September 30, 2016

Our Learning Curve

Wow. So much has happened it's pretty unreal. We've had to learn the hard way.

My Top 6 (because I couldn't narrow it to 5) Lessons on Starting an RV Adventure:

1. Be sure to tie down everything when you drive off. Exhibit A: Be sure the fridge is closed and tied shut because grapes and milk flying everywhere around the RV is no bueno. You've got one kid screaming, one kid laughing and then there was me who leaped out of my seat and tried to catch everything. Yikes.

This goes hand in hand with making sure everything is in it's proper position. When showing friends how the slides go out apparently someone put the drivers seat all the way back (we won't name any names). Welllllll the slide then ended up seriously scratching the back of the seat and breaking a piece of wood in the RV in half. As in it made no sound of distress until POP it snapped in half. That was a fun conversation with E. Note to self: make a checklist of everything we need to do before putting slides out and everything we need to do before driving.

2. Run your generator before you leave the dealership for at least 30-45 minutes when you are not connected to any power. Our generator stopped working in 90 degree weather on our way to Indiana. We then spent the next days struggling to find a dealership in TN that would help us. They don't particularly care to help you with any sense of urgency unless you purchased from them. Luckily, E was able to drop us off at my Dad's when he dealt with the dealers in Knoxville. It also meant we missed out on a goat farm this time around with Harvest Hosts but that's ok. We needed a/c.

3. Don't park under trees or up against a fence in a wooded area. We parked our RV at a friends house and then ended up with a few new friends in the Big B. As in, a ton of huge black ants. It could be worse, I guess. They could be red ants. Either way, we  had to delay putting stuff in the RV and set up traps in hopes they all die in the next couple days so we can fill 'er up.Update: they didn't die. We ended up having to bomb the RV. As in, taking out everything we'd packed already and starting fresh.

Yes, that's right people get out the BUG BOMBS!
4. When purchasing a ton of stuff to fill your RV make sure you keep an eye on every single receipt. Someone used my card and bought a $300 watch from TJ Maxx. I've shopped at TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshalls a lot to get little bits and bobs. It wasn't until I saw a $314 line item on my Visa that I was like ughhhh I think I would've remembered that big of a charge. Cue the fraud department at Visa and the police knocking at my mom's door so I can file a report.

5. Be flexible. This is the hardest for me. I'm a planner. It's what I do. At one point we were two days away from leaving and weren't sure where we'd be due to weather issues messing with Plan A. Not knowing where our family will be 'living' is a tough-y. We will figure it out I'm sure, but it's a nail biter for me. As of right now we have reservations until October 16th. This route is a constant work in progress. This is what route planning looks like:

Cayenne just woke up from nap (the only time to plan a route) and assumed the thumb-sucking position on my lap. :) 
Cayenne's milk cup, my wine glass and a beer. All three requirements when route planning.
6. Last, but certainly not least: OVERESTIMATE the TIME and MONEY it takes to do make this happen. Between prepping our car, selling cars, getting sheets, towels, pillows, organizational stuff, kitchen utensils, plates, groceries, homeschool materials, planning a route, etc. we are spent. This is definitely not a cheap or easy option. We are two weeks in and it still seems like more and more comes up that we need. The good news is that we ARE planning on slowing down soon. This travelling every week or couple of weeks is emptying our pockets faster than I can tell you.

These lesssons haven't been easy ones to learn. With any big change there is a learning curve and this is a huge life change for us. There are new things around every corner.. There will inevitably be a Part Deux to this post. One can only assume.

Note: Be sure to check out my post on homeschooling in the next few days. That's has been one of the biggest changes and lessons in our learning curve. It deserves it's own post because it's been a doozy.

1 comment:

  1. This is good -- I have to read this to get the details. Hang in there. You're doing great.