From buying our rig at Camping World in Jackson Mississippi, to a midnight emergency call to Good Sam Club and our inaugural trip to Reunion Ranch RV Park in Louisiana. We have spent the last year researching, going to RV shows and talking to folks in order to find the best RV for us. There are lots of great RVs out there, but you have to think about how you are going to want to use your RV.
For us, we want to be able to have the freedom to pick up and travel to both luxury RV Resorts and the ability to drive to and camp at most State and National Parks. Both have rules.
Luxury RV resorts can be picky about type, age and model of rig. State and National Parks can tend to have smaller and more rudimentary RV accommodations.
We also wanted to have the ability to easily drive through both big cities and small towns with the possibility of stopping and parking to take a look around along the way.
We chose a Thor Axis 25.4. They call it a Recreational Utility Vehicle … A new breed of Class A.
According to Thor, “An RUV is a do more, carry more, enjoy more recreational utility vehicle. Imagine everything you love about your SUV and now add a place to relax, to cook, to sleep… ” For us it’s the best of both worlds!
We chose to deal with Camping World for several reasons. They have a good reputation and over 130 SuperCenter locations nationwide most with large service departments. They have 1900 bays and 1600 technicians. They are also associated with Good Sam Club with extended warranties for service, travel assistance and trip planning. Their roadside assistance program turned out to be a lifesaver for us.
We bought our rig from Camping World in Jackson Mississippi. They had the model we wanted and we negotiated all financial details before we drove the 600 miles to Jackson. When we got up there, however, there were some glitches with the rig that their service department was attending to. There was a tear in the flooring in the cab and replacing it required taking just about everything up front apart. The service guys were great and did nice job but it took all day.
Unfortunately, things wrapped up at closing on Friday night and that is when we were first able to take a test drive on our new rig followed by literally a 9 minute walk-thru by our salesman, Cedric of the Axis systems. Then they turned the lights out at Camping World and we were on our own.
We headed to our destination about 150 miles away in Ponchatoula Louisiana at Reunion Lake RV Resort a Good Sam Club rated 10/10/10. It was great! We got in late but one of their guys escorted our new rig to our spot and we hooked up for the night. The park was beautiful with several pools, a sweet lake and lazy river. It was a great first camping experience and we met some really nice folks.
They delivered donuts to each campsite and we attended some of their activities at the clubhouse.
We also had some pretty cute four legged next door neighbors… This is Winston!
The next morning we awoke to our pad covered in water from an obvious leak and a refrigerator that didn’t work. So, we packed it up and headed back the 150 miles to Jackson to our new friends at Camping World. They had forgotten to close the valve to the water tank after they filled it so that one was easy. For the fridge they took a sledgehammer to it and said it may or may not work but that it was covered under warranty. Not exactly the answer I wanted but we headed back to the RV park in Ponchatoula.
The next day we headed to New Orleans and Burbon Street. It was so much fun and a long time bucket list item for me. It was crazy and amazingly even better than I thought it would be. Street performers, Beignet’s at Cafe Du Monde, a nice Cajun dinner at Pat O’Briens and catching myself some beads on Burbon Street thrown from the Budweiser Clydesdale Parade wagon girls. Its quite a place and I can’t wait to go back!
That night, after a super fun day in New Orleans, we arrived back to our camper to find it entirely dead! It was cold and late and predicted to reach 35 degrees that night. That is where Good Sam Club was a lifesaver. We put in a call to their Emergency Roadside Assistance number. They got a technician on the phone who talked us thru a temporary fix which worked so that we wouldn’t freeze to death in a dark camper. They would have sent someone if the fix didn’t work but it did so they came out first thing the next morning and diagnosed the problem. It was that both batteries were dead. He told us that this happens a lot and that the dealer should have known this little tidbit. He noted it on his paperwork and told us we should be able to get reimbursed for the $650 batteries. Another ball dropped by Camping World in Jackson Mississippi. Cody the sales manager and Cedric our sales guy really let us down. I was wondering why Cedric kept telling me multiple times to make sure we ran the generator while we drove…. hmmmmm.
As much as Camping World in Jackson Mississippi let us down, we have been so impressed and grateful for our local Camping World in San Marcos Texas. They are taking good care of us and all will be righted in the next few days.
I tell you all this not because it is our tale of woe but because I think that some of this is not too unusual and that you should expect to have to work thru some issues. I’m not sure what they will be but there will probably be something. We heard this advice over and over again as we talked to our fellow RVers. Planning to stay for a couple of days at a relatively close RV park where we would be able to use all of the systems and also able to drive back if there is any trouble was, I think, a very good idea. You won’t know about any potential problems until you actually use your new rig. You don’t want to be off on a dream trip and run into issues. Better to take care of them right away. Well, thats my PSA for the day… lol. All’s well that ends well.
Next stop was another Good Sam Club 10/10/10 park in the Woodlands near Houston and a couple of very cute grandkids. We stayed at Rayford Crossing RV Resort and I made a few friends there too.
All in all it has been great!!! Our next trip will be to the beach for a week to escape the dreaded Central Texas Hill County cedar fever. We are going to stay at Gulf Waters RV Resort in Port Aransas. It’s a private ownership park with beautiful palm trees and a boardwalk to the beach.
We are looking forward to our next adventures and have so many places we want to visit that its hard to choose where to go first. Stay tuned!
For more info on Camping World go to http://www.campingworld.com
For more info about Good Sam go to http://www.goodsamclub.com
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