We picked the RV up 2 days ago from the dealer in Fresno. Brady and I drove down late Thursday night leaving the kids home by themselves. This was a first. We have always hired a sitter or had the kids stay with friends when we have been gone overnight. But this was a last minute trip and after a quick family meeting it was decided they are old enough to be left on their own. We have several good friends nearby so we agreed it was time to let them try this next step to independence. As far as we know all went well. Everyone went to bed on time, no one watched movies they weren’t supposed to, all chores were completed quickly and efficiently with no complaining and there was no bickering between siblings. I am sure that is exactly how it happened. 😉

We stayed at a hotel in Fresno near the truck accessory store that was installing the hitch early Friday morning while we had our trailer walk through on the other end of town. We dropped the truck off at 8 am and were assured it would be ready for pick up by noon. When we arrived at the dealer, they were ready for us and we started the walk through.

Our trailer is a brand new 2013 Keystone Raptor 395LEV. Its 42.5 feet long and weighs 14,610 lbs empty. We had quite the wish list when we started shopping for an RV and made a few compromises to get it in a price we were comfortable paying. The biggest compromise… going with a queen size bed, but we will adjust. This whole trip is about getting closer as a family, why should our sleeping arrangements be any different?

395LEV floorplan

We learned a lot during the walk through. It wasn’t quite what I had pictured and it was not the most professional process. The remotes where missing, the keyless entry needed new batteries, a cap for one of the water hoses was missing, the outdoor ladder was nowhere to be seen, the carpets needed to be cleaned and the warranty paperwork is at their other location (200+ miles north of Fresno.) When we asked about cleaning the carpets they said no problem. In came 3 employees with dirty rags and spray bottles who started wetting down the carpets and “scrubbing” the dirt deeper into the carpets. Not exactly the cleaning I had in mind. They assured us the whole rig had been gone through and every hose, outlet and appliance tested. After what I had seen that morning, I’m not sure I believe them. We will stay our first few nights at a campground near the dealer so if we discover any issues they can be taken care of before we hit the road.

During the walk through Brady got a phone call from the hitch guy. Apparently the hitch they planned on using doesn’t fit the new Dodge Ram, despite the research and assurance from the hitch manufacture. This meant we needed to go a different, and of course more expensive, route. Instead of installing a standard slider 5th wheel hitch they needed to install a gooseneck and then a 5th wheel hitch that attaches to the gooseneck. This is a much better set up as it can be removed completely from the bed of the truck, but it cost $1,000 more than we had budgeted.  At this point we didn’t have much choice.

After the walk through we left the dealership with a punch list of fixits. They loaned us a car to go get lunch. We had several hours to kill (4) before the truck would be ready so we went to a movie, ate lunch and basically wasted away the afternoon aimlessly driving around Fresno. The truck was finally done at 4, so we picked it up and raced across town to the dealer to get the trailer. So much for getting home before dark.

Another hour at the dealer, while we waited for them to finish the punch list we had left them with 4 hours earlier and we were finally hooked up and on the road, just as the sun fell below the horizon.