With a boat, it’s called the “Maiden Voyage”, what about an RV?

Okay, RV purchased, check! Truck purchased, check! Hitch installed, check! Time for the “Damsel Drive” that’s what we are calling it in RV lingo!  We decided the first trip would be right down the street to the weigh station at the Pilot Gas Station.  Checklist in hand, Robin made the provisions on the inside while Bruce worked on the outside.  Slides in, everything disconnected, RV hitched, ready to go!  Only took us about an hour and half (people say they are ready to go in 20 minutes) we’re newbies!  All went well at the weigh station and we made it back safe and sound.  Bruce did great backing it in for the first time and we were still smiling!  Bruce is now trying to calculate our weight, oh boy, hope we don’t have to remove too much stuff!

Damsel Drive2

The good news is we are fine as far as trailer axle weights, at 15,680 lbs. on our (2) 8,000 lb. MORryde IS, with 4 Goodyear H Rated tires. Each tire is rated for 4800 lbs. The truck rear axle weight at 8420 lbs. is good too. The GCVWR is within ratings for our truck too at 29,020 lbs. The most accurate weighing of your rig should be by weighing the load on each tire, but that will have to happen later. Now the bad news! I calculated our trailer weight at 20,300 lbs. and our trailer GVWR is 19,000 lbs.

How can we be 1300 lbs. over-weight???!!!!

RV Dreams…

Back in August 2016, we booked our spot for the RV Dreams Educational Rally to be held May 8-14, 2017 in Sevierville, TN.  We had no idea at that time that come May we would own a DRV Mobile Suites and already be full-timing!  It was just a dream!   This rally was supposed to be a time of research, learning, getting READY to make the BIG decision.  Instead the dream had already become a reality!  The rally was held at River Plantation RV Resort with around 175 people in attendance, a sold-out rally!  And no, we didn’t bring our rig as we had booked a hotel room for the rally and 2 quaint cabins for a mini vacation well before we bought our rig. The rally began with an evening of getting to know each other with an icebreaker game.  Howard and Linda Payne of RV-Dreams did a fantastic job at hosting and leading educational seminars throughout the week.  A favorite evening was a dinner followed by “bring your favorite gadget” night.  The last day, many attendees graciously opened their rigs for everyone to enjoy.  The Hillbilly Hoedown took place in the evening with delicious food, lots of laughs and great music!  A farewell breakfast on Sunday morning with new friends, lots of hugs, great memories and loads of information.  One thing you begin to realize about the RV lifestyle, the people you meet can be the most fun-loving, down to earth, always willing to help kinda folk!

The weekends before and after the rally we explored the beautiful Great Smokey Mountain’s National Park.  We absolutely loved Cades Cove. It was perfect at this particular time of year to see Mama black bear and her four cubs!  The antics of these babies can capture your attention for hours!  We drove around the Cades Cove Loop on many different days, both morning and evening, and every time we saw several bear.

 

We also scored a few new birds for our list, like the male and female Orchard Oriole.

The Seven Islands State Birding Park is 416 acres along the French Broad River in Knox County, TN. It is a premier birding destination and only 30 minutes from Sevierville. We were able to photograph another new bird for us, the Yellow Breasted Chat.

Yellow-breasted Chat

The first weekend we were there, on a very clear Sunday morning, we ventured up to Clingmans Dome. The views were breathtaking, along with the 4” of fresh snow.

Clingmans Dome

Our other hikes included Laurel Falls, and Grotto Falls which was on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.  So much beauty for the eyes to see in our State and National Parks.

Grotto Falls