Today is our one month anniversary living in Charlie. We have not gotten on the road yet. Charlie’s travels so far have been from Montgomery Alabama, where we picked him up, to Edmond Oklahoma.
That said a month is a month, and we have learned some lessons and had some surprises. As such, I thought I would mark the occasion by sharing a few observations in no particular order.
I asked Mireille what her biggest surprise was and she says the biggest surprise for her is how comfortable we are in it. There is plenty of room, we both sleep better than we did at the house, it is quiet and tight.
For both of us, we had to get used to the amount of rocking that takes place as we walk about and do our usual activities inside the RV. I had figured that with the jacks down we would be pretty solid, but that does not seem to be the case.
We are still working on where everything goes, and I am sure that will continue for some time. We are getting the hang of it, but I am regularly asking Mireille where some random thing is. We are pretty sure we will have enough room for what we want to bring. Most of what we had identified to take with us is already in the RV though some things, especially clothes, are still at the house. The unexpected thing is, we find we do not need very much so bringing more stuff to the RV has taken a back seat. We have to be out of the house by the 27th so it will get figured out one way or the other.
For me, especially since I spent so much time reading blogs and forum posts, the thing I am most surprised at is how few problems we have had. I know it sounds like I am tempting the universe by even mentioning it, and fortunately, there is plenty of wood handy to touch, but it is true.
Yes, there are a few things, but so far all are very minor. A lot of things that look like problems at first turn out to be nothing more than a lack of knowledge, fortunately, Facebook groups and irv2.com help out there.
- The trim under the bed on my side is loose, and when I get in our out of bed, it can make an alarming popping noise. Since I am 6’5″ and in the weight range usually reserved for gridiron linemen and sumo wrestlers, I thought I was breaking the bed platform. Finding that was not the case was a relief. A few tacks or wood glue will fix that quickly.
- I need to get some shims for the toilet as it rocks back and forth slightly and I do not want to tighten the nuts that hold it down too much for fear of cracking the base. Again, this is minor and easily solvable.
- I need to figure out if there is a way to calibrate the tank sensors. Sometimes the black tank shows empty after I dump and flush it, other times it reads 33%. The grey tank has never shown empty after dumping and toggles between 33% and 67% so I dump it often as I do not want to find out it’s full by whatever way that might happen if it overfills!
About the third night we were in the RV I rolled up one of my shoes under the kitchen slide as I was putting it out. We were able to bring the slide back in and extricate the shoe with little to no damage to either the slide or the shoe, but that was an object lesson in making sure there was nothing in the way when we are moving slides!
Some of the surprises are just in the way things work, and that is just me learning how to accommodate what is versus my expectation of what should be, even with my limited understanding of things.
For example, I do not know what else they could have done, but the placement of the temperature sensors ensure that we will never be as warm as we have set the temperature to be. The thermostat is set in the ceiling and directly above and in front of the fireplace. As everyone knows, heat rises. That being the case, if we have the fireplace heater turned on the front of the RV quickly registers warmer than it is. I have used this as a quick way to get the furnace to shut off when I am on calls for work early in the morning. If you want to warm up the front of the RV quickly by using the fireplace and still keep the furnace on to warm up everything else, you have to crank the furnace temperature setting up much higher than you want so the furnace does not shut off.
We found out how good the Tiffin service is. Somehow the front edge of the cover for our stove got cracked.
I called up service and answered a few questions, and the guy on the other end of the line (sorry I did not get his name) said he would send out a new set. Just a few days later we got a wood box with both pieces of the cooktop cover inside.
I replaced the broken piece and kept the other back in the box as a spare. No questions, no cost, nothing. That is way cool in my opinion.
It is already like home. When we leave the house, there is never any feeling of longing or homesickness. We are both sure that this is mostly due to the time being right for us, we are ready. Two more weeks and we hit the open road!