Tuesday, July 5, 2011

RV Living Mishaps

I thought I might cover some of the things that have happened while traveling in our RV.

The worst thing that happened in our new travel trailer was a water heater leak. It soaked the carpet in our bedroom. What was even worse was the under the bed storage area also got soaked. Everything had to be pulled out and set out to dry. Since the travel trailer was small and we didn’t have much room to lay things out, it was a bit messy.

The worst thing that happened in our first 5th wheel was an air conditioner leak. This was the reason we traded it in on the 5th wheel we have now. One of the reasons this was an issue was the ceiling was covered with that stuff that looks like carpeting. I didn’t like the stuff when we bought it and once it got stained it was time to go. Okay, so I wasn’t going to try to remove the stain, sue me. We also had an issue with the air conditioners and duct work. The insulation had fallen down into the venting and the air conditioners were working hard but couldn’t cool the RV. The tech we had come and look at the air conditioners said the venting couldn’t be fixed.

So far, the worst thing in our new 5th wheel was when my husband forgot to put the steps up and pulled out of a gas station and the steps caught on a huge metal pillar. We didn’t even dent the pillar but it sure twisted our steps. We had to replace the steps but the new ones are sturdier than the old ones so it was a great change.

Some of the problem areas:

1. Leaving the awning out and leaving the RV for the day or going to bed with it out. When the wind picks up it can create havoc with the awning. Or like someone found out this past winter—awnings aren’t made to support snow. We haven’t had this happen because we rarely put our awning out. I’m a wimp and hate sitting outside in the heat during the day or in the evening with the bugs.

2. Forgetting to do a walk around every time before you pull out. This is how we lost those steps. We had our grandson with us and Kevin had put the steps down so I could go in the RV and change Warrick’s diaper. Then we went into the little store and got Warrick some candy. By the time we got in the truck, we had forgotten that the steps were down and we hadn’t locked the RV door. Luckily, we were traveling with a friend and he and Kevin managed to pull the steps back into place enough to put them up so we could continue on our way. Without Kevin’s friend being there with his truck, RV, and tools I’m not sure if we could have gotten back on the road. What we were carrying wasn’t enough and I’m not strong enough to do what our friend did.

3. Not knowing how big of a truck you’ll need to pull an RV. Those old RVs were really heavy and the first one we bought was way too heavy for the Ford F-150 we had. I swear, we were popping wheelies as we tried to go up a mountain just outside of Morgantown, WV. The new RVs are much lighter but people still tend to want to buy a bigger RV than their present vehicle can actually pull. Some salespeople will address this issue.

4. Not being aware of how much it can cost to get towed if you happen to break down. We broke down outside of Flagstaff, AZ on our way back to Nevada in April. We managed to get to the next exit but there weren’t any services. It took several phone calls to find a tow truck that would come and get us. Several of the companies I called refused to consider coming that far out of Flagstaff to get us. Add in the fact that we would both need a ride in the tow truck and that we were pulling an RV—well, not all tow truck companies can handle it. That tow to the closest RV park cost us $375. If it hadn’t been for my smart phone, I’m not sure how long or how many 411 calls it would have taken before I found a tow truck company.

5. Not knowing how to use all the features of the RV. Kevin has his areas of expertise and I have mine which we’ve accumulated over years of traveling and living in RVs. Make sure the seller shows you everything about it. Ask questions.

Denise Pattison

7 comments:

Vonnie Davis said...

Interesting traveling you do--stressful, but interesting. Sounds like too much work for this old bird. I'd sooner stand in lines at the airport...wait...I'd sooner ride the Amtrack or drive the car.

Sandy L. Rowland said...

We did an RV trip when I was a kid. We lived in Southern California and the thing broke down in Needles, California. It cost so much to tow and repair, we spent our vacation in a motel and swam daily. We loved it.
I don't think mom minded at all.
RV's, got to love 'em. Great post!

Jan Romes said...

I've always wanted to RV it around the country! :-))

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Interesting post, Denise. We camp often, in a tent. We've been talking about upgrading to an RV, but...

I'll keep your post in mind when we look at RV's.

Josie said...

So exciting and fun for you and your husband, Denise. We used to camp--many years ago---but we used a tent and it always rained. Now we do home exchanges. It's inexpensive and very enjoyable.

morgan wyatt said...

Hi Denise,
You are a braver woman than me. I do well to drive a truck, never mind the RV.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I you are to be admired, Denise. I don't think I could live that way well. I know we all do what we have to do and I am sure you can come up with some amazing stories. I just love sitting in my trees and forgetting about the world most of the time. I say this after three weeks of painting and so tired I can't sleep at night, but I guess all things have good and bad to them.

I don't think I could ever drive something like that. My husband panics when I used to drive his old truck. The new one - not goin' to happen. My choice!!!