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WEDNESDAY - Our new mattress has arrived at the RV dealership. Seeing as how it's the day before Thanksgiving I rushed over to pick it up before they closed for the weekend. When I got there I was pleasantly surprised to find that our roof vent covers and awning part also arrived today.

The Service Manager knew I would be wondering how soon they could get around to getting my trailer into the shop and informed me that they were open Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I asked if Monday would be better for him and he visually let out a sigh of relief. I could tell I had just scored some major Brownie Points and decided to immediately cash them in.

I very humbly asked if it would be possible for me to dispose of my old mattress in their dumpster when I arrived Monday for my service appointment. His answer for a third time, "Of course, no problem!". I like this guy!

THURSDAY - Thanksgiving Day - This morning after breakfast we began reading "the instructions" that came with our new mattress. It was delivered in a 1ft x 1ft x 3.5ft box, it was hard to believe our 10-inch thick RV queen size mattress was inside. Granted, an RV queen size is 5-inches shorter than a standard queen size, but it's just as wide. Both Tricia and I are less than 5'8" tall (Tricia much less) so the shorter height is not a problem for either of us.

The instructions were short and simple! Within the first 72 hours after receipt, remove the mattress from the box, unwrap it from the plastic sheeting, then lay it flat to air out and self-inflate for 24-48 hours before using. Simple! That is if you live in a small house or apartment, but in a 200 sq. ft. trailer the logistics are quite challenging.

Our solution, set up the guest room (i.e. our 8x10 tent) and let it air out and inflate for 2-days. On Saturday afternoon we'll swap out the old with the new and take it for a thorough test drive, if you know what I mean!

SUNDAY - Now that November is officially "in the books" we can happily report our cheapest camping month to date! All thirty days in November we received 50% off the regular rate by visiting only Army Corp of Engineers and U. S. Forest Service campsites, both honor our Lifetime Senior National Parks Pass. Even the three nights we stayed at a Louisiana State Park received 50% off due to their very generous 62PLUS Senior Discount Program.

So how much was "our rent" in November? Our rent, including water and electricity every single night, was a mere $379.00! True, we did have to bring our own house, but we also had hot showers and clean bathrooms (that we didn't have to clean). Not to mention we had two weeks of wonderful waterfront views and two weeks of quiet forested living.

The only other month that even comes close to this year's November was last year's October. The biggest difference is last year was spent in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and The Blue Ridge Parkway campsites where we never once had water or electricity. But they were also all 50% off!

Next year we could see even less expensive months as we travel west and camp in the numerous FREE U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) campsites.

MONDAY- Today is our service appointment to finally get our awning fixed. We were up early at 6:30AM to eat breakfast and get THE POD ready to travel the nine miles down the road to the Airstream dealership for an 8:00AM appointment. Another thing that needs to be done this morning is to empty our holding tanks. We haven't moved the trailer in 13 days and both the black and grey tanks are almost full. Luckily there is a dump station in the campground.

After that task was taken care of I joked with Tricia that if she got tired of working today she could lay down in the tent and take a nap on our old mattress. Then it hit me! We were supposed to load that into the trailer this morning so I can dispose of it in the dealership's dumpster. So back to the campsite we drove to load up the old mattress, after which I was finally on my way.

The first thing the technician did was install the roof vent covers. A fairly simple job if you have the right ladder to access the roof and proper sealant to cover up the mounting screw holes. We don't have either, so I paid an hour's worth of labor for them to do it.

Next was the awning repair. To make a long story short, it's unclear if the wrong part was ordered or the wrong part was shipped, either way our front patio awning is still not usable. Same thing with the stereo, the part hadn't arrived at the time of our appointment. At least I can still listen to the radio, I just can't use my phone to control the volume or channel selection.

Six weeks from now we will be passing through this area again, so we are giving them one last shot at getting all the necessary parts together and getting everything fixed. If there is a strike three, it'll be time for "No More Mr. Niceguy"!

Thanksgiving Day sunrise over our campsite

Our campsite complete with Tricia's outdoor office (brown/green) and our guest room (orange).

Our spacious home for the last 16 days in the DeSoto National Forest.

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