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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Big Bertha and the New Toyhauler

New adventures await my husband and I.
We are the proud owner of Big Bertha and a new toy box.
I guess I better explain Big Bertha first.
She is our new 2015 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually.
I have never been the owner of such a big truck, and when my husband brought her home, I immediately called her Big Bertha.
She is a sweet ride to be so big....yes, you bounce around in the cab a bit....yes, she is a rough ride....but hey, she IS Big Bertha.....LOL
Now on to the other new toy.
We have owned a 21' Tahoe Toy Box for at least 10 years.
Bet you had no idea...because I never speak of it.
Well, back a long time ago, my husband purchased it with the intent that we would put our motorcycle in the back and take to locations and ride.
That happened exactly 4 times (at least that is what I think we came up with).
It has sat inside the barn for all these years....
You see, when we bought it we decided we enjoyed just riding the bike to our destination.
Not that we still don't enjoy that, but you see, my husband is using the "R" word quite a bit.
You know the "r" word.....retirement!
Now, I am not sure about that word, as I really do enjoy my business, but you know I am not getting any may have to cave in and enjoy these over the hill years....ROFL.

So if you are following me, we have Big Bertha and the new 42' toy hauler....
I guess I was finally convinced of the toy hauler by the floor plan.
We have looked for quite a while, and seems that we just hadn't found the right set up for us to fall in love with and purchase.

Just on a fluke, we dropped by Oklahoma RV Center a couple of Saturdays back.
We met a very nice and knowledgeable young man by the name of Shawnn.
He showed us a few of the used Toy Haulers they had on the lot, but again, we weren't impressed.
We hopped back in the golf cart and he drove us over to the one and only new hauler they had on the lot.
We sat, we looked, we talked, and we discussed....but we had some concerns about the size of trailer and if it would fit in our barn, and also could we get it in the back yard.
Another questions looms also...will our 3/4 ton Chevy Dura Max pull this baby.

With all these looming questions, we left with a lot of homework to do.
We get home and measure the barn.
It measures 42'.....the trailer after measuring and re-measuring measures 42'6".
We are a bit short.
Then we have the issue of pulling this big thing back into the yard.
We have millions of trees on our one acre lot..(not really millions, but we do have over 200, but that's another story)
Then, we have the truck issue....there is no way our truck will pull this 17,000 pound beast.

With all the details we now have, we have to make some decisions.
Chuck is online checking weight of truck hauling and all the towing capacity of each truck.
He sets out and hits a few dealers that have some used 3/4 ton Ford diesels, and we make a trip to check them out after I leave work.
Impressive, but they are used...and they have a few miles on them, but yes, they are a diesel, and we know they can handle it.
According to the Ford salesman their 3/4 ton will pull it, but when you look at the specs on the trucks they won't come near it. (Already have one of those)
Then the towing capacity comes up and Chuck is just not convinced this is the right way to go.
They are costing as much as a new Ram truck.
Next day, he visits the Dodge dealership.
I have to say, our friends Chris and Diana have a Ram and they are very happy with the truck.

Next thing I know, Chuck is pulling up to my store with a new white Dodge Ram truck.
I wasn't too impressed with the white in the truck...looked too commercial for me, but hey, they have other colors.
They have a we plan to go back and check it out that same evening.

When I turn the corner to our house, there is a silver monster looking truck sitting in our drive.
Big Bertha had come to visit.
She has all the bells and whistles on her that the white truck had...
We drive back to the dealership and a deal is made.
Looks like we are now the proud owners of Big Bertha!
She will go back next week and get the running boards put on. 
Thank goodness, as the ground is pretty far down. ;)

Now, all this time we are still considering the toy hauler that we had found....what if it is sold!
Amazingly we had not had one call from the good people at Oklahoma RV Center.
You see, they are not those hounding people that drive you crazy like the car dealerships. we have a truck...will the trailer fit in the yard is still up for grabs.
Chuck has been talking with the owner at OK RV and our salesman Shawnn.
They assure us they don't want to sell us something that won't fit in our yard.
Shawnn offers to come out to the house and look at our set up and put this all to rest.
He did just that on a Saturday morning before we went to work.
Shawnn said he would be able to pull in the area if we cut down a tree.

Of course if we make the gate wider and take another tree down, it will make it a lot easier to make this happen, so a plan has been hatched.

We have to expand the concrete on the drive, make the gate a double gate, and cut down a couple of trees.
I sure hate losing our pretty gate, but sometimes you have to just sacrifice a few things to make things work out.  :(

We go back to Oklahoma RV Center and put a deposit on the trailer....heck, at this point, sure don't want to let it go....and again, I can't say enough about the dealership.....and remember the Tahoe Toy Box...we traded it in....its gone!

The process of making the yard ready for the trailer has already begun.
Chris knows a person that just might be able to handle the whole thing for us.
He makes a call to him, and we have an appointment to discuss what needs to be done.
First we get the old toy box out of the barn and gingerly drive it to the RV store.
I say gingerly because remember it has been sitting for over 10 yrs...and yes, those are the original tires...and yes, it is very clean....and yes, it is gone!!!!!

Now the hurry up and wait starts.
We actually get the guy that Chris recommended to do the concrete expansion for us.
He is not able to take care of the gate issue, but Chris gave us a guys name for that as well, and hopefully he can do what we need done.

The drive is dug...and we are waiting for didn't happen due to rain.
Monday....well they couldn't get concrete.
Tuesday...raining again...who knew!!!
Maybe Tuesday evening.

During the week of the driveway expansion we make our final walk through on the trailer.
Kind of like buying a house, along with all the instructions ( that I am sure we will forget) as to how to level the trailer, all the water connections, the dreaded black water connection and so much more.
We didn't take it home today, but we will come the next morning and latch Big Bertha on to her and bring her home. 

Big Bertha got her fifth wheel receiver hitch put in this week. 
She is ready to work!

Saturday morning at 9 am we are at the dealership latching on to our new toy!
No one was there to help but we managed just fine. 
We had almost gotten the connections done and Shawnn shows up. 
He is really a help and assured us we had connected the hitch correctly. 
We are ready to make our maiden voyage of hauling the trailer home.

Chuck wants to stop and put gas in the generator and diesel in the truck so we make a short ride to the one station we think we can get in and out of!

Well, that was an experience.
Have to say that my husband does a very good job at maneuvering this big ole mule train.
You just have to plan your approach and exit at every stop.
There will be no "popping" into Braums or Sonic....going to have to plan the route...LOL

Our trip home went well...and we made it to our street without taking anything out!
Chuck backs the trailer into our dead end road, and we unhitch and attempt to auto level and all that stuff.
I think we are getting the hang of this RV thing....for now!
Just wait until we actually pull up will be a blog worth post I am sure!

The concrete still isn't poured and they are trying to do in a few days, so Sunday we connect the trailer back up to Big Bertha and drive out to our friends house and park it for a few days.

The concrete guys show up on Wednesday, and do all their prep work.
We actually get concrete poured Thursday, with instructions to not drive on it for 5 days.

That doesn't stop us from picking up the trailer.
We latch on and pull it back to the house.
I am glad to have it close, as I am wanting to organize the cabinets, and this way I can get all the measurements and buy the appropriate size of plastic tubs and things that I will need.

As you can see by this post, this has been a long drawn out ordeal...but I am happy to say it is coming to an end.
Chuck was anxious to get the trailer in the barn to see just how much longer it actually needs to be, so Sunday, we latch onto the trailer once again and attempt to get it in the yard.
Without a hitch, Chuck was able to make the big box turn into the drive.
You see, when they redid the concrete, one of the post was removed, so that leaves one less obstacle.
He even kept it off the new concrete.
Big Bertha was on about 2 feet of it, but that was only a short time.

Our new trailer is now resting in the storage barn.
She is about 6" too long, if you take it all the way back to the back wall, but that really isn't a good idea, as it leaves no movement for it when you auto level.
So she actually sticks out about a foot.
Not too bad actually.
Have already spoken with a guy to get us a bid on bumping out the back of the barn and expanding just a little more.

I have to add a final post to the barn episode, and show you what I came home to yesterday!!!
Seems Chuck has decided to take on the barn remodel himself.
At least he is removing the tin and cutting out metal supports!!!
He is thinking he can at least move the trailer deeper into the barn (yes, the back will stick out a bit)and with this modification we can close the doors.
We have a row of cedar trees in the back, so the back is basically covered for awhile.
Being told it may be fall to winter before someone can get out and actually add the extension onto it, we can secure it and  keep the sun from baking the front of the trailer.

I sure wish the fence people would show up and get the gates on the drive area....I so miss my gate opener!!!!
And it seems Miss Bronco likes to leave the yard, and that makes me nervous.
She thinks that orange stuff is just there for looks I guess!

So, all in all everything has gone according to what we expected, but we have yet been able to pull the trailer somewhere and camp.
I am sure it will be very soon keep a watch for updates.
Let the adventures begin!!!