Our Trip to Calgary
After the Hershey RV Show, Russ spent loads of time researching and searching for the perfect 5th wheel. We had decided we were going to purchased a used trailer (at least 95% sure)! He had a narrow focus based on our requirements. It was much easier to make the loop to all the different sites he would check on a daily basis once we had our wants & needs in line (RVTrader.com, eBay.com, Escapees.com, etc. etc.). We had several favorites across the country and I had a hard time keeping track of which camper was where. Russ would often have to answer questions like "The one with the funny peninsula in the kitchen is where? Is that the one with the blue stripes in Texas?" It was at this time that we realized the search for a used trailer was going to be much more work than just buying something new. The 5th wheels we were looking at were spread out all over the country. Since we weren't comfortable buying something sight unseen; we made the decision to start with the one at the top of our list and spend our time & money to go see it. After much internet searching, we decided the trailer we wanted to start with was one located in Calgary in Alberta, Canada. This trailer was being sold by Gregg from RVHaulers.ca. When searching for our truck over a year ago, Russ came across his website and he had been a fan ever since the first time he perused his inventory of trucks. He does some super cool stuff with HDTs (Heavy Duty Trucks). If you are in need of a awesome tow vehicle, definitely take the time to check it out his website and YouTube channel.
We gave Gregg a call and scheduled a weekend to travel to Calgary to check out the trailer. With the cupcake store still up and running, we only had a small window available to get there and back. After closing up the store during a busy December Saturday, we ran home to grab our things and then headed to the airport. As often is the case in Philadelphia, we hit some nasty traffic on the way to the airport. At several points on the trip, Google Maps had put the traffic in perspective and we were 100% certain we weren't going to make it even though we left in what should have provided us with plenty of time to spare. It didn't help that we were going to have to check in at the desk, as when I went to check us in online the night before, I realized their was a misprint on Russ' ticket. His last name was coming up as Gibons instead of Gibbons. If we wouldn't have been traveling outside of the country, I would have not be too concerned. But, more than once during the check-in process, I was asked if our names on the tickets matched our passports EXACTLY! After a call to the airline, they told me we would need to go to the ticket counter to get the name corrected. So the fact that we were already running behind due to traffic was not a good thing. While sitting in nearly stopped traffic, I asked Russ if he had grabbed the backpack. He said, no I think you did. After taking a look in the back of the car, it became evident that neither of us had grabbed the backpack. Panic set in, but slowly we realized that there wasn't anything TOO important in there (no glasses, no wallet, no checkbook if we wanted to make a deposit, no snacks, no books - but we could make due without those items). For some reason, I had taken the passports out of the backpack and put them in the pocket of my sweatshirt. THANK GOODNESS! There was absolutely no way we would have been able to go home and pick it up and still make our flight. We kept wondering if this was God's way of telling us that we weren't meant to make it to Calgary to check out the trailer we had been stalking for weeks online!
Arriving at the ticket counter, the ticket attendant was not having much luck making the change of name for Russ' ticket. She had to make several calls and we were beyond certain we were going to miss the flight. When we asked if they could hold the plane, she said "you have plenty of time". We nervously giggle and quickly headed to a long security line. We made it through and to the gate just as boarding was ending. We were hoping all the speed bumps of the trip were behind us!
Once we boarded the plane, we sat on the runway for a long time. Now were getting nervous about missing our connecting flight. We had a layover in Toronto, but we would have to go through customs upon our arrival before we could head to the gate for the next flight. Again, we were wondering if the camper in Calgary was not meant to be. We arrived in Toronto, rushed through customs and then had a really, really long walk to the departure gate. I'm not sure I have ever walked that far in an airport. It had to have been over a mile and felt like two knowing we were running late. When we arrived at the gate to find our flight to Calgary was delayed. It was actually a relief. As were were tired, hungry, and in need of a potty break! The flight was changed once and the gate changed 3 times, but we finally were in the air and headed to our final destination.
Because of the delays, we didn't make it to Calgary until after midnight. The rental car place was closed and we couldn't get our car. Luckily, the hotel had a shuttle that was able to pick us up. We got to the hotel and crashed for the night. In the morning, we headed back to the airport to get our rental car and then headed to Gregg's house to see the 5th wheel we had worked so hard to make it to! It was incredibly foggy and you couldn't see more than about a mile in all directions.
We arrived at Gregg's house on Sunday afternoon and he gave us a grand tour of the 2005 DRV Mobile Suites he had on his lot. We spent time looking at all the details of the trailer. We were trying to picture living in it - sitting in the chairs, spending time in the kitchen and bedrooms. While the detailed photos and thorough video Gregg had posted were great, actually being inside the trailer was exactly what we needed.
Gregg was awesome - so personable, honest, and genuine. It was lovely meeting his wife and son and talking about CURLING! I had spent 4 hours watching curling without any sound on the plane the night before when I wasn't able to fall asleep. I learned all sorts of new things about the sport and spent time laughing about all the curling lingo. We had tea and a delicious dessert.
There was a very thin layer of snow that had just fallen the day before. We had expected super cold temperatures and lots of snow! Temperatures were in the teens to mid-twenties which they told us was much colder than usual. It was fitting since it was unseasonably warm in PA with temperatures reaching the 70s that weekend! Crazy for the middle of December! Gregg and his family said that it is rarely foggy and the fog didn't lift the entire time we were there. The told us the rumor of the Rockies - supposedly they can see the Rockies looking one way and about 30 miles looking the other on a typically day. Unfortunately, we didn't see anything!
We made the decision to purchase the camper and went out to dinner to celebrate at a restaurant Gregg recommended. We enjoyed dinner before heading to the airport for our late night flight back home.
While it was a super quick whirlwind of a trip, it was very productive! We came home as the owners of DRV Mobile Suites 38RL3. More about our trailer in a future post....