So THIS happened...
It's a bit fuzzy on what happened exactly, but it started out with me evaluating things that were "laying" around the house. One thing on my list since we did the huge NRG shows last July was if our RV was "enough" or "worthwhile." After several lack luster hotel visits between Jan 2015 and Jan 2016, I was ready to use our RV lots more. If it was just me on my own, it seemed that it should be easy to do and I was game. All ready and revved up, I go out to the thing and the generator laughs at me as I start it. No fuel to it. Again. The generator has been an ongoing issue since we bought the thing used so I was miffed that yet again, DESPITE all the maintenance and repairs we'd been doing I was stuck AGAIN with this issue.
So I began my "what if" analysis. I knew things I wanted based on what we'd learned in the past year of using our starter RV and we knew we really liked these things for dog and horse shows plus vacations. Yes, an RV was something that could fit in well. I was now considering a Class C motorhome so I could use it alone plus possibly pull a trailer (horse or barn hunt) as needed and not need to make excess trips (or take multiple trucks each time).
Hubby caught me checking things out and got on board so quickly he even vowed that he'd be willing to go to dog/horse shows (what?!) as often as once a month (BODYSNATCHERS!!!). A bit in shock, we shifted the search to 5th wheel toy haulers and found a floor plan that met all my requirements and "looked good" to the husband. The one we found was in Cleburne (3ish hours from us) and I didn't love the interior color scheme so I checked around Houston and found the 5th wheel we were looking at as well as the motor home floor plan I'd liked.
Basically it was a perfect fit and we made the arrangements to get it home. The following weekend was my planned trip to show in McKinney so we really wanted to see if we could get the thing delivered, prepped, and head out to Dallas. Naturally everything went down on the Friday of that weekend so Joe and I took two vehicles to Houston (one pulling the old RV) and me trailing in the Jeep (had to take kiddo to school) a bit later. Upon arrival, Joe was whisked away for his truck to get a new hitch and we got the checkout inspection on the unit. I may or may not have been giggling at things like: hotter than blazes INSIDE while it was 30ish outside, the blue led lights pimping out the thing, the size of it, the luxuriousness of it... the EVERYTHING of it. It was overwhelming and SO MANY BUTTONS!
After the walk around was done, we began the seemingly easy task of moving things from one unit to the other. We never really had that much stuff in the old unit but it still took about 30 minutes to migrate things over. At that point I began installing the new Etracks and dog crates in the toy hauler part as that was a MAJOR factor in getting this thing. We got a unit with wicked nice suspension and other features that made me feel this was going to work (the old unit was WAY too stiff to put empty crates in the back, let alone pups in them) but I only had the drive home to see if I could pack dogs back there so I wanted to get it right.
While I was installing I had SO MANY people stop and ask me about the dog crates and my setup. They were all really nice but we were on a time schedule so I kept on working as much as I could. In the end I got about 10 crates stacked in the front part of the garage (to leave room for the beds to come down) and everything was super duper strapped down. The rest of the garage gear was chucked in the back with some key items left in various positions to see how it would move around. At this point, Joe was back with his truck and we were promptly hooked up and heading out of Houston.
The drive to College Station was pretty uneventful as Joe learned to drive the thing. He had some issues and wanted me to check it out, so I did and drove about 15 miles with it. The thing pulls SO MUCH nicer than anything I've ever pulled. It was insane especially for the size. We swapped back and I gave him advice on what he was doing wrong (making the trailer fight him) and we headed the rest of the way back.
At 4:30p we got back to College Station and confirmed that in fact, the thing was NOT going to fit in the driveway. This was a very sure thing before we brought it home, but seeing it on the road out front seriously confirmed this suspicion. Our new dog boarding neighbors were nice enough to let us use their parking lot so we put the beast there while we shuttled the rest of the gear and dogs into the trailer. Alex (a dog training student turned assistant trainer turned part time friend - vet students can never be full time friends lol) arrived about 5:30 with her pups and we threw everything in the trailer and headed out on time (shocking!).
The trip to Dallas was not that bad and we arrived in McKinney around 10pm. It was 32 degrees. WTH Dallas... Luckily the trailer was easily heated by the electric fireplace and we had everything set up to suddenly realize the front bedroom didn't have more than the throw pillows and thin comforter. Joe and I slept in our clothes that night ><
Over the weekend, Joe figured out lots of small things about the RV and Alex and I showed the dogs. I competed in Barn Hunt and agility and we did pretty well. The weekend was a success in our minds, although we didn't have any food or other things to prepare in the trailer due to time constraints but man, it was super lux to be able to chill in this thing right outside the show facility! As soon as we got home, Joe and I were ready to take it somewhere else!
In November I got another dog in. This in and of itself isn't a big deal as I've got lots of dogs in for training, out to go home, and so on regularly. It's a business and I try to make choices based on that concept. I decided with all this Barn Hunting I've been doing that I wanted a "real" dog for it (plus something more portable). I love my papillon but it's so hard to find ones like her so I'll chalk her up as a freak and just leave it at that :)
I LOVE my German Shepherd Dog, Eos but again, she's HUGE and I was looking for something like her but in a bite sized package. Terriers have always been something I like working within but I wasn't sold until I saw so many of them playing in Barn Hunt. Deciding to draw on my horse experience, I went traditional and picked out a Jack Russell Terrier. They're good around horses, good with dogs, good with kids and have lots of fun JRT games/shows. What's not to love?
So Berke came to live with us and well, he's been the EASIEST puppy I've ever had and just a blast to train. Definitely sold on this breed. Although.. sometimes he needs recharging...