I may not speak, but I’m listening and seeing. I hear all that the people around me are saying. Discussing. I see their laughter and how they can smile and talk at the same time. I hear their words. I see them on their faces and in their hearts and I’m happy for them. I admire how easily words come to them. How quickly. I admire their wit. For me the words and the wit will come when the room is empty or perhaps by morning, too late, for now there’s no one to listen. It’s okay.
The ones who take the time to get to know me will experience them, because they know me and understand. They’ll wait. They’ll check in. They’ll give me their words in their time and I’ll give them mine when I can.
I can’t always speak at the moment I need to, because my brain doesn’t work like that. I drink in moments with all of my senses. If I speak my thoughts, will it add or subtract from this moment? I’m not putting words to those questions. They’re just there, in the background. It’s as if my words, at the moment, are in a language I haven’t yet learned and I’m trying to find them and assemble them before the moment has passed and it’s too late. For me it is often too late.
I am an introvert, but I love people. Crowds and noisy places overwhelm me. If I had some quiet time before hand, I’m okay, because I need people and I have to go out into the world to find them. I need conversation. Not the kind that’s like a stone skipping across a pond, with each skip a new topic. I love conversation that explores and dives in, daring to reveal experienced emotions and revelations.
Even though I’m content with my solitude, I recognize the joy of spending time with another human being. As someone who is slow to speak and slow to judge, still I do speak. I can converse. But I must feel safe and heard. Still, I’m okay with just sitting quietly and listening.
If I’m spending time with you and the words are flowing from me freely, it’s because I trust you. This is something that takes time. Congratulations. You did what few have done.
I need people, but one at a time is best. For me, there is nothing finer. Time with a friend is more precious to me than gold or gems. Such moments are treasures and are tucked away in my heart for a long time. Even introverts can become profoundly lonely.
If relationships are important to you, then you realize the importance of keeping them healthy. Otherwise, what’s the point? You’re not much different than a hermit or you’re so narcissistic that you expect everyone else to keep them healthy. Not your job, right?
PHASE 1 – LOVE
Take marriage, for example. For some reason, falling in love is like…”a rush”. Finding someone who thinks you’re awesome is a boost to your ego and makes you feel like you are indeed lovable. You’re not a weirdo who has no redeeming qualities. Someone loves you. That boosts your self-worth. Hopefully everyone else in the relationship agrees.
PHASE 2 – MARRIAGE
Now you’re married to that person who thinks you’re Prince or Princess Charming. You’re together a lot more and there’s some positioning and learning that happens. You both might have had little, insignificant things about you that you never shared or divulged. It’s all good, right?
Being together all the time or at least around your work day causes those little insignificant things to come into the light. You’re in love though, so you smile and shrug and love goes on.
People enter into relationships with partners without really being sure who they are themselves. We figure we know enough, since there’s some history there, right? We like to sleep. We enjoy eating three times a day. Our bodies, when we’re kind of young, are excellent and so we don’t need to be concerned about that lasting forever. Well, that’s how we think. Young people feel immortal and like time is of no consequence. It stretches so far out in front of us that we can’t see the end of it and that’s good enough. I, personally, am not saying it’s good enough. I’m saying it because we have this subconscious opinion that it is.
PHASE 1 1/2 – WAIT – WHO AM I?
Knowing yourself is a sliding scale of course. It’s different for each of us. There are factors like how long we wait to enter into a relationship, how much time have we spent just with ourselves, how you were raised, etc. I’ve watched lots of videos about people who are mountain climbers, cyclists, marathon runners, world travelers, book lovers, on-line gamers, and all sorts of things where the person is passionate about whatever it is, and they are comfortable with feeling that way. They expect it to last a very long time. Yes, even the on-line gaming. Hey, if you love doing something and you know you do, you want to keep going. Well, you get the point, don’t you. Knowing yourself is like being in a relationship with yourself and that’s kind of what I’m getting at. You must be in a good relationship with yourself first, before anyone else.
PHASE 3 – KIDS
After you’re married for a while, life sets in. That honeymoon phase dissipates and there are probably more bills to pay than when you were single. The number of bills usually increase from there.
Children come on the scene and a new sort of honeymoon phase begins, except its being crazy in love with these amazing little beings that are the result of the love between you and your partner. Those little beings start school and get into soccer, ballet, scouts, gymnastics, and probably more and probably different things all the time. Puberty arrives for them and they get a little crotchety and their expectations are higher for themselves and their freedom than you’re able to go along with, in all good conscience most likely. Small things get blown out of proportion and seem bigger than they probably are.
PHASE 4 – AND SO IT GOES…LIFE
We heard our parents talk about it, but we always believe it’ll be better for us. Marriage will be forever. Children will be amazing beings forever and they’ll be happy acquiescing to our expectations for them their entire lives.
NOW! RV LIFE
PHASE 1 – FULL TIME RV LIFE – A RELATIONSHIP, TOO
Really, it is. Stay with me for a few minutes and then see if you agree or disagree.
Whether you’re an expert on YOU or just a novice, you think you know what you want and what you are. Perhaps you see a movie or a video about people who live in RVs. It looks exciting and fun and smart. It’s minimalist living and so you’re not as tied to things and the purchasing and maintaining of it all. Not having all that stuff to take care of frees up a lot of time. Going over every rise or around every corner will take your breath away. What’s better than that?
PHASE 2 – THE DECISION AND THE SEARCH
After maybe a day, a week, a month, or years you decide to make the leap. You’ve done some homework and researched it all. Time to just do it.
Finding, falling in love with, and purchasing that RV is like falling in love with a person and getting married. It’s a two way falling in love. You love that RV and it loves you and is going to change your life. It’ll last forever, too, right?
The beginning of RV life happens somewhere just after you’ve finally sold, donated, or discarded all your possessions. Well, perhaps not all were reallocated. You probably read that it’s a good idea to put some stuff in a storage shed or bin or cubicle somewhere for a year. That gives you time to find out if you did the right thing and it’s worth continuing. If it isn’t, you have your stuff back there somewhere and you have a plan B. If it is the life for you, then you can empty the shed and move on.
All sorts of people embark on full time RV life, whether you’re independently wealthy, retired, a digital nomad, or just plain nomad. Single people, married people, grey haired folks, and young folks might hit the road in some sort of RV.
PHASE 2 – RV LIKE COURTSHIP
The big day has arrived. You post on all your social media accounts that the day is here and you’re heading out. Day One. It’s an amazing day and sort of like a wedding. It probably cost a bit to reach this big day. Maybe a lot of people told you they were jealous and wish they could do it. They’re so excited and happy for you. Some say they could never do that. They couldn’t leave behind family and friends and jobs. A few will question your sanity. You are not deterred. You’ve never been more certain about anything. CHARGE!
PHASE 3 – LIKE A HONEYMOON
You’re behind the wheel of something, be it the RV itself or the thing that pulls it. At last it’s the honeymoon phase. Wonderful things are sure to happen, and everything will be perfect and all expectations will be met and even exceeded.
PHASE 4 – MARRIAGE
Somewhere ahead of you, along the road or on a campsite somewhere in the country, real life happens. Perhaps you have a partner with you. Maybe you have a whole family. Some shuffling about has occurred as everyone found the amount of space they could handle and needed. Clothes have to be thinned out to make room for everyone else’s clothes, too. If you have a pet, they need some space. Nerves calm a bit when they realize that they will indeed still get to eat meals every day. Chores are distributed. Joy is confirmed when fun is had here and there. No one has jumped out of the boat, desperate to return to their stuff.
PHASE 5 – LIFE!
Dishes still must be done. There is no dishwasher probably. Groceries are purchased just like old times. Beds are made. Floors are swept or vacuumed. Showers are taken. Life is happening, mixed in with a walk along the rim of the Grand Canyon, rides in an amusement park, s’mores and hot dogs made over a campfire. You’re making your way. Maybe there are still tears and disappointment or arguments about invaded space, but it’s all worked out and smoothed over.
There are days when you wonder at yourself. What were you thinking when you decided to do this? It’s more expensive than you thought it would be. Your house or apartment didn’t get flat tires or have things fall out of the engine compartment. You didn’t have to lubricate the slide-out on your house. Most assuredly you didn’t have to empty black and grey tanks every few days.
PHASE 6 – HANG IN THERE!
However, you round another corner, and your breath is taken away. You encounter other people like yourself and, after a great evening around a campfire talking and laughing with them, you remember just why you did all this. You figure out that if you buy something for the RV, something has to go. You make concessions and the RV loves you for it.
PHASE 6 – THE PAY-OFF
One day you fly out to visit family for the holidays. You sleep in the guest room and eat, graciously, whatever they cook for you. The bed isn’t what you need, or the room is too hot or cold. The whole thing is mixed in with good stuff. Maybe you begin to wonder if, after being in a house or apartment again without grey and black tanks and without the sound of rain on a thin roof, will you be able to go back to RV life. Again, you wonder. Hm. What have I done?
Time to go back to the campground where your RV has been waiting for your return. You step inside the door and realize that you are home. This small space with its give and take has come to feel like home.
Today is December 8th, 2022. The year is waning. My tiny home on wheels smells like coffee brewing. In fact, it just gurgled that its ready to be sipped and savored. The view outside the window over my desk is a foggy one. It surprised me, because I’ve never actually seen fog in Arizona. Technology promises that the temp will be 73 and the clouds and fog will dissipate, leaving me the blue skies I came here for.
This RV park is actually called a resort. Its owned by the Cocopah Indian tribe and is surrounded by very flat, irrigated fields that produce a good portion of the vegetables for the U.S. Much of the resort is made up of “park models”, which are tiny homes that fit in an RV space, but the folks who purchase the park models add on rooms, porches, decks, carports, and/or patios. I’ve been in some of them and they’re comfortable and homey. Before coming here I would never have thought I’d like or want something like that, but one of these, sure. I don’t say that only because they’re nice. Its also a place where you make many friends and have plenty of things to do. Also, the local internet provider has every site pre-wired for internet. I did have to subscribe to use it, but the cost is only $50 a month.
In a few minutes I have to be at work. I volunteer at the Activity Office on Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons. I sit on a stool at the front desk, selling tickets and answering questions of guests. When needed, I make posters for upcoming events. This place is unique, compared to all over RV parks I’ve ever been. There’s an eighteen hole golf course woven into the layout of this campground.
This is my first Christmas in the southwest. The folks here are very much in the spirit of it. The buildings are decorated. RVs and park models are decorated. I love it. There’s a window over my desk, here in my RV. I can look out and see folks going for walks, stopping to talk, riding by in golf carts, heading to the golf course on foot or in their cart. I’ve seen people riding bikes, pulling their golf clubs nestled in a buggy-type pull-behind.
The resort is surrounded by lush green irrigated or misted fields where a large portion of the countries produce comes from.
The RV sites are large here. My little travel trailer looks like a shed compared to other RVs. I know, however, that inside its a castle. My friends have lent me a golf cart for my first weeks here. I love that it matches my little travel trailer.
The winter weather here is wonderful. This is my new favorite place to be for this time of year. In previous locations I found myself snuggling down indoors for the snow and cold, seldom going anywhere or doing many activities that required driving somewhere. I’ve met people everywhere I travel who love that, however. It makes me glad the our world is made up of people of all kinds. Makes for an interesting live for all.
Something I love here are the sunrises and sunsets. So I will close this very favorable-for-Cocopah post with some of the sunrises and sunsets I’ve seen thus far.
When I lived in Southern Maryland, my life was filled with creative people. Artists, photographers, poets, musicians, writers, and actors. Occasionally I got to play board games and cards. I taught. I learned. I built.
Now I live in a little travel trailer. A camper. Everything I own is here in this space. Oddly enough, its amazing how much room a small space makes in my life. Room for more free time. Room for creativity. It keeps my eyes open for adventure, for breath-taking moments and scenes. I encounter others like myself.
Wanderlust. I have it. I get restless after being stationary for a while. The artist in me yearns for, even craves, new scenes, new experiences, and most of all, my own kind. I’m not into physically challenging experiences. I did zip lining. Glass blowing. Scuba. Hiking in Hawaii. Skiing in Europe. But, at my age, I no longer have the strength to do those things. Its okay.
My Own Kind
Sometimes that would be other creative folks. Sometimes its for other people who live full time in an RV. If I’m lucky, its both together.
Two and a half years ago I visited a campground in the southwest. Its called the LoW Hi Ranch and the LoW stands for loners on wheels. Not all the guests are alone, but nearly all who stay more than a few days are exactly that, if you don’t count dogs and cats. I was there one night and I saw something great. The people were friendly and they cared about one another. Someone in the site next to me asked how long I’d be staying. “Just the one night,” I replied, but I wished it were longer.
It took a long time, a lot of patience and planning, but I’m at that campground once again and this time I get to stay longer. The first day I was hot and tired, after a very long journey to get here. The next few days I doubted my decision, because I felt like an outsider. Then I began attending some of the activities. First a social gathering in the “leisure room”. Then, while sitting outside in the late afternoon, when my camper casts a shadow long enough to keep me in shade, a woman near me said hello and stopped to talk. We ended up sitting together for a long while. Since then I’ve met more and more of the people here and I’m falling in love with this place. Without being perfect or having to prove myself worthy, I fit here. I’ve found my own kind.
Perhaps part of the greatness of the place is the compromising I’m having to do with myself. The pace is slower. For the first time in a long while, I’m not working at a part time or seasonal job. I have more time. However, I have less cell signal with my phone, which means I have less WiFi, as my hotspot device is cell-based. My television is a Roku TV and needs WiFi/Cell. Its a day of celebration when I can watch a portion of an episode of Star Trek Voyager (my favorite right now – I’m binge watching it). With more time on my hands and less of my usual things to do with that time, I’m finding myself looking around more, thinking more, reading, journaling, sketching, cooking. Imagine the possibilities of more time. The transition was painful at first, but each day is a little better. Some days are a lot better. Yesterday I helped with road clean up (the campground sponsors a two mile stretch of road), went out to breakfast with the others on the crew, took a nap, met a new fellow nomad, took another nap, played some Heroes of the Storm, and went out to dinner with two women from here. We had the best french onion soup on the planet. I tried a beer. Oddly enough, it was a local beer and was called Happy Camper, an IPA. When I returned to my camper, I sat basking in the moment, for it was a moment of appreciation and satisfaction.
Also, I’m in the middle of nowhere. I’m surrounded by desert and mountains that seem plopped down here like game pieces on a board. Between them, the land is flat as can be. Some vegetation I recognize, but others seem like other-worldly or other-dimensionly things. The sky seems so much bigger, the horizon being uninterrupted by hills and forests. The color of said sky seems bluer. Perhaps its due to the brownish gray land.
And then there’s Sophia
Watching soap bubbles pop in a pan down in the sink
Sweet Sophia has adapted to this life of ours so well. She doth protest a smidge on travel days. A mew here, a yeow there. Overall, she handles it well. Life inside the RV is where she excels. Sophia is athletic. When we play, she can leap and spin better than a dolphin performing in a show. Okay. Kind of. She surprises me every day. There is a route she prefers to take. She leaps from the desk to the kitchen counter extension (a piece of counter top that folds up to add work space) to the bed. Another path is from the floor to the toilet to the top of her litter box, to the bathroom counter. If you blink, you might think she instantly ported herself from lowest to highest.
To aid Sophia’s gymnastic climbs, I made her a shelf. It allows her the best view of outdoors and maximum warming time in the sun.
Things to do
Mondays we have a potluck meal together. Tuesdays a group carpools about thirty miles south and crosses the border into Mexico to have lunch and do some shopping at a place called the Pink Store. Whew! What an adventure. Thursdays we have another carpool to a local restaurant (varies week to week which restaurant). This week it was to a really good place for delicious Mexican food. As mentioned earlier, on Saturday we had road pickup and that was actually a good experience. It was followed by breakfast at Denny’s. Many evenings each week, we have card games at the bunkhouse.
I think the bunkhouse is my favorite place at the campground. This small structure is called the bunkhouse because it was actually a bunkhouse in the town of Columbus. That’s the last town before the border of Mexico and its the place Poncho Villa and 600 of his troops attacked in 1916. The campground’s bunkhouse comes from that location and was brought here to be used as our library (which is quite nice – the best I’ve ever seen in a campground) and card playing location.
I guess that’s it for now. I just want to say that the wait was worth it. I’ve fallen in love with this campground and its wonderful people.
You can be in the midst of a crowd and yet still be alone.
I’ve struggled with the writing of this post. Perhaps I’m over thinking it. But maybe its very important to me, so I’m searching for the right words to relay the story. Or maybe I’m just more visual and words elude me. Don’t know.
My travel trailer travels. Its meant to go places and its like a gigantic suitcase. Everything I need is inside. In fact, everything I own is in my RV and my truck. This is my way of being a homeowner. A very tiny home owner. Not me…tiny. The home.
There can be hundreds of campsites and cabins at a campground. Some places are for people who leave their RV there all the time. Camp whenever. Some are people who have a temporary job in the area and this is home for the duration of the job. Others are here for a vacation or weekend getaway. Then there are a those who are just passing through.
One moment the place can be nearly empty (well, not completely – I’m here).
Okay. What I’m trying to get at is the fact that I, like all the others here, am in an RV of some sort. Mine is a travel trailer. I pull it with a medium large truck. The color of my truck doesn’t match my RV. I’m not on vacation, but sometimes I do vacation-like things. The RVs that come and park beside me for a night or two are usually occupied by at least two people and are just passing through, on their way somewhere else. They’re like a small collective. In the evening they sit outside their “rig” in camp chairs, chatting quietly, thinking, or taking in the view. They spend a lot of time away from the campground sight-seeing, shopping, or visiting friends in the area. Sometimes I do those things, too. Often I make the mistake of thinking that I can do the sightseeing next time I’m in the area. That’s something I want to work on.
My RV life is all the time and mostly its an ordinary life, but in a smaller space. I still have a few books, art supplies, favorite cups and mugs, a summer wardrobe, a winter wardrobe, and a variety of cat toys. There is only one compartment that can be accessed from outside. Its pretty full, but well organized. I have a few tools, a bin of sewer hoses, a couple of water hoses, and some power adapter for converting power from 30 to 15 or 50 to 30. Right now the heated hose, for winter, is stowed in there. I’m using the summer hose and the small ten foot extension hose. I parked six feet too far from the water outlet for my main hose to reach.
Another thing I need to work on is the fact that most of my time is spent inside. I don’t usually go swimming or participate in activities like bingo or hayrides. When I get cabin fever, I jump in my truck and go to town. When I’m in my RV, I watch shows on TV (streaming), play a game on my computer (Minecraft or Guildwars 2), cook or bake, read, write in my journal, write a post for my blog, work on an art project, and sleep. My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. I might only be eating a bowl of cereal and drinking a cup of coffee, but I can make that last until lunch time. I might have to warm up my cup of coffee five times before I finished my cereal. I just enjoy the leisure of that time. No rush. The smell of the coffee brewing is a bit nice, too.
When I’m in a campground, I’m sort of one of the crowd, but I don’t think being alone in a crowd has to be a bad thing. For a long time I wanted to fit in, but that wasn’t the answer either. I march to the beat of my own drum.
…that most of the things that make me want to give up are my own fault. I purchased this Grand Design “Imagine” travel trailer in mid-March. In May I forgot to tip one end of the awning and a heavy downpour of rain while I was at the vet with my cat, broke my awning. I returned home to find it hanging down and I was terrified. Was this already the end of my RV life? I have no photo of the damage, because I was so mad at myself that I didn’t think of taking a picture. The good news is that I was with several friends and one of them was able to replace the motor, unbend some bends, and all was well.
Just last weekend I returned from a trip to Ohio. I’m currently staying in a campground in Pennsylvania because I have a summer job at the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park here. It was a long drive and, to my relief, I arrived 20 minutes before dark. My campsite here is very difficult to get into. The roadway in front of my site is only wide enough for one car and the RV across from me is also here for the summer and has four vehicles. I attempted to back into the site myself. No luck there. I walked around and spotted someone outside and asked for assistance spotting. Even with help, I still couldn’t get into my site. No room to swing due to the vehicles opposite me. The owner of the vehicles arrived and was able to move the biggest one. Also a man who is a professional truck driver arrived and he volunteered to back in my RV. By this time it was fully dark and I was exhausted after ten hours on the road. I’d have broken the drive into two days, but I’d told the other RVers I know here that I’d be back around eight o’clock Saturday. I knew I’d need help with “spotting” as I backed in.
The kind truck driver backed me in successfully and I thanked him, breathing a huge sigh of relief.
But then I, myself, got in my own way. In unhooking from the truck, I forgot to take off the stabilizer bars. Thinking I was fully unhitched, I started to pull away. Something wasn’t right. Perhaps the ball on the truck wasn’t clearing the receiver on the RV. So I backed up a little. More “something isn’t right” premonitions crawled up my spine. Getting out of the truck and going back to look, I was horrified. The stabilizers! Yes! I’d pulled the whole RV forward and then pushed it back with the stabilizers still connected. The RV hitch was leaning and the RV tires were completely off the blocks I’d had under them. I was too scared to figure out what else I’d messed up. More “this is the end and I give up” thoughts raced through my mind. Pacing back and forth, trying to figure out what to do, the woman in the RV next door saw me and sent two people to help. They were kind and quickly had things made right. By the time I went into my RV, everything was done and I had made new friends. We laughed and agreed that, for the next couple of years, they were going to sit around campfires recanting the tale of the woman who forgot to remove her stabilizer bars. It would probably be titled something like “See what happens when…” Sunday evening I sat around a campfire with several new friends, thinking to myself “this is what makes it all worthwhile”.
And so it goes. Things happen and you want to give up. Then whole bunches of somethings happen and you are happier and more content than ever in your life. Am I talking just about RV life? What do you think?
In the years that I have full time RV’d, I’ve been following many who do the same. I learn from their “lessons learned” and “tips” videos and I rejoice in reading about their wonderful adventures. However, I’ve never seen one where they talk about what I’m about to talk about.
Things happen. Things break. Sometimes its a small thing. A piece of trim might come lose due to a bump in the highway. The exterior trim on the outside of my slide-out started to come off. I used long command strips to hold it on until I could get it to a service location. One day as I was walking my dog around the front of the RV and something fell to the pavement with a crash. The latch mechanism on the hood to the engine compartment had come off. At first I thought it was part of the engine and I panicked. What to do! What to do!
I’ve had people tell me that they could never RV at all, much less full time, because of things breaking. I ask you. What things go perfectly all the time? Can you live in a house and never have something break? Little things and big things. How about your car? Life is just like that. Things happen. Are you of the mind that you’d rather never have a pet, because it might get sick? Might die someday? So you deny yourself the unbelievably huge joy and companionship of a pet?
Full time RVing has been the greatest part of my life. I’ve lived a life of blessings, miracles, adventures, and have experienced a great deal of kindness from others. Not just while RVing, but sprinkled all through my life. However, RVing had a few extra bonuses. Vistas along the drive that absolutely took my breath away.
Crater Lake, Oregon
Unexpected new friends in places I’d never have looked twice at previously. Moments of quiet. Not only quiet from the world, but from the anxiety and worry within me. My friend Tracy would probably call them front porch moments. Many days brought me time to relax and do whatever I wanted. Time seemed to be as it was in my childhood when days were endless.
Imagine seeing a vista like Crater Lake and turning to your traveling companion to say, “Would you look at that? WOW!” I travel alone, but am able to share those amazing experiences with people like yourself.
I wouldn’t trade my experiences for any amount of money. I enjoyed it so much, I’m back at it again. Living in a travel trailer. Is it worth it? Absolutely! How else would I have gotten to experience the world’s largest box of chocolates?
Just like that I changed everything. Small things in my life opened my eyes.
For one thing, I love playing Minecraft with my grandson. I noticed that I enjoy building cool places to call home, but once its built, I’m restless again The realization hit me that its the exploring and searching for the next place that I love about the game.
I also have to admit that I can’t keep from craning my neck to see passing RVs or RV dealerships. I loved my little apartment, but found I was accumulating too many things. Perhaps it was to replace lost treasures. Maybe it was to make me love it here or love living in a stationary place. Whatever the reason, I could see that buying things didn’t accomplish any of that and it didn’t make me happy. Not really.
Previously, my life in an RV was simple. No furniture. No collections of things. No dusting under and around trinkets. There seemed to be more hours in the day and going around corners or over hills brought me to scenes that took my breath away. I’ve missed having my breath taken away.
Finally I realized that I’m lonely for other RVers. Nomads. Road Warriors. My own kind.
Discovering all that about myself turned on a light over my head. Ding. I want to go back to nomad life rather than stay in one place, accumulating material possessions that begin to own me rather than be owned.
So that’s exactly what is happening. It wasn’t a decision made lightly or quickly. I know me and what makes me happy. There are many things I can’t control and aren’t in my power to make happen, but this one I could. After doing a lot of research on RVs that would be right for me, it was a matter of finding an available one. Beckley’s RV in Thurmont, Maryland had it. I drove there on a Saturday. The salesman took me to the section featuring the Grand Design travel trailers. The one I thought I wanted was sold, but he let me look at it. If it was the one I wanted for sure, it could be ordered and I would just have to be patient.
After looking at the ideal one and at several other Grand Design Imagine floorplans, I actually eliminated the one I thought I wanted. It had a desk, which was a must-have. It also had an island, which I didn’t need. Also it was bigger than I needed. The 2600RB floorplan was 26 feet in length (living space), with a very large bathroom, and lots of storage for my art supplies. I felt like Goldilocks. This one was just right. Turning to the salesman, I said, “I want it” and I got it. Within about two weeks of making up my mind to go back to RV life, I had a travel trailer and a truck to pull it. I named the RV “Patty” and the truck “Patty Puller”. I brought the RV home on St. Patrick’s day.Some of the details have worked out splendidly.
Picking the RV first made it better for knowing what truck I needed. If I’d have bought the truck I almost bought, I’d have had to buy a much smaller, lighter RV. I know that would not have been good. I had a campground site reserved near where my apartment and work are. That was smart. When the date for paper signing was set, I asked to have several things added to the RV. Having that done before signing gave me a good discount and ensured a safer and more comfortable experience with life as a nomad.
I ordered three Fantastik fans to be installed where there were originally default fans. Good choice. I had a surge protector built into the RV so I would have peace of mind. Surge Protectors are quite expensive and easy pray for theft when they’re outside at the pedestal. It also protects my RV from damage due to power surges. The rig was pre-wired for a back-up camera, so I had one installed. A monitor comes with it and I can stick that on the windshield and easily check for obstacles or traffic behind my RV. I ordered several other items, but those were the biggest changes.
Sophia, the cat, and I moved into the RV right away. I would have two months left on the lease of my apartment, but several things needed to be done. Sophia needed to decide if she could live in a travel trailer. I needed to know if she would run away when the door opened. She often ran out the door of the apartment, but the hallway was not really the escape she hoped for. In the RV, if she ran out the door, she’d be free and I’d be Sophia-less.
Another thing I wanted to accomplish was moving things into the RV slowly and as I discovered a need for them. Some things I brought here turned out to be impractical, so they went back to the apartment.
There was one thing I was anxious about. The dinette. The cushions were lovely, but when I sat on one, they proved to be little cushioning at all. Perhaps instead of being called cushions, they should be called cushion-less or uncushions. The table was too high. It felt as though I were a little child, with my food mere inches from my mouth. I could find no redeeming quality about the dinette even from the start. Well, maybe one. It was color coordinated nicely with the rest of the RV.
I had my friend Steve drill three holes in the back. So far I haven’t been able to decide whether to bring all three of my electronics. I have a desktop computer, which I love. The other two items are printers. One prints fabulous everything. The photos look amazing. The other printer is for printing art work and it prints up to 13 x 19 on almost any paper surface you could want.. However, that would be the ultimate and make my life great, but it adds weight. Not just to the RV itself, but to the slide-out which has a weight limit of 600 pounds and that includes me. There is storage space behind both upright cabinets. The purpose of that is to store my suitcase solar panels and the small solar generator. That means even more weight and it’ll be weight not just on the slide-out, but on the forward half of the slide-out.
Its a common concern with full time RVers. We enter into this life because its a simpler life. I’m all in for that. Its more of a minimalist life and it brings life’s focus to more important things. Do I want to be known for “she lived simply and wisely” or “she wanted what she wanted, no matter the weight”? Arg! Its so hard. Choosing to give up things that have been important in my life. Never a favorite thing to do.
I suppose that’s enough for now. By the way, it’s my birthday. I’m sixty-seven today. I’m shaking my head even as I say it.