It’s here!!

As you may know, I ordered a new 2017 F250 as our new tow vehicle. We had the 2013 that we needed to get rid of and were half-heartedly┬átrying to do as I didn’t want to be without a way to pull/move the trailer.

We had no real bites on it but now that we were back from the last planned trip we could attack the sale head on. However, the dealership said that they would buy it from us. But for how much? To add a bit more interest to all this my DMV renewal was coming up on Friday 9/30.

I talked to the dealership and told me what they would buy it for. Wow! It was exactly the amount I wanted! They also were willing to make the entire deal before the new truck came in AND before my tags were due!

We did the deal on the 29th and I spent a weekend without a truck. A weird feeling. Then I got the call on Tuesday that my truck was in. I went down and looked it over, I gave them a check and they gave me the keys.

I had to order a new shank since the tail end was higher than the old one so I had to wait for that. We also did a 7 day trip to Arizona to get it broken in.

Here are a couple of shots with the trailer:

Now I am waiting for my shell…

Christmas camping

My family always seems to be very busy. Hard to get together for anything. Christmas (2015) was going to be at my sister’s house in Bishop. Both of her daughters and families have moved back to Bishop so all of them were going to be there. Our mother from Arizona was also making the trek. That pretty much meant we should make every effort to get there this year. Also with retirement coming up we don’t know the next we will all be in one place.

It was a go. I got the time off. Since the house was going to be full we had planned on taking the Airstream and staying in an RV park there. Bishop can be very cold in the winter so we figured having hookups would be the best with the trailer. I made reservations. We could even use our heat pump (reversed AC) units to heat. We were going to drive half way to Tehachapi the first night and stay at the Love’s truck stop there. This would make our next leg a much easier drive.

As everyone knows, plans change.

I realized if Bishop was too cold the heat pumps would not work. The limit for heat pumps is around 30-40 degrees. We have been in Bishop in the winter when it got down to 12 degrees! That wouldn’t work. The option would be and electric heater, our propane Heater Buddy or the main furnace. Either way that didn’t necessarily mean we needed an RV park. So I asked my sister if we could park in her driveway and tap on to 15amp power. The answer was ‘Of course’. So we were now staying at the house but not in it.

Our mother was flying from Phoenix, to LAX, to Mammoth the day that we were going part way but that had a hiccup also. Her flight to LAX was just fine but the flight from LAX to Mammoth did not even take off because they feel they could not land due to weather conditions. So she was stuck at LAX. Change the plans. Go down to LAX, pickup Mom, bring her back to Visalia. Leave the next day with Mom and the trailer and do the drive in one day. OK. We can do that.

Luckily, Cindy (sister) thought of her getting on a shuttle that goes to a parking service in Van Nuys. That cut 30-60 minutes from our trip. We left around 5pm and got home around 1am.

The next day we didn’t get a fantastically early start but headed to Bishop with no issues. We got there around 4pm and the ordeal was over. Here is a shot of the mountains on the way:

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I was very nice to spend the holidays with the family. As an added bonus our son Aaron and his girlfriend Rachel made it:

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Also in attendance was our daughter Hannah and her boyfriend Lukas:

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This made us happy to have everyone there. Can you tell?

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Everybody survived, even this one:

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I tried a variety of heating methods during the stay there. First night was the Dyson Hot/Cold. It didn’t really keep up. Second night was the Heater Buddy. It did well but the canister did not last all night. The final night was the furnace and it was the way to go. Of course it got down to 12 that night! It actually snowed for a bit the first day we were there. You can barely see it in this picture (we even got to stay in a gated community!):

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We trucked home directly with no issues nor did Mom have any issues flying back.