The first three weeks of our full time RV adventure was more like an old two lane back road full of twists and turns than a flat, wide, four lane highway. To say the least it has been an adventure already – full of new mistakes, a few surprises and a whole lot of thought into organization.
Procrastination was our first mistake!
The first day of our full time life taught us a huge lesson, don’t procrastinate!
Over the last month of downsizing our home, we were extremely busy and that lead to a little exhaustion by the end of it all. We held 3 giant yard sales, tried to finish the last of our renovations, kept our e-commerce stores moving and worked our regular jobs during this time. We also found time for torn ligaments that required surgery for the better half of us and a few fractured ribs for me.
So you ask, if we had time to finish all that where was the procrastination? Well we knew for months ahead of time what our final goal date was and we were not going to miss it. We actually moved it up 5 months from when we initially planned hitting some of our goals sooner than expected. So we knew the goal date, but we kept putting little things off. Let’s keep the big TV a little longer, the kids need their big beds until we move out, we can organize yard sale items at the end of the week and so on it went on. Then the last month was upon us and it hit us like a hammer strike on a nail head – We HAVE to get all this done!
So the long days and nights began. By the end of the month we were mentally and physically drained.
I had envisioned a send off day like in the movies. Our travel trailer completely renovated, stocked and organized as we pulled out of the drive. Friends, family waving and taking pictures like we were a rock band from the 80’s as we drive away. We pull into our first RV park fresh and ready to relax for awhile before getting the best night of sleep ever.Jay
Instead the last day went more like this: halfway through the day we were cramming everything we had left into the truck and RV wherever it would fit, trying to rent a storage unit at the last minute, finally calling family to come help, finding a place for the dogs for a night, hooking up to the travel trailer as the sun went down, dropping it off at the RV park after dark in below freezing weather and booking a hotel room for the night!
Yep that was our first day. Were we ready to throw in the towel? Heck no, but we were exhausted!
The next morning we went back and actually finished setting the trailer up correctly in it’s place, which went really well. Then we started about organizing things a little bit, the day before we had decided to get a storage unit to cram things in so we could go through them a little slower this month and find out was really necessary.
The separating storage and organizing items we needed went pretty good, we could now walk in the trailer plus things were ready to drop off at storage! That is were day 2 struck!
We arrived at the storage unit that we had prepaid for online to find no one at the office and our email gave us no information how to open the gate. After 30 minutes of trying to reach someone on the phone, we headed to city hall. There we find out that the storage unit had the utilities cut off a few months back and there was no known owner at this time. We were told it was most likely it was an online scam, so off to the bank we go to cancel our debit card and get a new one ordered!
Now all our things are in the bed of the truck with no place to go. So we go set down for lunch and start making phone calls. Luckily another storage place in town came through a few hours later and we got unloaded. After we stopped by the local Walmart and picked up a few things that we didn’t know we needed and went back to relax. Actually this time, we did get to relax and it was very nice!
Okay, so the first few days were a little rough around the edges. We made it through them and landed right side up. We took a little time off the next few days just doing small things around the travel trailer trying to organize a little more and settle in. It was nice!
Being we are in Oklahoma in April, the weather can range from a blizzard at 9 in the morning to the death valley desert by 3 in the afternoon, so we were not prepared for the cold weather that ran up on us the first week. That’s right we ran out of propane one night (haven’t we all), which wasn’t a big deal. A stop by the Tractor supply the next day and we had some heat for the next night. Just another dot to put down on the checklist and another learning curve straightened out.
Something we noticed the first few weeks was the degree of cautiousness that we used with everything in the beginning. Water for example, we went the whole first week with full hook ups and didn’t have to dump our tanks once! But then everyone started to settle in and get familiar with everything, the second week the grey tank was emptied after only 3 days. Even with the electric, we were taking turns running the microwave and drying our hair the first week. The second week, the breakers started tripping and we learned what we could run all at one time real quick. It is like trying to learn to talk again, only in a different language this time. It is challenging, hard, fun and exciting all at the same time!
After the initial week or so, things started to slow down and get back to normal for us. Yes, we had a major surgery in the family to begin our second week and it requires a little mobility help but other than that life has come back to reality. We started working hard again on our e-commerce sales, kids are back to their routine of home schooling (or should we say road schooling now?), our oldest had her senior prom, we started cooking meals again at home and even did a little laundry. We notice differences from living in our sticks and bricks, but haven’t missed anything yet. Well, there are a few things we miss, like the high rental bill along with its massive utility bills to keep it going, lol! Other than that, it has actually felt more like home than any place we have been.
We are all close, very close in a 26 foot travel trailer but we don’t feel crowded at all. We talk and see each others faces so much more than just the month before, it is kind of amazing in ways. The TV usually gets turned on only at bed time now, that is something we didn’t even realize until sitting down to write this blog. Sure the kids still go to their rooms (bunks) and get some alone time to play some video games, but they have been outside or visiting with us a whole lot more. Since we have another month here at this RV park before we start traveling north, the kids think it is fun to notice the different OverNighters as they call them, coming and going from the park. They pick up on the different types of rigs from large expensive class A’s to the small travel trailers that wander in from all over the map and ask questions about them.
We have had our share of small issues to take care of since moving in. The AC condenser keeps running even though the fan stops blowing, so we have to flip the breaker off after we cool down. This is a relay stuck open that we need to get fixed before taking off. Just yesterday while dumping the tanks, we found water leaking underneath the trailer. We were devastated for 3 whole minutes, until we found out it was just a plastic valve that had cracked. A trip to the local Ace store and 15 minutes of work, no more leak! Although these little things pop up, they are something we had already considered and read plenty about. If you are going to own an RV, better be ready to work on the RV! No biggee, it is part of the life.
First things first, we are Downsize2Drive! Up next is getting rid of that storage unit for sure for us. We do not want that monthly payment in our budget before leaving on our journey, we would much rather use that cash for an adventure! We really do not have a lot left, just a couple tubs filled with pictures and memories that we will figure out how to preserve. The other things that are stored in there will come with us like our sales inventory, generator, sway hitch and few other items that will be needed on the road but not while we are here for a month. Our goal is to have as minimal a footprint as needed to be comfortable.
As stated above we have a new generator and hitch that we will be getting ready for the trip, both have not left the box as of yet. We need to get the generator out, do the break in run and get the new oil in over the next month. The hitch needs to be put together and we need to figure out actually how to use it, lol. The crystal ball says “lot’s of how to videos in your future!”, we will get it done.
Route planning is taking shape for us as well. We are heading north out of Oklahoma to see the Wyoming area and have a festival picked out to attend in early July there. Of course Yellowstone will be a pin on the map while up that way. We have spoke to some state parks about possible volunteering opportunities while there, but nothing concrete as of yet. The schedule is wide open for now!
We hope you enjoy the update here on the site and we plan on many more as time passes and the miles stack up!
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Have a wonderful day and get outside for an adventure!