Facts as I know them, of course, Your Mileage May Vary.
1) A 6-gallon propane hot water with “fast recovery” will give you nine minutes in the shower before the water turns to ice without warning. 10 minutes later you can have hot water again. This is a bit disappointing if all you crave is a long, very hot shower, but luckily most RV parks have heated shower facilities you can use 24/7. The shower at my park doesn’t even charge for the privilege 🙂 The shower head will suck. Short hair is so much easier!
2) If the Park provides free cable TV, don’t assume you can just plug in and have TV. There are bound to be hitches and if you have something you want to see on schedule, you better make backup plans. I had to buy a piece of coax to connect my TV to the jack in Towanda so I did not know that there was a problem. Barry, the park Fix-it Dude came over to see what was what and he said everything looked fine and I would need to call the Cable Guy. I’ve got an appointment with he Cable Guy for tomorrow morning which means I better get the inside organized so he can come in and inspect if he has to. I also better hide the WiFi gizmo 🙂
3) It’s a good idea to insulate your incoming water hose if the weather is cold. This is accomplished with foam pipe insulation taped over the hose with electrical tape. Be mindful while using scissors to cut the tape if your dental work is too expensive to use your teeth – small scissors can be very sharp! Srsly – I’ve cut myself four times in the last two days, bruised three knuckles in different episodes and banged my head twice. RVing ain’t for wimps!
4) Taking out your ginormous king-sized bed frame and platform and stashing it where people can see it will raise a lot of interest. Some will agree with your remodeling and go on to describe their own modifications. Others will look at you like you’re crazy and inform you that better mattresses are available and maybe you’re being a bit hasty. Still others will ask what you plan to do with that pile of construction materials. One woman’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or something.
5) You only get 30 amps of power. If you don’t fully understand how Electric Magic works, just know this – you can only have one heat producing thing on at a time. This means that you will not be able to blow dry your hair while the heater is on. You will not be able to run the microwave while using an electric tea kettle. In fact, you won’t be able to have anything of any size on while you run an electric heater. Cell phone and laptop chargers are okay, a desktop computer is not. Forget about turning on the TV while the heater is going. And guess what? Unlike in your house where you can have many, many different circuits, an RV or travel trailer (TT to those who know the lingo) has only three or four. One is dedicated to the microwave. One is dedicated to the hot water heater. And the third is Everything Else. That’s a lot of responsibility for one 15 amp circuit breaker and it will protest over usage by tripping off at the slightest hint of your comfort or relief that everything seems to be working again.
6) Special tools, equipment and accessories that have For RV Use on the label are fucking expensive. If you live at the edge of the world like I do, you will have no choice but to pay if you want your shit to work and have no time to drive two hours to the nearest RV Superstore. The store that closed last month. I’ve found that timing is everything in my life – always a little bit too late. Adventure, right?
7) When the guy at the RV supply place asks you if you want the ten or twenty foot sewer hose, take the twenty foot hose. Please. You did not measure correctly and the hose never stretches as far as the package says it will. Save yourself some gas and a big headache and just get the longer hose. Trust me on this one.
8) Just when you think all the Outside Setup Stuff is done, the weather will change back to the usual rain and wind and you will find yourself short ten feet of sewer hose and two feet of hose insulation on a work day and will be finishing up in the dark and rain if you want to drain your holding tanks and ensure your water supply in a manner that makes it look like you know what you’re doing.
9) Just ask. RV people (so far) are really nice and they like to be friendly. If you have seen wood steps leading into many of the RVs in the park, ask for a set for yourself. You may discover that the Fix-it Dude has a secret stash in his secret shop that no one seems to know the location of.
10) Have the local Repair Dude programmed into your cell phone. Really. You WILL need to call him and if he’s the only game in town you will need to schedule an appointment ASAP after something goes wrong. Put the RV Park number in there while you’re at it.
11) Things will go wrong. Things will break. Don’t panic! If a problem can be solved with nothing more than money, it’s not a Real Problem at all.
12) If all else fails call the dealer where you bought your rig. If your situation is anything like mine, you will have 30 days to change your mind and your dealer will bend over backwards to make you happy, maybe even going so far as to promise that if the Local Repair Dude can’t come out and fix you up they will send someone 100 miles to your door to keep you from getting hysterical over the phone. That’s right – I played the Damsel in Distress card and I do not apologize for it. A wise woman knows that sometimes you have to play dirty to get the men to jump to and get things done. I don’t have sex as leverage with these men, but I have the loss of a fat commission check to lend weight to my Woman About to Come Unhinged voice 🙂
And it’s only Day Three! I have a lot to learn…