September 10, 2014
So I bet your wondering what life in an RV is like for us. Well, I’m not sure we’re experts yet, having only a week under our belt, but I’ll tell you what it’s been like so far.
First, it feels big and small at the same time. It feels big because we are not traveling in a tiny pop-up – we are hauling around 35+ feet of home everywhere we go and this makes it feel BIG. Turns must be wide, narrow roads must be carefully navigated, and we have to scope out gas stations and lunch options that can accommodate our height when traveling with this bad boy hooked to the truck. Side note: so far, Rob has done all the driving (thank you, Rob!) though I did do some practicing in the mall parking just to be ready for anything. It seems to be more tiring than driving a car – having to stay extra alert and focused – but I’ll let Rob comment more on that.
Living spaces: Now to how our RV feels small. When four people walk in the door, kick off their shoes, throw their stuff on the counter (though given its size I’m not sure if it even qualifies as a counter), or need to use the bathroom at the same time, it feels just a bit on the small side. I’ve quickly realized that everything must have a place and that we all need to be in the habit of putting things in their place right away. There just isn’t enough free space to leave things laying around. I can see that adding extra hooks (for now we are using the Command brand hooks that are held up with adhesive and are removable since we’ll be reselling the RV next summer) in strategic places will be helpful. Now if I can just get everyone else on board with keeping everything where it belongs so that I don’t have to nag about it, that will be a bonus.
I’m also trying to find the places where I can make it feel a bit homey. The window treatments (yes, the RV actually has many window treatments) and couch patterns aren’t exactly my taste but they are survivable for the year. There’s not a lot of space for knickknacks or wall decorations (the things I usually use to make things seem homey) so for now, throw blankets, a couple of candles, our framed visions (see previous blog post), and a digital photo frame with photos of family and friends are what we are making do with.
Connectivity: In theory our campground had internet service but it didn’t turn out to be as reliable as we had hoped for which was a bit frustrating. I suspect that this will be more common than not and so we will likely go ahead with purchasing a mobile hot spot through Verizon when we get back to CT in a couple of weeks. We were going to go ahead with this earlier but decided to wait and see if we could get by without it. As a result of our lacking internet connection, we are a bit behind in our blogging and posting of photos and we’re now catching up. To make it even worse, we didn’t have internet access through our phones either since we ended up being connected through a different carrier than the carrier that our data plan is with.
Outside: Believe it or not, the hardest thing to do has been putting out the awning on the side of the RV. The awning covers your picnic area and front door so you have a nice homey space. Luckily, we video taped this when we picked up the RV and were able to review the video. Unfortunately, after being put out a couple of times, it seems to be coming apart from the side of the RV so we’re not using it right now. I swear this is not user-error! We’ll check it out with the service dept when we get back to CT for a few days.
Utilities: As for all of our hookups – one of things we were a bit nervous about – things have gone fairly well. The black water hookup (it empties the waste from the black water tank, aka the toilet tank) was drained with no problems. Phew – no replay of the scene from the movie RV! However, we have seen other RVers with a bridge-like thing that their hose rests on to use gravity to keep things flowing smoothly into the sewer hookup and we’ll be looking to buy one of those b/c it seems better than doing it by hand which is what we’ve been doing. This involves me moving the hose in a snakelike motion to move everything along while Rob holds it firmly in the sewer hole so we are not sprayed with all the sewer-y yuck. Electricity has worked fine but we haven’t been able to get our hot water working yet, despite rereading the manual. Luckily, the campground we stayed at had lovely bathrooms to shower in. We’ll be working to figure this one out b/c things are getting chillier and I had enough cold showers in Capital Paradise to last me awhile.
Stability: One last thing we’re getting used to is the bounciness. It’s not so noticeable when you are up and walking around the RV but if I am lying down in bed at one end of the RV and Miles or Owen rolls over in bed on the other end of the RV, I can feel it. If someone gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom – everyone knows it b/c it feels a bit like you’re rockin’ and rollin’ on a ship. At first this was a bit disconcerting but I’m getting used to it. However, I still can’t believe this whole thing is being held up by a couple of little legs at the front, 4 tires, and a couple of stabilizers in the rear.
The Boy Cave: The boys seem to be enjoying what they named the “boy cave” and seem to have settled into Miles taking the fold out bed (which has a firm inflatable bed that goes over the top of it) on the main floor and Owen taking the loft bed. Both of them have double size beds so they are enjoying the roominess. They did have one very cold night before we got comfortable with leaving the heater on overnight (just trying to be sure we wouldn’t succumb to some sort of carbon monoxide or propane poisoning during the night).
Overall, we are getting used to this traveling home on wheels and all its little quirks!