The last 3 weeks have been pretty busy taking care of all the things that we need to do or have before picking up the coach. First there was the matter of getting the coach inspected so we could be certain we weren't flying down there for nothing. Because we know nothing about the mechanicals it seemed well worth the money to have it checked out ahead of time. As it turns out, there are 2 kinds of RV inspectors. One that inspects the engine, transmission, generator, tires, hoses etc. Basically, all the things that make it move. The other inspects all the things that allow you to live in it: the slide-outs, refrigerator, washer/dryer, doors and windows, furnaces, a/c units etc. Just like having a house inspected before you buy it. We were lucky enough to find 2 guys that co-ordinated their trip out there and did both inspections the same morning. The mechanical inspection turned up absolutely nothing. The RV inspection turned up a few small things, most of which the seller had made us aware of already. So, we committed ourselves to the trip to Little Rock to pay our money and pick it up :) We will be flying there on Saturday, Sept 11th.
Next was getting an address set up in South Dakota so we could register the coach there right away instead of doing a couple months here and then transferring the registration. We chose to domicile in SD because of their friendly full-timer RV laws and their favorable insurance/tax rates. We will be "residents" of Sioux Falls.
We can register the coach by mail with the help of our mail forwarding company but we have to go there to get our drivers licenses. We are hoping we can put that part off until spring.
Then there was full-timer insurance to set up. It's just like homeowners insurance but for a home on wheels :) We settled on Miller RV Insurance Co in Oregon who were highly recommended by Howard and Linda Payne of RV-Dreams.com. It was their rally in South Carolina that we attended back in April. Miller Insurance is a broker and have placed us with National Interstate. Then there was finding a roadside assistance plan for a 40' coach. AAA isn't equipped to handle big rigs. It had to be a company that specializes in RV's and can easily change a tire (that is too heavy to lift) or have a tow truck large enough to tow something weighing 35,000# or so. We ended up contracting with Coach-Net. They not only cover the RV, but will also cover any and all cars we have for the same price.
Then we joined Passport-America and Harvest Hosts. Those are to give us some discounts while we travel. Harvest Hosts is new this year and a very cool concept. It allows free overnight parking at participating vineyards and farms across the country. An added plus is the ability to purchase some of their products while you're there :) and because they are letting you stay overnight for free, you should be able to afford to support them!
The other problem we needed to solve was what to do with the coach once we got it home. We can't keep it at the apartment complex. It's not allowed and I'd be afraid to do that anyhow. We found a storage facility that had one available parking spot for an RV so we grabbed it. It's on the other side of town but at least it's a gated monitored facility and should do in the short term. We haven't yet decided how long we'll use it and stay in the apartment. Time will tell on that :)
We also purchased a base plate for the jeep and ordered a tow bar and auxiliary braking system for the Jeep. We won't need that for this trip but will need it for the future.
Now it's a matter of trying to fit as much as possible into a couple of suitcases to take with us. I see a trip to Walmart in Little Rock in our future! We plan on taking our time driving home and spending several days in Nashville on the way. Hard to believe it's been almost a year since we've seen our grandchildren! We definitely need to do something about that!
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