One Year on the Road

A Vacation from Vacation

After Christmas, we returned to Camping World in Lake City, where our RV parts were finally in. It would take a few days this time, so we had reservations at a nearby Holiday Inn. We packed up the car with whatever we might need, which in our case was a ridiculous amount. Kate planned to do some sewing, so you can imagine what that looks like. I brought a jigsaw puzzle, puzzle board, laptop, camera. And then there are all the pet beds and dishes and toys. The CRV was packed tight, and when we arrived at Holiday Inn, we were disappointed to find they couldn’t check us in before 2:00. It was 11:30.

Hanging out in PetSmart.

It was already too hot to leave the pets in the car, so we looked for a PetSmart where we could walk around inside with them and stay cool. Bailey’s pretty well-behaved in stores, but Gypsy was already seething from being stuffed in her carrying case for an hour. She scrambled out of the shopping cart every chance she got, and even the blue fish tank walls couldn’t sooth her. Finally we let ourselves into the enclosed puppy training area and just sat on the floor with them.

When we finally got into our hotel suite, Gypsy raced from room to room like a wildcat, probably thrilled at the generous size of our brand new RV. Technically, we were not supposed to leave pets in the room by themselves, so we settled in for the long haul, prepared to entertain ourselves for a few days.

Room to sew.

When we bought our coach, we paid big bucks for an extended seven year warranty. I wasn’t convinced of its value, but Kate insisted it would be a big plus when we listed the RV to sell. All of our repairs this time were still covered by the first-year warranty (except for the windshield, which was covered by our Allstate policy, minus $500 deductible).   But our extended policy with XtraRide covered travel expenses for repairs. Up to $250/day for meals and accommodations. That was more than enough to cover our needs, but wanting to take full advantage of our policy, we ate like queens for three days: lobster, filet mignon, eggs benedict, pasta and desserts. As if we hadn’t already overfed ourselves with holiday treats.

Exploring every cranny.

It was three days before Bessie was ready for us. Kate actually wished for longer. She liked this hotel life, with endless HG TV and room to spread out and sew. But I was starting to go stir crazy. I’d gone on a couple of bike rides, but Lake City is anything but bike friendly, and it was just too hot most of the day. (In the upper 80s!) So when Bessie was ready, I was happy to get back on the road.

I have to say that although Camping World has a poor reputation for customer service, the Lake City one has been great. Not perfect. There have been some mistakes. (Like leaving the refrigerator vent cover unlatched so we lost it on the freeway.) But they’ve made good on them. And everybody we’ve dealt with in the place has been cheerful, courteous, and eager to help, even when they’re obviously under pressure. And our service rep, Brandon, was the best. They even fixed a couple of things that weren’t covered under warranty without charging us.

We’re not done yet. Flickering LED lightbulbs need to be replaced and are on back order. And the vent cover Brandon got for us needs a decal to match Bessie’s. But we’re in Florida for a couple more months, so we told Brandon we’d catch them on our way out of the state.

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