My journey towards full time RV ing continues with decamping from the farm I’ve been living on for the past 2 months. My hosts, Dick and Licia have been so accommodating and helpful as I transition from my “sticks and bricks” to the mobile life. To those of you not familiar with the term “sticks and bricks”, it is RV lingo referring to a house, apartment, condo, or other stationary living arrangement. Cute, huh? There is a lot of that sort of lingo surrounding this lifestyle that is fun and interesting.
The Farm was a great place to be as I wound down to retirement. Living in the country with the sounds of birds, crickets, cicada, and coyote was a pleasant change from the sounds of the city. Because I was in a field surrounded by barns and other out buildings, there was no shade to be found. Flo faced west, so the afternoon sun was always blazing through that big front windshield. I used reflective sunshades as well as keeping the curtains drawn at all times. My daily routine was to put the sunshades in all the other windows by 10 am. The kitties were in the dark for most of the day but it couldn’t be helped. The A/C kept it cool in the afternoon, and we only had a few days of severe heat in the 90’s. The nights were cool enough to open the windows and I fell asleep to the night sounds, a starry sky and cool breeze.
Getting everything prepared while living in Flo and getting to know the mechanics of all the systems was challenging. I have learned a lot about organization in a small space, resource conservation and most importantly, my abilities to fix things. I bought a Gazelle brand gazebo for extra outdoor living space. The directions said it takes 45 seconds to put up. I made 2 videos of me putting it up in about 7 1/2 minutes. The reason it took 2 videos is that I had to stop and read the directions. Ha, ha! It is a fantastic addition to my equipment list- both sturdy and functional. I bought wind screens to go with it so that I can sit out in rainy weather and enjoy the outdoors without getting too wet.
The sturdiness was tested twice when the gazebo was blown over during severe thunderstorms. Both times, I was away from home and returned to find it uprooted and resting on the electric fence 25 yards away. Thank goodness for the fence or the thing would have been in the next county! I did call Licia after the first incident to ask if the fence was electrified before I touched it. She said, “Oh, no. That fence hasn’t been turned on in years!” That set my mind at ease as I removed the gazebo and placed it back in position with no harm done. Then it occurred to me that that electric fence was the only barrier between me and the 2,000 pound Buffalo grazing in the field behind my RV- YIKES!
I also bought a bike rack/cargo carrier that fits into the 2″ receiver hitch on the back of Flo. That took about 2 hours to put together (no video for this because I actually read the directions while putting it together). It was challenging to do alone, and I had to shim it up to make it level so that the bolts would go in straight. I certainly hope that I won’t be driving down the road at 60 mph and having stuff like my bike, the fold up table, my new propane grill, the sewer hose, etc. flying off the back creating road hazards for everyone in my wake. 🙂
I also had my RV inspected by a professional at Crushed Armadillo Consulting Services. Jim McKay did a thorough job and made recommendations for safety upgrades and taught me how to do some maintenance work. I actually got on the roof with my friend, Brett and did some caulking around the kitchen fan and bathroom skylight. Ok, let me rephrase that. I climbed up on the roof, got my picture taken, and watched Brett do the caulking!!
I did replace the smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector myself 🙂 I took the old ones out and put them in the trash that was in the hatchback of my SUV. As I started the car and was getting ready to go, I got a phone call from my sister, the dog started barking, and a shrill beep, beep, beep filled the car- why does everything annoying always happen at the same time? I dug through the trash (ick!) and found the culprit. In my haste, I had forgotten to take the battery out of the old carbon monoxide detector, and it was picking up the fumes from the tailpipe. I guess it was working despite being past the expiration date.
Many Thanks again to my hosts for a beautiful, safe place to stay before I head for the open road and “Go with the Flo”