On Being an RV Newbie

Our home on wheels

Positive reinforcement. Give someone a reward in response to doing something and they will do it again. They will salivate just thinking about it. (Pavlov’s dogs come to mind.)  That’s how we feel about taking off in our motorhome. Seven years later and we still get excited when we pack up and hit the road. All this positive reinforcement has been a  good thing for us, because if we just went with the results of our first trip we would have come home, sold the RV and looked for alternative ways to satisfy our travel bug.

There are as many ways to approach getting into road travel as there are ways to do it. From pop up camper or self-contained van to million dollar luxury buses. The choices seem endless. Do you want to pull it or drive it?  Do you want your own bathroom or will you be happy using campground facilities? New or used? We spent the years leading up to our retirement looking at and answering these types of questions. We did research. We read books, went to RV shows, we subscribed to Motorhome Magazine, we talked to experts. We were prepared. So we thought.

We made a decision that was right for us. Not too big, not too small. We went for a brand new 33 foot Winnebago motorhome.  Why buy someone else’s problems? At the time lived outside Charleston, SC and for our first trip we set our sights on the Florida Keys.  Visions of sunsets and margaritas danced in our heads. We picked up our new home-on-wheels ready to hit the road. (First we went from the dealer to a nearby empty parking lot to practice turning and parking the thing. Always a good idea before you go out in traffic with other people.) We drove it home, packed it up and awoke like two kids on Christmas morning raring to go. Just one problem, the RV wouldn’t start.

I won’t to through all the trials and tribulations of this maiden voyage. Suffice it to say it entailed being towed three times, spending a week in a motel in Homestead, Florida having the whole electrical system pulled apart and put back together and losing, then regaining our reservation in Fiesta Key.  This was not exactly turning into the trip of our dreams.

When, at last, we arrived in the Florida Keys we camped on the waterfront sipping that margarita as the sun set in the west. We woke to the sound of gulls squawking and the scent of fresh salt air. We fished off the docks and walked along the shore. This is what we had been looking for. Seven years later we are still going strong. We have been from the Florida Keys to the mountains of Montana, from Newfoundland to Baja, Mexico. We may have had a rough start, our trips since have not been with out incident, but we have learned to deal with the bumps in the road, because, well, we like the road.

I have no photographs of that first trip. Our camera was stolen at some point, probably during one of the times it was being towed in Miami. Like I said, it was a trip from hell. On the positive side, we never had an electrical problem again.

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About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads

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