After spending the weekend in Nashville visiting family and friends, we headed to Knoxville with our vehicles loaded with everything we thought we would need for the next week. Since we would be returning to Nashville within the week, we left much of our stuff in the storage unit. On Monday morning, October 12th, we arrived at RVs for Less and became the proud owners of our Mobile Suites fifth wheel. We were greeted by Alan, who would spend the next three days answering our questions and getting us more comfortable with the workings of our new home.
We were able to pull our vehicles up next to our RV and began to move into our new home. Although there is plenty of storage in the Mobile Suites, finding the right place to put things was a challenge. Remembering where we put them was an even greater challenge! Alan was very patient with us as he tried to show us how things worked even though there was very little room to walk between all our boxes. We were glad we had done so much research in advance as this made the learning curve much less daunting.
We were given a worksheet to use to note any questions we had or things that needed to be fixed. Fortunately, there were only a couple of minor repairs that needed to be made. The bedroom closet door needed to be realigned and the catch on the LP tank tray needed to be adjusted. We had ordered AGM (no maintenance) batteries which had not yet arrived but they were installed later in the week.
Since Karen, the owner of RVs for Less, was leaving on vacation Monday afternoon, we met with her to finalize the paperwork and hand over the big check. Ken also stopped by to greet us and make us feel at home.
On Tuesday, Alan gave us our driving lesson. He taught us how to hitch and unhitch the fifth wheel and then took us down the road. Initially he had Phil just drive up and down the highway near the dealership but then he took us out on I-40 and to a mall with a fairly empty parking lot. We practiced backing up the fifth wheel, which is much more challenging than going forward. Jan, although hesitant to drive the rig out on the road, took her turn driving it on the lot and backing it up. Although the lesson we got from Alan helped our confidence, we were both glad we had already signed up for additional driver training.
We had originally planned to only stay on the dealer’s lot for two days and then the dealer would pay for us to spend two nights at a campsite in Pigeon Forge, TN. However, when we ran into problems with our DIRECTV setup (warranting a separate blog post), Ken told us we could stay on the lot for as long as we needed. He said the record had been 11 days so the four nights we ended up staying wasn’t too bad by comparison. We were given a key to the dealership’s gate so we were free to come and go after business hours.
One of the challenges caused by not having our DIRECTV access was that we had to find a place to watch the Chicago Cubs defeat the ST. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS playoffs. We found a nice sports bar in Knoxville and camped out there two nights watching the games. In our hurry to get to see the second game, we took off without the gate key and had to call Ken at home to arrange to be let back through the gate.
Phil had made arrangements for us to go through two days of RV Driving School in Nashville on the weekend of October 16 and 17 so we needed to head to Nashville on Friday. The DIRECTV receivers that had been expected earlier in the week finally arrived around 3 pm on Friday. Kennedy, the electronics technician for RVs for Less, installed the hardware but, despite numerous phone conversations with reps from Winegard and DIRECTV, we couldn’t get the TVs in the bedroom and outside to work. Phil finally decided that these issues would have to wait until the following week and we prepared to leave the dealer’s lot. We said our goodbyes and hit the road to Nashville.
It was nearly 6 pm when we left the dealership so most of the 3-hour drive was in the dark and on a hilly and winding I-40. Although the trip was tiring, it was uneventful and we pulled into our campsite in Nashville around 9:30pm. Since we had driving school at 9am on Saturday, we didn’t even bother to unhitch and went right to bed.