in A Girl's Gotta Swear, Head Cocked & Eyebrow Up, Mods & Upgrades, Not Quite What We'd Planned, Something's Always Broken

Some days, we grit our teeth. Some days, we throw up.

We’re not gonna be on an RV renovation show on HGTV or the Travel Channel.

I don’t even watch that shit. Hell, didn’t even watch it when we lived in a house.

And my Instagram feed is not going to be full of photos showing how we’ve turned our generic hotel room RV interior into something more beach cottagy, or fresh and funky world beat, or vintage retro.

We have absolutely no plans to turn our camper into a glamper.

One of the reasons I wanted to live in an RV for a while is because all the decorating has been done for me. No choosing paint colors, or bathroom fixtures, or upholstery, or wood finish, or door handles, or floor coverings. It’s all there, ready to move in and use, so that we can focus on other things.

Unfortunately, one of those other things is repair work — lots and lots of repair work and upgrades to the systems that keep this place livable. Hell, even if I wanted to redo these roadside motel window treatments (read: pay a crafty friend in beer and nachos to do it for me), that would take a pretty low place on the list after figuring out what the hell is wrong with our electrical system, repairing the front stabilizer jacks, making sure the lug nuts are tight (8 of ‘em on each of four tires, now checked regularly because of this bad day), cleaning the exterior, caulking seams, finding the source of the water leak in the basement, replacing toilet gaskets, and so on and so on and so on.

It. Never. Ends.

So much for making fewer trips to the big box home repair stores because we don’t live in an actual house anymore. Ha!

Another maintenance item: keeping the propane tanks full. Among other things, they keep the fridge running while we're driving (i.e. unplugged). Seat belt use is a personal decision.

Another maintenance item: keeping the propane tanks full. Among other things, they keep the fridge running while we’re driving (i.e. unplugged).
Seat belt use is a personal decision.

That's my guy, in the guts of this here rig, fixing a water leak in the basement. Yes, we have one. It's a forward compartment under the bedroom.

That’s my guy, in the guts of this here rig, fixing a water leak in the basement. Yes, basement. It’s a forward storage compartment under the bedroom, full of typical basementy stuff like tools, bike helmets, garden hoses, power cords, and dog food.

We love this unit for its floor plan, but we are beginning to regret every decision that led to its purchase. Yes, we knew it was used. Yes, we accepted the risks associated with that, and we inspected it to the best of our ability before we signed on the dotted line. But best we can tell, the prior owners did no regular maintenance, which means that at the 8-year mark, a lot of stuff is falling apart, going sideways, and causing heartburn. Buyer beware, indeed.
And speaking of heartburn, when the person who does all that trouble shooting and fixing and replacement part ordering and torque wrenching goes down with a stomach bug, 550 miles from home base, everything stops. And I worry. And I realize how much I still don’t know how to do, and in fact can’t do without Tim’s assistance. For a Navy wife who spent 20+ years figuring out how to take care of a lot of shit myself, while raising two sons, this is… well… it makes me question my abilities, and I don’t like feeling that way.
How we spent a Sunday afternoon in El Paso. Tim was pukey, and we needed to rule out anything more serious, so off we went to the urgent care clinic at Fort Bliss. The experience reinforced the importance of always knowing where the nearest medical facility is, keeping a list of your spouse's medications, and building an extra day or two into any extended road trip for just such emergencies.

How we spent Sunday afternoon in El Paso.
Tim was pukey, and we wanted to rule out anything more serious, so off we went to the urgent care clinic at Fort Bliss.
The experience reinforced the importance of always knowing where the nearest medical facility is, keeping a list of your spouse’s medications handy, and building an extra day or two into any extended road trip for just such emergencies.

And as soon as I get over the bug (We occupy 355 square feet — I didn’t stand a chance), it’s time for this girl to start regular lessons on “What to do if…” Because my plan to leave this rig behind with Tim in it if he has the audacity to croak while we’re on this adventure, and I don’t know how to do everything myself?
Not a viable option.

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  1. You got that right, something is always need fixing when living on wheels. And you are also right, know where the medical facilities are. I learned that lesson when we were in Texas last winter. I had some urgent visits with turn out to be just nothing.
    Hope you are feeling better now and back on the road.

    • Thanks, Mona Liza. I’ve been following you too! We are in fact in Texas, back in San Antonio (our home base) for *routine* medical appointments before we hit the road again. If you’re still in AZ in late Feb or early March, maybe we can meet up for a hike!

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