Buying The Metaphysical.Family RV

This video is of our first adventure as the Metaphysical.Family.

Today is the first day of our trip to pick up our new RV!

Our trip begins at our home in southwest Missouri, and ends at Pete’s RV in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Today was a short travel day as we did not get on the road until early evening local time. We decided to make it a short day, only planning to drive for ~2.5 hours.

As we do not yet have our RV we are in hotels for the drive up to Indiana.

The first leg of our journey ended in St. Clair, Missouri at a hotel then called Budget Lodging, now known as Pinemark Inn. This hotel got mixed reviews on some of the more popular travel dot-com’s, but we took a chance anyway. We were glad that we did.

Pinemark Inn in St. Clair, Missouri is quite nice. The room rates are affordable and at the time of this post they offer a free hot breakfast.

The hotel building itself is the older “motel” style setup. The doors into the individual rooms empty out into the parking lot rather than into a hallway inside the building. This was actually beneficial to us as we have three suitcases full of RV gear that we don’t want to leave in the bed of the truck. The door into the room from the parking lot was really handy in this situation.

Budget Lodging in St. Clair, Missouri on a rainy September morning

Don’t let the motel exterior fool you. Inside the building everything has been updated.

Our room featured a very comfortable king bed (with clean sheets), microwave and mini-fridge. The bathroom in our room was positively huge for a hotel room. The bathroom did include a jacuzzi style bath tub, but we did not try it out. The room was bright, clean and featured attractive vinyl plank flooring throughout.

The free breakfast is better than the typical hotel fare, and even includes real scrambled eggs instead of the usual (and gross) powdered eggs often served at hotel breakfasts. They also had the best coffee of the trip!

Finally, this little sign was hanging in the bathroom of our room.

Picture of Bathroom signage
Bathroom signage
Budget Lodging, St. Clair, Misouri

The sign reads:

To Our Guests

In ancient times there was a prayer for “The Stranger Within Our Gates”

Because the hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.

May this room and hotel be your “second” home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own home.

May the business that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers. From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy for those you know and love.

What a nice little statement. They’re not wrong. Hotels provide a really important function in our society.

There is a story in a rather famous book. The story tells of a man who lived in a terribly wicked city. There were gangs of people in this city who, on learning of visitors to their city, would seek out the visitors and assault them sexually. This was so commonplace that the residents of the city would sometimes hide visitors from the gangs of rapists.

As the story goes, this man who lived in the terrible city had the opportunity to provide shelter and safe haven to some travelers who were passing through the city. The man did this at great risk to himself and his family, and it appeared that the danger might consume them all.

In the end, the travelers were angels sent by God.

We are not angels in the same way as the angels in the story, but we are all children of the same Creator. Hospitality has been in short supply in our Brave New pandemic world. It was really nice to run into so much of it here.

If you’re in the area and need a place to rest your head, you could do a lot worse than

Day Two

This is our longest travel day in our trip, with the day ending in Kanakee, IL.

Along the way we found a rest area.

Picture of Silver Lake Rest Area
A rest area is sometimes like an oasis in the desert

This rest area even had a playground area complete with one of the old fashioned metal slides that we were sure had outlawed by the good intentions of the helicopter parents of the world.

So many memories of burned back-sides

After more driving we arrived for an early check-in at the Hilton Gardens at Kanakee, IL.

Hilton Gardens, Kanakee, IL

At check-in we were given room 301. This room was not clean. It wasn’t horribly dirty either, but it was clear that housekeeping should have run the vacuum, but hadn’t. There were crumbs and dust bunnies randomly in the floor, and the sheets had a lot of stains.

After a quick trip to the front desk we were moved to room 400. This room was much cleaner than the first, so we settled in and decided to check out the on-site natatorium. This was a good time for the adults and kids alike until Dad got too much pool water up his nose to continue.

(Oh, the burning!!)

Dry again we decided to find dinner.

We asked the gentleman working the front desk where we should go to get Chicago style pizza. We’re not quite in Chicago in Kanakee, but we should be close enough to sample the flavor. We had already found the Chicago Dough pizza location in Bourbonnais, and our local guide at the hotel confirmed that was the place to go.

Bourbonnais, IL, at least the part we visited, is a college town. There was a large, multi-block party going on when we went to pick up our pizza.

There was a Mustang meet at Chicago Dough. We saw several GT’s, one Shelby GT500, and one that I hadn’t seen before, a Hertz GT.

Pizza secured, we returned to the hotel for the evening. There we enjoyed the delicious Chicago pan-style pizza, watched a little TV, and then went to sleep to prepare for the big day.

Tomorrow we go to finalize paperwork and take delivery on our new RV!

Day Three

Image courtesy of Pete’s RV

Today it’s off to Pete’s RV in Schererville Indiana. After a quick breakfast at the hotel it’s only a short drive from Kanake Illinois.

We arrived at Pete’s a few minutes before our scheduled walk-through appointment. We waited in the customer waiting area where there was a TV, DVD player and DVD of “Monsters, Inc” that kept our children entertained.

After a short wait we were greeted by Robert Starks, the very nice man who would do our RV walk through.

The RV walk through is the time when a representative from the RV dealership will lead us – the new owners – through the features of our camper, basic operation of the systems, etc. Robert did a fantastic job with this. We had done a lot of research on our rig before hand, but there were still a couple of things that Robert pointed out that were new information for us.

Pro tip — record the walk through with your cell phone.

(Obviously, ask if the person minds you recording before doing so, and don’t post anyone to YouTube without their permission)

After the walkthrough we spent just a few short moments in the purchasing office with Beth Tomaszewski, Business Manager for Pete’s. Beth helped us get all of the papers signed and the purchase funded.

With that, we officially took delivery of our 2022 Sabre 36BHQ!

Video courtesy Forest River via YouTube

On visual inspection the unit appeared to be in good working order.

But as any (honest) person who has purchased an RV will tell you, an RV’s age is no indication of how many problems it has. Even brand new units often have an issue or two, or ten, that need to be fixed before taking possession of the unit. It was for this reason that we had arranged to “camp” on the dealership’s lot overnight.

Camping on the lot was suggested by some of our YouTube RV heroes, and it is great advice. We did not expect any major issues with the rig, but staying on the dealership’s lot overnight with water and power hookups will allow for testing the systems in the camper. This allows us to make sure there are no big leaks in the water system, and that all of the electrical appliances function as they should before we are hundreds of miles away.

After a quick trip to the area Walmart, we settled in for dinner and a more thorough inspection. Security at the dealership prevented us from being outside all night, but we were able to do a fairly complete exercise of the systems, as well as inspect the roof to make sure that there were no issues there.

Day Four

It’s getting exciting now!

After a very peaceful night of camping at Pete’s, it’s time to get on the road.

Let’s roll!

We begin by securing everything inside the rig that can move — TV, refrigerator doors, cabinets, room and closet doors, dining room chairs, etc.

Next we bring in the slides. Our Sabre has four slides in total; two opposing “super slides” in the main living room, one in the mid-bunk room and one in the master bedroom.

Now it’s time to hook up the truck.

A very kind gentleman from the repair shop helped us get hooked up. He showed us how to connect the fifth wheel hitch securely, including the break-away cable.

(The break-away cable is attached to the truck and trailer so that the trailer brakes will activate to stop the trailer in the unlikely event that the hitch should become detached. We have met RV owners who do not know the purpose of the break-away cable, and have never used it properly. YIKES!)

After the truck was securely under the RV, the service technician showed us how to raise the landing gear. Our rig is equipped with a four jack Lippert Ground Control 3.0 system, with auto-level. Raising the gear for travel consists of pushing the button marked “retract all”, and raising and pinning the drop legs.

Picture of our truck and fifth wheel RV trailer
Gear up! Time to travel!

We left from Pete’s RV to go to nearby large parking lots to allow for some practice drive time. After a few short moments of confidence building, it was time to hit the road to our Harvest Host in Effingham, Illinois.

But before we could get there, this happened.

The video below is taken from the dash cam installed on the F350 you see in the picture above.

We purchased the dash cam after a YouTube RVer we follow suggested that the video footage would be helpful in the event that someone decided to pull in front of their truck+RV and slam on the brakes, hoping to collect an insurance settlement.

We do not accuse the driver of the green pickup that pulled out in front of us of attempting to get hit for insurance reasons. We do accuse the driver of the green pickup that pulled out in front of us of being needlessly careless with their life, our lives, the lives of our two young children and every other driver around the situation.

Many of us engage in the very dangerous activity of driving a car without giving it much thought. Many of us have been doing it so long that we believe we can drive in our sleep, and many of us do just that all too often. People often get hurt as the result.

Driving an automobile on a road with other people is a incredibly dangerous proposition. Realize how many times you come within inches of certain death every time you pass a car on a two lane road. Realize that even with no one around, that your car can still malfunction in a catastrophic way that hurts you and others. Be cognizant of your vehicle, and those around you.

These are the reasons our family did not crash into the green truck. The Metaphysical Mommy saw the green truck moving even before Dad did. Her quick alert got Dad’s foot on the brakes a few absolutely critical seconds earlier.

Those seconds saved the day, and very possibly lives.

After shaking off the near-miss with a really bad day we continue south to our Harvest Host and set up camp for the night. We arrive later than we had hoped, but still have time to get the slides out and have dinner before generator turn-off time.

When quiet hours arrived we turned off the generator and settle in for some much needed rest. We would find it difficult to sleep due to several passing trains in the wee hours of the morning, but had an otherwise uneventful night.

(What is it about RVs and railroad tracks?)

Tomorrow is planned to be a long pull through Illinois to St. Louis, then southwest across Missouri, back to home base. The weather forecast is calling for rain on this part of the drive.

Day Five (The End)

After breakfast we head outside to visit our Harvest Host, the “My Garage Museum” in Effington, Illinois. The museum features Volkswagen cars, Corvettes and various memorabilia from the two brands. The museum is next door to Mid-America Motorworks which specializes in parts for Corvettes and air cooled Volkswagen automobiles.

Unfortunately, the rest of the day was not as pleasant as our visit to the museum.

Sam has been dealing with dental pain this entire trip. Today the pain became so severe that he was declared unable to drive. But we still need to get the rig back.

Having never driven a trailer before, Brittany was a little apprehensive about driving our brand new RV … through St. Louis … in the rain …

But that’s what she did.

Even though we missed an exit in the middle of St. Louis, and even though our truck’s transmission was misbehaving due to a bad tune, Brittany was still able to get our rig back to where it was going without major incident.

Sam was feeling better by the time we made it to our “sticks and bricks”. He backed the RV into the spot that we had prepared for it first try. Sam is modest about his ability to back a trailer, but he certainly makes it look easy.

All in all it was a good day, even if stressful.


  • sam

    Sam has lived many lives in his years on planet Earth. With a background heavy equipment repair, construction, home remodeling, permaculture farming, computer programming, 3d printing and so much more, Sam knows how to do many things. One of those things is writing. Sam gained his writing ability through reading. Much of Sam's reading centers around history, philosophy, psychology, religion, spirituality, the occult, alchemy and tarot. Sam is an ordained minister. Sam holds certifications in CBT, RBT, Mindfullness and other fields of study. Sam is also a certified hypnosis practitioner, and certified master Reiki practitioner. Sam's current book project is a simple to follow guide to building an off-grid capable fifth wheel.

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