On Wednesday, Susan, the kids, and I rented an RV and headed west.
Specifically, this RV:
Neither of us have ever driven or even ridden in an RV, so this is my first impression: after watching a couple of YouTube videos (“your model may vary”), we picked up our RV (our model most definitely did vary). In about 5 minutes we learned about the generator (it runs pretty much any time you’re not parked and plugged into A/C), there are water tanks (black and grey), a water pump, two slide outs (“slide ’em out far, not too far, but far enough, just right”) and a slew of other things.
The generator has been the biggest learning curve. If you want power to the “box” (the back of the RV), you either need to be plugged into an A/C outlet at a park, or the generator needs to be running. Even when you’re driving, the generator runs, and uses approximately one gallon of gas per hour. It also uses oil, so you have to check the oil every 8 hours. Also, because it’s the summer and it’s hot, the generator can overheat. When that happens, all you can do is wait. While you wait, nobody in the back of the RV has power. Or air conditioning. Also, the generator can run the air conditioner, or “everything else,” meaning if you’re sliding out the slides, making coffee, running the microwave, or anything else, if you don’t turn off the A/C, you’ll kick the breaker.
On day one we stopped in Amarillo after four hours of driving. Boy, were we glad to get away from people!
This morning I learned that campers like to talk to other campers. Next to us were Fred and Millie, a retired couple from Houston who had spent ten days at Lake Texoma. Millie saw me eating Spam and commented that her grandmother used to cut up Spam and put it in their macaroni and cheese. Fred had a good time fishing, but there sure were a lot of snakes out this time. By the way, I never asked Fred and Millie a single question — this is all information they offered up simply because I was outside at the same time they were.
Eventually most of the other campers left and we had the place to ourselves. It was nice.
This morning we drove from Amarillo, Texas to Santa Fe, New Mexico — another four hour drive. So far we’ve spent approximately $200 on gas. The RV, aerodynamic she is not.
We’re now set up for the next couple of days. Mason can’t get the Wii to work right with the TV in the RV and the remote is dead so Susan and the kids are off to the store to buy some batteries and whatever else we’ve forgot.