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Below is the story of an #RVlife travel day told entirely through tweets. I’m making a few small changes to clean up the story a bit, but otherwise, this is copied and pasted directly from Twitter.
As full-time RVers, we feel the need to move and explore a new spot fairly often. Travel days are not always as crazy as this one, but they are often filled with a unique type of anxiety. There are just a lot of things going on every time we move, the major one being we are dragging our entire home and everything we own down the interstate. That alone can be enough to increase the blood pressure sometimes.
I am sharing this on the blog for a couple of reasons. #1 – Some friends told me I should. They thought people would be interested to hear about this side of our life as well as the good side. So #2 – To show a behind-the-scenes account of RV life. This lifestyle can be pretty dang awesome, but as with any life path, not all days are sunshine and rainbows. There are always crazy days, no matter what.
Of we go!
An #RVlife Travel Day Told Through Twitter
RV life… Today was a crazy one! One of those days that we ask ourselves what in the actual f*** are we doing with our lives?! My wonderful friend @SarahWillets tells me these are the kinds of things I should be sharing on twitter, so stay tuned! Tomorrow I’ll recount it all!
To start the day off, it was around 9am yesterday I woke up very eager to play mini-golf before we left the RV park. Then I realized I ACTUALLY needed to shower with that time because I didn’t know if we would have access to one for the next 7 days. Priorities… #RVing #RVlife
We’d been camping at a beautiful @ThousandTrails park in Leavenworth. We loved Leavenworth so much we extended our stay twice. Moving days are often filled with emotion. A lot of times we really don’t want to leave, but we also know there are lots of new adventures ahead! #rvlife
Pros: If you use it a lot, it pays off. They often have some great amenities, including hot tubs, pools, mini-golf, wifi, and activities. Full hookups are often the case as well. Reservations are easy to make, and you can stay somewhere for up to 2-3 weeks. #RVlife #camping
Cons: It’s crazy difficult to get a hold of anyone on the phone. Establishing our membership took months. Ultimately they aren’t dependable as a brand. You never know what kind of park you’re driving to or what kind of spot you’re going to be parked in. #Camping
Which leads me back to Leavenworth. When we arrived we were given a big map and told to pick a spot. But not one with caution tape, those were broken and not one with a chain, those were owned and not one in a certain section of the park because we wouldn’t be able to turn around. Fair enough.
We surveyed our options and picked a spot in a relatively empty part of the park that was BEAUTIFUL. We felt like we struck gold. However, two days later, our power pole stopped working.
We spoke to the office about it, they sent someone over. He checked the grid, told us we should be good, but also said they should send an electrician. We went to the office to check on the situation and were told no one would be coming out that day.
We were advised to either make it work or move. At this point, the park was filling up, we weren’t sure any other poles would be any better since the repairman told us other spots were having problems too, and it would be a major PITA to move, so we stayed put.
Back to taking off…
Ok, so back to yesterday morning. We had been there for ten days and made our 12-volt adapter work in the 20 amp spot. It had worked well enough. We couldn’t operate everything, but enough of our things.
We’re cleaning up the RV and getting ready for 4+ hours on the road. We’ll only have electricity and nothing else at our next stop, so we’re filling up on water. Then, out of nowhere, in the last hour of our stay, the pole makes a pop noise and starts smoking. ? #camping #rvlife
Barrett pulls the cord out immediately. We’re about to take off. I mean, what else do you do at that moment? We’re definitely not going to plug it back in, but what next? We continue on because… crazy sh*t happens all the time in #rvlife, so we head out toward the dump station.
As Barrett dumps our tanks, the final step in preparing for no hookups, I walk to the @ThousandTrails office and tell them about their smoking power pole. They seem concerned and apologize for the fact that an electrician never came by to look at it. #rving #RVtravel #camplife
As we’re pulling out of the main gate, I briefly come to terms with our reality and say, “Hey, do you think we should plug that cord into a random pole to know if it’s okay?” Barrett says, “No.” He just wants to get on the road. So off we go! (This will be important later.?)
Our Journey Begins
Today is Leavenworth -> Mt. Rainier. Our trip starts off well! We both have coffee + snacks. Lunch is pre-made. We’re surrounded by beautiful fall colors. One cat is completely comfy and calm, the other one is trying as hard as possible to be co-pilot. #rvtravel #CatsOfTwitter
I continue to spend the next 30 mins playing this back+forth game of repeatedly pulling the cat off Barrett’s lap. It was cute in the beginning, but the roads are becoming narrower and steeper. Soon we start cruising down one of the craziest mountain roads we’ve ever encountered.
Barrett proceeds to tell me the road’s freaking him out and making him nervous. I’m thinking I have no idea why he’s telling me this… now I’m not only helpless, I’m also terrified. I tell him he’s freaking me out. He tells me again that he’s nervous. Tension rises in the truck.
Eventually, after only imagining us careening off the edge of a mountain road to our deaths 3 or so times, we get through the mountains and pop out right into Seattle 405 traffic. Yay! Barrett’s still worked up and now has transferred all of that energy toward the EPA and DEF.
The feeling now looming in the air is: If we don’t get DEF in the next 50 miles, we’re going to EXPLODE.
At this point, I’m on @GasBuddy frantically trying to find a station that will have diesel, DEF, easy enough on- and off-ramp access and a big enough parking lot for our rig. I’m also trying to assess how much this situation is actually a concern and how much is Barrett work up.
Ok, so I find a Safeway in the next 5 miles, but apparently, that is not good enough. (Sorry @Safeway, I still have no idea why.) Threat level concern has now been reduced to low. I then find a @Walmart in 10 miles, and I am told that will work, so we head there.
So this next scene is one we’ve encountered a few times + why we generally avoid filling up on diesel in the burbs. But remember this is an EMERGENCY. The RV GPS has an “idea” of where the @Walmart is located. It tells us to get off the freeway and make a turn, so we comply…
How I have not figured out to pull my iPhone out as well in these moments is beyond me… I’m pretty convinced the quick switch in emotions from happy to stress to happy during travel days causes my brain to only focus on what’s happening at that moment, no brainstorming allowed.
So that turn the GPS recommended was right into a massive mall parking lot. The Walmart was part of the complex, but actually down the way a bit. We turn in and into the left lane, as the machine tells us to do. We then see a big sign that says Walmart to the right.
There are people and cars everywhere. It’s Barrett’s basic nightmare. At this point, forget about the f**king DEF! As we turn the wrong direction, I know it’s my only job to make sure we get going the right direction and to make sure Barrett’s head doesn’t explode first.
Naturally, I lead him right to the front of the mall, as any good navigator would do. ? (I promise on accident!) We sit in a swarm of zooming cars and people until there’s a small gap and then go for it! After a bit more mall weaving, we finally get to the diesel pump.
Post Fill Up
Post fill up, the lady in front of us has decided her post fill up time would be best spent facetiming friends. We sit and consider our options. I could get out and politely ask her to move, we could lay on the horn, or we can attempt to reverse the entire rig + squeeze past her.
While we’re waiting to see if it’s a short facetime, I decided this would be the PERFECT moment to bring up something else. “We should pull up to the Walmart and get the DEF too, right?” Barrett looks deep into my soul and says, “That’s the whole reason we’re here.” ?
So Barrett decides he’s had enough + it’s best to reverse the entire rig, squeeze past her, + slowly give her the eye as he passes (which she 100% never notices). This is not my favorite option… but it happens. We park, promise the kitties we’re coming back and then head in.
We get DEF. We also brilliantly realize we should replenish a few missing grocery items since we’re currently driving to the middle of nowhere. We both agree though that a cart would be too big of a commitment.
So now we are stubbornly juggling DEF, hot sauce, two bags of cuties, avocados, and LOTS of chocolate while waiting for 2 lbs of turkey to be sliced at the deli counter. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a package of spicy meats. That is obviously also a need. We check out.
Back at the truck, Barrett lovingly gives the vehicle all of the DEF it so desperately needed. I decide I’d like to stand in the @Walmart parking lot and watch him while petting our cat and eating spicy meats, because #norestraint. Security slowly passes. I wave. ?
Hindsight is 20/20
Now, I know what you might be thinking. Did you consider buying a power cord while in the big city? Nope! We sure didn’t!?We had been so focused on not careening off cliffs, or crashing into cars on the 405, oh, and getting DEF that it completely slipped our minds!
I’m hoping you can possibly relate. Sometimes we’re both just so hampered with the little fires that pop up and all of our small tasks for the day that we completely forget about that one big looming problem hovering right above our heads. #camping #rvlife #homeiswhereyouparkit
We continue on. About 30 minutes later, the surroundings start looking a lot more like what we’re used to these days. Tiny diners, small one-pump gas stations and TONS of trees. We see an elk crossing sign and then literally see an elk right behind it. This is more our style. #RV
30 more minutes go by, and now we see NOTHING but trees. Both of our internet options lose all signal, which always slightly terrifies me because even though we love the outdoors, we still need to be connected for work and school. (And #football and the #emmys of course…)
But have no fear, we’re headed to a particular spot I read was great for #fulltimervers! I read it was plentiful in electricity and internet, but also still located in the woods close to Mt. Rainier. #RVing #RVlife #RVtravel #camplife #homeiswhereyouparkit #rvcouple #Camping
So we continue to twist through the woods, wanting to trust in what we read online. But we’re now 10 minutes away from our final destination and still have no service on our hotspot or our phones. I keep my fingers crossed.?
Wifi is found!
A few more miles down the road, I start to see electric poles and what looks like a cell tower outside! And then boom! All of a sudden @ATT and @Verizon both boot up out of nowhere. It’s a full-time #rver miracle. And the bars stay for the remaining 5 minutes of the drive.
So we’ve arrived! I’m so excited because we now KNOW we’re going to have electricity and internet! We’ll be able to work and explore. All will be well. We survey the utterly empty lot. All of the spots look exactly the same, so we pick the best looking pole and start to park.
We back up into a spot, start to disconnect, and then Barrett calls me over. “It doesn’t work.” “What doesn’t work? The pole or the cord?” “Nothing is working.” We try plugging into the next spot down. Nothing. We try plugging a phone into the 12-volt plug. Nothing. #rvlife
I start walking down the line, plugging a phone into each pole until I eventually find power. I then go back, pick up the massive RV cord + lug it down. Since I knew the phone worked, I plugged the RV cord into the pole right when I got there, not really thinking anything of it.
This was the first time I have EVER plugged our power cord into a pole before plugging it into the RV and thank goodness because what’s to follow could have been a LOT worse! I genuinely believe it was a blessing in disguise that those previous power poles were turned off.
As I plugged in the cord, everything LIT UP LIKE THE FOURTH OF JULY! I screamed + jumped back. Barrett watched in awe from the truck. I frantically waved him over since the situation scared the living s**t out of me! He somehow gracefully walked over + yanked the cord right out.
What To Do Next?
So needless to say, we’re out of full 30 amp power until further notice.
We found ourselves in the middle of nowhere, just trying to figure out what to do next. Fog was beginning to pour out from between the trees. However, we were still able to briefly see what was either a bear or wolf in the distance right before the fog completely blanketed us.
As the wolf/bear ran across the gravel, I was attempting to level our camper. But with limited battery power and rapidly thickening fog settling in, I said “f**k it” and decided to go inside. So last night and today we’ve been operating on a bit of a funhouse slant. #rvlife #camp
Then, I remembered we had to pay. So back out I went! There’s no person, we pay a hut. And even though the hut was just about 40 spots down, I decided I would drive due to wolf/bear + fog. At this point, the haze was so intense that as I drove, it just APPEARED + I almost hit it!
Lastly, it’s sorta cold here. While coming to terms with that, I had a realization that we could power about 10 of our items, including a space heater, off of my surge protector plugged into an extension cord, plugged into the next power pole over. ? #rvlife #RVing #Camping
All Caught Up!
And there you are! All caught up to how we’re currently existing. These are the evenings we find ourselves asking “What in the actual f**k are we doing with our lives?!” But all of the joking aside, I want it known that we’re also very grateful for what we have! #rvlife #camping
Please don’t misunderstand these posts. I love writing and was told people could possibly be interested in stories such as this one. I am in NO WAY complaining about our lifestyle. In fact, I usually don’t share days like this one because I fear it will be seen as complaining.
I would never complain about the fantastic opportunities we’re getting on this journey! #rvlife has been oh so very good to us! And in exchange for all of the challenging days, there are so many more amazing ones! #RVing #RVtravel #camplife #homeiswhereyouparkit
Last night, we went through all of that peacefully. We put our heads together and kept calm. Days such as yesterday are actually becoming “normal” to us! Our tolerance for going with the flow is consistently increasing in #rvlife, and our relationship is growing because of it.
We have electricity. We have internet. We have warmth. We have food. We have each other. We’re getting work done and living off one extension cord plugged into a mighty surge protector with eight full plugs and two full USB ports. #rvlife #fulltimervers #rving #Camping #rvtravel
What would you do?
So thanks for the read! Now I’m curious what you would do: There are no close RV stores. Today none were open. Tomorrow we can… ship a cord to a PO 1 hr away, drive 1.5 hrs to @campingworld + buy a cord, or re-hookup + take in the whole rig, in case there are bigger problems.
So, How did it all work out?
UPDATE on September 23rd:
UPDATE on September 26th:
Update on our new power cord saga ?. It was supposed to be delivered yesterday, but @amazon says it’s taking a bit longer. Crossing my fingers that it’ll get here today!!
We had 2 other adapter pieces for the cord that we also needed and hence ordered. Then we also threw in two additional items we needed because well, Amazon! ?The 2 adapters and 1 of the extra items have been returned because they couldn’t find the delivery spot.
So not a great start… but all of those extra items are not a big deal. We can get them when we’re back in civilization.
However, that last one random item was delivered! We figured we’d just pick up the boxes together, so we did not reach out and ask about this box yet.
So back to the cord ?
Pretty much right after I posted my “hopefully it’ll be here today post” we got an alert saying they just tried and failed. Which obviously was sad.
But when we got this alert, we saw a UPS driver. So naturally, we decided to jump in our truck and chase him down. ?He knew nothing about the box from today but did tell us the other box was up at the office.
Barrett and I split up. He went up to the office to see if he could find a different delivery truck. I went back to the RV to talk to Amazon support.
While Barrett was up there, he decided to ask about the other box. Well, after it was delivered, there was a guy in the office named Scott, with a wife Cindy who didn’t know about any of this situation…
Office Scott took said package home to wife Cindy (whose maiden name, in a crazy doppelganger name twist, was also Scott!) Obviously thinking it was for her. I definitely would have done the same thing. So now Barrett is driving 10 miles down the road to Scott’s house to claim box #1. ?
The good news is back in the RV I’ve been contacted by @amazon, and it sounds like they’re still going to attempt to get it out here tonight!
A happy ending!
So, all caught up! Box #1 with the 1 random item we didn’t really need has arrived via @amazon + the #husband express! ?And now we’re right back to where we were days ago, just waiting on box #2, with the cord that started it all. Full power has never felt so close. #rvlife
@AmazonHelp delivered box #2 directly to our RV around 9pm tonight!! We plugged it in + the RV is fine. It was just a fried cord. (Up until now we’ve been running off that one extension cord!) Excited to get some quality power + heat goin’ up in here! Unmatched customer service! You guys rock! ?
RV life can present some complex obstacles, but at the end of the day, we are still able to get what we need, just in a bit of a more elaborate way than we used to. The trade-off was, we got to do all of this right outside of Mt. Rainier. And those days in between, while waiting for the cord, we got to be outside exploring trails and mountains.