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RV Days, Issue #23– Everyday Adventures
October 23, 2010
Here is our latest issue of RV Days, an update on what we have been up to in our RV lifestyle.
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Issue 23 of RV Days is Now Available
Looking back, we can’ help but notice a trend. It seems every time we take to the road after a long stay somewhere, we have some sort of mechanical problem or mishap along the way. Our latest trip was no exception.
We left Cape Cod where we spent the summer working at a campground job. Our destination was Indiana, to one of our Thousand Trails parks. A journey of about 950 miles. We got on the road early in the morning and were doing fine until we got into New York State.
Our first mishap was with the motor home: an overheating problem caused by a faulty fan controller. We stopped at a Cummins place to have them take a look. We pulled into the tight driveway of the repair shop and had to unhook our tow car. The Cummins shop reset the controller as an attempt to fix the problem.
Unbelievably, when we tried to start the car to connect it back to the motor home…the car would not start – NOR would it shift out of Park. Fortunately we were next door to an auto repair shop, who managed to get the car into Neutral, so we could at least tow it behind the motor home.
Back on the road for an hour or so, and the motor home started to overheat again. Jose disconnected the fan controller so the fan would default to being On all the time, for the most part keeping the engine temps within acceptable range.
And so we continued driving a problematic motor home towing a dead car from NY State all the way to Cincinnati. In Cincinnati, we left the car to the tender mercies of a Saturn dealer to get it fixed. The next day and $200 later the dealer called to tell us that the car started right up…go figure.
Once we got checked into the RV Park in Indiana, we made the trip to South Dakota to renew our drivers licenses. South Dakota is our home base state, and we have to renew our drivers’ licenses every five years.
We took the motorcycle from Indiana to South Dakota and returned to Indiana for a total of 1900 miles in the saddle…in four days. Jose wanted a long road trip on the bike, and this certainly filled the bill. This was the longest motorcycle trip we ever took. We froze, were rained on a little, fought the wind that whistled through the plains, and saw enough fields and farms to last us for a long while. On the plus side, it was an adventure, and we enjoyed the fall foliage, small towns and a scenic stretch of travel on The Great River Road.
Back in Indiana, we spent four days washing and polishing the motor home. This is a necessary task to keep our home in decent shape. And it usually does take the better part of four days to do it right. We wash and dry the entire RV, including the roof. We use a UV protectant called 303 on everything (fiberglass, roof, tires, trim) to protect against the constant exposure to the sun. We buy it by the gallon at Camping World.
We have been using 303 since we first got the motorhome and swear by it for the protection and shine. We don’t bother with wax. We try to do this wash and protect process at least 2 times a year, more if we can. It can sometimes be a challenge to get the right timing for this task. We need to be in a campground where vehicle washing is permitted, with four consecutive days of good weather and enough time on our hands.
Regarding our vehicle issues, the jury is still out on when our mysterious car might act up again. It is a tough life for a dinghy being towed behind a motorhome. We will probably wait to deal with the motor home fan until we get to Florida for the winter. We have learned that other RVers have experienced faulty performance with the same brand of fan controller, and are researching options to deal with the problem.
What do these adventures tell us? Not really anything new – just a reminder that the RV lifestyle requires flexibility and a willingness to expect the unexpected. Along with the great destinations and experiences, are everyday ups and downs.
We share these experiences both to commiserate with other RVers who may have had their own share of misadventures, and as a dose of reality for wannabe RVers contemplating their own RV lifestyle and budgets.
A “Beachy” Job
Regarding our summer, we enjoyed our campground job at Atlantic Oaks Campground on Cape Cod.
After all, what’s not to like? The campground is just two and a half miles from the lovely ocean beaches of the National Seashore and about a mile from Cape Cod Bay. Not a bad place to hang our hats for the summer!
The campground’s location was appealing to us, since it was near the beach on the Lower Cape, within reasonable distance for visits with family from Rhode Island. Atlantic Oaks is situated in the town of Eastham, near Cape Cod Bay and National Seashore ocean beaches, and just 26 miles from Provincetown. For bicycling, the Cape Cod Rail Trail is accessible right from the back of the campground.
Job duties included office and store duties, making reservations, checking in guests, cleaning, maintenance, yard work and pumping propane. Jose was usually outside and Jill worked mostly in the store/office.
One of the best parts about having our website is hearing from other RVers. Check out some of the Frequently Asked Questions:
How to Winterize RV Question: Can you help me on how to winterize our RV? I would like to know the steps involved, how to handle the washing machine, water heater, etc.
What to Buy? Question: I am a first time RVer and am not sure what to look for when purchasing one for the first time. Also, is there an advantage to buying new, or am I ok looking at used RVs?
Boondocking Question: I just ran across the term boondocking what does it mean?
Fulltimer Expenses Question: What is the average yearly revenue needed to be a fulltimer? We are curious about costs for things like fuel, RV Maintenance, RV Sites, Food…
RV Vacuum Cleaner? Question: Can you suggest a compact yet powerful vacuum for my RV….
Celebrate an RV Halloween if you happen to be traveling in your RV this time of year. Even in a small space and while mobile, you can enjoy the fall festivities. Here are some ideas to have fun and celebrate this season of the Great Pumpkin!
If you are pondering the RV lifestyle, enjoy the planning and research phase. It is all part of the fun.
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And if you are on the road, Put a Smile in Every Mile!
Jose and Jill
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