Earlier this week we made the trek to Michigan to pick up our brand new 2017 Coachmen Chaparral 390QSMB! I’m so excited I could pinch a midget! (Thanks for that one, Ashley G.)
We spent most of a day at the dealership learning about every single tiny piece of the giant box of grandeur. I am quite serious when I say that they gave me less instruction at the hospital when I had a baby. I remember most of what the nice gentleman told us, and whatever we don’t remember will hopefully be covered under the warranties. For the RV, not the children. “Yes, this one doesn’t eat tomatoes, can he be reset?” But I digest. Before we even left the dealership there were a few things that needed to be fixed. The factory had installed the kitchen table backward, among other things. They even put the wrong model number on the damn thing. The side says 390QSMD. I’m just going to tell everyone that it’s an aftermarket letter. Even as we were pulling out of the parking lot, our guide was hanging onto the side of the pickup truck, directing us on how to set it all. And when we pulled out of their driveway and popped the emergency brake cables he came out and reset everything in the pouring rain. That’s what above and beyond looks like; soggy and helpful.
Our first adventure was to a local resort RV park near the dealership. We wanted to make sure we knew what we were doing before we hauled it all the way home and also that everything was working properly. With a few minor hiccups and do-overs hooking up the lines we set up camp with relative ease, mostly thanks to the auto-leveling system we sprung for. With a push of a button, it lowered the jacks and leveled itself within two minutes. Bliss! It stopped raining just in time for us to go inside.
The inside of this behemoth makes me feel like it’s not even a camper. After pining over this one and now having it in person I really don’t think we would have been happy with any other layout. The living room area is big enough for everybody to sit down and watch a movie and have their own seat.
The kids have their own room. For now they are small enough to share the queen size bottom bunk. At some point one of them may move up top, but we’ll deal with that later. The bathroom has a porcelain toilet, y’all. Big time stuff. The first shower was pitiful. It was like being gently peed upon. We have since learned how to create water pressure, thank goodness. The master bedroom has tiny windows next to your face so you can wake up to the sight of the mountains or the Walmart, wherever you’re staying.
The campground was great, and full of a good variety of people. Everyone had a wave and a hello for us. The midgets, as I predicted, made fast friends with the first kids they met, and spent the second day playing in the ‘yard’ with their new buddies.
On the final morning, after we had hooked up and were just about ready to leave, the people from the RV in the spot next to us came over. They had arrived the previous evening and had been busy with set up so we hadn’t spoken. They came over that morning to tell us that they had been watching us with our kids and reminiscing about when they traveled with their little people in a 5th wheel, and how much they enjoyed the reminder of days past. That’s it right there, folks. They spoke to me in a thousand different ways. They saw love and adventure in our chaos. I have said to myself many, many times that I hope all of this work and life disruption is worth it, and they calmed my soul with a few simple words. I only hope that we can look back at this season of our lives and remember the wonderment of it all with as much affection.