Monday, April 18, 2011

I've got to get my Fix!

Regrets... I've had a few... but then again... too few to mention. Well, not exactly, since what follows can be considered much more than a "mention".

We have been on the road for 10 months as of this post. We have learned a great many things about love, life and our family at large.

One lesson we are becoming pros at is "the fix". It seems, every time we move the rig, we break something. Or every time we're sitting in one place - something breaks. Or, wait, I mean every minute of every day, something breaks!

Now, before you say "that won't happen to me in my brand spanking new, top o' the line, rig" I'm here to tell you - it ABSOLUTELY will! and I hear that chorus of "it's under warranty" echoing in your head - well good luck getting the perfect tri-fecta of: A parts delivery, an available (and competent) service tech and the appropriate location for a fix.

Since we started full-timing in our Gently Used 2005 Jayco Eagle 5th Wheel we have fixed or replaced (in order of expense):

4 Suspension Leaf Springs
Our entire AC Unit
The main power inverter
The shore power plug (countless times)
Pipe leaks, roof leaks, window leaks, potatoes and leeks (I digress)
The awning retraction system
The handle bar
A zillion tires
Two rear truck windows - two different times
Brakes on the truck
Brakes on the RV
Breaks in our bank account :)
A Generator hanging by the skin of its teeth (see above)

You get the picture - and that's the short list. At first, with each set back, we asked ourselves if "God was telling us we shouldn't pursue this dream, at this time".

After a while, the excuse "kids, its not a good time - can't you see we just broke the ______" started wearing out. This was/ is our new norm.

It can not be said enough that the majority of Recreational Vehicles are made for RECREATIONAL use - not full time living - and with the wear and tear our rigs take from our multiple children, endless miles, and low clearances, its amazing to me the walls are still standing.

So, all this being said, take a page out of your Scout Handbook and ALWAYS BE PREPARED!

Be prepared with activities for the kids, while Dad's on the roof removing what's left of that bridge.

Be prepared with extra food and water and cleaning supplies so Dad can get scrubbed up after he's taped that big gaping hole in the black tank from the blowout.

Be prepared mentally to take at least 1 step backward for every 2 steps forward.

Be prepared with extra patience so you're not on the side of the road bickering when you realize you've torn off the steps because "someone" left them out.

Be prepared with a sense of humor - remember "You're Living Your Dream!"

Try your best to travel in daylight hours and arrive at your destination before your exhausted 'cause when you're tired, you're more likely to make costly and unnecessary mistakes.

Check the travel forecasts before you head out and don't be in a rush to chance it - it only takes one strong crosswind to put you in a serious situation.

Lastly, we never move the rig without God on our side. We pray as a family every time we pull out of our spot and we thank Him for all the miles he has watched over us.

Hope to see you down the road,

We're a part of the Families on the Road Blog Carnival! You should be too!


  1. That these rigs are not made for "full time" use is so true. This has been our experience on our first year as well. Simple problems like water splashes on a wall, or slight leak at the toilet base are not problems when the RV is put up for weeks between uses, it dries out. Living full-time means it never gets that chance, and soon you end up replacing the whole floor, or wall. Yep, been there, done that. Perhaps after a year or so on the road we should be awarded the RVIA Technician Certificate.

  2. Absolutely agree Mike! We keep thinking... what else could go wrong... but unfortunately - there's always an answer to that question. :)

  3. Your humor is alive and well. Your dreams aren't broke. We love you all. Great post but makes me a little nervous about what may come.

  4. We feel your pain. I've written the exact same kind of article on my blog. . .but I called it RV Maintenance is a Pain in the ? ? ? However. . .to this point, still not as pricey as maintaining a house, and a lawn, and a pool, and the taxes. . .yada, yada yada. Stay safe, I'm sure we will see you guys down the road!

  5. Hi guys! That rock really is something! Its true its still a bit cheaper than living in a house... but if when we lived in a house we were very avid rv'ers so it would have resulted in double maintenance.. That's how I always justify it :)
    Come to Arizona! Its fabulous here!

  6. Livin' the dream baby! Love it. :) I know our houses broke down much more than our RV. It's the new normal. :)

  7. The ongoing maintentance is frustrating. We've had a bad week! Our step broke, the frosted glass in a cupboard door smashed, and someone put the leg of a ladder through the wall! Not happy.

    Oh, and we had the time that Susan stumbled and tripped into Peter, who then landed on the table that snapped in half underneath him...

    Still better than living in a house.