I have to say, it's starting to sink in -- I don't have to go to work on Monday.
Sure, I should be writing far more by now, but the conversion to full-time RV living has been time consuming. The benefits, however, have been well worth it. Thus far we have boondocked in Nebraska, enduring severe wind-storms, visited South Dakota to become residents, and worked our way to Wyoming to visit friends. We are currently camping with our RV group in Moab, Utah.
Next we will be driving to the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde in Colorado, then staying for a few days in Pagosa Springs, dry camping our way to Missouri to attend the 2018 Escapade (Escapees' national rally), followed by a jaunt to Michigan to drop in on family for a couple weeks before heading east.
As predicted, things have gone wrong. Even before leaving for the road (but after moving into the 5th wheel), our water pump failed and had to be replaced. The pump was located behind a basement wall, which we didn't find until we thoroughly searched and eventually called the manufacturer.
Miles from anywhere in the Badlands our new 12v Lithium Ion batteries went dead. At 3am I got out the generator so the furnace and water pump could run. Do you know that at that time of night that far from city lights you can't see your hand in front of your face? After much investigation, it turned out that a non-LED bulb in the basement had accidentally been left on.
I had mistakenly decided to wait to bolt in my new truck bed tool box until I could consolidate my tools (from my house, the storage shed and the pickup). It was a mistake because the Nebraska wind lifted the empty stainless steel box and it was mangled under the 5th wheel kingpin and hitch on a turn. I have a friend straightening and re-welding it, so hopefully I can use it once we meet up in Missouri next week.
We also had an electrical circuit go dead because of a tripped GFI outlet that we didn't know we had. That took a while and a couple of phone calls to figure out. Then our Verizon data plan ran out -- three times. We've spent the last several days limping along on our unlimited AT&T Mobley device.
That we no longer have a home base has been the single biggest challenge. Forget going to Sam's Club. Need something from the garage? Well, I have a storage basement... I hope it's there, but more than likely it's in our storage unit hundreds of miles from here or has been sold or given away (or thrown out). Walmarts and Home Depots have become our secondary storage locations, unless we're boondocking in the Badlands or camping in the middle of Nowhere, Wyoming, or somewhere else miles from civilization.
Of course, space is always an issue. Things we use all the time are easily found. However, things we don't use consistently are usually located in the big black hole known simply as "Somewhere in the Rig." One of our biggest time consumers has been storage reorganization. As we get to know what we need and don't need, we are able to re-prioritize space, and we've been doing that on almost a daily basis. The good news is that we have been successfully paring down the boxes of "stuff we don't have room for" until it's just a couple of bins. Once I add shelving to my basement, hopefully these will also be taken care of and we will no longer feel like we're living in a storage locker.
Just three weeks in- not bad, really. By the time we're three months in, I think we'll feel normal again. There's always hope. At least I don't have to commute to work on Monday.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 5 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.