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I Must Confess

I Must Confess

…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?

April 22nd, 2022 (Thursday)

April 22nd, 2022 (Thursday)


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.