage for Wednesday night and since we won’t be back until that night not a good thing, but she has multiple calls out for people to cover her.
I have disconnected the popup from The Beast, removed the canoe from The Beast, and put some supplies in the truck. I don’t expect to need but we have the parts so rather than having to buy again, will bring with me. My wife will be picking up a dog cage for the backseat for our three miniature Dachshunds, hopefully that will keep them in the back and with the dog bed and each other, keep whining to a minimum. We have the seat covered so that should help.
Leaving from Albany, New York on Friday morning and expect to arrive Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Saturday night, possibly Sunday morning, but long trip so we will see. Will pick up Arctic Fox 27-5L on Sunday, bring it to campground, and try everything out. We are going for a fullhookup
campground so we can try everything. We will be learning how to hook up a 5th wheel, put slides in and out, leveling and a plethora other little things.
We are excited,scared and ecstatic all at the same time.
Author kpp010 Posted on September 15, 2016
Categories 5th wheel, Arctic Fox, RAM 3500, RV, Tow vehicle, Truck
We have started getting The Beast ready to use with our popup until we find the 5th wheel we want. I set up the tow hitch so it would keep the popup relatively level. I hooked up the popup and The Beast doesn’t even seem like it notices the popup, it will be interesting when we actually start towing, that will be be in four days on Friday. I also put a canoe on the roof of The Beast and will put a kayak on top of the popup
tomorrow evening. I have started trying to figure out how to keep our three miniature Dachshunds in the rear seat, I think I will lose unless we actually seatbelt them in or get a cage for them. They are sly little devils and small and wiry, all together a fun handful.
Author kpp010 Posted on September 12, 2016
Categories Tow vehicle, Truck
Picked Up Vehicle
September 9, 2016 we picked up the RAM 3500 with 5th wheel hitch and running boards installed. Luckily for us they seem to have installed a really good hitch as I did not specify a brand, style or model. If I could go back, I would have done more research on 5th wheel hitches as well as the vehicle. We actually had more discussion on the running boards which did end up going very well with the truck and are definitely necessary for us to get into this baby. Allegedly, prior owner was 6′ 6″ and did not need running board. Me being average height and stout (read fat), I almost need a lift. Nice ride home where I realized how big this beast is. I parked in driveway next to a full size Dodge Caravan and am almost a foot taller and 4 feet longer. Nice white color with a touch of chrome to match 5th wheel we have in mind.
Author kpp010 Posted on September 9, 2016
Categories RAM 3500, Tow vehicle,
Journey has started and our first major step has been taken -
After much research and setting up our plans, fiscally and logistically we have started our journey.
September 2nd, 2016 we purchased the truck we will use as our tow vehicle for fulltime RVing in 21 months (countdown to retirement). We went with a RAM 3500 4X4, 6.7 diesel, upgraded Tradesman package. We were not quite ready to pull the plug but a pretty good deal fell into our lap so we hit the launch button.
We have many more steps to go, such as downsizing from a 3000 sq ft house with five bedrooms into a roughly 300 sq ft 5th wheel.
We are limited somewhat as to the 5th wheels we are considering. We are planning on
visiting many older state parks and many older federal parks. From everything our research has indicated we want to stick with a maximum of a 30 foot 5th wheel. Again our research has indicated that there are very few fulltime 30 foot 5th wheels.
Author kpp010 Posted on September 6, 2016