Sunday, December 30, 2018

Not All Rainbows and Sunshine

When we first started telling people we were going to travel the country in an RV we got varied responses but most fell into one of two categories: I am so jealous, that is so neat, I wish I could do that, or that is crazy, I could never sell my house, let alone all my possessions, I wouldn't want to travel around that much. For those in the first camp, I am going to share some of what has been going on behind the scenes the last two months since we launched full-time.

It really isn't all rainbows and sunshine. I have blogged about this already but homeschooling is hard. It definitely is not something I feel called to do but I do it as means to allow us to travel full-time. The longer I do it, hopefully the better I get but Orion and I butt heads often. He is a very active 6 year old boy who doesn't like "school" in a traditional sense but is very advanced in both math and reading so balancing enough active, physical play, along with experiments and hands on learning, with book work to keep him learning is a challenge. My two girls don't love homeschool either but their school is pretty straight forward, despite being more challenging academically than public school.

Close up of the 2nd tire blow out and resulting damage

Then you have RV repairs! I feel like we are in the shake down period. Our RV is a good quality 5th wheel that is built for full-time living but it feels like something is always breaking. We went to move the RV in NC and the jack motor broke, forcing us to hand crank the jacks on a very unlevel spot on my dad's property. On our trip from NC to FL we experienced our 1st trailer tire blow out going 55MPH on I-95. Nate changed the tire on the side of the interstate and we were on our way. Then 3 hours later on the road to the RV park we had a 2nd blow out. Both accidents did significant damage ($2500) and left our RV immobilized. Thankfully Progessive has been very helpful and after our $1000 deductible the damage to the RV should be fixed today (waiting on repairman's arrival).

1st tire blow out was slightly less dramatic but still did serious damage

Though our tires had good tread life, showed no signs of wear, and had been inspected and aired up that morning we no longer trusted them and decided to spend the $1000 for 5 new trailer tires. Hopefully they last us 2-3 years minimum and we never had to experience back to back tire blow outs again.

Then you have the stuff that breaks every time you move the RV. I have to think we'll get better at this but every time we move the RV there is some major interior disaster. Last time it was my favorite dinnerware I received as a wedding gift. Numerous other things have broken too. Nate calls it stowing for sea and it is no joke. Anything and everything that can break or fall, will. Everything needs velcroed down!

My poor dishes :-(

We have recently had some expenses come up with the truck as well. We had $500 in routine maintenance about 2 weeks ago. I knew diesel engines were going to be expensive to work on but didn't realize that meant about twice as much as the Ford F-150 gas engine we used to have. As part of our kids Christmas gift we took them to Sea World for the day (give gifts of experiences not things). As we were approaching Sea World the truck overheated. Nate found the overflow coolant tank empty. Another $700 out the window. 

The thing is as these things come up you can let them consume you. One expensive thing or one difficult thing after another, can really get you down but I am trying to keep a positive attitude. Getting upset about things you can't control doesn't make the problem go away or any better or worse, it just changes your experience of the situation. Most days things are great. We are loving being able to see new stuff, visit with family and friends, and see the beach, but it isn't all rainbows and sunshine.


Donny Abbott said...

This is great Michelle. Thanks for sharing the nitty-gritty of RV living.

Unknown said...

Keep with it
If its difficult youre on the right path. No one wants a life that's small.. Living a big life sometimes has big obsticles. Proud of you guys. And its nice to hear the parts that are just as real, just not as rosy. Love it! Never miss a blog post. Keep it up.