There is a common understanding in the RV community that the full time lifestyle while amazingly liberating, can also be extremely challenging and frustrating. The mantra that you have to take the good with the bad is repeated adnausium in social media groups. There is no going into this way of living without knowing that you will eventually face your share of challenges and adversity. Well, after one month of living the dream, consider us fully christened into the realm of taking the good with the bad!
In our first 30 days of RV life we have pretty much experienced every emotion a human being is capable of. We started with the euphoria and excitement of accomplishing our goal and setting out on our new adventure. Once we arrived at our first campsite, we were overwhelmed by the amount of work that still needed to be done to make our new home feel more like home. Once we accomplished that, the next weeks were some of the most wonderful and relaxing days of our lives. While Mrs. RVF is still working I was able to take care of minor repairs and other little things that needed to be fixed or adjusted. Sometimes it was annoying, but it’s not like I had a timeframe to get it done so why stress over it. Heck, if I needed a break I would just stop, grill a burger for lunch and pick up on the project after with a full belly and a clear head. Not exactly a stressful situation.
Then the day finally came when we were packed up and ready to leave California for good. To us this was the real start of our adventure. The last 30 days were spent at a campground we knew all too well and was only an hour drive from our old house. It was a convenient stopping point for us to gather ourselves and get organized before setting out on the open road. We excitedly made some calls in the morning to friends and family to let them know; “This is it, we are heading out! Call you when we get to Vegas! Can’t wait to hit state line! Diesel prices are how much cheaper in Nevada!!” So after a quick stop to put just enough fuel in the RV to get us out of California with the thought of filling up in Nevada to save money we headed north. “Hey, we should stop and get the RV washed so it looks pretty and shiny in Vegas!”
As we got on the highway we were so excited and didn’t have a care in the world. It was mid morning on a weekday so traffic was going to be light. As Mrs. RVF was working away on her computer, our dog Murphy was his usual nervous self, panting away on the sofa wanting the ride to end. I just had to drive and navigate a few really annoying and poorly planned out California highway interchanges and we would be free. No problem! I’ve driven this route 100’s of times. And that’s where it all went wrong!
One thing is certain when you are driving an RV, you are going to have to deal with people speeding up to cut you out and dive-bombing you as they try to get over at the last minute. It’s just how it is for some reason and the poorly laid out interchanges on the California highways only compound this issue.
Beginning of Rant *The sad part is these interchanges were just redone and as usual in California they didn’t fix anything. But they will gladly put up signs to tell you they put your tax dollars to work. A few months later they will spend more money to try and correct the problem that wasn’t corrected in the first place and which will not be corrected yet again. It’s a never ending cycle of waste and spend to keep the cash ball rolling. There is no doubt California tax dollars are only working to end up back in the pockets of California politicians by giving contracts to people and companies that will take your tax dollars and rinse, wash and redirect them back too said politicians in order to get more contracts. That’s how the cycle of corruption works people and you can take that to the bank!* End of Rant.
Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, so as we headed north we come upon one of these poorly designed California interchanges and there is nothing for me to do but drive straight, just keep on cruising. As I navigate through I hear screeching tires and see a truck out of control in my mirror. Just as I look back over my shoulder that’s when it happened, BANG!! The truck slammed square into the side of our RV, our home, and plowed all the way down the side magically missing our Jeep somehow. I was in shock but managed to keep control and safely move to the shoulder. The other driver’s truck was a mangled mess sitting in the center divider, clearly a total loss.
Once the dust settled and we were assured by another motorist that the driver of the truck was ok, despite the vehicle now looking like a wrecked compact car, reality started to hit. My mind immediately went to the worst. “That’s it. It’s over just as fast as it started. Our home is wrecked and we have no place to go.”
Now those are the thoughts that go through your mind in the moment and the devastation is real. But once the fog begins to clear and CHP gives you over an hour to think about it before showing up, you start to realize you really do need a plan. We were able to get in touch with our regular shop and they said to bring it on in.
That solved the repair problem but what about the living problem? Here the response was amazing and something we will be forever grateful for. We had amazing friends offer us their cabin in the mountains if we needed a place to go. We had family offer their homes for as long and we needed. We even had people we have never met or only met briefly offer help if we needed it. What can you say to such generosity but, Thank You! Thank you so much for being there when we needed help!
Once we got to the shop they looked over the damage and we waited to hear how bad it was. The shop owner and body shop manager who has done work for us for a few years gave us the run down. Once that part was over the shop owner said, “Hey we are going to be neighbors for a few weeks”. At first I was confused but then he said we could stay in our RV on the property with full hookups as long as it takes to make the repairs and they will do the work in the spot. What an amazing act of generosity and it certainly took a load off our shoulders. It was an offer we couldn’t refuse and they have been great every step of the way. You cannot truly appreciate how hard some people work until you witness if for yourself first hand.
So here we sit after 30 days of living the dream. We are not in Vegas as planned, but in a desert environment. We are not sitting in a posh resort sipping $25 mojitos, but we are enjoying the occasional low carb adult beverage. More importantly than any of this is we are safe and we are still living in our home.
The adversity is real and this is a challenge no doubt, but as we say in the RV community, there are always better days down the road. We just need to get ourselves fixed up and heading that way.
Thank you for reading our blog. Please follow our journey on social media for more updates as they happen. The dream is still alive.