Day 9 – November 1, 2017
The day began with a trip to the Camping World to have the hitch replaced. The guys there were very helpful and got the job done in an hour. Jason, the service manager, did the installation himself. I respect when managers are willing to roll their sleeves up and get work done when they are short people or the work is too much for their workers. I am a firm believer in the old adage, “Do not ask your people to do anything that you are not willing to do yourself.”
I was able to get back to the campground and get hooked up by 10:30 a.m. What a difference. I had not really been struggling with hooking up until yesterday, but now I recognize how much easier it is with the right equipment. We were on the road by 11:30 and making the trip to Tampa RV to have our slide outs looked at. We arrived in Tampa around 12:45 and met up with Eric. We dropped the unit off and went off to kill some time. We found a huge dog park in another section of Tampa so Murphy could get some much-needed exercise.
We stopped for fuel on the way back. If anyone remembers my story of fueling at the truck stop and the jet pressure of the pump, this is the extreme opposite. I started pumping and then I realized that the pump was pushing fuel at about one hundredth of a gallon per second. It took seven or eight minutes to get eight gallons. A happy medium would be good.
We returned to Tampa RV and Eric was still working on the slide outs. He was very thorough in making his diagnosis. He promised to get the necessary parts and we will return to have the repairs made. He stayed past closing time and made sure we were all set. We have had little or no response from so many around these issues, it is encouraging when you find dedicated people like Eric and Bob from Albany RV who are passionate about their work and really understand customer service.
We left Tampa at about 5:30. We were scheduled to stop at a KOA in Fort Myers for the night. Given that our final destination in Bonita Springs is only about 25 miles south of Fort Myers we decided to power through and just hit our spot. Pulling a 38 -foot, 10,000 pound vehicle on Route 75 for two and half hours in the dark was not as stressful as I thought it might be. For me anyway. Eileen was not convinced that I had my lights on as dusk descended even though I assured her that my lights are always on. When it was finally dark proof of the headlights was apparent and Eileen felt better.
We arrived at our destination around 8:45 p.m. We were supposed to find a packet with the gate code and site map. They were not there. In fairness, we had said we would be a day late and we were not. Eileen found another packet in the box and got the gate code off that and we already knew our site number. With a great deal of literal searching in the dark, and a park map, we were able to find our site, actually put the vehicle in it, and get set up. The only problem is that we had no electricity because our meter was not yet powered. We were able contact the resort manager and she promised to have it taken care of in the morning.
It was dark, but what we could see of the resort, the recovery from Irma appeared to have gone well. The staff had obviously worked very hard to get ready for the season. It was great to finally open the big slide out on the kitchen side of the unit, which we had kept closed throughout the entire trek south. It was comforting to finally reach our destination and not have to pack up and drive hours the next day. We were on the doorstep of five months of creating new routines, meeting new people and experiencing a new area. We were tiredly excited.