By Valerie Coffey
A new great post on Outdoor Online from American writer and previous full-time RVer, Katie Arnold, Raising Rippers, goes a long way toward confirming that owning an RV — any RV — is an exercise in patience. All dreamers of this dream (even atheists like me) have a sort of “come to Jesus” moment in which they have to ask if all the trouble is worth it.
“Even if most of us are too attached to creature comforts to ditch everything and live on the go, our inner dirtbags like to dream we will.” — Katie Arnold
We have moments where we are decidedly disillusioned with this decision to travel full-time in our RV, like Katie and her family were with the Airstream and their Eurovan. For us, the past few weeks have held a few of those moments. Late on Saturday night this past Dec. 21, the Beast suffered a complete breakdown at 9,000 feet, while ascending a treacherous, icy part of U.S. Interstate 80 in the Rockies. The 2014 Freightliner engine blew a fuel line and spread an estimated 30 gallons of diesel across southwestern Wyoming while we looked for help.
Our two college-aged sons were aboard when that fuel line started spewing and we were behind schedule picking up the other stranded college-aged son. We were trying to reach him by driving all night to beat an impending Winter Storm Advisory that threatened to close down I-80 between Wyoming and Utah.
I will never forget how the two boys onboard quietly pulled their sweatshirts up over their mouths in response to the fumes, and how they had to sleep uncomfortably in a freezing, smelly RV with the generator running, in a tiny space with the slides in because the wind threatened to blow us over in the parking lot of the service center.
They aren’t likely to ever forget the experience, either, and are possibly scarred enough to never visit our moving tiny home again (although we really, really hope they’ll come back). They definitely took home a few lungs-full of diesel fuel, and may have PTSD for years at the slightest whiff of the stuff.
Although Katie’s article is themed about the decisions you must make with children aboard, the other message that resonates with me is about soldiering on for the sake of adventure. We got to the stranded kid a day late and he was fine. We skied and boarded the best ski areas of Utah on Christmas week, and completed the day’s drive to Las Vegas to enjoy an amazing New Year’s Even party.
And a few weeks later, after two weeks being “homeless” with the RV in the shop for a long-awaited appointment to address another 30 items that required parts (only a handful of which will actually get done), it is still worth it.
Because at this moment, we are happily recovered to our tiny home, the boys are back in their college homes, and the diesel smell is abating (I hope…). We’re working on our laptops and looking forward to time in the gorgeous heated pool and hot tub here at our RV park, LVM Luxury Resort, in Vegas this weekend.
This is an exciting development considering many of our nearest and dearest are suffering below-zero wind chills and shoveling ice-encrusted snow off their sidewalks and cars. We can swim in a heated pool without ice forming on our hair? Sign me up! Heck, we left our front door open this evening! We might even watch our outdoor TV again! We might even pack away our gloves and winter coats.
No. No, on second thought, it’s better to pack away the flip flops and not tempt the weather gods.
Anyway, here’s to following your dreams! Happy January 2015!
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