While the dealership was drawing up paperwork at the sales office yesterday afternoon. Deb and I drove back around to where the fifth-wheel was connected to water and shore power, intending to take a few measurements. It wasn’t exactly within walking distance — Great Escapes RV Center is a sprawling complex, deceptively big, capable of accommodating an inventory of over 500 vehicles.

We arrived to find the soon-to-be-ours trailer hooked up to an F350 and being pulled away. It was towed down to one of the facility’s massive service-department buildings and staged outside bay number 25. That’s presumably where it’ll get its pre-delivery service and TLC over the next couple of weeks.

On our list, agreed to as part of the deal, is replacing a bad GFCI outlet interrupting AC power to circuits in the head and galley. The main waste-water drain needs a new cap. A broken bracket on the entry steps will be repaired.

Poking around in the basement storage bay yesterday, I confirmed that the unit’s lone 12V battery was in pretty rough shape. That’ll be replaced and, at my request, they’ll fit two cells connected in parallel (for greater 12VDC reserve while boondocking). No additional charge.

On the LP side, stove and furnace worked fine. We got the AC in the living space blowing cold air, though the one in the bedroom didn’t seem to have power. (We couldn’t finagle that repair into our deal, so we’ll adapt ’til we can fix the unit ourselves.)

I’m sure we missed some things, but our evaluation was as thorough as it could be. I used a small flashlight, a plug-in outlet tester and a multimeter. Deb took lots of photos, both for leverage and as reminders for us later.

We’re putting together a second list of stuff we’ll need to make the rig work for us — a new mattress, for example. (We’ve asked the dealer to discard the old one. If you know, you know.) We’ll pick up an inexpensive “smart TV” and stream our news and entertainment via a MiFi brick we’ve used successfully for almost two years.

For 120VAC on the homesite, we’ll use a generator until we have our own shore power, and we’ll haul fresh water over from Deb’s cousin’s place. Waste-water disposal won’t be an issue, since we’ll run a stinky slinky directly to the septic tank (less than 20 feet away).

Yes, this is a big rig — classified as a 30-footer, measuring almost 33 feet long — but having three dogs in our care, plus the prospect of long-term use, meant that we wanted an RV with elbow room. This one fills the bill — spacious living quarters and lots of storage (cabinets and closets as well as basement). It’ll feel similar, I think, to living in the bus, minus a half-bath and (for now) laundry.

Two years’ experience living with this motorhome is our baseline. Looking at the specs for the fifth-wheel gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Fresh-water capacity will be 64 gallons (versus 95 gallons); the hot water tank is the same (10 gallons). We’ll have a total of 80 gallons of gray-water holding capacity, split between two tanks, compared to 60 gallons now. The black tank is essentially the same size, 40 gallons versus 39 gallons.

Propane capacity will be 15 gallons (two 30-pound tanks), a good bit less than what we have now, but we’ll have the ability to swap them out or even use an external tank. It’ll only matter when the weather turns cold.

And speaking of chill, this unit is equipped with a cold-weather package that includes tank heaters.

In the end, it’s another “tiny home.” We’re accustomed to that.

What’ll take some getting used to will be having 20 wooded acres of our own right outside the door. Honestly, I’m not sure that we’re quite ready for the peace and quiet. Maybe we won’t have the front-porch view we thought we would, but I can’t wait to savor that first cup of percolator coffee as the rising sun twinkles at me through the trees.

Mister Bobcat paid a visit to the lower trailcam this morning, within sight of where we’ll soon be enjoying that percolator coffee.

There are days when dissimilar stories compete for my attention. They rise from different worlds and challenge me to pick one as more important than the other. Most of the time the choice requires more than casual thought.

It’s one of those days.

This morning, Doctor Dementia announced that he’s running for re-election — not at a boisterous rally, not even live, but in a carefully produced video. There’s no telling how long, how many takes and how much editing it took to keep him from looking like the addled buffoon he is.

No one cares. No one should.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Fox News fired its highest-rated host, Tucker Carlson. That rocked the pro-America landscape, such as it is. and although it’s ostensibly a media story, the political ripples are apparent.

Of the two stories, I find the latter more significant. No matter how big your anti-Fox stiffy may be. there’s no way you weren’t surprised by Carlson being kicked to the curb. He’d amassed the biggest audience in cable news by being ideologically fearless and intellectually honest.

No matter — the smartest hour on pro-America television went dark.

It’s not that the rest of the Fox News lineup is without merit — amid the political pabulum, it’s possible to find principled commentary and random acts of journalism. But the best reason to watch the network, including paying for a Fox Nation subscription, is gone.

I’ve read commentary suggesting that Tucker Carlson was fired to send a message to the rest of Fox News‘s producers and on-air talent. That may be true. Ignoring the message it sends to the rest of us, however, would be a mistake.

I hate to end with that, so I’ll leave you today with something more pleasant. You know by now how much I appreciate Bushradical’s YouTube content, and his latest video dropped two days ago. After Deb and I watched it that evening, I knew I had to share it with you here.

“The Perfect Campfire Pit” is brief, less than five minutes long. It’s also quite simple. But as Dave Whipple does so very well, he took an ordinary thing — crafting a fire ring from rocks — and made it compelling to me.

It helps, I suppose, that soon we’ll create our own fire rings on The Mountain. That makes it relevant.

What makes it good, however, was that he turned arranging rocks into an expression of his philosophy of “rustic living.” Like the way he closed the video:

“The perfect campfire pit is the one that you have in the place that you put it, surrounded by the people that you care about.”

Think about that. And watch the video.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB