A few months ago, we traded in my 7-year old Rav4. After being hit 6 times and keyed twice, I decided that there was a big assed target painted on it. So we went car shopping, well, SUV shopping and bought The Beast. He may not be the most gas efficient one out there, but when you run around with three, sometimes four, dogs and at least one another human, you need tail and paw room.
We thought about getting a tow trailer so we could travel. With three dogs, it gets expensive when you add in boarding, so why not take them with us? Right? Then we started looking and realized neither of us wanted to tow anything, much less subject the dogs to days on end of being stuck in the backseat of The Beast, no matter how much they love to R-I-D-E. (We have to spell it out, or else there is a major stampede to the front door.)
So we expanded our search and ultimately ended up with Big Bertha. She's 31' long and lets us go where we want, when we want and take the dogs with us. She's easy to drive, a bit of a gas and parking hog but very comfortable. Although brand new, it is an 08, with only 800 transport miles on the odometer. Not bad, and we got a great deal too. There were some things that needed to be done, and we gave the dealer two weeks to do them. They weren't done when we picked her up, in fact the sales dept hadn't even told service about it. Oops, and not on my part.
So this past weekend we took her out on her shake down cruise to find out what else needed to be done before we took it back. We had reservations for Alleghany State Park and didn't want to lose them. So I spent a fast two days packing, learning what was where and how it worked, and getting what I hoped was all we needed together.
Off we went on Thursday morning. Directly to the dealers. They had never replaced the worn wiper blades- but it passed inspection? There was a small leak under the bathroom sink that I wanted fixed too. When I met up with TOG (The Old Guy) at the service shop, I noticed a leak from under the electrical compartment. Back to the service tech. He finally traced it to an elbow joint, located under the bed, whose seal had not taken and so that was replaced. I packed Blue into the truck with me, and the other three off in with TOG. Isis and Blue can't share the front seat, so this way they were both happy. We are fortunate that all of the dogs love to ride.
Finally, we hit the road, two hours late. We did stop in Oneonta at Brooks Bar-b-Que for lunch. The dogs behaved in Big Bertha and we headed out again. Once we hit Binghamton, it started to rain. Then it couldn't decide if it was going to rain or snow. Ugh.
By the time we finally hit the park, it was dark. The office was closed. We had no clue where we were going. Typical. Finally a state cop came around, showed us to the spot and we parked for the night. We were the only one in the entire section, so it was quiet. We parked on the road, not the site because I really didn't want to try and do that at night. Not like anyone but the bears were going to complain. The bathrooms were right there, the electrical and water worked. It was all we needed for the night. Fed the dogs, walked them and we crashed.
The morning brought a whole new set of fun. (to be continued, and pictures too.)