First Trip for the RV?

Someone's stealing my RV!

I’m sweating head to foot. I wonder for the millionth time if I made a big mistake.

I had originally planned to take the RV down to Florida this past Sunday to attend a conference. On the trip back, I was going to hit up several friends each scattered in a different state I’ve never really seen: Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Kentucky.

Unfortunately, I discovered that my RV wouldn’t start last Thursday. I chalked it up to the starter since all the vehicle electronics were still working, and there was no sound of the engine cranking. My Dad tried to jump start it to no avail. So did the tow truck driver on Sunday. Turns out I was right, and the starter was dead. I just got the RV back yesterday after paying another $330.

I’m just praying that the thing never breaks down on the road and that I’ll soon be finished with all the necessary repairs.

I’ve been working on blacking out all the windows so that people outside can’t tell if I’m inside. Specifically the police in the times I might be parking on a busy urban street. The thing already comes with curtains, but they allow tiny amounts of light out.

I also slept in the RV last night in my parent’s driveway for the first time. Despite it being midnight, it was still pretty warm. On the plus side, it was really dark with the curtains drawn. I read A Clash of Kings for two hours and finally fell asleep. Part of me wishing I hadn’t removed the roof A/C unit after all.

This morning, I filled up the water tank and tested the waste water and sewage removal. Appears to be a tiny water leak on the sewage line, not very happy about that. But, I don’t think it really matters. More importantly, I thought I had this solved, but some water still seems to be leaking when the water pump is turned on. There’s a series of valves/knobs for the water lines, and I was certain that I figured out how to prevent it from draining, but maybe it’s just a leak. I’m not sure. Man, a motorhome is really just like a house but things are much more likely to break.

I also test drove the thing some 27 miles up to Newark via Paper Mill Road and then taking I-95 back home. I must have forgotten what it’s like to drive the thing long distance. Braking is a lot slower than a regular vehicle. Rialtas don’t drive up hills, they crawl like a slug uphill. The vehicle A/C did a decent job, but still sweating like a dog.

I also filled up the tire pressure to 60 PSI. The manual states to only put 50 PSI in the front and 65 PSI in the back. Internet resources say 60 PSI all around. Previously, all four were at 45 PSI.

Today’s projected high is 100 degrees which means I don’t feel like doing anything in the sun.

I had planned on driving up to Philadelphia for the weekend, but I’m not so sure anymore. The water leak is pretty conspicuous on a city street. It’s also very hot. I still got to figure out my shower situation. The original Norcold 3-way refrigerator (works on 120 volt, 12 volt, and propane) doesn’t work on an angle. Supposedly, it can even explode.  If I just park on an even street I should be fine but still. Replacing it with an any-angle frig would cost some $600 though. I don’t know. Man, I don’t know.

I do have tickets to Glitch Mob tonight in Phila though.

This is a rocky road. I really planned on having a more flexible work schedule or freelancing before I purchased this RV. Then I could be in the West like Portland (61 degrees) or San Diego (65 degrees). The entire East Coast is plagued with a heat wave.

Some people think I’m crazy and can’t understand at all what I’m doing. Others are envious and wishing they could do the same. I’m still not certain. But I do know that this is going to happen. It is happening. So, I got to make the best of it. After a year or two, I’m guessing I’ll be ready for something else.

Sometimes, it feels like my life just revolves around work and this RV which isn’t what I want. Sometime soon, I’m hoping that I’ll figure out all my RV questions and can focus on my life and my career more again.

Interesting to note that I moved back to Delaware almost exactly a year ago on August 1 2010. I started bidding and negotiating for this RV late November 2010.

I still have some stuff to wrap up in Delaware so I’ll likely be still in the area for another week which means I’ll likely be taking my first “real” trip around August 1, 2011. I’ll still go south again; following the heat…

The RV is Done, Welcome Anxiety and Adventure

On Thursday, I finished installing the solar panels finally on my Rialta RV.

Water pump works.
Water leak fixed.
Sinks work.
Toilet works.
Stove works.
Refrigerator (sort of works, not well on an incline).

Now, I just need to buy the household items like a cutting board, storage containers, and a good baseball bat (to ward off intruders).

This coming Sunday is my first planned trip, I’m headed to Orlando, Florida. I’ll stay there for a few days and then hopefully on the way back, I’ll stay with friends scattered throughout the South.

Nervous Thoughts on the Future

This summer is an exciting period for my friends and me.  My brother just had his first child.  Two of my friends are globe trekking for six months and then moving to Oregon.  Another friend is moving to Spain for a long period.  Three of my friends are starting their Masters program.  Another is starting Vet School.

And in the midst of all these changes, I’ll be traveling in a RV. A big change yet a needed one.  For nothing else in my life has really changed in the past year. And I worry about where I’m heading as most of my friends become more busy and moving farther away.

Also, I’ve worked the same job for six years now.  I’ve finished my academic education for the foreseeable future.  My ambitious career and business plans have not and may never bear fruit. In short, I’ve been feeling stagnant.

In this anxiety, boredom, and restlessness, I rethink my past decisions.  I wonder about my future.   I compare my life against others. I can tell that my interactions with others are strained. I’m in my head. I don’t care about what they’re saying, it all sounds frivolous. Have I always been like this? Or is this a symptom of my uneasiness?

The future is unknown.  I’ve cut my ties (and been cut) from family, friends, academics,  and so on.  It rests on my shoulders. And I wonder if I’ve taken on too much. I’ve succeeded throughout the years through preparation, perservance, constant study, support of others, and a dash of luck. But outside the confines of a student life where no one is interested anymore in your education or growth, the challenges become harder. Perhaps, the largest missing piece is asking, what do I bring that offers value to others?

During college, I code switched and had the flexibility to merge into different groups, different ways of being. These days, I’m finding my self more static, my interests and preferences in people has hardened. And yet, I continue to push my comfort zone. To eschew common sense, basic safety and security, and want to be pushed to the brink of disaster and the verge of greatness.

This is a rambling post because my mind is rewiring itself. Many changes this year, I can’t wait to begin.