Howdy all. This is a bit overdue. I’ve already posted on the performance of my F150 towing our new 2022 FC23CB here:
Now I’d like to share our experience about the acquisition and trip report in four parts:
2) First true camp out with the RV
3) Ceramic coating
4) The remaining trip home
Day1: Pickup. We were so pumped to be picking up our brand new AS at Airstream of Tampa in sunny Florida since we were leaving Texas ahead of the cold front that went across the country in early November. Although weather soured some of our plans for the trip, it ended up being a great way to really test three of the most important components: A/C, heat and check that it’s leak proof. With that said, the cold front caught up with us on the day of pickup. It started out warm and muggy in the morning with a steady rain. The A/C performed beautifully throughout the day. We remained parked on the dealer lot for an overnighter. That night it poured! And got bloody cold too. About 12:00 I got up, flipped on the heat and it blew like a champ. The next morning, we inspected our interior hard and found no leaks! Happy days. So that morning we picked up a few things we’d forgotten and then said goodbye to our awesome sales person. I really have to give a shoutout to Eneida at AS of Tampa. We are new RV’rs and in addition, I’ve never bought an out of state vehicle nor spent quite so much dinero on a vehicle. Throughout our decision making process, waiting for the build and finally the purchase process, Eneida was amazing: she quickly answered emails and texts, and she kept us up to date with regular correspondence right up until our arrival. Her effort was a 10 out of 10. As for AS of Tampa, the experience overall was very positive, the tech, Billy, who did our demo and the warranty guy in the front, Darnell, were both very knowledgeable and helpful. There wasn’t a lot to do on the finance end as we were just dropping a check in exchange for our RV and paperwork so Jason, while quite nice, was fairly neutral with us but still very polite. All things considered, I would buy from these folks again, especially if Eneida was our sales rep.
Days2-4: Departure for Williston Crossing RV Resort. Truth be told, we bought this little RV to spend mostly in state and national parks with RV Park stops as necessary. So we don’t know what RV parks are supposed to be like but I do believe we were spoiled. We received an awesome, friendly greeting upon arrival and an escort to our site, who then coached this newbie into his first ever true RV camp site. The grounds were incredibly well maintained with tons of space between units. Hookups were easy and well maintained. They also have tons of amenities that I won’t list here. All things considered, we want to go back!
Days4-8: Travel to Tallahassee and “camp” in a hotel for five days. Tallahassee is where we got our AS ceramic coated by the newly opened Master Applied Coatings, associated with Vinnie’s Northbay AS Repair. Mixed feelings on this one: Bryan was great to deal with on the phone as was Briston, the on-site tech who did the work in Tallahassee; however, this pricing was the way top end of cost, comes with no warranties and it was delivered with warnings not to touch it for a few days after pickup (multicoated). The reputation of this team is confirmed but I still can’t help but feel a little discomfort about the whole deal. I still need to call Bryan to understand how touching it could hurt the incompletely cured coating but the particles from me driving it did not.
While getting the AS coated we did get to experience Tallahassee, which we would never have thought to do, and we loved it - especially Carabelle Beach an hour due south and Wakulla Springs/Ed Ball State Park about 20 minutes south. Also, the Veteran’s Day Parade held in town was second to none. The Double Tree in which we stayed was pretty mediocre for a DT and I’m being generous giving it a7.5 out of 10.
The bad news was that the best weather of our trip came this week and by the time we were planning to head to our interim destination on the way home, Gulf State Park, AL, more cold weather was fast approaching. With that, we changed our plans to head directly home.
Days9-11: Roadside RV Parks. On day 9 we picked up our coated AS, which did look beautiful by the way, and headed for a destination that would get us parked before dark. We called ahead to Mazalea Travel Park in Biloxi, MS and Twelve Oaks RV Park in Lake Charles, LA. Both are convenient travel stops near the freeway and are kind enough to provide pull throughs to overnighters. I would stop in either of them again if passing through. As for our decision to cut our trip short, it was smart because both nights were COLD, especially the night in Lake Charles. I was paranoid because I don’t have a feel for how much propane the heater consumes. I noticed that in the 50’s in Biloxi it would run for about 5 minutes once every hour to maintain 65 degrees. In the upper 40’s in Lake Charles it ran about 5 minutes every 45-50 minutes to maintain 62 degrees.
Things to note about our rig, the shoulder bolt fell out of the step between Lake Charles and Houston (separate thread) and the hot water heater seems to work better with the pump on than when relying on “connected” water pressure. Somewhere I thought I saw folks remarking on the color emitted from the lights on new units as being too blue but we don’t see that. Ours are on the yellow side when dimmed and whiten up when the dimmer is turned up. The individually controlled lights over the bed and dinette do not appear blue either.
All things considered, we are very excited and can’t wait until our first “real” trip to Caprock Canyons State Park!
I apologize if this is too long or in the wrong place. Admin, please feel free to delete or move as necessary.