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This is a guest post from Brooke Baum of TrailingAway.com. We met Brooke and her husband, Buddy, at the RV Entrepreneur Summit back in February, just before they bought their Winnebago View! Here’s a few of their stories from their rather eventful first month of RVing:
One month down, an undetermined number more to go! Although we stayed near our dealership in Texas for most of our first month as full-time RVers, it certainly didn’t mean our first 30 days were uneventful. Quite the opposite. Luckily, we have learned to laugh at the ridiculous moments and mistakes.
The 5 Funniest Stories from Our First Month of RVing
Most lessons in life you have to learn the hard way. Such is the case with showering in an RV. Unless a nice person warns you, it is likely that you will have to find out the quirks of this necessary activity on your own. Luckily, Buddy and I knocked out our shower training right away.
It didn’t take long for Buddy to realize the importance of turning the hot water heater on after his first and only cold shower. He also discovered that shutting the door too tightly would leave him trapped and at my mercy. But the very best lesson was left for me… of course.
Excited to take a hot shower after a long day, I turned the knob only to be instantly met with cold water spraying right at my face. Not knowing what the hell was happening, I screamed and flailed my arms at the unending stream. After what felt like at least 30 seconds, I finally came to my senses and turned the water off.
We had been talking about videoing more of our life and thankfully Buddy remembered at that very moment. Because next thing I knew, there was a camera in my face asking me to recount my shocking shower incident. I could barely stop laughing to explain why the entire bathroom was now soaked.
Now I know, the shower head moves while we drive. Checking it before showering is a good idea.
Ever since deciding to get an RV I’ve been a little nervous about using the propane stovetop. However, I listened intently to the tech at the dealership when he went over how to use it and I was able to get us cooking with fire on my first try (after Buddy failed a few times). Then, when it was time to cook again, the built-in igniter was being a bit finicky so Buddy decided we should just use a lighter.
This idea made me extra nervous, but I agreed to give it a shot. After he got it going the first time, it was my turn to try. I followed his directions and put the lighter near the base where the gas came out and turned on the stove. Nothing.
A few seconds passed and I was getting frustrated. Then, right as I was about to give up, it lit! Except since I was letting propane out during this entire time, it sent a ball of hell-fire right at my face. I jumped back, threw the lighter on the couch and ran out of the RV with my hands in the air screaming, “No. No. No. No. No.”
After making sure I still had eyebrows, I went back inside to inform Buddy that this would now be his job. I will cook. He deals with the dangerous part.
Don’t Mind Us…
Once we established our roles in the kitchen, I got a little cocky with how well I was whipping up dishes on our little stovetop. One night, I felt like being really ambitious and decided to meal plan for the week. Trying to stick to our budget, one of the things I needed to cook were some dry black beans I had been soaking beforehand.
These things take forever! So I got them going, took a short shower and cleaned up some. All the while, I was checking on them. After an hour and a half I got impatient and bumped the heat up. Then I laid on the bed to chat with Buddy for a few moments.
Not five minutes later, the alarm is blasting and everything smells like burnt beans. Buddy turned off the alarm while I grabbed the pan and ran outside with it to get the smoke out of the RV.
It is important to also mention that it was about 11pm when this happened. Way beyond the “quiet hours” at our RV park. Oops! Now we try to just grill outside whenever possible.
How Every Horror Movie Begins
After a fantastic night staying at the Messina Hof Winery in Fredericksburg, TX, on our way to New Mexico, we decided to try out another Harvest Host location the next night. We were excited to see there was a museum in middle-of-nowhere Texas that we would pass.
The woman we spoke to on the phone was really helpful and nice. She even told us they had a place that we could plug-in if we wanted to. Score!
However, she did warn that truckers use their back lot as a cut-through and it was pretty dark in the area, so to be careful not to park too far in the back. That’s not so bad, we could just stay in the front so we didn’t have to worry about it. It would at least be better than Walmart, we thought.
On the way there, we got a bit turned around and had to go a back way. To our surprise, we passed a “Federal Correctional Institution” about two whole minutes before getting to our destination.
Wait… what? Were we really going to sleep in a dark parking lot in the middle-of-nowhere just a short stroll from felons? The answer was a firm no. Absolutely not.
The darkness quickly went from sounding really peaceful to really murdery. I knew every noise would send my mind racing. There was no way we could get any sleep there. “Let’s get the heck out of here,” we agreed.
After sitting in insane traffic that quadrupled our drive time, we stopped at a Walmart about 30 miles away from our original destination. It was about dusk when we arrived and we were disappointed and exhausted. But at least here there were lights and a security guard. And stress-reducing ice cream.
Just to be clear, we appreciate any company that is willing to allow RVers to stay on their property for free. And we LOVE Harvest Hosts. I’m sure this would have been a super unique spot to stay had we remained blissfully unaware of our surroundings. But from now on, we will be checking the map to see who our neighbors might be.
Impromptu Public Speaking
Our drive from Texas to New Mexico was way more exhausting than we thought. With about three days straight of 5+ hour drives, we were beat. So, when we found out that as Escapees Club members we could stay at the SKP Ranch near Carlsbad for under $75 for a week, we decided to take that opportunity to hit pause.
It was a 55+ community, but we didn’t care. We were happy they let us visit for so cheap. And we were excited to meet some new people – who hopefully had some great tips for us newbies (of course they did).
Known as the friendliest SKP park, we were greeted with smiles, waves and even a few hugs. We had shown up just before the nightly happy hour, we were encouraged to stop by once we were settled in. So, we strolled in a little late.
And then we were ambushed by a group of smiling faces and a man with a microphone. Apparently happy hour was also when they made announcements. Luckily, we walked in just in time to introduce ourselves to the group before this portion of the meeting ended. Yay…
My hands were already sweating when he handed me the microphone. No one warned me about this part! I HATE public speaking. But their smiles quickly put me at ease and I gave what Buddy said was a great overview about us.
Afterwards, we were welcomed with more hugs and even invited over for a cookout. Buddy and I laughed when we got home to the RV about how unexpected that “happy hour” was. But we couldn’t have been more excited to spend the night getting to know so many great new friends.
And after five days with this tight-knit group, they lovingly sent us on our way by singing “Happy Trails” to us on our last night. That moment alone made having to overcome my speech anxiety totally worth it.
Month one has been pretty hilarious. However, I can’t help but notice most of the laughing we did was at my expense. Fingers crossed, it’s going to be Buddy’s turn in month two. He is already off to a great start by leaving the sky light open all night and not realizing that’s why we were so cold until the morning!