How’s the RV Life Going?

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My dad on his daily fishing adventure.

 

I wrote earlier this summer how everything that could go wrong, did go wrong with our RVing experience.

We left the RV up in the cool mountains in So Cal a short drive from our home and we’ve used it as a weekend escape from the dreaded heat of the summer desert.

After our first weekend, things settled down. We found out that the flooding we experienced was our own fault as newbies. There are these valves that need to be opened in order to drain the grey and black water out of the vehicle. Who knew?IMG_3032

Things settled down and it’s been a nice and quiet getaway for us. We spend lots of time reading, listening to books on tape, walking, hiking and napping.

The best thing is my dad is loving it. He’s there every day when we are not. He’s made a ton of new friends—funny we haven’t at all! —and he’s able to fish to his heart’s content. At 84, he’s found a friend with a boat who enjoys fishing and his company. I’m glad the RV worked out so well for dad.

We went up this past weekend. We must be jinxed at the RV life, because everything worked fine for my dad, but not for us. First, the newly installed DISH tv didn’t work. That was my fault.  I used the wrong remote and screwed it up. Then, the hot water wasn’t hot. The final straw was the heater. It went on for about 30 seconds and turned off. I wanted to escape the high desert temps, but the mountain nights in the 30s and 40s was not exactly what I dreamed of.

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A view of the marina from the RV park.

 

I called DISH and the RV repairman. The TV guy was great and gave me a lesson in remote control use.  At this moment, we’re home and dad is dealing with the water heater and furnace and will call to share the news.

Oh, boy. I can’t wait.

Am I Cut Out for the RV Life? Or, What Could Possibly go Wrong?

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Camping at Carpinteria State Beach

I love camping. My favorite memories as a child were Fourth of July weekends at Ross Lake near the Canadian border in Washington.

Open campfires, roasting hot dogs, followed by s’mores. Families laughing together, watching stars.

We introduced our kids to camping with an annual trip to Carpinteria State Beach, playing cards, sitting around bonfires and flying kites.

So what could possibly go wrong when we looked at RVs and decided to graduate from our tent?  We had the perfect excuse. We would use the RV once a month at swim meets, instead of paying for hotels out of town. Our kids could sit inside between swims diligently doing their homework, rather than hanging out under a pop-up tent with their friends. Yeah. Right.

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July 4th, 2012 camping trip.

We bought the RV four years ago and took it to exactly NO swim meets out of town. We brought it to our own pool to give kids on our team a break from the pool deck during a big meet. I think the kids spent a total of 15 minutes inside.

We took three camping trips with our kids. Here are three things that went wrong:

• The first trip, the RV got stuck inadvertently under the roof of a gas station. The gas station owner yelled that he was suing us for damages to his gas station.

• The second trip, the generator went out while we were dry camping.

• The third trip, my husband said he hates driving it and buying it was the biggest mistake he’s ever made.

We’re trying to use the RV this summer. If not, it’s gone in the fall.

We took it out of storage. We plugged it into our house’s electric, so I could get it cleaned up for the trip to the mountains. What else could go wrong?

First, the power went out in our house. The refrigerator, TV and computers went dark along with the lights. This was before I started cleaning.

Second, the AC went out in the RV so I cleaned in the “hot tin can” heat. When I went outside for breathers, in the 110 degree temps, it actually felt cool compared to inside the RV.

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Mt. San Jacinto in the background on a cloudy summer day.

We got “The Beast” up the mountain by hiring someone to drive the windy roads for us. He got it all set up and we were happy campers for about two hours.

Then, I turned on the faucet and it smelled like rotten eggs.

Next, we turned on all the faucets to clear out the smelly water and someone knocked on the door to tell us we had a leak. Water was pouring out from under the hook-ups.

The toilet wouldn’t flush and started leaking.

The carpet in the bedroom was damp from the leaks.

After our first night in the mountains, we decided to call it quits and come back to the heat of Palm Springs. At least we have a pool, AC, toilets and running water.

The good news is we get return to the mountains to hire a repairman and try RVing once again. My friends keep telling me I’m going to love it. I’ll let you know. 

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View during our morning walk in the mountains.

Are you a happy camper? What problems have you had RVing?