Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Some Things I Learned

I strongly believe that if you don't learn the lessons put before you, you are destined to be "taught" over and over until you do! 

So what did we learn on our first big adventure?

  • don't trust the IPhone GPS
  • maps are always going to be necessary
  • don't throw the tire pressure monitor out the window - it works after you mess with it
  • unhook the Jeep and scout unknown areas with questionable access
  • small scratches on the rig give it character, it's not in a showroom
  • ducking your head does not lower the height of the rig
  • the Sterling towbar is a great investment
  • move the damn dog bed before opening the slide - seriously, it's Right There!
  • it's a touch screen - if you touch it stuff happens
  • you can see through layers of bugs, but you probably shouldn't - bring the ladder
  • duct tape is still king
  • trust your co-pilot - they can see that side better than you can
  • the lack of garbage disposal is not the big deal you thought it would be
  • the wide extra step for below the stairs is a great investment
  • don't assume the roads leading to a "big rig friendly" park are included in the description
  • the 3" Tempurpedic mattress topper is a great investment
  • laughter remains the best medicine
  • don't underestimate the importance of really liking the person you're traveling with

Given our advanced course in traveling through wind, these were the lessons specific to that lovely experience:

  • you drive with your hands and forearms, don't use every other muscle in your body
  • if you ignore the above, travel with a heating pad and extra Ibuprofen
  • angle/direction is as important as wind velocity
  • direction is subject to change without notice - don't trust it
  • big rigs push the wind ahead and beside them, then pull it from behind
  • the number of big rigs on the road increase with wind velocity - by a lot
  • large RVs coming from the opposite direction give you confidence you can handle what's ahead
  • the complete absence of any other RVs on the road convince you you're going to die

We expect to continue learning new lessons, and hope we have accurately learned the ones already put to us.





26 comments:

  1. Words of wisdom every one! If we don't learn as we go then it becomes Groundhog Day! I learned not to drive in wind. I just stay where I am and wait for it to back off. Also true for rain. I'm a wuss!

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    1. I've said to Bill that we're not spending another Spring in the southwest with the winds - and not tornado-alley either!

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  2. All good lessons learned. Over time the list gets longer. Very good Grasshopper. ;)

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  3. Nicely done! Glad you're home safe and sound. You'll have to tag this one with "lessons learned" so you can find it again and add to it.

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    1. Good idea! I know we still have so much to learn :-))

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  4. Very good list! And, ditto what Gaelyn said, the list grows with time. Drove home to Tenn. from SoCal last week. Wind almost all the way-and from almost every possible direction. It was a two-hands on the wheel trip for sure, but do-able. You will "learn when to hold up, learn when to fold up (the awning and slides), learn when to walk away (drive slowly), learn when to run (the opposite direction of tornado weather)." And, above all, you 'll find joy in the journey. Happy tailwinds.

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    1. Love it! I'll always have that new "verse" in my head when I hear that song :-))))

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  5. Funny, Jodee--I have to admire you for driving that rig--I too drive ours but usually only on the freeway and NOT in wind storms.

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    1. Thanks Janna :-) I don't have that large trailer behind me so you win!!

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  6. sounds like you had an interesting trip :) I'm driving our motorhome Thursday morning on a short trip and as of today no winds are reported in the area. :) I might be okay. :) Janet

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    1. You'll be good I'm sure. Looks like the winds may be giving us a break for awhile - yay!

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  7. Yup, All too true, but lesons well worth remembering. Keep laughing.

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    1. Gotta laugh - we're having a great time :-))))

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  8. Laughter is the best medicine! And one Joe and I always say...If you want to hear God laugh, just tell him your plans!
    Great list Jodee!

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  9. Very well said. A sense of humor goes a long way to lighten the journey, even in difficult times. :-)

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    1. We are fortunate to make each other laugh a lot. It is really serving us well as we take on this big adventure :-)

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  10. Jodee, you get it! You understand what it takes to live on the road and drive your home around. Your first bullet is a wise one. It is one thing to drive a car around and get lost with the GPS but another to drive a large MH. Also, make sure you check the park's website for direction. Occasionally, they give special direction because of the size of vehicles coming to their park. Many parks are located in the strangest places. I still struggle with the little scratches. I carry touch up paint for each color because marks make me crazy which causes me stress. I wish I could just relax.

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    1. Good idea on the website, we've used AllStays so far and just call from the road - maybe we should ask them about access then too. We rubbed a pretty good "spot" on the back slide when a branch partially broke and the wind put it on the paint for two days of up and down......will probably drag out the touch up paint for that :-) We all have our idiosyncrasies; I think worry about scratches puts you in the "mild" group :-))))

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  11. Yeah, Phone GPS's are okay, but they are not gospel!

    When we were driving to our RV park in San Antonio I decided to finally check the parks website to see if they suggested the best way to get to their park and I was so glad I did. They gave very specific instructions and after we had driven around the area for a week we really understood why they brought us in the long way around...there were some nearby roads that would have tossed an RV around like crazy! Lesson learned: always check the parks website for directions JUST IN CASE!

    I can tell you two are doing just fine and dandy as you test the waters.

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    1. We were really surprised at how bad the road was to get to the park in Blythe - narrow, pot holes, trees, it was a mess. Will definitely check the site or ask on the phone from now on!!

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  12. Replies
    1. Thanks Debbie :-) We sure learned a lot!

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