Salmon Glacier

Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier, BC, Canada

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year 2014
This is our year coming up and we are very happy to welcome 2014. Glenda will be retiring on January 31st and start the process of getting the house ready to sell in April. My turn comes in October and then we hit the road. Just to give you some idea as to how happy we are. I got a call from Great Lakes RV last Friday and Mike our salesman told me that our Bighorn had been built and was at the dealership.
I was in shock. We were expecting a call to let us know when the build date would be NOT that the rig had already been built. So at first I wasn't too happy. We have a plan and we need to stick to the plan. That meant that the rig was not supposed to come in until early February. That way we could extend the financing out to April/May and use the equity in the house to just pay it off without making a payment. Well I fretted over the weekend and I called Mike back on Monday to see what we could do about the timeline. He had spoken to his boss and they were willing to hold the unit and we are to go over at the end of January and sign the papers and give them the rest of the down payment. Now I'm very happy.
Then Mike tells me that the washer/dryer did not get installed because we both missed it on the build sheet under the list of options. We wanted the washer/dryer installed at the factory since it was about $400 less to do it that way. Well, I put up a little stink(not happy) and Mike said that the dealership would have to wave(eat) the $400. I agreed. Fortunately the dealership actually installs more washer/dryers than the factory does. Only about 10% of units off the assembly line have washer/dryers installed. That means the dealership installs most after they are built. I felt a little better. Ok...Everyone was calmer now. We are very happy again. Mike said let me send you some pictures. He emailed five photos and a panoramic view of the kitchen living room. Here is our future home. We are truly excited now.
 Click on photos to make them larger
 Panoramic view
Kitchen/ living room
Back to front

2014 Bighorn 3585rl
So far everything is working out as planned even with the early arrival of our home. We will be at our daughter's home in Osceola, IN right down the road from the dealership for our family Christmas celebration but unfortunately we won't have the opportunity to see it in person. We will be back at the end of the month and the photos will have to do for now. And that's ok. That gives the dealership time to get everything installed, prepped and ready for us in the spring. Another nice thing is the dealership will store our rig until we can pick it up at the end of March as we begin the transfer process from one home to another. Yes this will be a happy new year. As the song goes... Our future's so bright we got to wear shades. Thank you to the followers that have been reading and commenting. You're encouragement and well wishes have been a great help as we continue on the path of our RV Dream. Working toward retirement and it won't be long.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wishing you a Merry Christmas

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Looking forward to seeing family and enjoying the love, laughter and warm smiles.
If you are traveling, please be safe.(Of course you are, that's what full-timers do)
Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Friday, December 13, 2013


I looked up the definition of the word "Anticipation" in preparing to write this post and found the exact words that describe my feelings right now. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives this definition.

: a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen
: the act of preparing for something
In my last post I stated that we had ordered our 5th wheel, the Heartland Bighorn 3585rl. Well now we traveled to Clinton, IL and placed our order for a 2014 Ford F-350 Super Cab Diesel Dually. I wrote a post back in October that outlined some of what we wanted in a tow vehicle and our ability to get a discounted X plan purchase. I was able to actually go on the X plan site and build exactly the vehicle I wanted. I took the build sheet to the dealer, the order was written and a deposit made. As I was building the truck I wasn't sure if I should order it with the 5th wheel hitch(Reese 25K) and the prep package with the hidden rails under the truck bed. I decided to get some quotes from after market dealers that sell and install 5th wheel hitches. Interestingly the quotes I got for the hitch and installation were the same for lesser weight hitches than what Ford was offering with the truck. So I added the hitch to the package. I also decided to get the 200 amp heavy duty alternator. In researching why I might want to do get the larger alternator I found out an automotive charging system is made up of three major components: the battery, the voltage regulator and an alternator. The alternator works with the battery to generate power for the electrical components of a vehicle, like the interior and exterior lights, and the instrument panel. An alternator gets its name from the term alternating current (AC).
After reading about alternators I decided to get the heavy duty alternator. It seemed to me that a large diesel engine would be better equipped if it had a greater ability to generate power to the battery and electrical components.
As I was building my truck another option available was a soft Tonneau cover that rolls up. I have a tri fold cover on my truck now and I know how well it protects the interior of the bed and the contents. The build site didn't actually tell me what brand the cover would be so I again did some research and came across the Truxedo brand soft cover. The cover I saw on the build site looked a lot like the Truxedo so I asked our salesperson, Stephani, if she had any information on the covers Ford uses. She was able to locate an after market options book that Ford dealers use and sure enough they sell Truxedo. She assured me that the Truxedo would be the brand so I ordered that with the truck too.
OK, I got off subject a little but I hope that by describing some of the details you can get some sense of our feelings ( I know those that are already full-timers do) now that we have the exact 5th wheel and truck that we think will work for us. We've ordered them both and now we have to WAIT. The truck and 5th wheel should arrive about the same time in mid February. The plan is to take delivery of the truck right away but will probably have the dealer store the 5th wheel a few weeks until the weather moderates some. So ANTICIPATION is now the word. That's right, we are in the  act of preparing for something and have a great excitement about something that is going to happen. Will the holidays keep our minds occupied long enough to get us through this time? We hope so. I guess we'll find out. Of course we keep working toward retirement and it won't be long. Thanks for reading.
P.S. - Glenda has only 5 more work weeks until she can say she is retired. January 31, 2014 She gets off 2 weeks for Christmas and New Years. (I think she'll make it.)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving, Aiden and Early Order

We're back home from our Thanksgiving trip to our daughter's house in Osceola, IN. We left Wednesday afternoon after picking up our turkey at Longhorn Smokehouse. Longhorn is a BBQ restaurant that also does catering so every year they take orders for cooking and smoking turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They not only cook and smoke the turkey but will also de-bone the turkey. The price is a little high but the convenience is well worth it. Once the turkey is cooked they place all the meat in a nice aluminum roaster pan for easy heating the next day.

We thought we might run into some winter weather over by our daughters house since they predicted some lake effect snow however the Interstate and Toll Road was clear and it was a pretty uneventful trip. There was some snow but only in town on the city streets. Once we got there we got unloaded and hung out talking until after midnight.

Thanksgiving Day
We got up around 8:30am and I decided we needed to make some pancakes. For some reason I was hungry for pancakes. We got out the griddle and everyone enjoyed the feast with some orange juice, milk and of course real maple syrup. Once breakfast was over we got started on the Thanksgiving meal preparations. The guys also had to watch the football games that were on too.

Heather, Paul and Aiden were supposed to come from Chicago but Aiden had croop(a cold) and they didn't think it was wise to get him out. So we certainly missed them but planned to go by and visit them on our way home on Saturday.

The dinner was  great with our turkey, mashed potatoes, noodles, corn, Jell-O and pumpkin pie for dessert. Everyone was stuffed to the gills. After some naps and more football we snacked off and on the rest of the evening.

We slept late and Sommer had to go into work for a while so after we all got ready(more on that later, think early order) we decided to go get lunch at Chick-Fil-A. Of course it was very busy but we found a seat and enjoyed our meal.

Todd decided to go look for a new computer so Glenda and I took the kids except for Caden and Jasmyne to the mall to watch the crazy people. After we fought through the traffic we took a walk through the mall and were not disappointed at the sight.

We took the kids to the local frozen yogurt shop and enjoyed an afternoon snack then headed home to relax. Sommer was home from work so we played some card games and a dice game called CLR(Center, Left, Right). It's a fast moving game and you never know how it well end. We again stayed up way too late watching a movie.

We had to get up a little earlier since we were going to be leaving today. We wanted to get on the road by 11am so we could spend some time with Heather, Paul and Aiden. We had breakfast,( early order), got packed up, said our goodbyes with kisses and hugs. Then off Glenda and I went to see Aiden.

We got to Chicago(actually Streamwood) around 1:30 and called Heather to see if they wanted us to stop and get some lunch to bring with us. We decided on Portillo's and went through the drive through lane. I got the Italian Beef with Mozzarella and sweet peppers, Paul wanted two hotdogs, Glenda got a fish sandwich and Heather got a chopped salad.

When we got there Aiden was napping so we were able to have our lunch before he got up. Once we woke up he had a bottle and then we watched him play. He is such a happy little boy.

Fortunately he was feeling better. We can't believe he will be 9 months old next week. He has changed so much just sine we saw him a month ago. He's beginning to stand a little and rolls all over the place. We had a great time playing.

Paul is a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan so of course Aiden will be too. So Paul gave him a funny hat to wear but just as I took the picture he got it turned around sideways. We all got a good laugh watching him try to get the hat off. Finally he did. Aiden was getting hungry again so Heather fed him some veggies.

She likes to give him a spoon to play with as she feeds him. I think he will get the hang of feeding himself soon.

We had a great visit but it was getting dark and we needed to get home to get things ready for a small After Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday with my brother, his ex wife, their two boys(Logan and Parker) and my Dad. We said our goodbyes with the usually kisses and hugs. The trip home was uneventful.

Early Order
Your probably wondering about the title and the Early Order. Well on Friday while we were in Osceola at our daughters I thought I would give the salesman a Great Lakes RV in Elkhart a call to see if he was working. Glenda had not actually seen the Bighorn 3585rl that we wanted to purchase. She had only seen photos and online video so I called and Mike was at work and he said to stop on by so we did. We were able to look at a Big Country by Heartland that had a similar d├ęcor and floorplan as the 3585rl. Glenda really liked the layout and the upgrades. We looked a Landmark also but it is another step above what we can afford. It was great to look since the Bighorn will have a a few of the same features as the Landmark.

We went inside and talked a little more about the options we would like and got an updated price sheet. We found out that the dealer show was going on soon and there would be some changes to the options and most likely a price increase but we were looking at ordering our Bighorn in February next year. We had to leave since everyone at home was getting hungry and wanted to go to Chick-Fil-A. We left and did our planned activities of lunch and the mall. After we got home we talked about the Bighorn and what Mike had said. We also talked about the price and the discount he was quoting us. So I texted Mike Friday evening and asked if he was going to be working Saturday and if he would be willing to consider taking an additional 2% off the quote he gave us. If he was willing we would meet him at 9 am on  Saturday morning and place the order.

Well I got a text back about 5 mins later and he said he could do that and would be happy to meet the next morning. SOOOOOOO, we placed the order and worked it out so we would not have to make any payment until April next year. The plan is to pay off the 5th wheel in April but by applying for a loan we can extend out the payment situation so we will end up not making a payment and give us time to get the house ready and on the market in the spring.

If you are interesting in some photos of what the exterior and interior will be like you can find it HERE. These photos are with the buckskin interior but we ordered the Remington which is a darker color leather sofa  and recliners. Everything else in the photos is about what we will be getting.
The exterior has the new Bighorn Ram head on the front, we got the MCD roller shades, frameless windows, Yeti package and Glenda wanted the stackable washer/dryer so it would be factory installed. There is no second awning on the slide like in the photo link. We also got the 6 point leveling system and I got the upgraded 8,000 lb. axles with a new option(DISC BRAKES). I also got the G rated tires. Yes we spent a little more than we were planning on but we figured this is going to be our home and we should get the options we really think we will want and need instead of aftermarket. Maybe it's wrong but we feel pretty good about our decision. That's the early order. We weren't planning on doing this but we also thought why make an additional trip back when we could work this out now. We are now committed to this adventure. Next week we plan to order the truck. We thought we would be getting the truck first so now with this move we really need to get that truck ordered so we have everything in place when the Bighorn comes in. Very nervous but very excited too. After the holidays we begin the house prep, Glenda retires at the end of January and the work begins in earnest. Still feels like a dream but getting more real everyday. We keep working toward retirement and it won't be long. Seriously. Thanks for reading.