But we do have some nice new digs.
While we have been happy with our Puma fifth wheel, as it passed the 5 year mark, we began to wonder whether it made sense to upgrade while it is still good shape or just stay put indefinitely. Talking it over with some of our fellow campers at Pocahontas who had recently upgraded, we were starting to more seriously consider the upgrade. Dave had found a layout that appealed to us in the Cougar RV line, which was the same brand our friends had purchased early last year.
However, it wasn’t until about a week before Christmas that Dave discovered there were a few 2020 models of the fifth wheel we wanted in Florida that were being heavily discounted. They were all at nearby Camping World Dealers. We tried to make a deal on one in Lake City, but that one was sold almost as soon as we started talking to the dealer. We were contacted by a salesperson who said we could look at one that was already sold in St. Augustine. That one almost literally drove away as we finished our tour. The same was true of the one in Ocala. Trying to negotiate to have one of the 2 remaining ones relocated to St. Augustine was a no-go, since we were offered almost nothing for trading in our RV. We had pretty much decided to give up for the time being, then changed our minds and decided to take one last stab at one at the Camping World in Kissimmee. This time, we were able to agree on a deal. That was Tuesday.
We were given a tour of the RV’s systems, processed all the paperwork, and were back on the road by early afternoon. We made it back to Faith with enough daylight left to maneuver the new RV into our spot in the campground. (We had moved the Puma out to the parking lot before we left.) We spent the next day, a very warm Christmas Eve, hauling all of our stuff from the old to the new. So, our Christmas gift to ourselves was spending Christmas Eve in our new RV.
Once we had occupied the Cougar, we needed to make some changes to make it work for us. The water tanks needed to be sanitized. Although the mattress was much more substantial than that in the Puma, it needed a softer topper that we ordered. The bedroom TV needed a mount installed before it could be moved over.
On a cold night the day after Christmas, we encountered our first serious problem. The propane heat, which is ducted throughout the RV, tripped the fuse that controlled it. When we turned off the heat, the fuse would reset. We’d start it up again and about a minute later, the fuse would trip again. Although we could rely on our electric fireplace to provide heat, we were disheartened at the prospect of a potentially major problem so early in our ownership. However, the next morning, we took advantage of a “Tech Help Line” made available to us through our purchase and an Elite Good Sam membership. We could not have been more pleased. The tech knew our RV, pointed us to the specific fuse (#6) on the panel and asked us to confirm it was black. (It was.) Apparently this is a slow-blowing fuse that can have problems. He had us replace it with a regular fuse and the heat started up and stayed running. He then called us back several minutes later to confirm it stayed running. What a turnaround from the night before.
There is more we plan to do, of course, but we are getting pretty comfortable in this new space.
When we decided not to trade our Puma 5th Wheel, we knew we were going to have to try to sell it on our own. So, after spending several days emptying it out, we spent several days, cleaning and prepping it to be sold. We moved it out of the parking lot, to make way for the new Nomads project team and into a less-desirable spot in the campground. This little-used site required a little tree-trimming to clear room for the slide.
As we had done for our Beneteau sailboat, we created our own website for its sale. (2015puma5thwheelforsale). If you know someone looking to start land cruising, we have a RV they will want to see.
The gym roof has been the source of leaks that have been distressing the current tenant. Dave helped work with the roofing contractor to remove the vents that many had suspected were a major cause of the leaks. Part of their process was going to involve applying the fiber and thick coating that we had used successfully on the Wesley Hall roof last year. To make this happen, we drove to St. Augustine (remember the RV visit?) and picked up some of the fiber and pails of the thick product that would be used to apply it. The crew arrived the Monday before Christmas and the work was done in a couple of days. Its first test was the terrific Christmas Eve storm that arrived during the evening’s services. Unfortunately, there was still too much water on the floor the next day. More needed to be done.
The next Monday, Dave was able to get the roofers to return to use what was left of the pails and fiber to coat more of the roof ridge. Since they ran out of product before they ran out of roof ridge, we would still have work to do on the upcoming Nomads project. We made arrangements to get 3 more pails that will need to be applied not only on the roof ridge, but also along the seams midway down on each side. Stay tuned.
Celebrating the holidays on our own was a new experience for us (and many others). We broke up the day by having a Zoom call with Bonnie’s family and Barb, Diane and Pam. We had a good time running a Christmas scavenger hunt that had some surprising wins by the 3 teams (Troy and Taylor, Bonnie and Troy, and the PA team). But, in the end, youth won out. Troy and Taylor were the victors. Just wait till next year!
We also had an outdoor visit with Sue and Steve Harvey, here to visit her mom who is a Nomad on our upcoming project. It’s been more than a year since we saw them last, so that was a treat.
We brought in the New Year surrounded by fireworks that lasted for several hours. We made our toast closer to 9pm than midnight, however. Here’s hoping for a great 2021.