This whole “let’s buy an RV and hit the road for the adventure of a lifetime” thing has been quite the undertaking. I mean, duh, right? It’s a total 180 from the life we’ve been living; a lifestyle change from top to bottom. But, man, nobody can prepare you for what you actually go through.
- Buy an RV
- Remodel RV to our liking
- Hit the road
Seems pretty simple, right? Here’s how it actually went down:
- Buy an RV. Oh, you mean this RV? Well, this one doesn’t actually have an engine that works, but it’s right in your price range. How about this one? It has 150,000 miles and the oil’s never been changed. This one? It’s seven feet shorter than what you want. That one? That’s a van. How about over there? It’s the right length, has the right mileage, but it’s double what you want to spend. And this one? It’s got a leaky roof, but the toilet works like a charm. Fine, what about that one? The dinette was replaced by a bunk bed made for a 4-year old, every nook and cranny is filled with moth balls that have been there for two months, the dome over the shower isn’t finished, and the back-up camera has been removed. Perfect, we’ll take it!
- Remodel RV to our liking. Sure, not a problem we’ll just get you on the schedule and the work should be done in about two days. Oh, wait, sorry, I meant to say two plus two plus two days. There are your solar panels and there are your new batteries and they’re hooked up to the inverter and the watts and the amps and the volts should all work, okay, see you, bye. Was that English? The interior painting you want done? Well, because the other work took two plus two plus two days, the painting will have to be rescheduled, and now it’ll take four days instead of three. Okay, that’s fine, we’ll just do some light handy work in the meantime. I mean, no we won’t because we don’t know what we want to do until we start moving in and we can’t start moving in until the painting is done.
- Fine, fine. Let’s investigate alternate modes of transportation so we don’t have to drive the rig into major metropolitan areas. Bikes! Won’t it be wonderful to be able to bike the trails in Yellowstone? We can put a basket on the front for groceries. What if we want to drive Going-To-The-Sun Road? It’s 50 miles and two lanes. How about a scooter? Do they have two person scooters? Not in your price range. Do they have trailers for scooters? They’re all too heavy. Besides, what if it’s raining and we have to go to the store? Alright, let’s look at cars. Too big, too heavy. SmartCar! You really don’t want to pull that behind with all four wheels on the ground. You really don’t want to tow that with only two wheels on the ground. Let’s get a trailer! Sure, you can get a trailer made for a SmartCar…if you live in Europe. Found one! Yes, we custom made this trailer for a SmartCar, but we didn’t put any d-rings on it for tire straps, but you should be able to just drill a hole and install them yourself. Oh, and we used a 7-pin plug on this and you’ll need a brake controller.
- The painting is done and looks amazing! Sweet, lets start moving in. Well, now that you need to get the hitch on your rig re-wired, maybe you don’t move all the way in, because where will you sleep?
- Cool, let’s start figuring out how things work. Look, RV forums on the interwebs! We’re saved! “Make sure you have some water in your black tank so sticky stuff doesn’t stay sticky.” Ok, how much water should we put in our black tank? “Make sure you have some water in your black tank so sticky stuff doesn’t stay sticky.” Thanks, we got that part, but how much water? A cup? A gallon? Should we just leave the hose permanently attached? “Make sure you have some water in your black-” Never mind! How about pets? Do any of you have pets and utilize pet tracking devices? “I can’t condone you letting your pets run about freely outside, especially since they’re cats.” We aren’t thinking of letting them run about freely outside. “Because if you let them out they could get eaten by predators.” We know, we’re thinking about tracking devices JUST IN CASE they happen to get outside. Do you have any suggestions? “Oh, I don’t have any pets.”
- Uh-oh, our permit for parking on the street is about to expire. Let me just email and ask for an extension. No response. I’ll call and talk to the guy. Voicemail. Voicemail. Voicemail.
- Hit the road. Results pending…..
And now here we are. We were supposed to leave today. We were moments away from starting this adventure. But moments have turned into more moments which have snowballed into more moments. These aren’t the moments we were looking for.
We want sunrises through the trees and sunsets over an ocean. We want roadside attractions and festivals and Christmas on a beach. We’re pretty sure we’ll get there. I mean, we’ve sold a condo and bought an RV, so what choice do we have? We knew going into this there would be frustrations, but we also thought we’d encounter them on the road, not while sitting in a living room staring at our rig that’s parked on the street.
Deep breath. Everything will be okay. And if something goes wrong, we’ll deal with it. Because that’s what we’ve so far and that’s what we’ll continue to do.
And THAT is part of the adventure.