Monday, January 6, 2014

Gosh! RV ever learning things!

Ten days into our excellent adventure, we have learned a lot of things. Unfortunately, some of this newfound knowledge was learned the hard way.

Here’s a few of the things we/I learned:

You can never find a cop when you need one.
  1. We sat on the shoulder of a cold, wet and dark I-84 for two hours waiting for the Good Sam rescuer. Not once did a cop stop to see what was going on.
  2. We were driving south on Highway 99 out of Sacramento, when we observed a semi driving erratically, going off onto the shoulder and then over to the other side, crossing into the second lane when cars were trying to pass the truck by in that lane. Jon called 911 to report this. Ten miles later, the semi was so far over into the other lane he missed hitting a travel trailer by several inches. Jon called 911 again and was told a cop had been dispatched. Since the semi’s license plate was dirty, the dispatcher told Jon to pass the semi and describe the tractor. This was scary indeed.
  3. We had a problem with the trailer a few miles out of Boron, California (home of the 20 Mule Team Museum), and parked in a wide spot off the road for the two hours it took for Jon to jerryrig a repair. No cop stopped to see what was going on.
California’s bottle deposit law sucks.

California charges a 5-cent deposit per soda can or water bottle. In Oregon, you can get your deposit back at the grocery store when you return the container, but this isn’t how it works in California. You have to take a minimum of 10 pounds of cans (no squashed ones, please) to a recycling center where they pay you 40 cents a pound. Since it takes an average of 22 cans to make a pound, the state makes 70 cents on every pound of cans you turn in.

Don’t complain about the number of tools and parts Jon brought along.

Before we left home, I complained to Jon about the excessive amount of tools and parts he was bringing along. I won’t do this again. Given the number of problems we’ve had, those tools have come in handy.

Reliable cell phone service is a must.

We don’t use cell phones enough to justify going with a monthly plan from a major provider, so we use a pay-by-the-minute plan with an unknown provider. This worked really well in Kennewick and big towns we’ve gone through on the way, but not in smaller towns, though, fortunately, we were able to get service both times when we sat on the side of the road. We need something that is reliable almost 24/7, so one of us will probably be switching over to T-mobile soon. We took a road trip in 2006 and I remember being surprised to get cell service from T-mobile out in the middle of nowhere in Nevada.
A Mohave rest area

Don’t turn on the water pump when you’re hooked up to an RV park’s water system.

If you do, you’re probably going to blow out the outside water system and flood your bedroom. I learned this the hard way. Nuff said.

You never know who your neighbors will be.

The RV park where we spent New Years hosted breakfast on New Year’s Day. Imagine my surprise when the couple I was sitting with turned out to be from Hermiston Oregon, less than a 30-minute drive from Kennewick. They’ve been fulltime RVers since 2005.

You can never be too prepared.

We thought we were prepared for our new lifestyle, but obviously we weren’t, or we wouldn’t be having all the problems we’ve had.  It is not much consolation when experienced RVers tell us our problems are par for the course with newbies and that ours aren’t as bad as the problems they had starting out.

1 comment:

  1. What a great looking rig you two have ! Looks like calling it "home" won't be as much of a hardship as I expected...Love the updates, especially the "misadventures.." - as Rick Steves says, "keep on travellin !"