Immediately after we picked out our RV and put down a deposit, and after the initial glee subsided a bit, Steve's face turned (somewhat) serious and he said, "OK, we need to learn about RVs fast." It's not that we hadn't done our research - we had been for months - but now it was going to become real, since we were about to go from casual RV fans to actual owners.
To remedy this, we stopped into the nearest bookstore and grabbed the only RV book they had, which turned out to be The Complete Idiot's Guide to RVing. It was just what we, the ideal audience, needed. Narrated in an appealingly tongue-in-cheek style, the book was basically a compendium of all things RV. It offered an insider's peek into the exciting parts of this lifestyle, like camping, as well as the less glamorous aspects, like dumping stations and learning how to drive.
It was a good way for us to get a preview of what was to come, but like the book recommends, in order to really learn what you're in for, you need to get out there and do it. Obviously we were going to make mistakes but we'd learn along the way what worked and what didn't.
So, a week after we brought the trailer home, we embarked on our maiden voyage to a campground about an hour away from home for a one-night stay. We opted to try out Country Acres Campground in Gordonville, PA. What made us choose to grace this spot with our newbie presence?
- it was open year-round
- it had a generous pet policy, i.e. no breed restrictions (sadly, it seems like a lot of campgrounds have anti-pit bull policies, but that's another rant for a different day), and
- it was close enough for us to get there without too many problems, but far enough away and full of enough Amish people sightings that we still felt like it was a "getaway."
On the morning of our trip, we naturally had a million things to do. Lola was scheduled for her annual check-up, which included a host of vaccine shots so we could proffer a vaccination certification at the campground if needed. Steve had to install his brand-new towing side mirrors, and we had to pack, then transport our belongings to the trailer before hooking up and blasting off.
Thankfully, most of our preparations went pretty smoothly. The one hitch (ha! have a feeling I'm gonna wear that one out) in our plans? Re-hitching our car to the trailer. Someday, this might be second nature to us, but right now we're still figuring things out. Our system in the meantime: Steve puts the car in reverse and backs up, while I stand outside by the hitch and point wildly in either direction until the car connector thing magically matches up with the trailer hitch.
Sounds simple enough, but we're dealing with someone who frequently mixes up "left" and "right" (me) and someone who's easily frustrated with that person (Steve). After a while of me shouting "left" while pointing right, Steve gave up and told me to "just point" instead. It took about a thousand tries, but finally everything lined up just right.