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Old 06-23-2009, 07:01 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Aberdeen
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M.O.C. #8573
Not A Rookie anymore…I think

My wife and I are celebrating our first year of the RV lifestyle in a 5th wheel. This last weekend on our way home from camping, we talked about all we have been through over the last year. I must admit, it was a daunting task to learn the lingo, perform the checks and be safe while still managing to enjoy ourselves. We have driven the Oregon coast and conquered the mountain passes of Oregon and Washington.

I still vividly remember leaving the lot of Tacoma RV never having towed a 5vr. The terror and chipped teeth from clenching as we rounded that first corner, to the look of terror when I saw stop and go traffic on the freeway. This soon gave way to cautious optimism as I learned how the trailer pulled. Then the dreaded driveway backing job. I was so nervous, I couldn’t even talk.

Soon we were getting pretty good at setup and take down. Times were getting better. I do remember thinking I had made an expensive mistake, going into a 5vr and why would people do this to themselves. Once set up though, life was good.

As time went on, minor problems arose. With the expert opinions of fellow MOC’ers (Montana Owners Club) I was able to work through the problems. It also helped a lot that our friends had a sob 5vr and had been there done that. My friend Loren was able to assist me in most situations.

I have learned a lot. My terror has given way to enjoyment. Obstacles in backing have given way to challenges. I now can get her in the driveway on one shot, and tight campsites do not cause me to break out in terror related sweats.

I now look forward to hooking up and hitting the road. I have no reservations on our route. I have learned that as long as big rigs go that way, I can go that way. I only need to plan a little more on the route. On our bike, we avoided gravel roads and that was about it. With the trailer, we have to watch for low bridges and narrow roads. I need to plan my stops a little more as in lunch and make sure we have a spot for the night.

We have learned a lot in our short time and feel we are now “sophomores’ at the RV scene. Thanks to the MOC for your insight and guidance when asking those ‘important’ questions. We look forward to many more adventures down the road. I just wanted to pass this on in case any rookies were feeling the same as they go through the wide range of emotions during that first year.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:06 AM   #2
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It's amazing what a little time, practice and good advice can do. Belonging to the MOC has made our RV adventure easier. The wealth of knowledge is unlimited and the people we've encountered both on line and in person couldn't be nicer and more helpful. Pulling a 5er does make you think in 3 dimensions. I've never been more aware of low bridges, wires and tree limbs, even when I'm not pulling the rig.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:02 AM   #3
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Steve and Lori. The learning never stops but it sounds like you have the right stuff. Every times we hook up it is a new adventure and I think of The MOC as that Verizon Commercial with that huge group of people that are with you wherever you go.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:56 AM   #4
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I think the difference between a rookie and a non-rookie is fear! When fear turns to caution and learning then you are no longer a rookie. Some folks get out of rookie mode much quicker than others. But to be an expert you must always be cautious and aware otherwise that's how accidents happen.

Congratulations on completing your first year! Ain't it fun to keep learning?
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:52 AM   #5
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Art that was well stated. I like that.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:27 AM   #6
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What you are saying is so true. Over the years of camping we have learned that with each trip it gets a little easier as far as setting up and all of the work involved with it. There is always something to learn. Once we know to be cautious and don’t get overly anxious or excited when things become a tight situation, then we surpass being rookies IMHO. That is what is called experience!
2011 GMC 4X4 dually CC, 6.6 Duramax with Allison Transmission. Formally 2001 Montana,2007 3400RL Montana, presently 2018 3401RS Alpine.
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:18 PM   #7
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Definition of a Rookie "Not knowing enough to know that you don't know."
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