We’re Cracking Up

Our car is groaning and our trailer is cracking up, to say nothing of its occupants.

What has so far been a U.S. grand tour must now become a serious pursuit for a home base. Apart from getting on each others’ nerves in our mini home with no friends nearby to inflict our gripes on, things are conspiring against us – terrorism, government, airline policies, finances and weather.

Starting with the least inflammatory subject of weather, alternating humid heat and hard freezes are more than difficult to tolerate in our small living space. Both happened within the space of two weeks which came as a bit of a surprise in a winter snow bird paradise.

Everywhere we go we are of course the new kids in town and moving every three to seven days we don’t know what to expect of the weather. In a bid to find out we tune in the TV which is a game in itself. Jimmy winds the aerial up with a handle on the ceiling and tries to aim it vaguely in the same direction as others on the campsite. After a lengthy tuning process Jimmy announces glumly, “We’ve only got two channels.”

“Well that’s something. What are they?”

“One’s in Spanish and the other one is commercials.”

Himself, the holder of the remote, insists on muting the sound of commercials so I lose interest. Nothing is more mind numbing than commercials without sound, except commercials with sound, but at least you know when the program comes back on. The next time I look up it’s still commercials. “Do you know what channel it is yet?”

“Umm . . . .” He had his head in the newspaper. “We can do better than this. The picture’s not very good anyway. Turn the aerial just a little that way.” I’m sure he knows what he means when he points from a distance of six feet to a three inch handle but I don’t. “No! The other way.”

The tuning process begins again and sometimes we manage to catch some local news – the car that stalled and held up traffic in town for two hours at rush hour, little Sammy’s lost cooter, iguanas dropping out of trees like overripe fruit due to the cold weather.

Just as we start to prepare for the night with blankets and setting the furnace just high enough to keep hypothermia at bay, we realize we’ve been watching the news in a town in the next state.

By the time we locate our nearest town on the weather map Wendell Weatherman has moved on to the weekend forecast. I lay down in bed with a quilt and two blankets to hand if I get cold. There is a little fan heater I can snick on quietly in the night to keep the temperature even between blasts from the furnace.

Hot weather is more difficult to manage. Our small fan is ineffectual in humid heat and to put on the air conditioner in the middle of the night involves putting on a light, finding my glasses and the remote control, and causing a great whumph! as the fan and cooling unit kick in. Which of course is why himself hides the remote under his pillow.

The rant continues on Friday.

Kitchen, dining room, sitting room, bedroom, TV room, yoga studio all in one. How claustrophobic is that?
Kitchen, dining room, sitting room, bedroom, TV room, yoga studio all in one. How claustrophobic is that?

62 thoughts on “We’re Cracking Up

  1. I just found you and while snooping around did not find a clear explanation of your travel protocol. So, I have to ask…

    You comment on moving every three to seven days intrigues me.

    I have said in my own blog many times that there’s no right way to RV (or to live for that matter). And I can’t tell if your 3-7 day comment was made matter of factly or with an air of being miffed, or just where you were coming from. So, my question is not about criticism, it’s about psychology.

    After summering in WI we decided to take a volunteer gig in OR, so we took 6 weeks to travel the circuitous 3000 miles — about 70 miles a day if we had driven every day but did not — and now we’ve been here for 4 months on our way to — who knows — perhaps 6 months or perhaps 6 years. How an RV’er travels is strictly up to them, what they are looking for along the way, and whether their goal is the destination or the journey.

    So, with that introduction… why DO you move every three to seven days?

    I would find that grueling. I love travel but the reason we bought our RV was so that we didn’t have to sleep in hotel/motels where we never get a good night’s sleep. And we too left our long time home in search of a possible longterm place to plop.

    Please, share the back story behind the rhythm to your travel.

    Cheers,
    Peter
    A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
    Life Unscripted

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    1. Thanks for your interest Peter. You’ll find the answer to your question partly on my “about” page.

      The constant moving on was the result of twice yearly visits back to the UK to visit family and friends. With a brother in WA and another in TN we included them in our circuits of the US and left our travel trailer in their yards while away. Flights needed to be booked about two months in advance and a decision taken as to which airport to fly from. Once the flight was booked we were committed to keep moving.

      In hindsight, it wasn’t the best way to travel and yes, it was grueling, but we achieved our purpose of visiting most of the states and ticking off all the sights we wanted to see. Now as I read more blogs, I see we’ve missed more than we’ve seen!

      We’re stationary at the moment, figuring out our next move – stay here or go back to Europe – and I’m catching up with some old tales of the road as well as some present travels (explained on sidebar), hence the erratic nature of posts.

      Himself is looking at caravans (travel trailers) in England and trying to decide if it would be practical to take our Chevy Silverado back to the congested roads of Europe. And I think followers are probably getting fed up with my “shall we stay or shall we go” theme.

      So that’s where we are at present. Which Way Now? has not yet been resolved.

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      1. Thanks for the catchup. I’m a lover of never resolving the which way now question. We have said of ourselves that we’re looking for some place to call home but I won’t be sorry if we don’t find one. I love slow travel because it gives us a chance to better experience what living in a place might be like. All our lives we have traveled TO places that we thought we liked but never spending enough of the year to know whether we really liked the weather or social climates.

        I can see why the regular returns to the UK would affect your routing.

        As for followers getting tired of shall we this or that — if you are at all like me, I began blogging because I wanted a way to process the process, and to keep family and friends informed about where we are. As a result, I write mostly for myself and if followers wanna tag along I’m fine with that but I’m still writing for MYSELF!

        Good luck on transporting the Silverado. Not just the size, but the mileage would dissuade me. But then I can be cheap. 🙂

        Whether you’ve missed more than you’ve seen would n’t bother me as much as whether you’ve seen what you wanted to see. There is so much to see here and no one in their right mind is interested in everything. We have limited our travel to about 150 miles on a travel day and even that is often too much for us. By the time we get going in the morning and dawdle at this place or that place we often arrive at our destination later than we’d like. Normally when we get someplace we hang out there for 2 weeks or longer. So our whirlwind 6 wk trip from Midwest to West Coast was way faster than we want to travel. But how long can you ask an organization to hold a volunteer job? I thought we were pushing it when we Accepted in August for a mid October start knowing that they had no one to fill the job in between.

        Actually — I get a headache thinking about timing all your trips and locations. Our daughter flies out to meet us from time to time and coordinating where we think we might be 2 months from now can be … real tough. 🙂

        Thanks for the answer, pleasant travels and no worries on the which way now question. You’ll get it twigged and then there won’t be any stopping you.

        P

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        1. I hope you’re right Peter, about getting it twigged. We’ve been rootless for too many years now. Even when we go back to the UK we have to rent somewhere to stay and self cater after a long haul flight. It was exciting when we first came out here but now it’s getting old, as they say. I just want a real home base.

          I checked out your RV and it is larger and more luxurious than the trailer we have. We hadn’t intended to full time in it and it just sort of happened – something to do with the weather in Washington state.

          Once we left WA we’ve been in endless summer, north and south, and along with our big shiny truck, we are reluctant to give it up. The long haul flights, inconvenience and expense are taking their toll but we’ll miss being here if we leave!

          So . . . I think we’re spoiled. And indecisive.

          Thanks for your concern! 🙂

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          1. I can sympathize with the rootless feeling. We were in real estate limbo for 18 months and I could not tolerate the entire stuck in time feeling. I’ve always been one who moved forward or backward but never stayed in one place and being stuck in a holding pattern was intolerable.

            When we looked at RV’s we did not want to run around in a pickup all the time. We also wanted as short a unit as we could store our things in because it was our intent to do as many state and federal parks as possible. Many state parks max out at 34′, many federal facilities max out at 34′ — so we wanted to stay under that.

            I wish you well in making your decisions. It’s obvious that what you choose has to fit YOU. And there are always people willing to tell you what to do. But we all have our own ‘way’ about us and finding something that fits our ‘way’ can be pretty darned tough.

            Cheers,
            Peter
            A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
            Life Unscripted

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              1. LOL — one of the things I love most about RV’ing (because I have always had problems sleeping in strange beds) is that I never have to worry about where I’m sleeping — it’s in my OWN BED! Wherever that might be.

                Safe Travels My Friend.

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    1. Thanks buttercup! And the iguanas falling out of the trees come under the ‘mostly true’ portion of the story. The Telegraph reported that they hibernate when cold, lose their grip and fall like ‘kamikazes.’ I don’t know what a UK newspaper would know about it. Maybe they made it up on a slow news day.

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  2. For about $20 you can get a Midland brand battery powered NOAA weather alert handheld radio on Amazon.com. We do not have TV in our RV at all, partially for some of the reasons you note. The little radio can be left on in alert mode if you’re worried about big weather, or left off until you want to simply check what’s going on where you are. When you turn it on it automatically scans for the closest NOAA broadcast so you’re always getting “local” info. We have been very happy with this and it has saved our backsides a couple of times during the last year. Good luck and stay warm – and out of custody!

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  3. There are definitely advantages to living alone! I think a lot about yoga, and have done some recently, but not in the RV, you’ve inspired me to get off my butt and stop making excuses about having to drive somewhere to practice. Good job.

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  4. I picked out Corpus Christi on the weather map on TV and your weather looked reasonable, if not wonderful, compared to the rest of the country. It’s cool her but nice. I expect the native Arizonians are shivering but we think it’s beautiful. You’re welcome back any time! 🙂

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  5. Oh yes this was just what I needed to read today… I need a smile and a good laugh and you gave me both… I’ve just told Cindy I’ve opened the spare bedrooms and switched on the aircons to bring the 35 C (95 F) temps down to 18/19 (64/66 F) to make sleeping on top of the bed comfortable… we have lovely warm/hot days with cooling rain in the evening that makes for wonderful skinny dipping… so when ever you’re ready their is a bedroom for you and hubby.. we have 103 channels (non in Spanish) couple in Zulu, but we give them a miss… and you can stay for as long as you like or until we get sick of each other… doors open… you might just learn to love that Brit of yours again…

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    1. It’s not that we don’t love each other. It’s just that sometimes we can’t stand each other! Surely any married person can relate to that! Hahaha. That is a fantastically generous offer you have made to two grumpy people you’ve never met! Thanks so much!

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  6. You are definitely a super woman in my eyes. I’m really confident that I would not be able to do what you are doing. Sooner or later, either my husband or I would end up in custody 🙂

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  7. We had been suspending our Direct TV every six months and use the air antenna only to get Spanish Channels 🙂 I think i will attempt to learn the language so i can watch their shows.
    A dedicated Yoga person can do their stuff anywhere, big or small and you have just proven it.

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  8. I can soooo relate to this post. Hubby and I get excited when we think we have 6 channels and then realize all but two are in Spanish. Has us wondering what country we’re in. It’s cold in south Texas….hope you’re staying toasty warm in Phx.

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    1. Hi I! Thought I’d have a look in spam today and found two unintelligible comments and this one of yours! WTH? (That’s heck.) I thought I had replied to it. Maybe not. Can’t think how it got there. Rock on WordPress! 🙄

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  9. You have my complete sympathy. For two years,my husband and then my baby and i lived in a G.I. trailer with no running water, no air conditioning, and a tiny little heater in the front of the trailer that was not very effective in -10 below zero in South Dakota. Fortunately, I didn’t have claustrophobia in those days, but I used to yearn to be able to walk into another room that did not serve as a bedroom, kitchen, and living room, tiny as they were. No bathroom; we had to use communal ones outside, and that was a trip to remember in freezing weather! I hope you find a solution soon.

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    1. Saw it on the TV. Hope you are staying indoors with the heating turned up. I can’t imagine being in temperatures that cold. The coldest we endured in our trailer (well outside the trailer, slightly warmer inside) was 5 F. That was bad enough.

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  10. I’ve gotta hand it to you – you are a superwoman for attempting yoga in that space. Proper kudos to you! I am super claustrophobic so I would likely be a widow inside of a month. Possibly a week.

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      1. Where are you headed to next? I’m flying to Vegas on the next week and staying through end of February. If you find yourself in my part of the desert, please let me know. I’d love to meet for lunch!

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