The Story Behind the “Wheels”
2014 Ford F-350
After already deciding we wanted a travel trailer, we went on the hunt for a truck. It would need to be able to pull the trailer and also carry the bike. After deciding on a Pick Up Truck, we narrowed it down to a Dodge Ram 2500 and the Ford F-250. The dealership was the deciding factor.
Dodge Vs Ford
The Dodge dealership seemed like they could not be bothered with us. I had gone in and asked to see some pick-up trucks and yet not one salesman (there were 4 sitting at deks!!!) got up to show me. Finally, one got up and walked to the back of the showroom. I thought he was going to get his jacket since the temperatures were a little cool. Instead, he came back with a handful of pamphlets. Really?!!!
I asked him if all the trucks on the lot were sold and that’s why he wasn’t showing them to me. He grumbled and grabbed his jacket. Long story short, there were certain features we were looking for and he didn’t have a truck that fit the criteria.
Instead of heading back inside to search local dealers like most salesmen would do, he said to check back with him periodically. Seriously? I asked him if he could check his computer. His response was he didn’t have time. Oh well, Dodge just lost a sale.
I pulled out of the dealership in total disbelief. There was a Ford dealer about 10 miles up the road and decided to stop in there. They were super busy and apologized over and over that they had no one at the time to help me but as soon as someone was available they would help me out. They even offered me coffee while I waited!!!
Good Customer Service Wins Every Time
Chris was in Florida at the time visiting her daughters and I was only supposed to be looking and researching trucks. Oops. When I finally met with a salesman we hit it off. They did not have an F-250 that had exactly what we wanted but they did have an F-350 that fit the bill. Did they say to call them in a couple of weeks to see if an F-250 came in that fit the specs of what we wanted? Nope, they gave us the F-350 for the price of the F-250. Now that’s customer service!!! We now had the first part of the equation. When Chris returned from her trip to Florida, she was greeted by a new F-350 pick-up!!!
2015 Salem Hemisphere 282RK
After going to every RV show we could possibly get to and researching the internet, we finally found the one we wanted at the Hershey Pa RV show. When the Hershey show came up in September, we had decided to spend 4 days there. After all, they market themselves as the largest RV show in the Northeast so why not? We had a ball. We only looked at travel trailers because that is what we had decided would work the best for us. If we had looked at everything, we would not have been able to spend as much time as we did researching the units we were really interested in. The show was huge!! RVs everywhere!!!!
Organized Every Unit Into Folders
Each day we would roam in and out of each Manufacturer’s units. The nice thing about the RV show was that the Manufacturer of each unit had a representative from the company on-site to answer any questions you might have. The ones we were interested in we took pictures of. Lots of pictures. The last picture was always the name and model number of the unit. That way when we went back to the hotel room, we were able to download the pictures into files on the laptop that we created for each trailer. Each night we went back to the hotel room and discussed what we liked and didn’t like about each trailer. The night before the last day of the show, we went over each file on the laptop and narrowed it down to the ones we were “really” interested in. On the last day, we quickly eliminated 3 of the 5 units on our list. At this point, it seemed the same 2 names kept coming up night after night.
Part 2 Of The Equation Is Now Complete
The decision would not be easy. The 2 units we absolutely loved were the Salem Hemisphere 282RK and the Keystone Laredo 294RK. Their floor plans were almost identical. After bouncing back and forth all day between the 2, we decided on the Salem Hemisphere. We did not purchase at the show because we really wanted to take all this info in and decide if this was the unit we could see ourselves living in 3 years down the road. We purchased it in January 2015. Part 2 of the equation is now complete.
2001 Yamaha Royal Star Venture
Ah, our trusty steed. I owned this bike already for many years and we have done many miles together and hope to do much more in the future. There are many, many roads on our bucket list yet to ride. There is absolutely nothing in the world like being on 2 wheels and enjoying the scenery as you go down the road. We will ride as long as we are physically able to do so.
Rampage Motorcycle Lift
Being that we are avid motorcycle riders and we did not buy a toy hauler, we were going to need a way to get the bike on the truck so we can always bring it with us. We were a little too old to be looking for hills and ramps to ride up and besides the bike weighs in at around 900lbs. A little too much for riding up ramps.
Could It Be True?
Was there actually a way to have the bike lifted up on the truck safely with reasonably little effort? Yes, there was!!! We found a couple of varieties of electric motorcycle lifts that would do the trick. After researching the different types of lifts, we chose the Rampage. We purchased the Rampage online and had it delivered to a buddy’s shop where it was installed.
Getting The Hang Of It
After a few trial runs, and almost losing the bike once due to inferior straps (that we purchased separately), we started getting the hang of it. Of course, we had to purchase new heavier-duty straps but once we did, it worked great!!! We still need more practice with this thing but at least we are getting a little better. The final part of the equation was now complete.
So That’s the story behind the wheels. We hope you will join us for all our future adventures.
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