This blog is my opinion only. I know my husband Mitch, navigator, driver of most miles, and cleaner of everything disgusting- including ALL BUGS and a trip planner may not agree with my reflections. But in true Vickie’s Views, here is the Inside Scoop about RV Life!
First off, RV miles are like dog years. “How many miles left?” I ask Mitch, my driver. “Only 80 miles left,” he repeats for the nth time. I reply, “Is that 80 miles in SUV time or 80 miles in RV time?”
It just takes longer; the RV is bigger than a car, it carries a lot of weight and is taller than the average vehicle. Another factor is that Mitch is obsessed with gas mileage. This is a touchy topic for non-RVers because getting 15 miles to the gallon is considered a win in our rig! An environmentalist may disagree, but that is for another blog. Mitch insists on driving EXACTLY 64 miles per hour regardless that the highway is allowing 75 or 80 MPH. “64 is the optimal speed for gas conservation. ” Can everyone repeat that mantra again and again?
Hence, sometimes our mileage feels like dog years instead of real-time.
In the RV world, there are a lot of memes that talk about divorcing over parking your RV on a flat surface. If the RV is tilted at all, one might roll off the bed or feel off-centered. We did not call our lawyers, but there were plenty of arguments about my directional skills. Similar to a plane landing and pulling into the gate, I was outside sans flags trying to navigate Mitch into the parking area. After we park, we take the level to see if the RV is on flat ground. And then we repark and readjust and repark. All the while, I hear comments that I am not talking loud enough (WEAR YOUR HEARING AIDES!) I am telling him the wrong direction (THIS IS PROBABLY TRUE) and other conversations that I won’t bore you with.
OH THOSE DUMPs
Have you thought about how one gets running water or where the contents of the toilet go? Yeah, I thought not. When you get to a site, you may be able to hook up to water. This means you attach your hose to the campsite’s nozzle, and your RV has endless water for washing dishes, showering, and sink use. Only use city water because Well water can cause all kinds of trouble. But where does all that water go, you ask?
Well, you see, the campsite provides a drain hole. We take our hose and drain our grey water tanks. Grey water is sink/shower water, and black water is, well, you can guess where that hose goes. Anyway, for those who read my blogs, you may have thought I am a bit of a germaphobe, so doing Dumping is not high on my list of preferred activities.
Garbed in a mask and full gloves. Yes, Mitch rolls his eyes! But I don’t want any splatters on my face since I am in charge of opening the lid to the drain hole and inserting our hose. I am keenly aware that the person before us may have drained their black water tank into that opening, and the thought is enough for me to put on a full hazmat suit. But that would probably be grounds for divorce. So mask and gloves it is.
We have a cassette toilet, which many RVers don’t like; however, we prefer emptying a cassette to dealing with the dreaded black hose. It’s a preference, no judgments here. On a positive note, having a bathroom in your vehicle makes for fewer stops along the road. And to quote Mitch, “It’s a luxury!” And I agree it’s better than the Bucket we used in the old days of 2020.
After our RV has finished eliminating all its waste, Mitch and I go through our (my) Lysol routine. Spray hose, spray gloves, spray the bottom of shoes, spray inside of hoses –
Finally, we are back in the RV, sanitizing our hands, and I am trying to forget about the possibility of all the YUCK and moving on.
I think of RV traveling as if I were on a cruise. Well, kind of. We go from port to port without packing and unpacking our clothes. Our bed and linens are our own, and my coffeemaker and food are there for the taking. Granted, there are no fancy dinners and late-night shows, but it still feels good to end the day in your own bed under the stars of a new and exciting location.
YOUR HOME IS ALSO YOUR CAR
Mitch likes to fish; I do not. One day, he wanted to fish the Snake River below Lake Jackson Dam. He fished for three hours, But here’s the thing, our RV home is also our transportation. So, it’s not like Mitch can take off and go fishing; we all had to go to the site. So he fished for trout, and I read, walked, ate, and did some complaining.
BACK TO WATER
We lost our water use on week two of our 8-week trip. On the one hand, we only had to dump the nasty cassette toilet rather than all the hoses because we stopped using water. No water, no need to dump from the grey water tank. This also meant no showers in the RV. The alternative is campsite showers. Most of them were fine, and after a while, I was OK with using the public showers. I hear my beautiful mother from above again saying, “Is this my Vickie?” This is not a comment on campsite showers; it is more about my transformation.
We used bottled water for face washing, teeth brushing, dish cleaning, and other necessities. Does this negate the 64 miles an hour to conserve gas? Probably.
Flies, I joked with Mitch one day and wore my netting….He continued his routine (that I have mentioned before), Mitch swatting. His refrain, repetitively, was, “F@#$ Fly!” SWAT, “ Got the last fly,” repeat.
The above are random observations. Regardless of my musings, the truth of this adventure is that this was a trip of a lifetime.
Our country is topographically diverse, from the beautiful valleys and the amber plains to the peaks of mountains, the arid deserts, and the incredible waterways. And we found that regardless of political affiliation, people just want to get along. If you ever have to chance to see our magnificent country, Take IT! You will be forever changed.
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