June 10, 2017
Aransas Pass, TX
Just recently, a friend of ours who has admitted to living vicariously through my posts, told me, “You’re truly living the dream.”
And we are. Since the day Jeff and I got married, we began to plan how we wanted to share the rest of our lives with each other. It started when I retired, took a tricky U-turn when I broke my shoulder and had to hold on tight for eight weeks while Jeff and I finished our therapies. We put our house on the market, sold it to cash buyers after the third try, and bought our RV and a truck strong enough to tow it on the day after we closed on the sale of our house — May 25, 2017. Now, since our first night in our fifth-wheeler, we have been RV dwellers; June 26 will make it a month. Even though my husband once lived by himself in a C & M RV/horse trailer when he sold Western-themed paintings, he and I have learned that RV living is an ongoing lesson with joys and pitfalls. And, just like learning to ride a bike, you have to fall down a few times, first, before you get it right. Although we love our cozy home-on-wheels, we’ll be the first to share five differences we have noticed between our brick-and-stick home and our RV.
- First, the walls in our RV do not easily allow us to hang pictures. Precious photos of grandparents and parents, children and grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins once, twice, or never removed, and pets would meet their “Waterloo” when the same sliders that graciously expand the living room, kitchen, or bedroom retract before our fifth-wheel is ready to roll. Just imagine the horror for yourself: -arriving at your new destination, tumbling out of your vehicle and climbing into the RV only to find that a slider has crushed the photo of your dear Aunt Maudie like a discarded Coke can. Now, if you still feel — like I did — that you really must see your family’s faces, every. single. day, you can scan their photos onto your iPad or tablet and watch those pictures in a random, continuous loop. But if you can wait until you do have room for them, you can store them in a climate-controlled facility for a monthly fee.
* Second, RV toilet paper is different from the standard kind you would use in a brick-and-mortar home. It is biodegradable paper that quickly dissolves. You can find this kind of paper in two-roll or four-roll packs in camper-supply stores such as Camping World for a slightly higher price but you will find it cheaper at Wal-Mart.
* Third, RV showers are radically different. Do you love to linger under the steam? I did, too, when we lived in our townhouse. But, when we moved into our fifth-wheel, I learned, the hard way, that hot water lasts only as long as it lasts, and that is not for long. About the time you wet yourself down with the handheld shower head, lather up, and then rinse, the water turns cold. RV “veterans” will tell you about devices that keep your water hotter for longer but, as with any other luxury, it’ll cost you. Sometimes the best way to enjoy complimentary hot showers is to use the ones at your RV park.
- Fourth is limited space. When we bought our 34-foot fifth-wheel, we were agog at the amount of storage. Cabinets, pantries, closets, and drawers gave us the feeling that we had space to spare until we moved in and tried to store both our trusty coffeemaker and the cut, red Keurig I had bought for my upstairs writer’s cave, several years ago. When push came to shove, one got banished to a remote cabinet above the microwave. Three guesses which one won the honorary spot beside the stove. Yep, you guessed it: the coffeemaker. And while we’re talking space, the freezer in our refrigerator provides space for one half-gallon of Bluebell ice cream. Dr. Pepper mini cans. A quart, rather than a gallon, of milk. Shoot, come to think of it, our fridge could be the best diet aid ever.
* Fifth is expense. While you do not have expenses such as property tax, water and electric bills, and neighborhood association (HOA) dues unless you buy a lot, you are still responsible for your own phone bill, gas, groceries, and maintenance of your RV.
Now that I’ve pointed to the underbelly of RV living,, I will stress the exciting part: being able to claim “Everywhere, USA” as our hometown. A popular tee-shirt slogan I saw at Camper’s World said, “Home is Where You Park It.” Jeff and I are enjoying quite an adventure. After spending the first week in Arlington, just down the street from our former house, we traveled to New Braunfels and are now on the Texas Gulf Coast. From there, who knows? El Paso, Texas? Phoenix, Arizona? San Diego, California? The fun is making it up as we go along.
I’m sure there will always be those little hiccups in RV life. I’ve listed are only five of them. Now, the ball is in your “court”, dear readers. Have you ever stayed in a recreational vehicle on vacation or for life? What was the biggest drawback you discovered? And what did you like most about it? Speak up, for your wisdom and insight could help someone else “live the dream”.
I love receiving comments from you! Please scroll down below this post and leave your comments in the box provided. And stay tuned for our next excellent adventure wherever that may be. You just never know where we “vintage honeymooners” will turn up, next.