Change is hard. Duh. If it were easy, we would all be doing it…..all the time. What makes change even harder? STUFF! The stuff that I’ve worked for, accumulated, collected, stacked up, stored away, dusted and moved from place to place has become…..well….a pain in my ass. I’m surrounded by years of purchases. Things that I haven’t seen in years. Things that I look at and think “what the hell did I buy that for”? Although the sheer volume of crap is currently gumming up my Feng Shui, I am slowly envisioning my life without these things. And though I have moments of intense attachment anxiety towards those tiny useless salt cellars that I bought for all of those dinner parties that I was going to have, I will let it go. Just Let It Go. What else have I learned? No one else wants your crap either.
Now that that is out of the way…let me tell you a little bit about owning an RV. The things I’ve learned so far:
As soon as you drive it home, something will stop working. But hopefully you will have purchased from a reputable RV dealer that will not just say “well, drive it back up here and we’ll look at it”. So, my first piece of advice is to buy close to home, so you can take it back over there and make them fix it. In my case I was lucky enough to have a brother-in-law that came to my rescue so that we could avoid the ugly breakdown that I was on the verge of having. No One Wants To See That. Anyway, if your leveling jacks will not go down and your room slides will not work as soon as you get home:
1. There is hidden access in one of your storage compartments that contain your hydraulic system. Mine was behind a small carpeted hatch that just came open by removing 1 screw. Apparently a small bolt came loose when I drove it home. Thanks to Brad, he found it and fixed it and viola! Everything worked again. I’m not sure why the dealer didn’t think to have me look at this or even show it to me when we went through the walk thru, but oh well. I hope everyone has a useful relative like I do.
2. Every RV is different…kind of like a snow flake! While there are tons of forums, articles and YouTube videos to help out a new RV owner, finding one for your specific set up can be like finding a needle in a grain silo full of hay. You will need to just piece together information from other owners experience. Even calling the manufacturers can be helpful, but in the end, you may need to improvise.
3. Where oh where is my fresh water tank? My fresh water tank is in a cabinet in the bedroom, concealed by faux doors that were screwed shut. I only found it after finding a comment on an RV forum that had theirs in the same location. And luckily my drain valve was right next to it. I had read many articles about the importance of sanitizing your fresh water tank and I fretted over the specifics of how to do this for WAY too long. Bottom line…I finally just used a funnel and poured the recommended amount of bleach directly into my water hose before hooking it up to my freshwater tank and filling it up. Then drain and rinse, drain and rinse! My parents didn’t even want to kill me for using so much water.
4. There is a small switch located by my steps that turn off the battery connection for the generator. How it got turned off is a mystery but, thanks to mom for figuring it out. Another crisis averted.
5. Accessories are our friends. I installed vent covers for both of my ceiling vents. You can purchase these thru Walmart for much less than at an RV dealer. (Plus, you get free shipping). These are useful so that you do not have to worry about closing your vents if it rains and extremely easy to install. I also added bug screens to the hot water heater vents and the refrigerator vents, also available from Walmart.com. Sam’s club sells RV toilet paper for a whole lot less than you can buy it from an RV dealer! Who knew? Walmart also has a small section of RV accessories in the store. It is way back by the car stuff….they have: water hoses (make sure the one for your fresh water is designated for drinking), cleaning supplies, black water deodorizers, mirrors, step covers, etc…
Today is another day of packing and moving things. I’m slowly making headway out of the clutter. I’ll sign off for now with this: “All great changes are preceded by chaos.” -Deepak Chopra – Wow! Is he right!
Looks like things are going well so far. You’ll only get more confident and more familiar with your “home” as time goes on. Best wishes!
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30 days until we leave! As the days fly by, I’m SO looking forward to pulling out of the driveway and leaving all of this stress behind! I had no idea how much stuff I had!