I have to say, when traveling across the country pulling 40’ behind you a myriad of things can go wrong. And sometimes they do. Fortunately, as of the time of this writing, it’s been relatively smooth driving. The weather has been fairly cooperative as well.
While I think it’s great that some people who travel have their plans scheduled out a year or months in advance—our family has never traveled like that. That does limit us sometimes when it comes to campgrounds. Many times the nicest ones are booked so you end up calling and hoping they had a cancellation or settling for what you can find. If we’re just stopping overnight it matters little to me (as long as it’s a safe area) what the campground is like, as I have MY home on wheels, which we love, so as long as we have full hookup or even just water and electric I’m happy. Now this kind of traveling isn’t for everyone, it’s just how we do things.
Our drive from mid Nebraska to Cheyenne went well. We stopped at the KOA Cheyenne https://koa.com/campgrounds/cheyenne/?utm_source=campgroundreviews.com&utm_campaign=RVLife_Campgrounds&utm_medium=referral for the evening. I would stay there again. We have found that sometimes the KOA’s are hit or miss. Some are quite nice and others—well, they leave a lot to be desired. There’s approximately 500 of them around so probably if you’ve traveled for any length of time you’ve stayed in one or two. Most of them offer different amenities (for instance the one in Cheyenne had a fenced in dog park, mini golf, a pool, horseshoes, etc.) which is great. Typically we don’t partake of many of the amenities, but they are there if we decide to. They can also be a little pricier than a different campground in the same area—so just do your due diligence and check out the reviews.
After one night at the KOA we were off to Montpelier, Idaho. Yes, Idaho. But no worries we had reservations for a site in Alpine, Wy for a few days next so it was literally a stop over point. There we stayed at a KOA https://koa.com/campgrounds/montpelier-creek/ as well…..mostly because there isn’t much else in the area. While there wasn’t anything wrong with it, this one seemed a little more run down than the one in Wyoming. While it was completely filled it didn’t have the same vibe as the one in Cheyenne. It felt a little older and the sites could use a little updating. But for one night it was fine. There was a nice little walking trail that bordered a creek and had wild roses growing nearby which was a lovely 20 minutes spent.
You’re also close to the Oregon trail center, which I think would be super informative and educational to visit. Maybe next trip.
The drive between Cheyenne and Idaho was pleasant. I enjoy driving through Wyoming and in all honesty it’s one of my favorite states. The variety in landscape is quite amazing. Eastern Wyoming I would consider an extension of Nebraska. Flat and kind of desolate. One interesting features we saw on rte 80 in Wyoming were the vedauwoo rocks. This is shortly after you leave Cheyenne. People come from all over to rock climb these structures and camp nearby.
There’s a lot to see in Wyoming if you have the time. I will say something that can be frustrating (to me at least) is when you’re traveling with a huge 5th wheel you can’t always stop and see things you want to on a whim. Many times I’ll see something and want to stop but we’re limited by our size and parking—or maybe just the route—so I make a note and will try to make plans to see it next time when we can stay closer. So I would say that’s one of the down sides to driving such a big rig.
So after a few days of driving we made it to Wyoming. What will we decide to do next?
When talking with different people who “glamp”—many of them plan their vacations months or even a year or more in advance. Is that what we do?
What fun would that be? Owning a small contracting/remodeling company often times our schedule is dictated by what jobs we have going on and when we may have a little break in the schedule. We have found that typically the beginning or middle of June is a perfect time to get away for a few weeks.
About the middle of April we start examine the work schedule and upcoming jobs to see what is going to work for us.
Last year we left after my daughters dance recital and planned our first stop in Atlanta so she could go see JoJo Siwa (https://itsjojosiwa.com/) in concert! We then continued our trip to Glacier National Park in Montana up to Banff national park in Alberta! By the time all was said and done we had traveled more than 6,000 miles and totaled our brand new trailer.
My husband said we needed a re-do this year so we had planned originally to drive to Acadia National Park in Maine and then cross the border into Canada and go to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (yes a dream of mine since I first read Anne of Green Gables).
So here I am blogging from the Nolichucky Gorge Campground and Cabins in Erwin, TN. (Nolichucky.com) How did we end up here? Erring on the side of caution we decided to stick a little closer to home and continue social distancing as much as possible. Easy to do when you’re camping in a small campground. (I’ll post more about this place later!)
The views from Stone Mountain were lovely as we stayed in an orange site, which we prefer, because it’s much less crowded than some of the other colors. We had plenty of room to back in our 5th wheel and didn’t feel crowded at all.
We were able to do several small walks seeing very pretty, well preserved buildings and bridges from the early 20th century.
There are miles and miles of dog friendly trails to enjoy! (Did I forget to mention we also have a 6 month old bernedoodle that’s traveling with us??).
We were even able to meet up with the original Camper Crazy Buzzers and have some nice Socially Distanced Visiting.
Is it the same as camping pre-pandemic? Absolutely not. But we are trying to make the most of it and still enjoy our time together!
So what’s next on the agenda? Follow us to find out—(although I kind of already spoiled it a little. Next stop—Erwin, TN. Lol) I
Living full-time in an RV after selling your home can present some challenges. These are challenges that will take some strategy and good planning.
Personally we have lived for over 20 years in Florida and will maintain our residency and domicile, IF…I mean when we pursue my “Camper Crazy” dream of living full-time in an RV and traveling. We have already started planning so the day I retire, we can fill up the tank and go!
Some full-time travelers will purchase an RV lot much like Debi and Joe in our previous blog, however, we are not sure we will go that route. We know for certain that our home base will be Florida in some form. Some travelers will use a family member’s residency in the state they want to consider their permanent residence. There are those that live in states with taxes that highly impact retirees. In that case, they may look for residency in a state, like Florida, which will have less impact and seek to change their domicile.
We really had no idea what we should do once we start traveling full-time. Then we thought about missionaries, doctors without boarders, traveling nurses, cruisers and those in the military. What do they do? How do they handle being away for long periods of time, and what do they do about the items mentioned in the title? First, what do they do about their mail?
One way of handling the mail is to use a mail forwarding service. There are several that you can find online, however, many may be drawn to Good Sam’s mail service. Many full-time campers already have a membership with Good Sam, so they will get a discounted price to use their service.
Basically you will get a physical Florida address that you can use for more than your mail. That address could be the beginning of setting up your residency. It may be able to help you obtain or maintain a driver’s license, get your auto/RV tags and insurance, and setting up bank accounts. You can view the details at https://www.goodsammailservice.com/faq
Domicile in and of itself is basically your home or where you intend to return. From our research simply owning a home and spending most of your time in a state is not enough to prove domicile. Where you consider your permanent home and where your important activities take place is what can help you establish your domicile. This is especially important if you want to establish a new domicile.
While you can own more than one home or residence, you can only have one domicile. If it isn’t clearly apparent which is your domicile, then you must take the right measures to establish your new domicile and give up the old. This is important due to legal issues that could arise. For instance after your death, if your survivors have to file probate court proceedings, it must be done in the state of your domicile at time of death.
One of the most important factors is your intent. No one can read our minds or hearts, but they can see the evidence. Where do we maintain our memberships? Where are the financial institutions that we deal with? Where are you registered to vote? What address is on a driver’s license and passport? What address is used for filing taxes? All of these things can be evidence that we are domiciled in a specific state. Additionally, a person can file a Declaration of Domicile.
For anyone considering selling their home and living full-time and traveling in their RV, planning is necessary. It means making some serious decisions so you effectively identify your intent of domicile and residency. Our research has merely skimmed the surface of the topic, so take the necessary steps to learn about a state’s domicile and residency requirements, and if necessary, contact a local attorney to fully understand the law.
Once you get to the point where you can have the freedom of travel, you may want to have everything in place so nothing slows you down on the road of a Camper Crazy life!
A few weeks ago I received a text from a family friend and it said “you may want to read this“. I immediately went to the website and started briefly scanning the article. Then a wave of nausea hit me like a tidal wave. A panic attack…could it be? My immediate reaction was to quickly turn off my computer and hide it under the bed. There is no way my husband could see this. It would support every negative feeling he has about my Camper Crazy dream. He will say, “see, everything I have been telling you is confirmed in this article” and with a quick chuckle finish with a “I always knew you were crazy.”
A few days later peeking under the bed, I stared at the laptop and wondered if I was emotionally strong enough to confront the dreaded list. With sweaty palms and a racing heart, I summoned the courage to reopen that link and start reading. To be honest, I could not read it all at once. It took me a couple days to finish it. It was like trying to choke down a plate of broccoli, brussel sprouts and sauerkraut accompanied with a glass of buttermilk. I could not like it!
Should I just give up on my dream based on this article? At first, I was almost convinced that I should. The article was based on interviews of people that decided to live my dream and their valuable personal experiences, which remarks did not coincide with my dream.
Then my more rational side kicked in a couple of my brain cells. I decided that I would take one item at a time and analyze how it applied to us and how we could overcome. I started with what I felt would be the easier items to confront first.
I had to skip down to Slide 8 before I found a comfortable area to start. Not that dealing with your own waste is easy! However, in our previous article “To poop or not to poop” we confronted that topic with experienced campers. I feel like my husband will be more than capable of taking care of that part of the mess. He is an electrician by trade. That is close to a plumber, right?
Slide 9 discusses how small the living quarters are and how it can create issues between traveling companions. That seemed plausible. We have been married 45 years and there are times I would just like to have the house to myself for an afternoon and have a “Calgon” moment. Is that enough to not follow my dream?
I sent a message to my friend Debbie. She and her husband sold their home and living full-time in an RV for over a year. When I asked her if she thought spending all her time with Joe caused issues, she laughed. Her reply was: “When you retire with your spouse what difference is there between hanging together all the time at your house or on the road in a camper? Either way you are together, so why not spend the time enjoying journeys?” Boom! Good Answer. Two down, eleven to go.
Slide 10 deals with the challenge of driving an RV. It is one of the things that sort of scares me. Not that my husband is a bad driver. But, lets face it, when one retires and ages, you look forward to losing your hearing and your eyesight. Uggg!!! It is always easier to drive when you can see where you are going. One of the things we learned from Dan & Mary Ellen, (the owners of the Pleasure-way) is careful planning helps. They plan their trip each day so they are only driving six hours a day. They can start after rush hour and arrive at their next campsite in late afternoon. A great plan!
I realize it is best if I learn to drive whatever camper we purchase in case of emergency or when my husband just doesn’t feel like driving. However, if we purchase a fifth-wheel or a travel trailer, I have zero experience. A Class C is not as scary to consider since I have driven the largest U haul trucks packed with furniture across the country.
Shanna and Brent ended up getting a fifth wheel to replace their totaled trailer. (refer to “Griswold’s in the making” article). Today she drove through Fancy Gap, VA on I-77. She said it is much easier towing a fifth-wheel than the previous Grey Wolf trailer.
Driving through Fancy Gap in a car scares me, so I am pretty impressed that she drove the F-250 with the new Elkridge. I was even more impressed that Brent wasn’t on his knees praying the whole time she was driving since the F-250 is his pride and joy.
Lynette and Mark from one of our previous posts drive a Dodge dual wheel pickup with a Jayco fifth-wheel. She tells me not to worry, it is easy. So I guess, if nothing else, I have Shanna and Lynnette to give me driving lessons if we buy a fifth-wheel.
Slide 11 discusses problematic overnight parking but gives suggestions on some apps you can utilize to find overnight parking. Easy enough we can do that. Note to self: download apps. 4 down!!! My blood pressure is now normal!
Slide 13 made me sigh. I am not a hoarder exactly, but very sentimental and like to keep things, that in all honesty.. I don’t need. However, I feel that someone close to me may appreciate the fact that I kept something that they may appreciate in the future. My husband on the other hand loves tools and wire, and nuts and bolts. We have made great strides in reducing the stuff we have over the past year. It is just stuff that will rust and deteriorate over time. For those things like old photos and letters and cards that are so dear to my heart, I am hoping my children will help me scan and maintain electronically and maybe keep some of the originals. Renting a storage unit is an option but costs extra money. We can’t forget that once we retire we are on a fixed income. A difficult obstacle for the emotional side but we can overcome!
Slide 14 deals with the fact that it is not easy to pull up your roots and leave friends and family. There is absolutely no way I can go for several months and not see my kids and granddaughters. We would both go insane. Another tip I learned from the glampers Dan and Mary, is when they owned their Class A is to invite others to join you along the way. Often they would have their kids, grand-kids and other family members and friends fly to a city on their journey. They pick them up at the airport and they travel together in the RV for a week or so and then drop them off at another airport to fly home. That way they continue their travels but share their journey with the ones they love. That can work for us as well.
Slides 2-6 &12 is what stresses me out. Those items started the heart palpitations and doubting my sanity. According to the article, RVs can be expensive, can cost a lot to repair, they depreciate, get bad gas mileage, can cost a lot to update if you buy used, and insurance can be a pain (see our blog on things you need to know about RV insurance).
While at face value those are accurate statements, what about the flip side? If you sell your home and purchase a condo to retire in, you may have huge assessments that come along as the association implements upgrades. Or like many that retire in Florida, they purchase mobile homes in 55+ communities. What happens when the AC goes out or the hot water tank breaks? Those repairs are not cheap either. Plus the lot rental can be increased every year. Stick and brick home renovations are expensive as well. In either case, if you live in an RV or a regular condo or stick and brick home – any type house repairs are going to be needed and will be expensive unless you know someone that can make the repairs for you.
I have a sister that lives in Ohio, in the same home she and her husband purchased back in the early 1960’s. If she only used her fuel oil for heating and not her wood-burner too, her heating bills in the winter would be astronomical. She would probably be better off driving a gas guzzling RV to Arizona to spend the winter. So saying that RVs are expensive may be true, but one would have to consider the alternative costs of whatever other living arrangements you make in retirement.
After reading the whole article I reached back out to our friends Debbie and Joe. Debbie made the point that after selling their home they purchased an RV lot where they spend the winters. However, after raising a family in a “bricks and sticks” home, they were happy to buy an RV even though they realized the RV would depreciate. Debbie said, “who cares? the experience is worth it”. Just look at this picture, you can see how the RV life suits them.
Slide 7 deals with something we basically have little control over, Health Care. It makes sense that when you travel continuously it could be a hassle. While doctors may be everywhere, we prefer our regular doctors. That can be a real challenge.
My husband had major back surgery a few years ago. If by chance he has a similar issue while traveling that requires additional surgery, there is no way we will want some random doctor performing the surgery. Not knowing how the whole Medicare thing works is also a little nerve-wracking but we have some time to figure that part out.
For employed people that have the option of participating in an employee sponsored HSA (health savings account), it may be something to take full advantage of, especially if planning on a “Camper Crazy” lifestyle after retiring. We realize we must have something set aside to help pay for costs not covered by insurance.
While there are downsides to retiring in an RV, there are also upsides. The 13 reasons mentioned above are things that we feel can be minimized with knowledge and planning.
Unfortunately, we should have actually started planning for this lifestyle even sooner. However, my husband’s hesitancy is actually a good thing because it offsets my crazy “jump right in and do it” personality. With planning and the right strategy… hopefully… we will NEVER regret living full-time in an RV in retirement. That is, if my husband can be persuaded to be Camper Crazy too!
The video above gives just a small glimpse of this amazing Disney RV resort
Trying to convince a man that living full-time in an RV after retiring will be exciting and fun has been a challenge. The challenge is REAL, especially when this person does not enjoy vacations, hates cruising, refuses to fly and has little interest in hobbies. So, slowly through the course of the past few years I have dragged him to RV shows and RV showrooms, and he finally consented to earnestly try and consider the idea. Together we watch youtube videos and read blogs about RV life and are now sharing our thoughts and information through Camper Crazy Buzz.
However, he is still not totally convinced. I decided to try another tactic. I would introduce him to an over the top style of camping that may seal the deal. You see, this guy who hates anything to do with fun and vacationing (with the exception of going to see the trees change colors in the fall)… he has a specific weakness for the Wonderful World of Disney.
In the mid 90’s we moved to Orlando and he enjoyed watching the fireworks from our living room window at night. He loved walking through what was known then as Downtown Disney, and even enjoyed occasionally going to the parks. Something about the place…get this….makes him happy! He has even suggested that after retiring we should just move back to Orlando.
My plan… take him to Fort Wilderness. However, my plan backfired. We had been busy for many days helping family pack up to move. We were tired and I wanted to take a break, but he refused. He said he could not do anything related to my “camper crazy” dream and suggested I take our eight year old granddaughter on a “camper crazy” adventure.
I think he imagined that at eight years old she would be really bored looking at RVs and that would burst my camper crazy bubble. Our granddaughters are the center of our world and the main reason he is even considering that maybe, just maybe he will buy an RV. He has said that it “may be fun to take the girls on road trips in an RV”.
He just did not realize what I had planned. Surprise!!! Our granddaughter had a phenomenal time. We met up with some family staying at Fort Wilderness. Although, I had only planned on staying a few hours and look around and visit the pool, we stayed the night, thanks to a flat tire. My granddaughter experienced her first night in a “two-story camper”. “What is that?” you ask. It is what my granddaughter called the fifth-wheel camper we stayed in.
Of course, like anything Disney, Fort Wilderness is beautiful and designed in a charming, fairy tale frontier style. You can almost imagine walking the grounds, as you round the bend, you will run into the Seven Dwarfs or Winnie the Pooh and his gang. Needless to say, it is not your run-of-the-mill campground.
Fully equipped campsites can accommodate anything from tents to large Class A motor-homes. Finding your spot is easy since the sites are setup in loops. There is plenty of room between each site and designed in a way that features the beauty of Florida’s great outdoors and without feeling like your privacy is jeopardized. Your basic hookups are available at most sites along with cable TV, a picnic table and a grill.
Woof Woof! Many of our family members and friends that camp like to take their dogs with them. Many of the sites at Fort Wilderness are pet friendly with the exception of those camping in a tent or a popup style camper. As expected, there will be an additional charge to bring your pet, currently posted as $5 per night, but many find it well worth the added expense. Well behaved pets can be taken on the pet walking trails as long as they are on a lead, or they can play off leash at the Waggin Trail’s dog park. What if you want to spend the day at one of the parks and don’t want to leave Fido in the camper all day? Disney has an answer for that. Day and overnight care is available at the Best Friend’s Kennel Care.
With a resort boasting 750 acres of lush wilderness, you may want to explore the resort by renting a golf cart at the reception outpost. It is a great way to get the kids back to the RV after their hard day splashing around in the pool, canoeing, or galloping along the happy trails on horseback. If you are not up to riding the trails, catch a wagon ride or take a carriage ride. Don’t fret there are plenty of fun-filled activities for adults and children. Even though the horse and pony rides, wagon ride, carriage ride all comes with an additional cost, you may find that this is the best vacation you have taken in a long time.
Evenings offer activities such as gobbling up roasted marshmallows at the “campfire sing-along”, having fun watching a Disney film at the outside theater, enjoying dinner and a show at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, or finding delight in the beautiful boat parade with all your favorite Disney characters, and then ending the day with breathtaking fireworks.
So now you are like, “I wanna go there but I don’t even own an RV” 😦 sad face, pout, tears in your eyes!!! Never fear…Disney wants you to feel like you are a happy camper too. SHHHH, do not tell my husband but there are log-cabins nestled within this wilderness with a private patio and a modern kitchen. But don’t worry, you don’t have to wash those dishes, housekeeping will do it for you. I know what you are thinking, ‘who wants to go to the grocery store on the way to a resort cabin?” No worries, pre-order your groceries long before you arrive. Make your list and then email, fax or snail mail to Disney. How great is that?
As you probably realize, the cost for campsites and cabin rentals within Fort Wilderness will not be your typical campground cost. But then again, this is not your typical campground. In fact, my little great-niece said it was the best vacation she has ever been on. When her dad asked, “better than when you were kissed by the dolphin, and you shook the hand of the sea lion and fed the sharks?” With a big smile she answered with a resounding, “yes”.
All I can say is, the visit to Fort Wilderness heightened my “camper craziness” and made my granddaughter a little “camper crazy” too. Hopefully my fairy tale dream will come true and our family will be camping at Disney’s Fort Wilderness very soon.
“this is going to be a crappy, stinking blog”. We just hope you continue reading and visit our newest video as we research the dirty part of owning an RV. It is a topic that needs to be discussed and thought about when contemplating purchasing an RV.
Listening to videos about campers or visiting RV sales showrooms, you hear terms like, “black water”, “gray water”, “dump tanks” and may see toilet paper designed for RV use. Seriously, do you really need to buy a specialty toilet paper like this one sold on Amazon? There are youtube videos with people testing toilet paper to see which dissolves best. They are usually long, boring videos, so we decided to talk with people that own campers and ask their opinion.
You may hear your camping friends talk about “toilet bombs”, but they are not Camper Crazy toilet terrorists, they are just sanitation sensitive. For us future RV owners, these may not be familiar terms. However, if we watched that movie “RV”, we probably all remember the dumping scene. Thus the question, “to poop or not to poop”.
If you remember our blog and videos featuring BJ & Shanna’s family, they started out their trip with strict orders to their kids not to poop in the RV. They had to use the comfort station at the RV parks. They didn’t want to deal with all that cleanup work. By the end of their trip, they were all using the throne for their dirty work.
When talking to other campers, some have decided it is not worth all the hard work and strictly use the RV park facilities they camp in. However, that is a bit difficult if you eat a lot of high fiber foods or if it is bad weather and you have to run to the park facilities.
But, why is this important? Well, for one thing we spend a lot of time using the toilet! There are studies that have been conducted that show people spend from 1.5 – 3 hours on the toilet each week. So, if you are living full-time in an RV, in one year, you may spend almost one full week on the toilet. So, we figure, not only should the bathroom area be the right size, but the toilet should be comfortable and we better know how to keep that toilet cleaned out properly.
So, what is black water and gray water? Below your beautiful RV are holding tanks that hold the non-pretty elements of your RV. Underneath will be your “black tank” that holds the waste from your toilet. You will also have a “gray tank” that holds the waste water from your shower and sinks. If your holding tanks are not properly cleaned, they will generate a smell that will make you think that skunks have taken your RV hostage.
All of the RVs we have looked at have a foot flush on the toilet. You step on it and it dispenses water into the bowl and opens the valve in the bowl to dump the toilet waste into your black tank. Following are tips that we will try to utilize, if we figure out what type RV to purchase:
Tip #1 – Make sure you have some water in the bottom of the toilet bowl before you use it.
Tip #2 – Some recommend that if you have your fan on while using the toilet, shut-off the fan when you flush. That process will eliminate the fan from pulling up the stinky odors from the black tank when the valve opens. Others say that if you clean out your tank properly and often, this is unnecessary.
Tip #3 – Make sure your toilet bowl is empty of all water once you start traveling, otherwise you will have to clean up a sloshy mess, especially if the driver of your RV drives like my husband.
Tip #4 – You can use your shower sprayer with hot water to spray out the toilet bowl before you dump the tank and the steam will also help breakup any solids that may be starting to harden.
Tip #5 – Dump your black tank and THEN dump your gray tank to flush out the hose.
Tip #6 – Make your own toilet bombs. You can find instructions online to get the recipe and the campers we interviewed used slightly different recipes but all happy with the results. One of the campers we interviewed simply uses a few scoops of Borax and large squirts of Dawn dish-washing liquid and flushes it down into the black tank.
Tip 7 – You may want to try Poo Pourri…
Some recommend after you dump and clean your tank to add water to the tank to help solids from sticking to the sides and bottom of the tank. Other campers say this is unnecessary if you dump often and clean properly and use toilet bombs. After you dump your tank, you should always clean it out manually or with a Saniflush if your RV comes equipped with it.
There is no way we will only use campsite comfort station facilities to do our business. So, our goal is to make sure we know all the correct procedures in emptying the tanks, keeping them clean and using the proper chemicals that will keep the tanks in good shape and eliminate stinky odors.
If any of our readers have other suggestions that have worked for them, please leave a comment to help educate us and others that are Camper Crazy Confused also! And if you are camper crazy confused, leave a question and we will try and find an answer.
As always we recommend you watch our video on this sensitive subject matter. Simply login to YouTube and search for Camper Crazy Buzz. Don’t forget to subscribe and like!
If your RV does not have a lock on the bathroom door, you may want to install a seat belt on your toilet. You never know when you will fall off the pot and fly out the door(s)! Learn more & get the BUZZ in our videos and remember, “safety first”!
Since you are now introduced to BJ & Shanna’s family and have seen pics of what seems to be the start of a perfect road trip with their new RV, it is time to see their Griswold moments. As novice campers, they are learning the “RV ravages of the road”, and have learned sadly what can happen in a split second.
Day 3 started with the first damage to their new travel trailer. As BJ said, “I could have waited a little longer to have the camper damaged.” Excited for the day’s travels, he leaned the level up against the trailer and started to hook up the truck to the trailer. As he lowered it onto the hitch the level crunched the side. A loud squeaking sound and uggg….the first damage. Thank goodness no major damage…yet.
A little disappointed, but they wipe their frowns away and head on down the road. They figure “hey, that is why we purchased insurance.” RV Insurance is something we will discuss in a future blog, and I am sure BJ will be able to share all he experiences when filing his claims. Yes, I said claims because this is just the beginning.
Traveling through bad weather is always expected, however, the severe winds and rains they encountered in Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana was much more than they wanted to experience. They have hunkered down in Florida through several hurricanes, but being in a travel trailer during bad storms or pulling one down the road, that is a whole different story.
First, the extreme wind quickly blew the awning off the side of the trailer, damaging the roof and the air conditioner. The wind and rain was so severe they didn’t even realize the awning was ripped off the side. To be highly entertained, you will want to hear BJ’s & Shanna’s story in their own words, please watch…..AND SUBSCRIBE https://youtu.be/k58qtKPtAtM
As soon as possible, BJ did some of his fancy repairs to seal up the holes. It wasn’t pretty but he hoped it would keep the rain out. He was very satisfied with his hard work and ingenuity!
At this point, the roof and awning will have to be totally replaced, but at least the truck has gone unscathed…until some nice person dances into BJ’s lane, and BAM…damages the truck mirror. Thank goodness he has cameras to backup that trailer. Still, BJ will not let all this dampen his spirit, he is happy and having a great time.
Then more bad storms and hail. Really??? Now the hood of the truck and the trailer looks like they were ambushed with pellet guns.
Bad enough that they will have at least 4 deductibles for the damages to the truck and trailer, but poor BJ did not remain unscathed either. He did not escape the ravages of bad fast food and somehow he fell on the trailer stairs and they won.
Just two days from home and one of the tires on the trailer is pretty much destroyed. We met up with them and our son-in-law helped change the tire since BJ did not have a jack that would work. Although we hated to see them incur more hiccups to their trip, we were happy to share some time and get some highlights of the Griswold moments and invite you to see some of the “not so much fun” part of the trip on our youtube channel.
For all us wannabe Camper Crazy individuals, the lesson we learned is that we need to be “prepared for the unexpected”. When purchasing a new RV, most RV retailers require the new buyer to learn everything about their new RV in a class before they can take their camper home. Whether they discuss what to do when encountering damages from storms or what products to use to make temporary repairs, we are not sure. We will research and share in a future blog. At a minimum we can see a good first aid kit is a must. If purchasing an RV from an individual, a novice Camper Crazy buyer should review our future blogs for tips on what to purchase for situations like BJ and Shanna encountered. Perhaps a visit to a local RV store to inquire as to what to buy to be prepared for a first RV trip, (especially if you are planning to go in remote areas) is probably a good idea. Better safe than sorry as they say, because of course, we all want to be “Happy Campers”, just like Jax.
Their baby Jax has some special needs and the travel trailer worked out very well for Jax. He was able to get down and play on the camper floor once they parked each day, and a reason to purchase an RV. They did not want Jax crawling around on the nasty floors of hotel rooms. Carrying suitcases and baby equipment into hotels every night and day for 30 days was not something Shanna was looking forward to either.
With all the challenges to their trip, Shanna said, “I liked it much more than I thought I would,” and BJ said, “If Shanna said, ‘okay lets turn around and go back out west – I would say, ” LETS GO!!!”
Mark & I have now visited two camper sales stores close to our location and will be asking questions and posting what we learn. Planning on visiting a couple this week in Alabama and Mississippi. Will be asking lots of questions and posting info on future blogs.
Camping, Glamping & the World of Recreational Vehicles
“Oh, the places you’ll go!” Dr. Seuss
My husband calls me Camper Crazy because I have been nagging
him for the past 3 years to buy an RV. I
keep pitching the idea that we should live full-time in an RV when we retire…
just a few years away!
However, he thinks I am Crazy…Irrational…and just plain
NUTS! My husband is a workaholic and not
one that likes to try new things. The
thought of buying a camper totally stresses him out. So we have decided that we need to entrench
ourselves in finding the pros and cons of camping and glamping and figure out
which RV would work best for our circumstances and our future goals.
We have visited many blog sites and watched 100’s of videos on different types of RVs…..MANY ARE SO BORING. Plus, they have done nothing to convince my husband that an RV is something we need to buy, let alone live in. Let’s face it, you can only watch so many RV Salespeople showing you the features of an RV and then you find yourself…. snoring and dribbling spit on your pillow.
This site is a multi-family combined effort featuring the World of Camping, Glamping and Recreational
Vehicles. Why should YOU subscribe
to our blog and follow us on You Tube?
Because we will give you the Buzz of info to be off and running as
another CAMPER CRAZY, FUN LOVING INDIVIDUAL!
We will follow some RV trips of new campers and
experienced campers. We will share their
likes and dislikes, pros and cons.
We will learn the dos and don’ts – tips and
tricks – and share Hilarious, Outrageous stories!!!
What kind of RV works best for young families,
working couples, seniors, and single people?
A CLASS; B CLASS, C CLASS? No we
are not talking about school for you non-campers.
But wait…Mark and I have been involved in
construction all our lives. In fact, we
volunteer a lot of our time in helping with disaster relief work. Wow….you would think he would want an RV to
be able to do more in this type of work.
Is retrofitting an older camper more logical, economical and conducive to a more attractive interior? We may be retiring in a few years but I don’t want our RV to be classified as a Grandpa’s or Grandma’s Camper. Jeez, that is why we call ourselves Pa and Gigi to our granddaughters. If you didn’t know…Gigi is a grandmother but so much cooler! So, for me a Cool Awesome Camper is absolutely a necessity. Plus, my 8 year old granddaughter would never want to vacation in an ugly camper with her Gigi. Gigi & Derby Adventures are never boring and are very cool.
What do we buy for our RV, when we determine which one to buy? After all, we want our married children and their families to travel with us on family vacations. Our son, Shane is so much like his father and thinks RESORT = NO RV. But his wife Kelli, would love joining us on RV trips. Our daughter Summer is with me. She would love to get an RV and is trying to sweet talk her husband Garth so maybe…just maybe they can join in on the family fun with our grandbaby Cookie.
And what about food? What meals are the healthiest and easiest to make on the road?
What campsites are the best?
We will also share pics and videos of areas you may want to visit and more!
This site is dedicated to finding the answers and featuring
REAL LIFE CAMPERS in REAL LIFE (sometimes messy) RVs. Most of all, it is dedicated to helping
everyone become Camper Crazy!!!
Next up….The First Time RV Family
YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS…A young couple with 3 kids on their first RV trip from Florida to Canada, driving a Ford F-250 pulling a new Grey Wolf Travel Trailer, (their rig on top of blog page). So far, this trip falls somewhere between the movie RV and the National Lampoon Griswold Family. If anything can go wrong on this trip, so far it has.
Stay tuned to the adventures of Brent (B.J.) & Shanna, with the teenage son who likes video games and computers, the 9 year old daughter who likes to run 5k races with her mom and their adorable baby who has some special needs and the motivation for BJ to purchase an RV.
And then….Chuck & Dana
A mid-aged (mid-life crisis maybe?) couple with 3 married children: their eldest son and his wife and their travel friendly puppy, Tokyo catch up with their parents in California and travel up the coast, then they will be joined by their daughter, an Irish dance instructor and her husband.
Chuck and Dana are traveling from Florida to Vancouver on a
six week trip in their brand new
Winnebago View. Their children are taking
turns flying in to travel different legs on the trip with their parents. This trip got off to a rough start, but the
pics and videos are amazing. You won’t
want to miss being a part of this trip.
Traveling with them on this trip are her parents:
Danny & Mary Ellen, who are Totally Experienced Glampers to the Extreme! From previously traveling in a coach fit for a King and Queen, to now traveling in a new Pleasure-way Class B, they offer so many tips and tricks. But, don’t let their fancy lifestyle fool you. Danny is also an experienced Kayaker and Hiker. He is a true camper and can help us learn the best items to use when camping in a small tent in the wild…yes with wild bears and snakes and bugs of every sort. You can check out some of his hiking trips on YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngBadyvqGEM