But first I made the hardware attachments from Phaeth to Hope which included the safety cables. I put Hope in neutral and gave her a shove backwards to activate the two tow arms. I made an adjustment to the brake line and Joanie checked out her turn signals and brake lights. THEN we gingerly eased in to traffic on I-77 south.
Then the rains came.
I wanted to stop at the first Flying J and check out the tow package and get fuel but the rain was so bad we just kept going. The rain finally let up after we got on to I-95 and we found a smaller Flying J truck stop that did not have the Motor Home Lane. So I squeezed into a truck lane to fill up. Thanks to some very courteous truck drivers, we squeezed out pretty much they way we squeezed in.
Adding Hope to Phaeth has increased our length by almost 10 feet. We have to be a lot more aware of turns and corners with her as our turning radius has increased. Hope tracks inside Phaeth's turning radius so we must make sure our turns are wider. We learned this lesson well when, while searching for a rest stop, we saw "Visitor's Center" and thinking we could walk the dogs there, ended up winding our way through a Shoney's parking lot because the visitor's center was bogus. I thought we were in hot water for sure. But God showed us a way out that worked great and now we are wiser.
This is what Hope looks like from our cockpit. We watch Hope trail behind us on our backup camera.
You are by now saying to yourself that this must be the first time they had a toad. And you'd be right. We experienced more than a little trepidation attaching a 4,000 lb appendage to our rolling house. But Phaeth handled the addition nicely. I believe that it was easier handling the rig with Hope behind us; the slight pull on our tail gave us more stability. Most RVers say that they feel no difference at all with a toad. I understand that now. The toad is only about 10% of the weight of the motorhome so it won't be noticeable to most people.
We saw LOTS of RVs on the road today. The interstates were heavy with all kinds of traffic but I have never seen so many Class A's with toads in one day. There were Class C's and fifth wheels, too. People who work from location to location because the economy is recovering and families starting out on vacations were out moving today. With baby-boomers retiring and choosing this life-style, you will see more on the road.
We parked for the night at Golden Isles RV Park in Brunswick, GA. Got a great rate with our Passport America card. We hope to be in Smyrna Beach, Florida tomorrow night.
I made my first home-made modification on Phaeth this afternoon. The adhesive pad that came with our Rand McNally 7720 was not holding on the wooden dash causing Randy to fall over from time to time and we got tired of putting the adhesive pad back down. So I drilled two small holes in the plastic pad and fastened it down to the wood of the dash. Hey, it works!