This RV life…I love it! Even though I am in one spot for right now, the idea that I can hook up to the truck and go… Well, once I pull down and stow away any breakables in the cupboards, take everything off the bookshelves, secure items in the fridge, take folded clothes down from the shelf in the closet, strap down furniture and remove décor that might fall and break all over the place, that is. Despite all that, it is this amazing sense of freedom and adventure. Of course, as with everything in life, there is more than meets the eye. But, I mean check out this view!
The place I’m calling home right now is in the gorgeous state of Oregon. I can open my blinds to see the beauty that surrounds me and step out my door to be in it. I ended up in this park to start my full-time RV journey because, well, they were the first ones to call me, and I had to be out of the property I sold by the end of the month. Finding a monthly RV spot is way more challenging than I expected.
I am so glad that this was the first place to offer me a space though. The park is above a golf course and it’s in a safe area. I don’t even need to lock up the bike I keep meaning to ride but never do! It’s mostly quiet here. Uh, there is landscaping….like A LOT of landscaping…that happens daily, but it is scheduled and I can work around it for the most part! This park is filled with a mixture of lovely people who live here full-time, travel here for the winter, stay here because they are working in the area or are just here for a few days. It’s like neighborhoods in the ‘good ol’ days’ when you waved to the neighbors as they walked by and you scritched the ears of the dog who was delighted to see you again. If someone sees you doing some chore, they are quick to offer help or even advice about this cool trick they learned or alternative way to do things that’s better or less expensive or less annoying.
Oh! And the park manager, Kristy, is wonderful! I call her the propane fairy because any time I change out the propane tanks, I just put them right in front of the RV and they are not only magically filled, but also put back on either side of the RV next to compartments where they will go when I need to replace the tanks again! Ah-mazing!!!
Speaking of propane, let’s talk about some of the not-so-fun adventures…
So, there are electrical appliances in an RV and there are propane appliances. Interestingly enough, the appliances seem to be split along seasonal lines. In the warmer months, your electricity usage goes up because, ya know, air conditioner. In the colder months, the propane usage goes up, because, well, furnace. I swear the RV and the appliances are in cahoots (picture The Brave Little Toaster on tour) because I can NEVER run out of propane in the middle of the day when it’s light out and at least a little bit warmer. Noooo! The dumb ol’ propane has to run out in the middle of the stupid night so that it’s frickin’ freezing in the RV and outside too and I have to drag myself from my warm bed, layer up and change the propane tanks with a flashlight held between my teeth, hair looking like I’m channeling Einstein and plenty of curse words perched on the tip of my tongue for when the wingnut decides to fall out of my hand and under the RV making me crawl around on the cold @$$ concrete pad to retrieve it!
Also, the hot water heater is one of those appliances that runs on propane. Due to this, there is a small amount of pre-planning that goes into taking a shower. As in, you need to flip the water heater switch on so that there will be hot water for said shower. This takes some time, so you can’t just roll out of bed and shower. Well, I actually can’t roll out of the bed because the space between the bed and the wall is pretty small and if I don’t land right, my happy butt is gonna be stuck until I struggle, make tons of fat puppy sounds and yell out a laundry list of expletives for the entire park, or at least the people in the neighboring spaces, to hear! But, I digress. Not to mention, the switch for the water heater is right next to the switch for the water pump. I’m sure it goes without saying that the water pump does NOT make hot water. In the wee hours of the morning, when I don’t want to blind myself by turning on the really bright LED overhead lights, and before I have located my glasses, (did I mention the ‘bedside tables’ are the size of a grilled cheese triangle that don’t hold my glasses safely?) I have, on occasion, flipped the wrong switch and waited patiently only to find out I now must remedy that error and wait some more!
Ah yes! Another lesson I learned last week is that if the propane runs out while the water heater switch is in the ‘on’ position, it does not automatically restart. Like with many things, there is a very easy solution to this. Simply flip the switch off and on again and flame on! Unfortunately, I did not remember the KISS method at that particular juncture and instead spent a ridiculous amount of time looking through the owner’s manual, consulting Google and watching useless YouTube videos. You bet ya booty I’m gonna remember it from now on though!
The water heater is also, naturally, a small tank because RVs require space saving, lightweight materials and all that jazz. Ya know what that means? I’ll tell ya what it means! It means you better not need to wash your hair and body AND shave your legs because if you do that, you’re gonna have a nice cold rinsy-rinse because there is a whole seven minutes of hot water, five if you like a hotter shower. And, like, of course I do. Why would I make it easier on myself by preferring showers that don’t melt your skin off?
And then there’s the black tank…
Remember the iconic scene from the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when you see Randy Quaid outside the Griswold home, draining something foul into their sewer drain? Yeah, I feel like that Every. Single. Week. as I go out to drain and clean the black tank, AKA the sewer tank. If my Mama was still alive, I’m positive she would somehow manage to find every little tchotchke out there with a picture of that scene or the infamous words, “Shitters Full!” I know this because during the time I was nursing my daughter umpteen years ago, she gifted me milk cow everything! She would laugh heartily as I looked at her, rolling my eyes, asking, “Really? Again? Where the hell do you find all these things?” To which she would reply, “Mama has her ways, my dear.” Anywho, I digress again…
Fortunately, this task does not resemble what you see in that memorable scene when you are hooked up to services at a park. Instead, it’s essentially a closed system in which you put clean water in as you dump black water out several times until the water runs clear. You would think that when you are in a park, hooked up to city services, that you would just leave the tank open and let it drain. I mean, isn’t that kind of what it would be like in a regular plumbing system. Isn’t this sort of similar? It is not. It most definitely is not. It causes what is known among professional circles as ‘a poop pyramid’. They are no fun to deal with and can be costly to clear. I am so glad that a kind neighbor told me when I first moved into this park about how to properly use the black tank. If he hadn’t, I’m sure you would be enjoying a story about my adventures in dealing with the dreaded poop pyramid!
Well, folks I hope you have enjoyed the joy and pain that is my life as a full-time RVer. I certainly enjoy living this life and sharing my stories with you! If you want to read or hear more about my adventures, make sure to subscribe to my blog and share it with your friends!
Smell ya later dude!
Jon Gardner says
Jessica, congrats on your second blog post—a huge pyramid pile of an accomplishment! I enjoyed listening to it. I find it intriguing because I have long wondered what it would be like to do what you are doing. Keep them coming!
Joshua Alexander says
Hahaha this post has me rolling. I would NEVER be as adventurous as you. I’m a very tethered individual by nature. Reading through your RV blogs I can practically hear the theme song from Indiana Jones playing! Keep it up, my friend. You are living the mobile dream. Let me know when you’re swinging through Olympia; we’d love to have you over for lunch as long as you don’t dump out your black water on our driveway! Or the pasture. Or the front yard. Or the back. Well just anywhere.
Michael Apollo Lira says
I like HOT showers. I suspect I’d be on a 3 minute timer 🙁
What a lovely view though and what a unique and different life from what so many people box themselves into! Thank you for the looking glass into your world!
Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.