Category Archives: Learning

Every Day Is a Crisis!


  • Lessons Learned.

    There is no right way to do this. Transition is hard and experience is our friend!
    Mistakes are easy to make, staying calm is an art.
    Relearning to live with someone you have lived with for 37 years can seem like starting over, again!
    We CAN and WILL do this, do it well, and enjoy our new lifestyle.

All the planning in the world can’t get you ready enough for the multitude of mishaps that are waiting to happen in the course of the full-time, large rig with a toad (RV speak for flat towing our Jeep liberty) lifestyle. The best advice is to NEVER be in a hurry, work as a team and check each others work, regardless of how trivial the task. We didn’t do that when we dragged the toad 3 miles not properly set in neutral, messed the transmission up; but so far flushing it seems to be working ($195 vs $$$$2500. for new one), near-major catastrophe. A step-by-step checklist is now in place as well as a two person oversee system. We didn’t do that when we retracted the slide and a, yet to be hung, picture frame was in the way, crunching and breaking it into many pieces; as well as the bedroom door topper in the closed position that prevented the whole side slide from retracting and stopped it dead in its tracks. A rubber mallet to release the stuck wood, short little arm to retrieve the mangled picture frame (all but one picture in tact and rescued), the slide groaned loudly and slid back in. Another major dollar issue averted. Parked in the (very clever) Chicago McCormick Trade Center Marshaling Yard, ready to venture out on our two day city visit (airbnb condo rental), I decide to extend the slide a bit to get something I forgot in my closet. 4″ later, the slide comes to a dead stop and won’t budge. Sounds like only one motor is trying to work. Really?! Expletive. We have people to meet and places to go. We leave anyway and lament about it, in order not to disappoint. It will be there tomorrow (cutting into our visit, but so be it). Desperate emails and pictures later (to our guru MD RV John Godwin) the next day (sure we caused this) and my handy man (Brian) finds the motor wire came unplugged. Easy! Not a crisis after all and totally unrelated. Lesson Learned. Never assume and always look for the easy solution first.

So much stress, isn’t this supposed to be the stress-less choice? Not by a long-shot. Being together 24/7, dealing with one hit after another, takes a toll on even the best of friends. But because we are best friends, we will weather these bumps in the road, the low hanging limbs, and regroup.

This life is meant to be savored. Rushing to ensure we get to use our gifted Wrigley Field tickets put us off our game. Looking back, it was worth it, we feel we were lucky to come out of it somewhat unscathed, but the mistakes (maybe) could have been avoided were we not preoccupied with our schedule.
So many Lessons Learned and Lessons yet to Learn. I vote for a break in the action!Wrigley FieldMarina City Towers Condo

Navy Pier Fireworks from Millennium Condo, Chicago

Navy Pier Fireworks from Millennium Condo, Chicago

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Let the Learning Begin

Our master plan, at this point in time, is to luxuriate in the time we have, getting to know our motor home. It would be great (if not unrealistic) to get any and all issues and learning out of the way, sure!

We ended up with the second choice, nearby,

for RV storage. Down a packed dirt, but unpaved, road, with an entry gate for small vehicles. Seriously, why didn’t that occur to me as I rushed there to secure our ‘large’ spot? I was blinded by the spot being in Monument, and that it was available at all! It was the last, and only, game in town, the first having a paved road AND an easy, large gated entrance that is extra wide.
First time getting The Odyssey into the lot across from the dump, not yet 2nd nature on the turning radius, Brian almost took out a rubber coated post on the driver side, the rear end.
It only took out a turn indicator and the bulb on inspection, easily replaceable. Lesson Learned: Can’t make that (sharp) turn with the monster rig without pulling beyond the gate, then backing into the lot (a dump) across the road and heading straight in! Ultimately, we came to appreciate this as good practice for future tough spots. Silently we both curse on approaching the road when we return from any outing! This site was very helpful giving large rig backing instructions and tips to mark your rig, for the navigator: http://donbobbitt.hubpages.com/hub/Backing-Your-RV-into-a-Campsite
…as we found we also had trouble communicating. I apparently didn’t have an innate talent for acceptable and useful hand signals. Said sarcastically, but true story, I was not effective. We broke out the walkie talkies but realize our phones allow hands free, useful for the driver who is putting the big round peg into the small square hole! Lesson Learned: um, maybe not yet…