Hi all! As many of you know, we have a 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH that we live full time in, traveling for Allen’s job as a broadcast tower technician. We bought this camper 3 years ago today! We thought we made a good choice. Continue reading
Lots have happened since our last post. Things have been hectic, to say the least!
Let me start by saying we have put over 16,000 miles on the camper in 2017!!! And I can only see things getting more go-go-go…
Thanksgiving dinner was a success! When we went shopping, we were planning on it only being Allen and I for dinner. Obviously we bought WAY too much food because we wound up feeding 4 adults & 4 kids… with leftovers!
Hi! We’re Rachel & Allen and we live full time in our 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385 fifth wheel toy hauler. We travel the country for Allen’s work, often only having a couple days notice of where we need to be next. And we love it!
Yes… We’ve done this before! Continue reading
After our not-so-excellent experience with a mobile RV tech, we decided this had to be done! When Allen and I put our heads together and work to make something happen, we usually rock it. (And if we want to kill each other along the way, at least we come out the other side still in love!) Continue reading
And if it shakes it loosens… Such is life in our home on wheels…
Since we left North Dakota on Saturday we’ve discovered:
- The low-point drain is busted. Broken. Stuck open.
- Our bedroom slide is in need of service. It won’t close all the way.
- Our gray and black tanks don’t close all the way, so when Allen (not me) removes the cap to hook the sewer hose up, all kinds of nastiness spills out. Every time.
- The tank for the half bath in the garage won’t open to drain. It’s full. The handle pulls out. Nothing happens.
When we got to Abe’s RV Park last night, we parked and attempted to plug the busted water valve with no luck. So then we went out with Karen and Bob for some food, drinks, relaxing and catching up. Love them! Then today we got the truck tires balanced and rotated first thing this morning. I called 3 different McClain’s RV Superstores to try and get the camper in for lots of service but none could do anything until at least January. I called Grand Design and spoke with “Jerry” yet again. He was not even remotely helpful.
We also want to have some other little things fixed while it’s still under our 1 year manufacturer warranty. But taking it to Grand Design is out of the question as “Jerry” told me today they aren’t scheduling any more service appointments and are backed up into February. Nice.
Allen was able to get the low point drain off and replace it with and elbow and more pex and a plug held together with lots of hose clamps. (All found at Lowe’s for a few bucks) So we at least have water. I did the manual override for the bedroom slide and got it in.
Now we’re on our way to Dallas and nothing is really fixed, just patched for now. No clue what we are going to do or when we can do it. I love traveling. I love living in a camper. I love the spontaneity of Allen’s job. But when it comes to this kind of crap, it’s frustrating to say the least! But, we have each other, and Charlie, so we will deal with whatever is thrown at us and try and make the most of it!
P.S. I love Abe’s RV Park. It’s one of my favorite places, mostly because Karen & Bob are so nice and so helpful. I was a little sad to leave… On a good note: it’s in the 60s and feels like SUMMERTIME to us! I can’t wait to open the back and have a porch again!
Winnemucca, Nevada. Who woulda thunk it’d be a booming little town?? We were definitely surprised.
We pulled into the I-80 Winnemucca KOA Friday afternoon, checked in, got hooked up and walked Charlie. It was my first time staying at a KOA and it was pretty nice. We were excited to put our awnings out for the first time in about 4 months! I’ll add a review in the next week or so. I should mention that there are a bunch of RV parks in this town. There was a brand new one across the street and one about a block down, so the KOA definitely isn’t your only option.
Once we got little Charles settled in we headed to Walmart for some RV toilet paper (we ran out in San Francisco-crappy! *pun intended*) Then we went to Winger’s for food and drinks. It was almost right across the street from the campground. I think it’s a chain restaurant but we’d never been to one. We had some beers and some wings then headed home and called it a night.
Saturday morning we went to this 24/7 cafe for breakfast that Allen was seeing signs for on the highway. It was inside a casino. Love it. On the way there we passed a huge lot with buses pulling in and a whole bunch of parked pickups. We knew there had to be something going on in this little town down in a valley in the middle of the desert. We noticed Friday night that there seemed to be a lot of younger guys and Allen said there’s a lot of good looking girls for it being out in the middle of nowhere. Turns out there’s a big gold mining company in Winnemucca and they bus everyone to the mines. Pretty interesting…
Anyhow, after breakfast we stopped at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts and got a new air pump.
We burnt our old one up on the fourth camper tire in San Francisco. (A Cobalt) This one is a little more powerful. It’s an MV-50 and it has little jumper cable prongs on it instead of a plug. We still have to find an attachment thingy to fill the dually tires but the camper is good to go!
We are just about ready to go! Mentally we’ve been ready for over a month! (Being out here just wears on everyone and we start longing for wide open spaces – cue the Dixie Chicks!)
I should mention here that I had a mini melt down yesterday. I was gathering up everything we need to register the vehicles and get our drivers licenses in South Dakota and I couldn’t find my social security card! I was all worried that Allen was going to have to “move” without me! But, not five minutes after he walked in the door, he found it for me, right where it was supposed to be, somehow I missed it. Thanks babe! (By “move” I mean change our domicile.)
We are putting the bike in the garage this evening (probably until next year!) and strapping everything down (bike, toolbox, file cabinet). I have all of my sewing stuff put away and the pink flamingo is safely in the cubby! Now we only have little things left…
Our neighbor in Lantana, Florida told me about hurricane putty (or earthquake putty). She used it for little knickknack-y things in their camper when they hit the road. It’s supposed to keep things secure even in an earthquake.
So last week we stopped at Lowe’s and I finally picked some up. It was right around $4. I’ve used it on our pictures we have sitting on the shelves on the island so far. I hope it works! If so then I can leave them out and that’ll be one less thing to put away when we travel.
I’m wondering if they make a black or dark brown colored putty. That would look better… I’m also hoping it holds because when we bought the camper we had them Xzilon everything, inside and out. (Inside it’s supposed to protect against stains and what not and it’s almost like a waterproofness on everything-carpet, floor, walls, shelves… Outside it keeps it fresh so we don’t have to wax it for at least 5 years-guaranteed! I think that made it worth it right there!)
One thing I should mention… Traveling with our new fifth wheel vs. traveling in our travel trailer is SUCH a big difference! Everything got jostled around in the travel trailer so that’s what we were expecting when we got this one. I was even worried about the marble sink and stove covers getting broken, wondering if we should tape them down. The first stop we made after traveling the first time with all our stuff in it, we ever so slowly opened the medicine cabinet in the bathroom expecting everything to come flying out like it used to in the old camper. But everything stayed pretty much where we put it! It just seems so calm in comparison. Now, that said, I still wouldn’t trust picture frames with glass to stay put!
Our 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH has a 12’2″ garage, which is perfect for us! We didn’t want anything TOO large, because you are giving up comfy living space for garage space. (I’ve taken some images from Grand Design‘s website, I’m sure you can tell which ones!)
The garage, or the toy hauler if you prefer, gets used about as much as the rest of the house. We needed a large enough space to be able to travel with a motorcycle and Allen’s huge tool box (for now), and a Smart car at some point down the road.
The back hatch folds down to a ramp so you can move your “toys” in and out, but also has the option of turning into a patio or deck in the back. It has railings that pin into place all around, and a set of stairs that pin to the back and lead down from the patio. There is a manual awning that goes overtop the patio and has stabilizing legs on it (it took us a couple times putting the awning out and thinking that it was super flimsy before we, well, in all fairness, I, discovered this!) When the patio is down, there is a 3-season garage wall. It’s basically sliding screen doors with plastic that can velcro over the screen. The doors also open all the way to get toys in and out. There are vents that can be opened when traveling to circulate the air and let fumes out if you have “toys” in the garage.Inside, it has a Happijac bunk system: 2 queen bunks that can raise all the way up and stay out of the way while traveling, or come down for extra sleeping room. The bottom bunk also turns into 2 benches and there is a table that fits into place in between the bunks. This is how we have it set up most of the time. Especially if we are somewhere that we can’t have the hatch open and the patio set up. The garage came with a roll of carpet that you could potentially lay down, but we tossed that out. We take advantage of the garage floor as a place to take off shoes and muddy boots.
There is a TV, radio and CD/DVD player in the garage.
***Full disclosure: (because I want to be super honest about everything) This radio is junk. We are on our third one from the factory so far. We’ve talked to another guy who has the same camper and he concurs with our opinion. It’s a Furrion CD player for a car that they mounted in the cabinet. It switched by itself from the speakers in the ceiling to the speakers by the TV. It constantly sounds like it is trying to spit out a disc even when it’s turned off and there’s nothing in there (that sound drives me crazy!) and it turns its volume up and down on it’s own.
A small cabinet passes through to the living room and a hatch opens up on the floor for more storage. We have an electric space heater, rain boots, and ratchet straps in there right now. We have a metal file cabinet under the pass through cabinet with the printer on top, and Allen’s tool box set up in the garage right now (sometimes he takes it to work depending on the job). A glass door leads to the main living area and a door to the left of that leads to the half-bath. There’s a 3rd A/C in the garage.
DIYs & MODs
- We drilled more holes in the Happi-Jac bunk rails to give us more options of where to have the top bunk. We wanted to be able to keep some things on top of the bunk when we were stationary for a period of time. (Crock Pot, sewing machine, rice cooker, etc.) Here’s a post about that: A Little Camper Fixing
- We hung a tension rod with black out curtains across the back wall. When we have the patio set up, you can see right into the house at night through the 3-season garage wall, so this gives us some privacy. The curtains are all black on the side that faces the rest of the world.
Previously: Tour of Our Home on Wheels (part 1)