"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Picking up our New Truck & Trailer

Clinton, IL

Right after the RV-Dreams rally in TN finished we drove north to pick up our new truck in Clinton, IL.  The drive wasn't too bad.  We made it with enough time to meet Curt & Glenda of  Illinois Campers for dinner.  I've been following their blog for a while now.  They are in the same phase of full-timing we are.  We're both just waiting for the house to sell!  They are both very nice and it seems we have a lot of interest in common.  I'm sure we'll meet up along the way many times in the future!

We bought our truck on-line through Douglas Dodge.  They were fantastic to work with.  It's a new 2013 Dodge 4x4 Longbed Laramie Longhorn Dually.  Whew, what a mouthful.  Very pretty too, rootbeer brown/gold. 

Meet "Hoss"

Muskegon, MI

As soon as we returned our rental car, we were off to Muskegon, Michigan to do our PDI and pick up our new home!  This was the most exciting part of this trip, hands down!  We stayed in a nearby hotel for the night we arrived.  In the morning we excitedly arrived at Lakeshore RV.  Again we bought our 5th wheel over the internet.  Such an easy process.  We were very happy with the process for both.  Our new 2013 Montana 3582 had just had a bath and was waiting for us!

And of course, "The Ponderosa"

The "Ponderosa" is 39 ft of beautiful living space with lots of storage.  There are 3 slides, 6 way auto levelers, kitchen island with lots of counter space and cabinets, fireplace, 2 A/Cs and a tub/shower.


At Lakeshore RV, they really want to make sure you have plenty time to learn about your rig and get used to it.  They have a little "campground" on their grounds.  Concrete pads, hookups and nice trees around it.  They wanted us to practice hitching and unhitching, turning, backing etc.  What a great  dealership!  It also gave us time for a couple last minute add-ons (they are VERY accommodating) and a couple of shopping trips to pick up some necessities and some non-necessities.  Yes, dear, I do need those new pillows and that rug and those...  It's looking so homey already!  Wow, do we love it!


We ran into a little delay when the original hitch were going to have installed by Lakeshore would not work.  Apparently there is an issue with 2013 Dodge 3500.  This caused a frantic search for a solution as we had to get on the road to drive back to CA for our son's college graduation. -- From Steve: Dodge installed a plate on the chassis above the axel that prohibits the standard receiving hitches from being installed.  The only company that has addressed this so far is B&W that makes a custom kit to integrate into Dodge's chassis setup to allow the installation of a turn over gooseneck setup (model #1314).  There is a very helpful youtube video on this exact installation.  Then you can integrate the B&W Companion 5th Wheel Receiver (model #3500).  The big advantage of this setup is that now you have the flexibility to use either a gooseneck hitch or a 5th wheel receiver.  Plus when you're not towing, you have the full use of the bed as both assemblies come out very easily. --


Of course when we were ready to leave and hitch up for our first time ever, it was POURING.  The hitching went off perfectly but since I forgot to pack an umbrella, I was soaked.  We drove a few miles away to have new tires put on the trailer.  "New?" you ask?  I won't get into all of the details, but the tires put on many Montana's of our size are Goodyear "E" loads and they have a very bad track record of blowing out.  It is many, as well as our, opinion that a stronger "G" load rating is safer.  We had Discount Tires put on 4 new Goodyear G614's.  It was still raining very heavily.  Since our rig was so large for their lot, they had us pull alongside the building and they came out like a NASCAR pit crew.  They had 4 guys out their in the rain putting those new tires on in no time flat!  It was quite amazing to watch.  We were very appreciative to them as we had to postpone the installation 3 different times due to the above mentioned hitch issue.  Kudos to all three of these dealerships.

Now we are heading back to California to see our son graduate from Fresno State.  Go Bulldogs!


  1. Congratulations on your new home. If you get up to South Dakota give us a holler. The Black Hills are very scenic. We'll be here for the sumer.

    1. Will do! We hope to be there July/Aug to get our SD licenses and have a little fun. We love that area! It would be great to meet you and maybe you can show us some hidden gems!

  2. Congratulations on your new rig and ride, now to just get rid of the house and you'll be hitting the road.

    1. Thanks. Staying in it this past week has been so much fun that we almost can't stand it.

  3. Congratulations Debbie and Steve, nice looking rig. Safe travels home. See you in the fall. Curt and Glenda

    1. Looking forward to seeing you both at the rally too! Hopefully both of our places will be SOLD long before then!

  4. Your rig is stunning! Hope the trip 'cross country is great fun and all the surprises are good ones! Looking forward to pics of the sold sign in front of the ranch this summer.

  5. Thanks Jodee. We just LOVE it! We just got back home and it's strange and bittersweet. Kind of like being stuck between two worlds. Really hope to get the house on the market this month. Still so much to do though.

  6. Out of state trucks are supposed to have apportioned registration, meaning it is registered in multiple states.
    SRAC Interstate Trailer Hire

  7. Hi Ms. Debbie! My name is Amy and I came across your blog while searching for information on a Montana 5th wheel just like yours-same year and everything. We live in an older Bighorn right now, on our own property. We may build a small cottage here in the future, but as for now, we are enjoying the simple life in our rv. However, the floor plan we have is not fulltime friendly...minimal kitchen space and bath in the bedroom. We found the Montana with a person that pulled it straight to a resort to live in while working away from
    home, so never on the road.
    I am hoping you won't mind answering a few questions? I need lots of kitchen storage because we love to cook. How do you utilize those cabinets around the refrigerator? Is there pantry storage? How has everything held up? We are going to see the Montana soon; so far have only researched this model on my own. It looks like a fun rv to live in. Anything you can share about the rv would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


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