Maiden RV Voyage: Living and Working from an RV

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Author and husband with 5th wheel
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At the beginning, while working out the logistics of our idea to live and work from RV this summer, I often felt a mixture of anxiety, excitement, regret. It was all mixed up. What if I hated it? What if I couldn’t figure out something on the RV? Would I like moving my home around for the summer?

I kept going back to the wooden sign I found in that small gift shop: “Life is an Adventure, Enjoy the Ride.”

I decided that would be my attitude. Attitude is a choice. This was going to be an adventure that my husband and I would be on together. We would never know if we never tried. If we hated it, we would sell it, right?

(photo by author)

Traveling by RV: Practice Makes Perfect

My husband had previously pulled trailers and boats, but this is totally different, since it’s 40-feet long. I could just picture the experienced RVers as they saw the newbies pull in. They would get their cup of coffee and sit and watch the show as we backed it in. I knew we would need to work together to get this thing backed in without yelling at each other.

A good friend of ours took us out into a parking lot and my husband got the feel of how the fifth wheel handled with the truck. Our friend instructed me that as I guided my husband back I should always be able to see him in the rear view mirror. Feel free to head out without practice, but you might end up giving the experienced RVers a show.

Taking the RV for a Practice Run

We decided to take the RV out for a practice run. We live near Phoenix, AZ in the winter time and decided to go check out the infamous city of Tombstone, AZ. You know, Wyatt Earp? He was in the infamous gunfight at O.K Corral between the lawmen and the Cochise County Cowboys. (Watch the movie if you haven’t heard of this part of our history.)

Anyways, we loaded up a few things, the dog and we hit the road. Driving this rig through big cities like Phoenix would not be fun. My husband checked out some alternate routes that would avoid some of the city, and this truly made it more enjoyable.

Tombstone, AZ (photo by author)

The RV Resort

We were so happy to arrive in one piece to the RV resort. After my husband found a place to park the fifth-wheel, I went in and they had no reservation listed for us. What?! My husband would not be happy if he drove this thing for four hours and didn’t have a spot for the night.

Here is another thing I learned — a lot of RV resorts have similar names. Do your homework before you go. Luckily, I did have reservations at an RV park we had passed. We wound our way back and pulled in.

There are many RV resorts and just like hotels, some are great, some are not. This park was neat, clean, and well run. We were some of the youngest people there. I could just feel the eyes on us as we pulled in. “Henry, come look, there are some new RVers. Grab the coffee and let’s watch.”

Luckily it was a pull through spot. But, to be honest, I didn’t really need to worry too much. My husband is great with the RV and picked up quickly the nuances of pulling it and backing it up.

Author’s husband with the fifth-wheel in RV Park (photo by author)

The People at RV Parks

Visiting RV parks provides many opportunities to meet people from all walks of life. The first person we met was an older gentleman. He had spent years as a police officer and now wanted some peace and quiet. His marriage was falling apart and you could see the loneliness and sadness about him. We heard about his German Shepard who was his constant companion. Life had beat him up a bit. We stood and listened about his life and we knew he needed to share it.

The next day, we called the office as we couldn’t get the cable to work. A young bearded man showed up at our door to help us. We started talking and found out that he and his wife had sold their home, packed up the kids and hit the road in an RV. They home schooled the kids. Working in the RV park gave them their site for free.  He and his wife even worked small jobs at local shows in Tombstone.


Problems and Duct Tape

The maiden voyage often reveals any problems the RV has. It’s not amazing construction and the road jostles and bounces the tiny house around. Things loosen and fall off. You start to notice things you didn’t see when you bought it.

On our trip home, a gentleman pulled up beside us and pointed backwards. The arm of our awning broke and was sticking out. Another lesson, ALWAYS carry duct tape. We pulled over, duct taped the arm down and hit the road again.

The auto leveling didn’t work either, but such is the life of the RVer. Back to the RV shop for a few repairs.

After your first time out, you will begin to get a list of all the tools and gadgets you need, such as an RV sewer hose kit or an RV electrical extension cord. Start reading books and articles to give yourself an idea of what is essential in order to live and work from RV.Good Sam Roadside AssistanceDon’t miss the next in the series of Life Is An Adventure, Enjoy the Ride: Preparing to Live and Work in the RV