RETURNING TO THE ROAD – PART 1
By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
We remember when, six years ago, we bought our first 22-foot travel trailer and prepared for full-time life on the road. We were parked at our son’s desert hide-away, learning everything we didn’t know about living in an RV. Joe and Vicki Kieva’s books and columns on RVing were too advanced for us. (The 22-footer, as cute as it was, lasted a year before we decided the RV life was for us, but the time had come for a more durable vehicle.)
I fondly recall mentioning to the satellite dish installer working on top of the trailer in the desert heat that we didn’t know where to connect the hose to fill the freshwater tank. He showed us what we should have learned in the 45-minute walk-through when we purchased the trailer.
We’ve progressed far from those neo-natal days of excitement and dread. We have parked 403 times in different places overnight in 36 states and 3 provinces so far. We’ve been to what I consider every conceivable kind of camping spot, from a cousin’s driveway to Yellowstone, from Alaska to “I’m too tired to go any further.”
Bear with me for a moment more to find out where your experience and expertise comes in.
After five years of continuous RV travel, we have been almost stationary for the past year while we turned a tiny mountain cabin into a livable abode, as we look farther down the road to when factors beyond our control suggest that we become part-timers.
September is just around the corner, and we are ready to hitch up and move on out for 10 or more months. We will leave our perch in the West to return to New Orleans (we were in that
area for two wonderful months last spring), and then on to Key West (we were there for three months at the end of 2009 to 2010).
From there our plans call for climbing the East Coast to Maine and meeting up with a Fantasy Tours caravan into the Canadian Maritimes. More on all that in the months ahead.
With the help of a son, our 28-foot Bigfoot is getting glamorized – that is, waxed and buffed. We’ve already drained the freshwater tank, treated it with chlorine bleach, flushed out the water heater, refilled and added baking soda, and we’ll soon drain again and add more fresh water.
In the next few weeks, I’ll write about all the things we are doing to get ready to go back on the road. I mention this thinking about all the snowbirds, who are wondering the same things at this time of year. “Are we ready?”
Considering the exterior, these are the items on our to-do list: wax (almost done); de-oxidize and treat the rubber gaskets around the slide; inspect and recaulk roof where last year’s caulking is suspect; check out all the lights; clean the awning; grease and inspect underneath; apply white lithium grease to the slide mechanism; check the tires and suspension; and …
… This is where you come in. I’d like you to add in the Comments Section below your suggestions on other exterior chores to do, or better ways to do any of them.
I mentioned the freshwater system. Readers of this blog welcome your comments on that, too.
In the days ahead, we’ll write about preparations with batteries and electrical systems, interior, the truck (in our case) or the motorhome engine; tires; generators and compressors; trip planning including GPS choices; and anything else you and I can think of.
The snows are a-comin’; the adventures are just ahead. Join me as we get ready.
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved