Notes from the day we left San Francisco, bought a travel trailer, and hit the road.
Our empty apartment.
Our apartment building.
On August 31, 2019, we packed our stuff into the truck and cleaned out our Pacific Heights apartment in San Francisco (just around the corner from the Full House House!). Our boxes filled the truck bed and cab both, and our mattress topped the truck bed.
A view of the Bay Bridge from a seaplane tour of the Bay we took on Kyle's birthday.
We roped our mattress down and drove across the Bay Bridge toward Vacaville, laughing as it flapped in the wind, my plants slapping us in the cab, with the dog on my lap.
After a quick pit stop at Chic-fil-A (we tried their new Mac n cheese—it was fine, at best), we made a stop at Chase to get a cashiers check for the camper. The biggest check I've ever seen. Yikes.
In Vacaville, we met up with JT, a Camping World salesman. He introduced us to a frumpy kid named Zach, who showed us around the rig and talked through how the different appliances work. Meanwhile, we had a hitch and weight distributors installed on our truck, Gertie. It was 97° outside and we’re not used to this—we’re sweating and I’m carrying Oscar, who is confused, panting, and barking at everyone. At some point, the guys installing the hitch ask if they can help us move the mattress and boxes into the trailer to lessen the weight on the truck.
Eventually we head back inside Camping World to do the paperwork to officially purchase the camper. The dealer is a horrifying woman who is a real life version of Yzma from The Emperors New Groove.
The woman who sold us our travel trailer looked like Yzma, the comical but terrifying villian from The Emporer's New Groove.
She has fake coffee spills and insects as decor in her office, but seems to have no sense of humor herself. Her patronizing demeanor is distracting from all of the documents she's having me sign.
After the paperwork is done and we've been stricken with a heavy dose of condescension, we shop for a few things in the store. When we're done, we wait for Zach to get back from a break to fix a list of things we noted during our walkthrough.
This takes an incredible amount of time.
After a draining five and a half hours at Camping World, we hit the road and head to our very first RV park with our rig in tow. It’s the first time Kyle’s towed something this big and it's another five hours of driving to get there.
When we arrive, it's pitch black outside and after hours. The manager at the RV park tells us we can do the paperwork in the morning and why don’t we follow him in his car so he can show us our spot and shine his headlights while we hook up—the nicest.
We pulled into our spot and mentioned it was our first time RVing. When he saw all our hook ups were in their original packaging, he laughed a kind of laugh that also made it clear we were crazy. Later, after we’ve hooked up sewer and electric, we tried to get the trailer unhitched from the truck and our neighbor comes by and introduced himself (James, and his wife Amy—hilarious because my neighbors in SF were Jaimie and Amy too) and asks if we need help. We thanked him but bumbled along on our own, too tired from the day to chat with another person.
Kyle stayed outside futzing with the hitch, Oskee and I went inside of the trailer, packed to the brim with boxes. Exhausted, I dug the pillows and sheets out of a box to make the bed and eventually we went to sleep.
Crooked River RanchRV Park
Smith Rock State ParkState Park
Bend, OregonCities, National Forest
Diamond LakeNational Forest
Crater Lake National ParkNational Park
Lava Beds National MonumentNational Monument
Burney Falls State ParkState Park
Lassen Volcanic National ParkNational Park
Lassen National ForestNational Forest
Leaving San FranciscoPersonal