After months of planning, daydreaming, browsing numerous RV forums, reading a bunch of articles and The RVer's Bible, watching videos from RV education, looking at a ton of RV's on line in anticipation of eventually buying, we finally made our RV maiden voyage in a rented Fleetwood Pulse 24A class C.
We had a wonderful time and this RV stuff may be for us.
We left at 10:30pm on a Thursday to make the 250 mile trip from Suffolk County to Lake George. The traveling was uneventful and my concerns about driving something larger than my Silverado were quickly relieved once I made it through NYC and onto the NYS Thruway headed north.
My wife disappear to relax on the couch and read while I drove. We made a stop at one of the thruway rest stops for lunch and a restroom break ... without leaving the vehicle. Very convenient.
We arrived at the Lake George Great Escape RV Park around 4:00pm, checked in and headed to our camping spot with a full hook-up (30 amp, water, sewer and cable tv). We enjoyed the extra room with the slide extended and had everything set-up in fifteen minutes, literally within five minutes of a torrential rain that lasted far into the night.
The weather reports informed us that the best day for sightseeing in the town of Lake George would be Friday so we got up early the next morning, my wife made breakfast, we unhooked and drove into town all the while I'm checking signs for warnings of low hanging obstacles or "no trucks" but it seems most roads in the area have sufficent clearance for anything but the largest RV's since Lake George is a popular RV vacation spot.
We found an all day parking spot for $5 and left the RV to explore the town and spent an hour on the lake in a pontoon boat.
We headed back to the RV for lunch and a short nap (yes, we're that old) and then went to visit the Fort McHenry Restoration Museum. There is a lot of early American history around Lake George and I'm sure you could spend many days visiting historical sites but we were now ready to call it a day and head back to the camp ground.
The weather for the rest of the trip didn't cooperate and it rained most of the rest of our stay. We took the time to drive through the camp ground and there were still a fair number of people enjoying early Fall camping, in everything from tents to MASSIVE class "A"s. On Saturday we travel North on Route 9 along the western side of Lake George stopping in Bolten, NY to do a little shopping at some of the quaint craft shops in town.
Leaving Bolten I didn't want to travel all the way south to the town of Lake George to head back north to the campground and checked the gps for a direct route. There was one section of road that was extremely steep and I really wondered whether the RV was going to make it to the top of the hill but the little diesel did the job. We got back to the campsite, set-up and spent the rest of the evening watching tv and reading.
Sunday morning was time to pack-up and head home. Disconnecting and flushing the tanks was pretty straight forward. Our instructions were to add a supplied chemical to both the black and grey water tanks after flushing them which we did.
Some of the questions that were answered for us were:
1. We didn't find the space in this small class "C" confining. With the slide extended and just the two of us space wasn't at all an issue including the shower and bathroom facilities.
2. While extending the slide, pulling out the sofa bed, setting up the dinette for the double bed, getting electric, water, sewer, etc. hooked up wasn't a lot of work doing this every day gets old. We're not considering a class "C" for now but if we eventually moved to a class "C" we would definitely look into towing a small car for running around once we got to a campsite.
3. While the weather was less then ideal we enjoyed being outdoors. My wife and I were both born and raised in NYC moving to Long Island 30 years ago. Much of LI is just an extension of urban NYC. We are passed the point of being robust outdoors people camping in tents but modern RVing gives us a pathway to enjoy the outdoors at an age where we couldn't handle the rigors of backpacking and tent camping.
4. Since we've still got a few years until retirement, and the time to really do some serious traveling, we are now definely considering a small travel trailer to use as much as we can during the Spring and Summer months.
When we got back to the dealer that rented us the RV we had some time to explore a few of the travel trailers they had on the lot, getting a feel for what is available with trailers in the 16 ~ 20 foot range. We've got the Fall, Winter and Spring to do plenty of research but now that we have the first trip under our belt, and my wife's first question when we got home was "when is our next trip?", I can begin the search in earnest.