It didn’t take more than a week when we realised that there was much to learn about RV’s you would have thought that our friend might have mentioned a few things but nope we’re on our own.
After spending the first couple of nights on the road we decided to head to a campsite, we actually were lucky enough to get one close to all the amenities of the city. Camping has always been a stress release for us and usually we just slept in our Dodge minivan, felt kind of rich having a 5th wheel. Now I’m not sure why my husband didn’t get out of the truck before backing into the site but he didn’t so what’s the worst that could happen, you guessed it the trailer and truck collided causing close to three thousand dollars worth of damage to our brand new pickup yikes!
Turns out the hitch we had installed came equipped with a slider so that this would never happen but like I said he didn’t get out of the truck so the slider was never used, seems he forgot we had that kind of hitch. I want to be sure to mention the trailer sustained minimal damage nothing compared to the truck.
Don’t Forget we Started Living in this Trailer to Save Money, Not Spend Money!
We should have done more research before running out and buying the first used RV that came our way!
- The fridge quit running two days into camping, I shouldn’t say it’s totally broken still does work if you start it every couple of hours. As I write this I’m currently cooking five packages of meat that thawed out hamburger, sausages, pork ribs, fast fry steaks and pork chops. We won’t be buying meat anytime soon until the fridge is fixed and I hear that can cost as low as three hundred dollars to eighteen hundred for a new fridge yikes!
- We had a couple of days where nasty rain storms covered the city over the past month and wouldn’t you know it the roof leaks lucky us. Woke up to the mattress and pillows completely wet up where we lay our heads. The hubby went up with tubes of clear silicone and tried to patch the seams and since it hasn’t rained we still don’t know if it’s been fixed.
- Wouldn’t you know it opening the awning big mistake not only did it have a huge rip along the top the one side fell completely out of the wall. It’s now wired up and completely useless we have chosen to leave it be and maybe one day it’ll just fall off completely
- The kitchen wallpaper started peeling off by the stove and under one of the windows and because we’re new at this we actually broke down and hauled the trailer to an RV dealership to find out the problem. Weren’t we surprised to learn that the entire one side of the trailer is nothing but dry rot and even the fibreglass has buckled and started to tear apart at the seams. My husband did the best he could to patch it by using clear silicone then duct taping the seams to hold them in place at least the fibreglass won’t blow off while we’re on the highway, or at least we think it won’t.
When Things go Wrong as they Sometimes Will
We bought a used fifth wheel from someone we thought was a friend, always do your research
The end of June had arrived and in thirty short days we’ve encountered more than our share of bad luck, you’d almost think that living in an RV isn’t the way to go for us. Let’s look at everything that went wrong for us in the first month and if we did anything about it I’ll be sure to include that too but chances are it’s still broken or didn’t make it on the list for things to repair.
- The fridge quit working, we didn’t fix it just took our small bar fridge out of storage and used it instead, it did what we needed it to do at the time.
- The hot water tank sprang a leak, I watched a youtube video on how to fix it and soon learned that youtube was going to be my best friend since what I watched fixed the problem.
- The walls started showing signs of rot, every time we moved the trailer it seemed that the holes just got bigger and bigger, we never did get around to trying to fix them.
- The kitchen faucet leaked every time you turned on the water causing water to run all over the counter top.
All of that was in the first month but we toughed it out until the day we bought our second trailer, only this time we went to a dealership and have been blessed ever since.
Even our New Fifth Wheel had it’s own issues, not that we can say it was because of the trailer itself, more like a faulty extension cord – Almost Burnt it Down!
Even the Smallest Things Add Up When Living in an RV
This one doesn’t have much to do with the 5th wheel except without the truck we’d be stuck with no way to pull our home around! Since I’m writing about the negative bad luck thought I’d share this little episode just more money that wasn’t saved.
I was on my way to pick up hubby from work when I heard a ticking sound coming from one of the tires on the truck you know like when a rock is stuck and since I hate that noise I stopped to take it out. What a surprise for me it wasn’t a rock but a screw and washer stuck deep into the tire, what saved me from a flat was the washer causing a very slow leak so the tire shop said. Yes, I headed straight there only to find I’d have to remove the dogs before they could fix the tire, now there’s a chore controlling two dogs next to a busy street in 30+ weather.
Things that Make Sense for the RV
Whether your living off the grid or spending the weekend at the lake, these are a must have, so your more comfortable
These are the three most important things to have when your living full time in an RV and for me I can’t live without Solar Panels, an Outdoor Mat or the Magnetic Screen House and why do I think that way.
We aren’t always hooked to electricity so the solar panels allow use to do the simpler things like charge our cell phones. The outdoor mat might not seem to be important BUT when you have large dogs it sure saves a lot of mud being tracked into the RV. The picnic table shelter is a given after all who likes BUGS in their food!
Who Knew that Summer came with Limited Options
It’s apparent to us now that we should of looked into the summer months for campsites that were available because with limited funds and the busy season finding a spot has become next to impossible. It’s July 4th today and we have to stay in a friends driveway for at the very least the next sixteen days or so, either that or park somewhere on a roadway.
Parking on roadways have both advantages and disadvantages and I’ll share the ones that we find matter to us.
- It doesn’t cost anything as long as you park where there are no signs saying anything like “no parking” or “no overnight parking”
- You don’t have to rely on family and friends for their generosity when they let you park in their driveway.
- Staying in different parts of the city or town is a little exciting your never stuck in one place
- You still have the use of the bathroom and water for cooking and showering if you’re lucky enough to have the propane and the water tank is full plus since the trailer stays connected to the truck there’s battery power.
- Being tied to the trailer can be a royal pain, not sure where you live but here we could never just disconnect the truck and trailer, so while hubby is at work I’m grounded to a neighbourhood I may or may not like.
- There’s no electricity and you can’t start a generator or the people in the neighbourhood would soon learn you’re living there.
- The two things I find that I miss the most is having TV and an internet connection, yes I have data on my cell phone but not enough for the things that I like to do online.
- The dogs don’t have the freedom of a fenced yard like they used too and that means I have to leash them up taking one at a time on bathroom breaks.
Those are just my opinions and I’m sure my hubby has different ones just like I’m sure you would also. We have stayed in a few campsites over the past thirty days but find that the weekly rates are draining our bank account, so needless to say we are still living payday to payday!
Then Before You Know It Comes Winter!!!
Living Full Time in an RV isn’t for Everyone
I started a blog when we first came up with the idea of moving around, most of it pertains to the experiences that we’ve had over the past couple months only in more detail than I’ve included here. If you’d like to visit come on over and read my blog at Living RV Style see how my husband came up with the idea for making coffee when we forgot that our pot needed electricity for brewing.
I haven’t made any new entries since June 24th after we found out that we didn’t quailfy for the new 5th wheel that we tried to purchase, but will be updating it sometime in the next few weeks, now that we have internet again.
I’m not sure yet if this is the way I want to continue living, it was suppose to be a stress free life with little expense. But all kidding aside I actually haven’t seen any benefit to this way of life! Do I have any advice for you, sure I do and hopefully if you chose this way to live you’ll have a better outcome then we do at this moment.
My advice for you and it’s just a few things that I had to learn the hard way
- When buying either a used RV trailer, motorhome or even a camperized van be sure that you get the person selling it to turn on everything. The stove, fridge, air conditioner, heater (if it has one), water pump, hot water tank, microwave and even get them to open the awning.
- Check all of the inside ceiling even in the cupboards for any signs that the roof could of leaked and if you can see the staples that they sometimes use in the ceiling check around them for circle patterns (that means their rusting) caused by water.
- If your planning on living in a RV park make sure you make a reservation especially if it’s going to be close to Summer the spots fill up fast.
- If your like me and enjoy watching TV or using the internet either upgrade your cell phone data plan or shop around for satellites.
- Finally if your taking along your beloved pets make sure they like to travel by taking them out every couple of days in your vehicle before moving them into the RV.
When Faced with Two Large Obstacles
Are the Dogs Adapting
You know some people say dogs can adapt to any surrounding as long as they have food and water but I want you to know that’s simply not true. Maybe some dogs are able to get comfortable with whatever environment they live in but not all dogs can cope.
Our female “Karma” is one of those dogs her anxiety level is so high that when it’s time to load everyone up to move locations she just lays down digging her feet into the ground. I myself can’t pick up 120 pounds of dead weight and then put her in the truck it’s simply impossible. Most of the time when picking up hubby at work she has to stay in the RV for the hour although the odd time she does jump right in maybe once every couple of days.
Our other dog “Orca” doesn’t much care he just seems to go with the flow. Seems as long as he has food (he loves to eat) he’s good to go just about anywhere. Being in close spaces with other campers has helped with socializing him especially around other dogs which is really what he’s needed all along.
Update: I was lucky enough to find a wonderful home for our dog Karma, she now lives on Mayne Island, BC with five acres of fenced property to play on. I’m in touch with her new family who love her just as much as we do, she no longer has to feel the anxiety from moving.
When we’re Not living on the Side of the Road there’s Always these Options
- Camping Vancouver – Dogwood Campgrounds & RV Park
When it comes to camping, Vancouver offers no better spot than Dogwood Campgrounds. Located just a quick 30-km drive from the city, Dogwood Campgrounds offers a relaxing, beautiful respite from the busy, big-city life.
- Vedder River Campground | Camping | Travel British Columbia
Located on the famous Vedder River known for amazing salmon and trout fishing, south of Chilliwack. Monthly, weekly rates. Full-service, non-service, pull-through, seasonal and group sites. Swimming, horseshoe pits, basketball and playground. 6 km fr
- Derby Reach Regional Park, Langley | Vancouver Trails
Located in Langley, Derby Reach Regional Park includes the scenic trails along the Fraser River in the Edgewater Bar section and a forest loop along the Houston Trail in the Historic Area.