It’s been a busy week, although as I look back at things from the vantage point of Friday night, I’m not sure how much we’ve gotten done.
Monday evening, one of our boys crossed over from Cub Scout Pack 412 to Boy Scout Troop 148, making three Mueller boys in the troop. His cousin joined him at the last minute, literally. He hadn’t planned on cross over to Boy Scouts, but five minutes before the meeting started, he told his mother he thought he’d like to join Troop 148 after all. It made for an interesting scramble, since the Scoutmaster (a friend of ours even before Scouts) had only prepared for one boy. It worked out fine in the end, though.
Tuesday, we found what looked like a suitable cargo trailer in Sydney, Ohio, about two hours northwest of Columbus. After a few emails and phone calls, I planned on heading up Thursday, if we didn’t get snowed in.
Wednesday, with Snowpocalypse- Coldtastrophe-Blizzaster 2011 bearing down on Central Ohio, Girl Scouts was canceled, so we headed out to get new phones. After researching at the Families On The Road forum and a few other places, we settled on Verizon. I went with a Droid X, Diana got an Accolade, We got a Haven for the house phone so that anyone staying at the RV would have a phone, even if Diana and I were gone, and Erica ended up with an Octane. We had all been on Tracfone for the last year or so, which had served us well, but we didn’t think it would work on the road.
We’re still considering what to do for internet service when we don’t have a campground network to use. We thought we could use the Droid, but the salesman told us we’d get capped at 2GB on the Droid’s hotspot feature and suggested we needed the MiFi. Millenicom seems to offer better pricing, and as we discussed the whole idea between trying to get different discounts and rebates, we decided we’re going to hit the road without an internet alternative at the beginning. We started the porting process on all four phones that evening, hearing estimates of 4 to 7 days for the landline, and hours for the Tracfones.
Thursday dawned cold, but Adam, Ian and I headed out. Most of the kids have been fighting colds or barometrically-induced headaches; both of them slept a lot of the way there. We found the address, then went across the road to meet the seller, then he took us back across the road to his barn to see the actual trailer where I tried very hard to sink my truck into a snow-pack-covered ditch. Four-wheel-drive saved the day once I realized that I wasn’t moving forward.
The trailer is a ten-year-old Interstate V-nose. The previous owner had added some 110-volt wiring and lights, and overall, it seemed in great shape. The truck had a 7-blade lighting plug, but the trailer had a 6-pin plug, so I wasn’t able to test the lights. I decided to take it anyway, and drove very carefully back to a Menard’s by the freeway to buy a wiring adapter. Things looked good at Menards, although one of the brake lights wasn’t working, even though I had the marker light on that side.
We stopped for a Scottish lunch to go, but as we headed back out to the freeway, I got sporadic messages (with a really annoying beep) that the trailer was electrically disconnected. I spent fifteen or twenty minutes poking around as best I could, but saw nothing I could fix, so we headed home. The annoying tone went off about every 90 to 180 seconds of a two-hour drive. That works out to about 80 or so BEEEEEEEEEEEPs on that trip. I might be able to sing that note for you on demand now. I dropped the trailer off at the service center where we bought the fifth wheel hitch, knowing that they won’t get to it until Monday. That was disconcerting for a number of reasons. I had just spent a couple of thousand on a trailer, and I hoped that everything would be working properly. But such is life. More importantly though, we’re picking up the RV Saturday. I wanted the cargo trailer sitting in a particular place in the driveway while I added a bulkhead and some storage shelves, but that position will be blocked once we bring the RV home.
Friday we got a notice that our landline has been ported over to Verizon. We can still dial out on the ATT line, but incoming calls ring to the Verizon phone. Erica’s phone arrived as well. She had been looking at the Env3, but those are only available online as reconditioned phones. She ended up getting the Octane, but we had to order it. The order went in Wednesday evening, and the phone arrived via Fedex Friday. By contrast, the Maxpedition bag I had ordered from Amazon back on January 30th was sitting in UPS’s Columbus hub for three days., and I was told tonight that I wouldn’t see the bag until Tuesday.
Oh, and the minivan has a leak in one of the tires. I discovered that Wednesday as we were headed out somewhere. We’re nominally selling it to a friend, but I want it working properly when we do. The tires have a road hazard warranty, but getting it to the shop is just one more thing to accomplish as our schedules fill up.
We head out tomorrow morning to RV Wholesalers to pick up our rig and start moving our household into a 400-square foot space. We still need to place our pets, arrange storage for the things we’re keeping here, and pack a few more of those things up. February 22 is still our target launch date. Keep your fingers crossed.