Greetings from our RV!
Pam, Lindsey and I are currently in Jefferson, Ohio spending some time at a Thousand Trails RV park and enjoying full time RV living! It’s hard to believe we started doing this back in 2008 and it has already been that long ago. Time sure goes by fast!
There have been lots of experiences and lots of learning too! When we think of how green we were back in 2002, when we took out our first RV, we just have to laugh at all the silly things we did early on because we did not know what living in an RV would be like, or even how to use it:
- Thinking the air conditioner should run just because it’s plugged into shore power. What? It needs 12 volts too? You mean there is a battery switch that has to be turned on? Huh?? (an RV tech course solved those kind of issues!)
- How come the TV had reception yesterday and not today? You mean that little button has to be pushed in one way for cable and another for the over-the-air channels? There’s a thing called an antenna booster?
- Not realizing a sewer hose donut was not a strong enough seal to keep the sewer hose from flying out of the sewer pipe when pulling the black tank valve – a true RV movie moment! Yes, there was a fecal incident outside our poo palace, our kaka castle, our dodo dwelling, our fart fort, well you get the idea! LOL
- Burying the rear axle of a 38′ diesel pusher in a drainage ditch while trying to enter an RV parks narrow entrance in the dark because we did not do enough research before trying to get to the campground.
- Having a Suburban water heater and not realizing that it has an anode rod and that it needs to be removed/replaced, and the water heater flushed regularly, or some bad things happen to the tank!
- Using the black tank rinsing system to fill the tank after dumping in order to flush the tank with fresh water but forgetting to pull the gate valve when it got full of water because someone got distracted and started talking to other campers. That’s something you do once and never do again!
- Traveling with the RV’s propane system energized and almost losing the RV due to a freakish incident inside the RV that caused the cook top stove to turn on full blast and burn up the cook top cover. Had we decided not to stop and check the 5th wheel it would have been a goner!
- Spending hours on the side of the road on a very warm day with a blown tire because we were overloaded and never figured that just because we have the room in the RV does not mean we can carry everything we want.
- Tearing up a street side rear cargo door backing in an RV site. I thought Pam was being attacked by a bee, but the dance she was doing in my rear view mirror was to tell me to stop because I was running over the water spigot that was painted brown and just blended into the scenery I was seeing in the mirror. We have learned to communicate better over the years!
Okay, I could go on but you get the idea! When one starts the full time RV living lifestyle with little previous knowledge, these things can happen. Fortunately for us we did most of these bonehead type things on rented vehicles. A few more happened in our own RV but we have minimized that due to talking with others about avoiding such things, and researching, so we can learn all we can about our home on wheels!
This year we have been traveling much more than we have in the past six years. We stopped work camping at RV parks and are traveling for our business helping to build up the NRVIA RV inspector workforce on the east coast of the United States. We have been in a different location every few weeks and it has been a blast!
We have discovered that associations we made over the past seven years have helped us to secure reasonable RV park campsites even given traveling in the summer months in the northeast. Several of our favorites are the KOA value card, the Passport America camping pass, and the Good Sams card. We have also recently discovered freecampgrounds.com for one or two-night stop overs. We find this a great way to make a quick stop in an area for little to no cost. We have also been able to park in friends and families yards which has been wonderful!!
There are a few other things that are really important when enjoying full time RV living! Be able to get your snail mail and ordering items online that you just can’t get in the areas you may be visiting.
We use Passport America’s mail forwarding service and have been since 2010. It works well! As long as we are in a spot for a week or so we can get our mail shipped to us by first class postage for just a few dollars. We are only required to do this about once a month. We get most of our important mail electronically, but there are still a few things that need to go to a physical address.
We like to eat as healthfully as we can and in some places we have been the past few months we were not able to get the items that we have enjoyed in other places. Thank goodness for Amazon, and more importantly Amazon Prime membership! For $99 a year we get free two-day shipping to whatever location we are at. It’s awesome!!
We enjoy a pancake mix that is better than most called Pamela’s Baking & Pancake mix. I was having a craving for some pancakes and we ran out. We could not find the mix in our current location so I ordered it through Amazon on Saturday and I had it on Monday early afternoon. How cool is that!! Guess what we had for breakfast the next day?
If it is not available through Amazon Prime, which is rare, I can usually find what I want elsewhere and order it. The only problem is getting it fast enough so that it arrives before I leave for another destination. And, sometimes these other websites back order items I have ordered and I don’t get what I need. So, lately I have just been loyal to Amazon as free two-day shipping gets the job done!
So, in a few days we are off to the Niagara Falls area for a few nights of free camping, and not sure where we will go after that. We will be in Hershey, PA for a month of September during the Hershey PA RV show, one of the largest in the country, and then teaching an advanced RV inspector class in early October.
We are truly blessed to be able to live the life we dreamt of back even before Pam and I were married. Back in the 1980’s we were looking at RV’s and imagining a lifestyle that would encompass being able to travel and enjoy full time RV living. We had no idea how that would happen. But, here we are 30 years later and we could not have imagined when we started seven years ago how it would have manifested itself in this way! RV life is awesome!!
Please leave a comment if we can be of assistance to you as you are considering, or perhaps just starting to enjoy full time RV living!
Howard and Pam