Our drive from College Park MD to Philly turned out slightly more stressful than anticipated. We wanted to avoid 95 (and its tolls) so we took US 1 north. Unfortunately the first half of the drive on US 1 is through cities and towns. While it is a two lane road, the lanes are tight, there is no shoulder area, and there are a lot of lights. That meant a knuckle-clenching 1.5 hr drive until we finally got out of civilization. Mike got to drive the nice smooth calm part of US 1 but since we had to go into local roads to get to our campground, he had his turn to deal with tight turns and narrow lanes. I think after doing this for about 9 weeks, driving overall has become pretty natural. I think we only get really tense if there are very narrow lanes without any shoulder space (ie jersey walls or sidewalks) or if we are in town and have to make a very tight right turn.
We made it to Hatfield PA about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia. Since we were staying during July 4th weekend, it was hard to find a campground any closer to PA that had availability. We stayed at a mobile home park with spaces for RVs but it was quiet and all the neighbors were quite friendly.
We used this time to do a bit of maintenance on Rover. One of the big issues with living full-time in an RV is that it is really inconvenient to take a coach in for repairs since we have nowhere else to stay when the coach is being fixed. If a problem is relatively minor and you are willing to do the repair yourself, Tiffin will ship the parts directly to you under warranty so you don’t have to find an RV repair shop. Our steps were not extending/retracting properly and our windshield wiper fluid had stopped working so Tiffin send us new motors, we replaced the parts, and sent Tiffin back the broken parts, all on Tiffin’s dime. We have definitely discovered a new RV is nothing like a new car. Since you’re basically putting your RV/home through an earthquake everytime you drive, things break often. We’ve had to tighten screws and pipe fittings multiple times, we constantly check our pipes and roof to make sure nothing shifted or leaked. We see it as part of the cost of living full-time in an RV and take it all in stride.
Mike and I visited Philly’s historic downtown during July 4th weekend which made for a very crowded city. It’s small enough to walk around and visit places. Since the city was crowded with tourists, we skipped the Liberty Bell and the inside of Independence Hall (we like to avoid lines and crowds). We walked through Washington Square Park, Carpenter’s Hall, First Bank of PA, President’s house, Independence Park, City Hall, and the Reading Terminal Market (oh my god, all the food there… I wanted to eat everything!). Given the chance, I’d really like to visit Philly again since we only scratched the surface of everything is has to offer.
Coincidentally my sister Jen and her family were visiting Philly that same weekend so we met with them and my cousin (who lives in Philly) for lunch in Chinatown. It was great to catch up with our cousin, who I don’t think I’ve seen for almost 15 years! Plus it’s always fun to spoil my niece and nephew whenever I see them.
Our friend Mark also lives right outside of Philly so we got to hang out with him and his family for a day. I love living in Rover and we both consider it home but there’s something nice about visiting a large home that has a swimming pool and enough space that no one is bumping elbows moving around. We got to eat a lot of wonderful junk food, soak up the sun, swim, and chat all day.
Philly was a very enjoyable week for us. We finally fixed a few issues on Rover, we visited family and friends, and we took a quick tour of the city’s highlights. We’ll definitely be back to visit here again.
Village Scene Mobile Home Park, Hatfield PA