happy camper

RV Life from an “Occasionally”  Happy Camper

It appears I’m not the trooper Mitch wished I was; I still have some trooper-isms to learn. My can-do attitude and packing skills need a bit of adjustment. But, within two weeks, I morphed from not a KanVan RV happy camper to occasionally happy camper to mostly happy camper. 


Packing is the bane of our travel. A pre-trip conversation overheard by no one is about Gear! Not the kind that moves engines – we are talking sports – Mitch is concerned about his tremendous amount of sporting equipment: fishing, hiking, e-bike stuff, golf, and tennis equipment. He asked me what Gear I am bringing?” Um, just sneakers?” I hope he doesn’t ask how many purses? 

Our trip started off well. We were about two minutes into the travel when Mitch asked if I closed the garage, and my reply of “I think so” was not satisfying. So back we went to check the garage that, of course, was closed. (We need to buy the garage app, but that’s for another blog)

happy camper
That was an excellent 2-minute ride!

Are We There Yet?

The first stop of our adventure was one of our favorite overnight campsites. Camp Creek State Park is a clean site right off the highway in West Virginia and a mere 10-hour drive. 

RV Life from an “Occasionally” Happy Camper
Are we having fun yet?

Not a Happy Camper

Night one started poorly. It was frigid, and we could not get the heat to work. Nor was the water heater working. Was it us, “maybe?” Poor Daniel, our Italian Greyhound, has no body fat and was cuddled under our blankets. Perhaps he thinks boarding at the kennel is preferable; at least it’s warm! 

The following day, I opened the door to walk Daniel, and the automatic steps automatically stopped working! What! Fortunately, we were able to jump down and pull ourselves back in, but a significant fear was Mitch and I forgetting the steps weren’t working in the dark and plummeting to the ground. 

As the morning progressed, it was not even 8:00 A.M. yet; Mitch opened the bathroom window, which fell off the track! (Reminder, this is a brand new RV) He was able to get it back on track with a temporary fix. Meaning we could not open that window for the remainder of our trip.

For those of you who have read our truck camper stories, you will remember that our bathroom consisted of a bucket in our previous RV. So a broken window is a minor annoyance, considering I have a whole bathroom!

Who Needs to Shower, Anyway!

Did I mention we were unable to use the shower? Yeah, there was a recall, and without boring you with details, the problem will be fixed after our trip. 

My late mother often comes to mind while navigating life on the road. Mom was adventurous but not in the RV kind of way, and her adventures usually started and ended with beautiful hotels and amenities. I hope she looks down on our adventures and chuckles rather than lament where she went wrong!

RV Life from an “Occasionally”  Happy Camper

There were other issues, enough of them that I insisted on turning around and canceling our trip to Florida. This was the not a happy camper portion of the journey. 

We called Winnebago, and although they were accommodating and understanding as they tried to troubleshoot over the phone, nothing was solved. At one point, they sent Mitch outside to look at complicated wires and fuses. And that is when Mitch had an epiphany.


He said, “We are going to make this work – we don’t need heat in Florida, we will find cinderblocks for our steps, we can shower at the campsites. We were KanVanStrong!” (Ok, I added the KanVan strong – that’s not a mitch thing) Unfortunately, I did not share this epiphany – But Mitch is a great salesman. And we continued our travels to Florida.

Oddly enough, the next day, we fixed the water heater. How? Well, I turned it on, and it worked – all fixed.

We eventually arrived in Boca Raton, Florida. My dad lives in one of MANY the Boca Golf Club locations, and RVs are definitely a no-no. We received special permission to drop off our stuff, as long as we were quick and spoke to nobody and gave no eye contact. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. In truth, security gave us one-hour to unload MITCH’s Gear and my purses for our two-night stay.

Hi, Dad from a Happy Camper!

happy camper
Vickie and Dad

Once we arrived at my dad’s house, I thanked Mitch for his epiphany – I was so happy to see dad after many months. What was I thinking? I should not have let – no shower, no steps, no hot water, no heat, no bathroom window get in the way of visiting family. Thank you, Mitch!



(Personal Note – I wrote this blog several weeks ago and questioned if I should post it today. I decided to post, hoping that I could offer a brief respite from the tragedy unfolding in our community. Buffalo, NY, has changed significantly in the past week. Senseless, horrific devastation in #Buffalo on May 14, 2022. If you can’t feel safe shopping for milk and bread on a beautiful May day, where can one feel safe? TEN PEOPLE DEAD. My heart goes out to all the families and our community. For more information on how you can help the East Side Community, click here. )


Attention Special Educators, Therapists, and  Professionals working with families. Back To School with a new Perspective! If You haven’t already purchased, Raising Jess: A Story of Hope – Please consider a copy for yourself, a friend, a teacher, a therapist, a mom, a sibling, or a book lover…

As a professional in the field of developmental disabilities for over 40 years, I learned things I didn’t know. I encourage others in the field to read Raising Jess a Story of Hope to help understand the families and individuals you work with.” (Amazon)

This book is a must-read for anyone looking to learn more about special needs families and their day-to-day challenges and triumphs or simply wants to immerse themselves in a compassionate and celebratory world.” (Amazon)

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14 thoughts on “RV Life from an “Occasionally”  Happy Camper

  1. Pingback: What is so Super about Daniel, Our TLC (Tender Loving Canine)? - Vickie's Views

  2. Ab

    Sounded like a wonderful bonding moment for the two of you and the pets! 🙂 That photo of you and your dad is wonderful. I’m glad you got to visit him.

    And I’m very sorry about the tragedy in your community. It was very shocking and sad to read about. Wishing you all much healing during these scary times.

  3. Jeanne Quinn Bunn

    Love, love, love this!! Sounds like Ned(my husband) and I – only we had a 36 ft sailboat that we raced on Lake StClair(when we lived in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI). My advice = Do NOT exchange your RV for a boat, never , ever!!! But…if you venture to Florida again, we would love to see you! We live in StPetersburg…we could share stories🤣🥺😱

  4. michaelreif3712

    Great story Vickie!! I enjoy reading your “stuff”. Yes, I did the RV gig for a bunch of years. Most often enjoyed it but like you Murphy’s Law came into play a number of times . . .( Slide out not working, tire blow out, awning not working. leak in the roof with VERY Costly repair to name a few). Used it for occasional business purposes (selling tee shirts at big events) which made up for the negative issues. Remember what they say “The best 2 days of owning an RV (or boat) is the day you bought it . . .and the day you sold it.” Which I eventually did. It was fun but I don’t miss it.

    1. raisingjessstory Post author

      Thanks, Mike! Yes, I know that saying! This RV is new to the market and our rig has been in the repair shop most of its short life. Next week we plan to use it, once we release it from repair jail, and take the grandkids on their first adventure with an RV! Probably will have a lot for the next blog, if we survive it! Thanks for reading, my friend!


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