Okay, I’ve gone and done it — bought my RV and am living fulltime in it! It’s about what I expected, but nothing like I expected. By that, I mean it’s like living in an extended living hotel, only smaller. The main difference, though, is that I have to take care of EVERYTHING, from hooking up the water and electric, to making sure the valves are in the correct position so I can use my stove and prevent my water pump from frying.
I flew to Florida a couple of weeks ago to buy it (primarily because it was the warmest state in the US at the time), and I drove down Thursday to get my tow package installed on my car on Friday. Now, I had the car so packed I couldn’t see out of the back window, and it was so covered with road salt you couldn’t tell what color it was. I looked like the vagabond I was! Fortunately, having to navigate using only my side mirrors prepared me somewhat for driving the RV. I can’t see out that back window, either. I spent the entire day at the dealership while they did the work, and just hung out in my RV and surfed the web.
I finally got on the road around 4:30 or 5:00. My first driving experience was not bad, although I overshot the Walmart and had to find a place to turn around. Successfully accomplishing the turn (I was getting good at this stuff!), I pulled into the Walmart parking lot and parked off to the side of the garden center so I was out of the way (and basically out of sight). I went inside to buy cleaning supplies and, since I had heard it’s a good idea to ask about staying overnight, I checked out and then asked for the manager. When asked about staying in the parking lot, he quickly said he’d check with another manager, but that he didn’t think they allowed it — they didn’t. (Sarasota Walmarts — avoid them like the plague!). So, here I was with a filthy car, a 31′ RV and lots of cleaning supplies with nowhere to stay for the night. I sat in the RV for a few minutes trying to keep from getting upset and thinking about what to do — I didn’t plan on being turned away!
Fortunately, I had changed my reservation at the RV park from Friday to Saturday, so I had a feeling they still had my space available on Friday. I drove in and stopped at the office, where apparently they were in the middle of something stressful. The man in the office bluntly asked “who are you?” and I told him who I was and that my Walmart plan didn’t work out. To smooth things over, I assured them I didn’t need any help (yeah, right); I was told where my spot was and given a 50-30 amp converter. It was dark by this time, so I wasn’t confident about my setting up, having never done it before. When I got to my space, there was a car in it — right where I had to back in my RV!
I parked the RV in the middle of the road, got out and unhooked the toad (towed vehicle), and knocked on the door to the RV next to where the car was parked. A gentleman answered and said it was his car, and asked his wife to move it (he was in his PJs and robe). Well, they both ended up guiding me into the spot (only 3 tries, without taking out the palm tree — woohoo!) and helping me with the hook-up (I didn’t bother with anything but the electric, since it was late and I was really tired). I started unloading the car but only got a bit of it done. Since I couldn’t locate my sheets in the pile of stuff in my car in the dark, I ended up sleeping on the jackknife sofa, in my clothes, with just a throw over me and the furnace running. Yes, Virginia, it does get cold in Florida, and thank heaven my furnace works! (Note to self: get memory foam topper for jackknife sofa, too — I limped half the next day from a sore hip).
Anyone who knows me knows that I am the proverbial bull in a china shop. Living in an RV fulltime will be a challenge for me, to say the least. The toilet area is so small I have a hard time turning around in it, but it’s usable. The shower looked fairly spacious, but once I stepped in it I was almost too tall for the sprayer (and I’m 5’7″)! The bedroom is definitely a disappointment, with a so-so mattress and barely enough room to walk around the bed. But I sleep well in it, so I guess it’ll do (after I get a memory foam mattress topper for it!). The kitchen is small, with very little counter space, but I’ll adapt. The worst part is that I haven’t figured out how to arrange my stuff so I have what I need close at hand. Right now, my cereal is in the storage over the cab, as is my 6-in-1 cooker, and my bread, coffee and other assorted foods are in the storage over the sofa.
Still and all, I am enjoying myself immensely. I realize things will not always go as smoothly as they have so far, but as long as I’m generally having a good time, I’ll be able to handle what comes;. Now, I say this having taken only one road trip, 5 miles from the dealer . . .