February 10th, 2014
After my PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) at Mike Thompson’s RV Center, the gruesome task of signing all the official documents started. The final acceptance of delivery wouldn’t happen until later in the afternoon in Ehrenberg, Arizona.
Note: To my sidekicks who are considering a purchase of an RV of any kind, make sure you include a PDI in your negotiations. Mine was almost three hours and I needed every minute of it. I’ve heard some dealers want to charge you for them. Make a list of what you want to check before your appointment. Also, insist on doing the PDI before any papers are signed. While learning how all the new buttons worked, I had a friend inspect every detail of the rig. We found a few minor bugs, some of which they fixed as I was doing the PDI. A couple of others I had to return to have them fixed.
When all the papers were accepted and signed, my friend Beth and I went to get something to eat. It was already 1:00 pm and the Transportation company wasn’t due until around 2:30 pm, at the earliest. I was so excited I didn’t want to leave my dream for a minute, so we picked up lunch at Del Taco here in Colton and drove right back to my new fifth wheel. We then enjoyed the first meal sitting at the small table. I kept looking around, just not believing the day had arrived and here I am sitting in my new RV.
When the transportation company arrived, I met the transporter. His name was Rick and he was driving a Ram 3500 dually. Rick went right to work hooking up my fifth wheel and going over the details of the delivery in Ehrenberg about three hours away. Once he completed the hitch-up, I said goodbye to Beth, thanking her for the help and support during the orientation process. Then we were off. Traveling to the pick-up point was uneventful other than high winds in the Palm Springs area. I followed my new fifth wheel the whole way, worrying about my first hitch up later in the day.
Signing The Final Papers
During the long drive, I traded driving positions several times, leading then dropping back to following out of sheer boredom. Before I knew it the time had past and we pulled into Flying J Travel Center at Exit 1 in Ehrenberg, Arizona. It was 5:00 pm, but I forgot about the time change so, in reality, it was 6:00 pm. I’ve already missed the window for my check-in at my first camp only thirty-five miles away.
Inside the building, we found Richard, the Notary, who was already inside Wendy’s restaurant. He was using a table there for his desk. There he would notarize the “Taking Delivery Outside of California” paperwork by witnessing Rick “handed me the keys” and signed the “Bill of Lading”, which I also signed. The delivery and transfer of ownership 5:30 pm (6:30 pm Arizona time) was final. I was so excited I about slipped off the seat!
Now it was time for me to hitch-up the Reflection fifth wheel for the very first time. It was, in fact, the very first time for me to pull anything this big and of course unlike my plan, it was after dark. Rick, from the transportation company, was awesome. He assisted hitching the fifth wheel to my Workhorse and gave me a few words of encouragement. I shook his hand and thanked him for the advice. Then I was off (after the sunset) with a slight drizzle welcoming my drive.
White Knuckle Time
I say to myself, “this isn’t too bad“, as I cruise down the highway with 12,000 additional pounds behind me. Everything continued to go well and I pulled into the Black Rock RV Village around 7:00 pm. I stopped briefly at the office, which I soon found out as I expected was closed. The nice lady left me a packet with all the RV parks information in it on the bulletin board, just as she said she would. When I had made the reservation months ago, I told her it would be my first time parking a fifth wheel and to give me a big, wide spot and it turns out she did.
I saw where I was supposed to park on the provided map. Once familiar with the park layout, I pulled forward. Mistake one! I should have walked the park, it was dark, very dark out here in the desert near Salome. When I found the street to turn on, did I mention it was dark and my first time? I missed the turn and wandered around the park for hours. Well, it felt like hours anyway. I found someone walking and she pointed the way she thought I should go and she was right. I had a couple of close calls, barely missed some poles turning.
There it is, finally! I pulled into the campsite where I would be spending the next couple of days unpacking boxes of stuff. Trying to find a place to put things where I could actually find them again someday.
I then spent an hour unhitching my new fifth wheel, with an audience, my neighbor sitting out front of their trailer watching my progress. Should I offer popcorn? As they left to go inside, it was about 9:00 pm at that point, I apologized for all the noise I would be making. Then I retired myself. Inside I decided I needed to get rid of more stuff soon, I just don’t need all of these things!
Another day ends and I will be hitting the road in the morning for Lake Pleasant. It feels wonderful to finally be staying in my new home that I planned so many months ago. The adventure starts.
Until next time, safe travels…Gary