Lee and a curious calico crisscross the country in a RV, living simply and sustainably.

Today I broke down and bought booze. OK, make mine hard lemonade. Those that know me are chuckling because I live a pretty tame life and this 12 pack will probably last me 12 months. But it was a day of days.

AT 9:30 am, I started my mental checkout checklist. Cupboards closed. Shower door latched. Loose gear tucked into laundry baskets. Tanks drained. Slide in…wait a minute – the slide won’t move!

When I bought Gypsy 13 days ago, the slide wouldn’t retract the first time I tried it. The tech wiggled some wires around under the sofa area, then it worked. Today, I jiggled the same wires. Nada. No small feat when lying on your stomach, reaching as far as you can behind the sink pipes and under the sofa, feeling your way around since you can either reach the motor or see it. Pick one.

I unplugged and replugged the little connectors around the motor. Nothing. I checked the fuses, and managed to drop the tiny 15 amp fuse into the black hole of a fuse box. I used to be good at playing Operation, but my soda straw and tweezer combo only pushed the fuse further into the dark recesses of the casing. Darn it all.

At this point, I was wondering if I had made a serious mistake investing all this money into an RV and a lifestyle that is so foreign to my 9 to 5 sensibilities. I know that things break down and there are a lot of bugs to fix at the beginning, but I was in over my head with this mechanical stuff. And it had started raining.

I drove the two miles to where cell phone coverage began and contacted my dealership. They said Coleman would authorized a $75 service call to diagnose the problem and manually close the slide until I could get back to the dealership. So I called a local mobile RV shop and waited for a call back. I decided to drive to the nearest town and use the library’s computer to fill out my Amazon CamperForce contingent work agreement while I waited. Last night, I visited a different library to listen to the 60 minute webinar/mass interview. It is comforting to be practicing this RV thing close enough to “home” that my library card is still accepted. Must have left my wireless computer mouse there last night, because today it’s nowhere to be found. Double darn.


Photo sourced from https://commons. wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lynda_Carter_Wonder_Woman.

While in town, I picked up a lifetime supply of fuses and a fuse puller. And the case of hard lemonade called to me from the Walmart end cap. But…back to the campground and my stuck super slide. The mobile RV guy didn’t want to come out at first since he had a beef with the campground owners. And he wanted cash up front. So I called around and the earliest the only other guy who actually answered his phone could come out was in 5 days. This is a holiday weekend, after all. So I called the first guy back and begged.

The tech that showed up 45 minutes later was super helpful, and determined that one of the two sensors on the slide motor was faulty. He wriggled the wires until the slide would move outward a tiny bit, but not come back. So he ingeniously rewired the sensors and Voila! The slide retracted. Next stop, the dealership 2 hours away – the opposite direction I had planned to travel today. But, I am grateful that this dealer has taken such good care of me so far, and heartily recommend buying from a nationwide dealer and sticking close to your own back yard for the first few weeks.

Just as I prepped the interior and exterior of the trailer for the second time today, and started assembling the towing gear, it started raining again. Poured buckets. I sat inside the truck for an hour, waiting for the rain to let up, meditated a bit, played Solitaire on my phone, then decided to just get wet and get on the road. Fortunately, the rain ceased soon after I donned my raingear and a neighborly camped helped me hitch up. As I pulled away, he shouted “Wait! Your stairs are still out. You need to do a checklist” I had done a checklist twice today. Just forget them the third time

As I drove Rose down the mountain roads through the rain that had resumed, I couldn’t believe it was just 2:30 in the afternoon. So much had happened today. I learned about fuses. And to carry extra cash for emergencies. To appreciate cell phone service and free wi-fi. And guys who know about mechanical things.

Bright sunshine blinded us once on the highway, I sat a bit taller in the driver’s seat. Now I understand why other bloggers name their rigs and tow vehicles or toads. We are intricately connected and dependent upon these mechanical wonders to both rest peacefully and to explore new places. Driving Rose and towing Gypsy feels like hiking the AT wearing a 6,500# backpack. All of a sudden I felt like Wonder Woman. Me…only braver. After I got settled in the dealer’s campground, I drank a toast to Gypsy, Rose & Lee!

P.S. Of course, the next morning when I had a service appointment to fix the slide, it worked perfectly. Arghh!

In future GR&L blogs, I’ll share my research into RV’s, tips and tricks, travelogues, and anything else I think will be useful to full-time RVers, part-time wanderers, or vicarious wannabes. If you have comments or suggestions for a topic, please let me know.


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