We are coming up on a year since we bought the coach and we’re now 6 weeks into our new lifestyle. Overall, we’re pretty happy with it. We can work remotely with consistent Internet connection (spendier than your average home Internet package, but very flexible). We each have noise cancelling headphones for when it is noisy outside (say, being near a naval air station that does carrier landing practice all week) or when we talk loudly on our respective conference calls. We finally made it to warm and sunshine. We’re getting to see friends as we go. All is well in the universe.
Some of the fun should really have a “not” in front of it
Since we moved in and got our new permanent address, I decided to go in and get our address changed on the registration, hoping that in person we’d get a printed copy with our new address on it. Alas, they don’t print you a new one if you are only changing your address.
Rep at the licensing office: “Your tabs are due in a month, do you just want to go ahead and renew?”
Rep: “Ohhhhhhh, well, you are registered in Seattle and you’ll need to get emissions tested.”
Doh! I didn’t even THINK about needing emissions testing. Out of the thirty nine counties in Washington State, only five require emissions testing. No problem! We’ll stop and get our emissions on our way from the western side to the eastern. Well, guess what didn’t happen?
We didn’t pass emissions. Sigh. So, we continue on our journey to Kennewick, Washington. That county doesn’t have emissions requirements, so, no certified emissions testers in any diesel shops. Yay team Gant!
We’ll need to schedule something in our next destination, Spokane, which DOES require emissions and will have the qualified specialists we need. Fortunately, we only have to spend $150 for diagnostics and/or fixes to get a waiver. We’ll just have to see what happens when I have to take a day off, get Julie and the cats situated somewhere, drive for at least half an hour, then get diagnosed. Should be a fun day.
We have two (possibly three) bay doors that need some love. They don’t close properly. One, I discovered this week, suffers from heat expansion that cause the door to catch on a screw in the top of the bay’s door jam. News to me, but oh well, could be worse.
Otherwise, the rig handled the trip over pretty well. It is kind of slow going up mountain passes (go figure) and is a PITA in high winds (each side is 40′ x 13′, perfect for catching a lot of side wind). This makes for some challenging driving, but, you start to get a rhythm of “steer into the wind a bit, steer away, steer into, go under an overpass, steer away smoothly but quickly, then, into the wind again.” Learning is a part of the journey!
We experience our first desert wind storm yesterday. The wind was consistently 20-25 MPH with gusts up to 50 MPH. The wind kicked up quite a bit of dust. I now have some hand prints that have been dusted on a few parts of the rig if any CSI peeps want to investigate. The biggest issue with high wind and an RV is your awnings and slide toppers. Both are simple canvas and in the wind, they act a lot like wings, catching the air and buffeting the coach. We pulled in our windward side slides overnight and were glad we did. It made it much quieter and stable.
There is still a lot of fun though
We had a great visit with friends in Ellensburg, and here in Kennewick. Spokane will be more friends. This is one of the main goals we have in our travels, meeting up with friends we don’t see often. It is good to reconnect and spend more quality time with friends. We are spending two to three weeks in most locations (though some are only a night to a week) and this really expands the possibilities for hanging out with people we miss seeing.
We stayed at a great KOA in Ellensburg. Nice campground, well laid out, quiet and along the river. A very nice surprise. It was a bit windy (as anyone who knows Ellensburg knows), and looking at a few folks in popup campers and tents, I was very glad to be in a hard sided RV.
We are now in a great RV park in Kennewick. It has nice and level parking areas, wide grassy strips between each spot, excellent power hookups and an over abundance of water pressure (most RV’s are designed for 40-50 PSI, the park has 80 PSI). The water pressure is great because we now can take really good showers and wash as we need to without worrying about pressure (thanks to a pressure regulator). Our last stays had very low flow water in the parks, the only real downside.
The best part of Kennewick: it is warm and sunny with almost no rain! So, so, SO glad to be out of the rainy side of the state. The wind is dealable when it is dry. Not that wet crap we left on the other side of the state. It has been warm enough to need our air conditioners during the day and last night was the first night we didn’t have to run any heat. VERY nice.
Today, Julie’s brother came over and we and some friends of ours hit a brew festival. Julie was my DD, so I got to sample several lovely dark beers without worrying about having to drive. Can’t go wrong with a good stout (naysayers, WHAT EVER!) One of the things I look forward to as we travel further afield — new beer experiences, and cider, and spirits, and food. Finding decent radio stations…not as easy, that is what streaming was invented for.
Speaking of entertainment
One of the challenges of RV living is access to any consistent TV. Granted, this isn’t REALLY a big issue. We’ve listened to much more music and we stream a bit of video. Good to be listening to music much more. We have almost 5000 songs in digital form, so many many hours of listening enjoyment. Plus, we are using my Bose wave radio with a Bluetooth receiver attached to stream music to a better sound system (naysayers, again, shush!) So, our sound enjoyment is quite high right now.
Nerd alert! I just hooked up our HDHomeRun tonight. HDHR is a device that hooks up to an HD antenna to get over the air (what was called, in my youth, regular TV) HD signals. It then sends that video over your internal network to any of your devices (phone, computer, streaming stick or smart TV). We’re getting ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and CW right now, which is pretty good for free TV watching if we desire. It also has built in DVR functions, though no internal storage. I still need to work that part out (probably 4-8 TB of network attached storage, someday).
Ok, that is more likely a nerd thing for me. We’re listening to music right now. 🙂
I finally completed all of the boxy black and tan giraffe and zebra print valances replacement with curtains. Things look SO SO much better in here. Much more like a home. Julie is happy with the results and you know what they say, happy wife happy life!
I also managed to block access to the dash from our exploration cat, Callie. I used corrugated plastic (think yard signs) that I cut to fit under the driver’s area to cover the space she used to get into the dash. She has gone into the spaces and turned around and looked at me forlornly, wondering where the magic space went. Sorry baby girl, this is a “no access” area.
I did finally finish replacing the last few drawer pulls — tiny drawers in our “nightstands.” OMG…what a PITA! Each drawer is barely wider than the width of the drawer pulls and much to my consternation, had one screw at an “ever so slight” angle, making it quite challenging to get the new pulls on. The old ones were semi-hollow and bent easier. New ones, not so much. The new ones are fully cast and solid. Lovely to look at and very firm in your hand without edges digging in. Four drawers took four hours, a broken drill bit, a lot of swearing and some contorting of this fat man’s body in tiny spaces. The result is amazing, but the path was full of salty language and sweat. But, that project is completely done and we will not have to do it ever again.
In a nutshell, this is almost like every other move
We’ve all moved in and made a new space and place our own. An RV is no different. In our case, the real difference is our home has an engine in it and some unique mechanical systems. We just get to fix and update different things, but really, we all do that in every new house or apartment anyway. We just get to drive to new places every few weeks and experience different local fun.
For some, this sounds like hell. For us and others, like heaven. Neither road is without potholes or washouts. But humans are really good at one thing, adapting.
May we meet you on the road as part of our journey!