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Laura: Lessons learned while RVing

| Updated Jul 10, 2013

While driving across eastern Colorado the other day, I tired of the radio and turned it off.  The dog was asleep and not available for our usual, stimulating, one way conversation. Now, there is NOTHING in eastern Colorado along I-70. No farms or trees, no interesting landscape.  There, amazingly, aren’t many billboards.

lauradog2There isn’t even any road kill, all the animals are somewhere else where there are things to chase, elude and eat.  The point is, it was incredibly boring so I was stuck with my own thoughts, and came up with a few very important lessons I have learned while Roadtreking that should be passed along.

The entire roll of paper towels will unwind if I drive with the windows down.laurashower

The toilet will splash all over the bathroom if not empty and the lid closed.

Wet dogs and hiking boots are pungent in tight living space.

Towel off wet dogs BEFORE they enter said, small space.

No spill dog water dishes are a good thing while en route.

Always keep quarters handy for showers, tolls and small children.

Be sure to take enough quarters in to pay showers to get conditioner fully rinsed from hair.

Slowly unscrew the water hose from the spigot after turning off water until pressure is eased – point face away.

French press coffee is delicious, but grounds can be problematic.

laurabaconBe sure to put semi full coffee pot somewhere secure when driving or grounds and coffee will be problematic.

Bacon and salmon are delicious, but cook outside unless you want to smell them for 3-5 days. And you want your favorite jacket to smell for 3-5 days. And your bedding.

Microwavable soup cans will blow up in the microwave.

The carbon monoxide detector will beep incessantly at an incredibly loud and high pitch when the battery is low. The wrench needed is metric. This will happen at 3 a.m.

Do not depress the alarm set/unset button twice.  The van beeps. This is not conducive to good neighbor relations at 10 p.m., 6 a.m. or any quiet time in the campground.

Sketchy neighborhood?  When in doubt, unplug/ get out.  Refrigerator?  When in doubt, throw it out.    Sketchy road conditions?  When in doubt, alternate route.   Bears?   When in doubt, wave and shout.

When the “before departing” checklist isn’t used, many consecutive stops will be made at consecutive corners or consecutive exits to: shut the roof fan vent, lower the antenna, turn off the propane, unhook the electrical cord dragging behind the vehicle, close the windows, flush and close the toilet lid, take the coffee cup off the counter (or wipe it off the floor).

When cooking without the exhaust fan, the smoke detector will emit an incredibly loud, long and highly pitched sound. This will happen during quiet time in the campground.  It will annoy your neighbors, scare you and make you drop whatever sharp object you may be holding or cause you to splatter gooey diced tomatoes upon your favorite jacket that smelled like bacon and now smells like a good Bolognese sauce.

No matter how often or where I try using just the antenna for television, I always get only the Sesame Street channel.

Close roof vent and awning before torrential downpours.

Cabinets are lower and harder than my head.

Oh, and lastly, bring books on tape for that tedious eastern Colorado drive.


Mike Wendland

Published on 2013-07-10

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

23 Responses to “Laura: Lessons learned while RVing”

August 05, 2013at4:58 pm, Cayce OKelley said:

Hi again… Just thought of one more reminder for anyone…. Be sure the sewer hose is Securely Fastened before emptying the black water tank !!!! Ugh!!! Love again…

August 05, 2013at4:45 pm, Cayce OKelley said:

Hi Laura: I finally found this wesite and I love reading your posts. Brings back lots of memories for me and I must say I envy you. Enjoy your travels!! Love ya!!!

August 01, 2013at1:32 am, Jan said:

Your articles are great. Funny and common sense. Keep them coming.

July 28, 2013at4:21 pm, Bill Sprague said:

The sound of bugs the morning after a rainy night in Minnesota, is very much like the hum of an idling diesel locomotive. In Minnesota, awnings can be furled quickly enough to roll up 18,432.5 flattened mosquitoes. Just sayin’.

July 28, 2013at12:22 pm, Sarah said:

Gave me a good chuckle. Thanks for the explanation for turning off propane (reply to a comment). Love your style.

July 11, 2013at10:45 am, diana said:

Love your light hearted view of the lessons we all learn sooner (or later!). Not sure how long you have had your rig, but you are clearly enjoying it. Hope we meet down the road!

July 11, 2013at8:22 am, Laura Hutkins said:

Thanks for the chuckle this morning! But now i am concerned about your comment about shutting off the propane. (main I assume). We don’t do this; is it necessary?

July 11, 2013at10:02 am, Ted Ladd said:

Its a good idea to shut off the propane while driving just in case you get hit or an accident where you rig is broad sided or a rear tire blows and rips a hole right at the propane line run. Ya just never know . . . . .

July 11, 2013at4:58 am, MCDONALD said:

Like Michigan fans without the Walmart gear?

July 11, 2013at12:08 am, Cheryl said:

Ha ha ha, I think I have done all of above! Where did you get the no spill dog dish…. I seem to repeat that one over and over!

July 10, 2013at11:26 pm, Donna said:

Laura, you are so funny! This post made my day! Everything you said here is so true, and you sure made me laugh! I had a tuna sandwich for lunch one day in my RT. Won’t do that again ! ! Safe travels!

July 10, 2013at10:50 pm, Dorothy White said:

Very humorous but true. Loved your blog. Lightens ones spirit. Thank you.

July 10, 2013at10:38 pm, Dana dykman said:

I’ve been enjoying your articles! It was great getting to meet you and Ruka in Grand Junction- hope our paths cross again down the road.

July 10, 2013at7:45 pm, Chris Smart said:

Love your updates…keep them coming. I always want to be on the road and get to do it through your stories!

July 10, 2013at6:50 pm, Chris said:

Eastern Colorado. parts of Illinois – the flattest state in the country – some places just call for distractions… Sounds like you’ve been having a great time.

July 10, 2013at2:16 pm, Tom Hopkins said:

Very funny and oh how true! As the saying goes “been there done that” way too funny.

July 10, 2013at2:09 pm, Sandy said:

Laura you made my morning-I’ll be chuckling all day -great post 🙂

July 10, 2013at2:00 pm, Stu said:

Great stuff, my suggestion, don’t pop popcorn in the microwave unless you love the smell for days and days in your unit.

July 10, 2013at5:31 pm, Laura Robinson said:

Stu, that is true at home, too! Ellie, I just use a good, old fashioned rubber band.

July 10, 2013at1:49 pm, Ellie said:

Love all your comments.

I took a clean 2 liter bottle, cut it lengthwise and have it around the paper towels so they don’t unroll. Not my idea. Got that tip from a RT rally. Works great. Happy travel wishes.

July 10, 2013at1:40 pm, Lisa said:

Whew! Good thing I wasn’t drinking coffee while I was reading this. I might have laughed while thus occupied and the results might have been problematic as well!

July 10, 2013at1:33 pm, Campskunk said:

lol! you are right about the paper towels. i wind them back up and the lumpy roll reminds me not to forget it again, for a few days at least. and you got the smells thing right – don’t cook anything you don’t want to be reminded of while you’re making your morning coffee for the next three days. there’s a permanent ban on black-eyed peas in our RT – these northerners don’t appreciate good cooking, for some reason.

July 10, 2013at1:30 pm, Laura HughesPostema said:

Great reminders. Continued safe travels.

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