RV Lessons Learned

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I’m baaaaack….It’s been well over a month since I wrote my last blog because contrary to what I thought I would do while on the road…well, best-laid plans and all that, I never quite continued my blog or did a video blog while traipsing around the country. Today, I’ll list my top ten lessons learned in no particular order.

  1. No matter how new your RV is, shit happens because driving a home on a rolling earthquake creates problems. Before we leave, checking every single nut, screw, and bolt to ensure they are tight is a must. And…every time you stop, shit falls out of the cabinets.
  2. Who knew that one loose bolt could create such a mess of issues?
  3. Cold showers are not refreshing in the south when the temperature drops below 70.
  4. Winds with up to 65mph gusts are f–cking scary.
  5. Golf courses can be a whole lot of fun to spend the night.
  6. Friends and family are lifesavers.
  7. Retracing part of your journey back home has its advantages (more Tippy Creek cider was purchased on the return journey).
  8. The Good Sam Road Side Assistance folks do not come running when your house batteries don’t work and they can’t help you find an RV place to fix that issue.
  9. Adult sex stores are more than plentiful in the South.
  10. I always pack way too much.

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Since the above ten lessons are light on details, I have to expand on a few. So, what actually went wrong…a better question might be what didn’t go wrong?

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On one of the first nights where we really needed to run the generator and our air conditioner, we experienced a fault in our hybrid solar inverter system.  Apparently, air conditioners take a lot of energy to start without something called a soft start (which we will be having installed next month when we travel to AM solar in Oregon). We were supposed to turn the charging off after starting the generator and then we can start the air conditioning.

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After that we had a faulty propane regulator, our CO detector kept going off, and the entire house lights, refrigerator, generator, and pretty much everything including flushing the toilet would only work after getting some sun during the day or while driving, nothing, nada, at night even while plugged in. Spoiler alert…this was all due to a loose bolt on the battery bank. Not even a week after having our brand new electronic leveling system installed, we had a hydraulic leak. This caused us to hightail it back to Indiana to have them fix the issue while using bungie cords to ensure the steel pads did not drop during travel.

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Minor issues included: 1) warning lights on our Truma hot water on demand (which consequently meant no hot shower even after I’d gotten the shower down to using only 1 1/2 gallons); 2) broken door strut after a particularly windy day (where the wind literally pulled the door out of my wife’s hands) and; 3) No power from the 12V adapter in the center console (where I wanted to plug in my phone).

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Here’s the cool thing…I got to shop for more tools and learn how to use a voltage meter. A friend talked me through replacing a propane regulator (which turned out to be more complicated than we originally thought it would be due to the placement of the regulator and how it was attached to the undercarriage-a one hour job turned nearly three hours). I also learned a lot more about our hybrid system and how to troubleshoot in the future.

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The other day we finally had enough sunshine to clean our beast which took three hours. Most everything is fixed and ready to go. I even installed some wood bars to keep shit from falling out.

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We still haven’t fixed the 12V plug even though we replaced the fuze (a 25A maxi fuze is harder to find than I thought it would be). And, we haven’t filled the water tank to make sure the hot water on demand works again (we hope it was an air bubble and draining the tank will fix this…we’ll see). Since my wife ordered a sway bar and it needs an oil change, we’ll have our mechanic look at the 12V plug. As for the hot water on demand, there’s a whole process to clear the error light that we might have to read and follow if draining the tank doesn’t work. Then, we’re off to Oregon to have more enhancements added, like hopefully three more lithium batteries and the soft start to the air conditioner.

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Not in the top ten, because this is the most important lesson learned and stands alone, is that when things go wrong, it is not okay to take your frustration out on your wife. The space is small and arguments get amplified. We are still navigating this lesson and may need to remind ourselves of that in the future because more shit will go wrong…that is the nature of RVing!

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I didn’t get in the groove of reading while my wife was driving until the last few days of the journey and that is something I will change in the future because it helps pass the time. If y’all need something to read in this summer of unrest, by all means, check out my links below!

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9 thoughts on “RV Lessons Learned

  1. You can’t take your frustration out on your wife. She makes the mojitos!😜 Glad everything turned out okay. When/if you ever come back to South Carolina, remember to visit Charleston!

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  2. Omg. I’m about to live in a camper because she, I, and our little dog have nowhere else to go atm.. wow. Thanks for the heads up??

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    1. Don’t worry…even though it was a huge learning curve for us, there is a lot of information on-line to help. Almost everything was easily fixed! Read everything you can get your hands on and join Facebook groups with your particular RV so that they can help. They are invaluable! We belong to a Leisure Travel Van group and they have helped every time I asked a question and I asked a lot on the way.

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  3. My wife has wanted to ravel via RV for years. Your trip underscores some of the reasons I keep saying no. LOL On the other hands, this is great fodder for future books.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ~Jazzy

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  4. Hi,RV mechanic who you only see shoes and shorts under the RV. Be a funny great story. The quirky, snoopy RV owner that always gets in trouble and the RV mechanic that bails her out.

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