The maiden voyage of my parents’ new motor home, Eloy, Arizona

The maiden voyage of my parents’ new motor home last weekend was a smashing success, even though everything seemed to be working against us, at least at first.

Friday was a miserable day weather-wise, at least by Arizona standards. Cold and wet are not two words one often uses to describe the weather in this state, but last week was both. The drive to the campsite involved several downpours. Luckily we weren’t heading north, as there was snow falling at the higher elevations.

The campsite was not what I would consider a destination. It was a private campground near Eloy that had recently been converted to a KOA. The ground was soggy when my parents arrived, a couple hours before Kathryn and I. My dad was a little concerned the brand-new rig was going to get stuck in the mud. A pond had formed about 15 feet from the vehicle, and campground workers had run hoses across our site in a futile attempt to drain it. I parked on what little remaining dry gravel I could find. Today, my car still has about two inches of mud around the tread of each tire.

However, my parents appeared unfazed by the inclement weather when we arrived, and, having done all the hard work of leveling the motor home and setting up the water and electric hookups, welcomed us in for beer, wine, and cheese. We spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on conversation and learning about the different systems in the RV. In particular, the heater had been running since before Kathryn and I arrived.

I made us all some gourmet shells and cheese for dinner, which is to say I made store-brand deluxe shells and cheese, then stirred in an onion I had diced and fried in sausage drippings earlier in the week. No one complained, but we had all had quite a bit to drink by then.

We then worked out sleeping arrangements for the night. Kathryn and I would sleep in the overhead bunk, while my parents would naturally have the bedroom in the rear. The only issue might have been having a bit of privacy, since the door for the bedroom is also the door for the bathroom. We didn’t seem to bother each other, though.

However, what we hadn’t counted on was how the heat vents are distributed throughout the motor home. There are several in the main living area, but only one in the bedroom. While Kathryn and I were warm that first night — almost too warm — my parents were freezing. The problem would be solved the following night by leaving the bedroom door open.

(Photo by KG7NRB.)

It stopped raining late Friday, and by Saturday morning things were starting to dry out a bit, except for the roads and the pond that had grown into a lake. The sun had come out, too, although it was still quite chilly. After breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast, prepared by my lovely wife, we all went for some walks around the campground, from which we could now see the snow on distant mountains.

We got the impression there were a number of long-term guests at this campground, which surprised me somewhat. It’s not particularly scenic, and it’s not particularly cheap. I saw a lot of Canadian license plates on vehicles, so perhaps to them the non-descript southwestern brush scenery was an improvement over multiple feet of snow. The campground is conveniently located about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, being maybe 15 minutes closer to Tucson. That might increase its appeal.

By late morning, we had set up chairs outside and moved our day-drinking into the sun. Dad grilled us steaks for dinner, and we all went to bed a little earlier than the night before.

Kathryn and I wanted to be back in Phoenix on Sunday in time for Mass at our usual place, so after another breakfast from Kathryn — French toast this time — we broke down the camp around 8:30 am. After a few minutes of driving over still-soaked campground roads, Dad showed us how to empty the holding tanks. Then we said our goodbyes and were off.

The mission for this first trip was to get us all familiar with the new RV. I’d say it was successfully accomplished. To boot, we all had a pleasant and relaxing time doing it.

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