RV Stories

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We moved the RV to her winter quarters this morning. With antifreeze in her arteries and batteries disconnected, I hope she’ll have an uneventful winter in her slice of the barn in Chassell. I credit myself as pretty good at handling vehicles, but I can truthfully say I have never parked a machine in as tight a space as I did today. We had inches to spare on each side, but with my friend Tom’s help, she slid into her slot like a champion.

As Alice and I drove away in our car, I thought about a couple of events with the RV this season that stuck in my mind. The first was the realization that you don’t really control your vehicle. You perch on a seat looking out a window, with hands and feet on some pretty rudimentary controls that allow you to nudge the machine in the direction you want to go in. Concentration for something this big with a car being towed behind is pretty important. Things can happen quickly on the open road, and you need to be ready.

The driver’s and passenger seats up front can swivel, so they can be used as livingroom chairs when the RV is parked. Swiveling is a nice feature, because it also allows me to turn the chair so I can get out of my seat when we come to a stop. With my long legs, I find it difficult to get my legs out any other way. The problem with the swivel it is just a little bit sloppy, such that if it is bumped while I’m driving, it swivels just a bit. I’ve noticed this because Alice often gets up while we’re driving to get me something out of the refrigerator, use the bathroom, or other chores. Once she gets out of her chair, she’ll often steady herself by bracing her hand on my seat. It moves an inch or two when she does it, but boy does that little movement throw me for a loop. The first time it happened, my entire adrenal gland emptied into my bloodstream. I had no idea how important it was that I keep myself properly aligned to my direction of motion until this happened a couple of times.

My other RV story happened this past Monday. We were near Lansing waiting on some news from the MSU small animal clinic about our sick dog Franco. When the news arrived about mid day on Monday, it was pretty good news, such that we decided to leave for home that afternoon. Now I prefer to get going early in the morning, because I find travelling on the almost deserted roads that time of day a good way to get a jump on the trip. We were pretty sure we wouldn’t make the whole 12 hour trip, but wanted to get going down the road. We made it to the Mackinac Bridge, and decided to stay at the Straits State Park in St. Ignace. I was pretty tired when we pulled into our slot. The weather was cold and kind of dreary. I girded my loins and headed outside to hook up the electric, see to the car, and walk around the vehicle to be sure all was ship shape before going in for the night. I was really tired when I opened the door to the RV and plodded up the steps.

When I got inside and opened my eyes, I broke out into a big grin. While I was outside, Alice had been busy closing the curtains, turning on some lights, and generally making the place cozy. The vehicle I’d driven for 5 hours had magically turned into a haven, something I didn’t expect when I walked in, but smacked me in the face nonetheless. I turned on the furnace, put my pajamas on, got under the covers, and said, “ahhhh.”

In my younger days, I never would have believed I would take to travelling this way, but after a few years of it, I have to admit I’m hooked. The fuel economy isn’t great… about 9 miles to the gallon, but having your own place while travelling, and at the end of the day’s travel makes it a pretty darn nice way to travel.

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