Part 2: Our Wild Vehicle Registration Caper

This is the second and final installment of “Our Wild Vehicle Registration Caper”. 

The drive through Glenwood Canyon is especially beautiful after a snow!
Glenwood Canyon welcomed us with delicate frost on twigs.

On January 14, we were up early in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and off to Denver. It was a brutal 4 degrees when we came out of Glenwood Canyon past Dotsero, Colorado! Weren’t we glad that we had coats, hats, and gloves! We drove 165 miles directly to our DMV location in Denver. What a relief to finally be there with our paperwork in hand! BUT WAIT! As the DMV representatives looked through the paperwork, they noticed that Jorgensen Ford had neglected to notarize a signature! Steve called Jorgensen Ford as Diane seethed! It was roughly 2 p.m. Because we wanted to be back in Tucson by January 20, we had two options. #1 – they re-do the paperwork with it notarized and overnight it OR #2 – we get back in the truck and drive 1,000 miles roundtrip overnight and get it ourselves! Jorgensen called 30 minutes later and provided us with a FedEx tracking number. It was to be delivered by 10:30 a.m the next day!

Our Denver Motor Vehicle Location.

Ours was not the only traveling adventure. Unbelievably, the FedEx envelope traveled to Salt Lake City, Memphis, and then to Denver. Despite the multi-city trip, the FedEx truck pulled up at 10:30 a.m. Off we went back to the DMV. The very helpful DMV representative shuffled through the papers carefully discerning what was what, especially given that the truck was purchased in Utah, so not all papers look alike. He looked up at us and said, “You don’t want to hear this. I will show you the current road block.” Because we were now in 2020 and the truck is a 2016 it needs to have an emissions test. And, it must be done at a location that specializes in diesel emissions. He gave us a list of emissions companies and locations. Diane found one that was first-come, first-serve and “only” charged $55. Of course, we headed there. The truck passed the emissions test!

It was now 2 p.m. and we were back at the DMV waiting for the same representative. When we hand him the emissions test, he had a relieved look on his face. He said, “We are almost done here. All I need is to verify the VIN number on the truck.” At 2:45 p.m. we had our new license plate and vehicle registration in hand, sales tax and registration paid, and walking to our truck to install the new plate. 

The new plate starts with AZI-F. We climbed into the truck and said to each other, “It’s AS IF no one knows anything!” Hmmm….perhaps the name of our truck is AS IF. What do you think?

AZ IF….As If?

In Conclusion

Our Wild Vehicle Registration Caper had costs! In total, the extra driving was approximately 2400 miles. This translates to 160 gallons of diesel fuel and about $500. Along with four hotel stays, RV storage, cancellation fees, some newly purchased food that had to be discarded, and eating more meals out, this caper cost us at least  $1000. Given that we often book six months in advance to get campsites, our disappointment was palpable. The frustration of having to personally intervene and take the paperwork from one point to another added to a very stressful week.

There were several lessons learned. Avoid purchasing a vehicle out-of-state if at all possible. Since our situation made it logistically challenging to purchase elsewhere, the other lesson is to make sure  we and the car dealer have a detailed understanding of what paperwork is required.

The positive side of this escapade was spending two nights with Stephanie and Shane, one night with Mom Lois, one night with Steve’s sister and her family in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and two nights with Diane’s sister and brother-in-law in Los Alamos, New Mexico. We are grateful for the extraordinary hospitality of our family!

We loved our 2-night stay with Stephanie & Shane!

Alrighty…time to get back into the saddle, count our blessings, and keep movin’ at “The Speed of Sanity!”

Back in the saddle and nearing Tucson near night fall on January 20!

8 Weeks as Full-time RVers!

It’s been several weeks since our last post. The past few days we’ve reflected a bit on what we wanted to convey in this entry. It is our hope that what we share from our experiences will help others who are considering a full-time RV lifestyle. We are still newbies and will consider ourselves as such until we have at least a year behind us.

We’re still smiling!

Hindsight Leads to Insight

The pace that we kept from October 2017, when we decided to shift to full-time RVers, until July 29 of this year, when we launched full-time, was quite daunting. In hindsight, we should have slowed our pace and extended our launch date another few months. Downsizing was by far the largest task at hand, especially after 43 years of creating our household! Anticipating our house rent would increase in the crazy Denver housing market was part of the impetus for setting July 29 as our launch date. We also wanted to gain some experience with the trailer before autumn and winter arrived. (Ahem…we are certainly doing this!)

The reality is that our July 29-September 2 Midwestern Loop schedule didn’t permit enough “down time” for spending at our campsites. We wouldn’t trade visiting our family and friends for anything. Instead, we should have tweaked our schedule. It’s one thing to have a road trip with just a vehicle, but an entirely different situation when towing a trailer that is one’s home! In retrospect, we needed the extra time to decompress from the pre-launch frenzy.

We are now viewing the Midwestern Loop as our “shake down” trip. Literally, we had some screws loosen in the trailer and a fault develop with our truck bed topper! We also had a good dose of reality those first six weeks going from one campground to another and refining our abilities as far as unhitching/hitching and setting up/breaking camp routines. After 44 years of tent camping, this requires a different skill set! Problem solving through various trouble spots has helped us become better acquainted to the nuances of owning a trailer and big diesel pickup!

Back in Colorado

Alas, when we arrived in Colorado Springs on Labor Day, we spent several days as tourists with dear friends of ours from Pennsylvania. Our daughter and son-in-love drove down from Denver to share in part of one afternoon. It was fantastic to hike the Garden of the Gods, drive up to Pikes Peak, tour the Cave of the Winds, and witness the beauty of the Air Force Academy chapels. 

Balanced Rock, Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs with our Pennsylvania friends.
Protestant Chapel, Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs

A few days later we shifted gears to a week’s stay in the Denver Metro area at Chatfield State Park. We had previously scheduled dental, doctor, and truck oil-change appointments knowing that we’d be back in September. Having time with family was the icing on the cake! Our daughter and son-in-love joined us for camping and hiking at Golden Gate Canyon State Park!

Golden Gate Canyon State Park, hiking with our family.

Truck Issues

The irony of our return to Denver is that with each appointment for the truck, we found ourselves needing to schedule more time in Denver to address truck issues. Thus, our time was extended and reservations to camp at Rocky Mountain National Park were cancelled.

  1.  Our four-month old SnugTop topper had a component break on the rear window when we were in Kansas. The topper was removed by our dealer in Littleton and freighted back to the manufacturer in California for repairs. It’s due back in two weeks. We will return!

    Back to storage we go with items from the trailer or bed of the truck!

    No topper makes a naked looking truck! At least we did some reorganizing and donated more items to ARC!
  2. At Big O Tires, we had a new set of four tires installed and decided to replace the spare too. Oops…the spare tire “key” wasn’t left behind by the previous owner of our truck. (Admittedly, we assumed that everything for changing a spare was packed with the tire-changing kit. Used truck buyer fail on our part). It took some doing with a trip to a different Ford dealer that had a “key” and removed the old spare for us. Back to Big O we went to have the new tire installed on the rim.

    Removing Spare Tire
  3. We left Denver last Thursday to head to the mountains for what we thought would be three weeks only to be faced with a truck engine that was losing power on steep inclines. The turbo boost wouldn’t engage. Fortunately, we made it to Golden Gate Canyon State Park campground, where we stayed for three beautiful days. We were able to schedule a service appointment at our Ford dealer on Tuesday of this week (one week after it was serviced for an oil change) plus get a rental car for a couple of days. Thankfully the drive back to Denver was mostly downhill. Answered prayers were being able to reserve a spot back at Chatfield State Park and having the truck repaired!

    “The Little Engine that Could” Rental Car 🙂

Intentional Awareness

In an attempt to create “Life at the Speed of Sanity”, this is our short list of “intentional awareness” on which we hope to stay focused:
Be flexible.
Be patient.
Balance our pace.
Have a Plan B at all times.
Autumn and winter weather are around the corner.
Smile.
Laugh.

The list looks good. Now to put these into practice.

The mountains are calling!

Colorado Gold at Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Living “Life at the Speed of Sanity”!

~ Diane & Steve