Posts Tagged ‘copeland’

The RV Life: Our first move

December 5, 2014

The true story…

… of one thirty-something couple (and their pets)…

… choosing to live in an RV…

…travel the country together and have their lives blogged about…

…to find out what happens when people stop being polite…

… and start living in an RV.

We only had our rig for about two weeks before we had to face our first move. Usually, moving between cities on the tour that I’m on means a couple hours of packing all my crap into luggage and/or large tupperware bins and cramming it all into my Prius, Tetris-style.

Now, packing means going to my last show of the week while my amazing boyfriend readies our housecar for the road. This (apparently) includes, but is not limited to:

1. Flushing out the system in the rig, and then unplugging the electricity, water, and black water from the hookups on the camp site.

2. Pulling in both of our slide-outs into the rig.

3. Securing all loose items that we take out to live our daily lives. (I.E. the sponge and dish soap from the kitchen sink, the toothbrushes and toothpaste from beside the bathroom sink, all of the shampoo bottles from the shower, books by the bedside, picture frames on tables… all these things to into drawers or cabinets.)

4. Zip-tieing cabinet and drawer doors closed. Most stay pretty securely closed as we move due to the catch that is built in during construction, but a few are loose. To mitigate the amount of dish ware potentially flying around during transit, we tie most of the doors closed.

5. Bringing in our bikes. (This makes it super crowded, but until we figure a way to secure them to the back of the car we are towing, it’s the way it’s gotta be.)

6. Gassing up, so that when I came back from work, we were ready to go!

All of this took around 45 minutes, he says, and was easy as pie. I came home to a packed up housecar, two only slightly anxious pets (Mikko digs at the slide-ins as they move and Copeland enjoyed finding a new hiding place on top of the slide-ins once they were inside.) and a very proud boyfriend. (And rightfully so! He does so much and makes my life- especially on moving day, exponentially easier)

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Copeland in his new hiding place- on top of our bedroom slide out.

We first drove to Cincinnati from Columbus to pick up my friend’s tow dolly that he was giving to us. He had used it 10 years ago and had no need for it so he said if we could pick it up it was ours. We made it into town as the sun was setting and his brother set us up with the trailer and we rolled on down the road, towing our Prius behind our housecar, happy as can be….

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Our route

… for about eight hours.

Then, as I napped in the ‘living room,’ Phillip glanced in the rear-facing backup camera that runs while we drive and said “Um… somethings’ wrong…. there’s sparks coming from the car.”

We pulled over to find this:

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A blown tire and twisted, hot metal. The trailer was done for, and for the moment, so were we.

We cut our tire straps to roll the car off the trailer (in theory) and forgot all about the safety chains attached underneath the car to the trailer. (D’oh!) The weight of the car was keeping these chains too taught, and after an hour of trying to jack the car up, push it, pull it, and otherwise beg it to move up to release the chains, we were still on the side of the road.

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The struggle was real.

I called AAA and was told that the problem we were experiencing was not covered in our roadside package. (“But my car is literally immobile! This is the definition of a roadside emergency!” I wailed, to no avail.) We agreed to pay the full amount for a tow truck to come out to us and went into our house to take a nap while we waited, as it was fast approaching dawn.

This was one of the nicer parts of our dilemma- we had our HOME to wait in, on the side of the road. I made a snack and sat at the dinner table for a bit, reading a book like nothing was going on. Suddenly, Phillip sat straight up in bed. “I know what to do.” he proclaimed, walking back outside.

As he was drifting off to a frustrated sleep, he explained later, he thought about how this tow truck would show up and point out something so obvious and easy that it would leave him infuriated for such a simple oversight.

What he had realized, in his half sleep, was we had undone the car in the wrong order. We should have undone the safety chains first, then the tire straps. So all we had to do was put the tire straps back on, crank them tight once more, and the chains should slip right off.

And sure enough, they did.

((My hero.))

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Ta daaaa!

I took the helm of the Prius and Phillip drove our house to a rest stop, where we parked for the night and slept off our slight trauma. The next morning, we drove both cars, caravan style to Milwaukee without incident.

But we still need a new tow dolly.


The RV Life: The Waiting Game

October 22, 2014

The true story…

… of one thirty-something couple (and their pets)…

… choosing to live in an RV…

…travel the country together and have their lives blogged about…

…to find out what happens when people stop being polite…

… and start living in an RV.

With two weeks of repairs facing us before we could live in our new (used) rig, we had a few options.

Option 1: Pass on this rig and find another one in another state. We didn’t like this option because, well… we liked this rig. And it was taken immaculate care of, and the price was right. So we passed on passing.

Option 2: Pay the asking price of $32,600 to the dealer, then take it up the street for another $2,000 worth of repairs, but have it done in three days time. This also wouldn’t be guaranteed, and put us outside of our budget, so we passed on passing the rig on to another mechanic.

Option 3: Figure out a way for Phillip to come back to New Hampshire and pick up the rig when it was done and drive it to me. In the meantime, I would have to get a hotel room in Columbus for me and the furry babies while we waited for the house car to be ready. This seemed like the most logical option, so we planned for Phillip to drive us to Columbus, fly to Orlando to visit friends and family for the week, and then fly back to New Hampshire to pick up the rig and drive it 12 hours to us.

We signed papers, shook hands, sealed the deal, and then drove halfway across the country to wait for the repairs to be finished.

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Signing myself into a new house car! (And into a little bit of debt…)

The drive was smooth, easy, and beautiful, decorated in red and orange hues of fall leaves. Our kids travel extremely well, mostly sleeping (Mikko) or acting as a bobble-head on the dash (Copeland) for the entire ride.

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Mikko loves to squish in between us to sleep, and Copeland keeps a watchful eye to make sure the driver stays alert during these long hauls.

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The route that Phillip will be driving twice…

I settled into my glamorous accommodations at the Extended Stay America in Columbus, Ohio and proceeded to live through what felt like the longest week of my entire life. Waiting to start a new chapter of living in a house car full time, combined with the lack of my best friend/personal chef/boyfriend made time pass like cold molasses. I swear, it has felt like six months since I signed those papers and started counting down the days.

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We’re all bored here without Phillip…

The day before I expected my RV rig to roll in, I got a call from the dealer saying that the leak in the windshield turned out to be more serious than expected, in that the glass itself is separating from the cab, and the repairs were going to take longer than expected.

I’m sorry, what?!?!?!??!!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I absolutely lost it. I was sending my boyfriend on an airplane to New Hampshire in less than 24 hours with no backup plan as to where he would stay if the rig wasn’t ready. I was going to be checking out of my hotel in 48 hours in anticipation of having a housecar to move into. I was wishing I had chosen to take the rig to Kenny, who had originally promised it ready to go in three days… but I found that particular wish to be just a waste of energy, so I went back to bargaining with the dealership to at least put Phillip up in a nice hotel for the night. They did, and also promised to have the rig ready by Wednesday. Apparently the service person in charge of our repairs had called out sick for two days last week… “You know how it goes,” the sales manager reassured me.

No, sir. I’m sure I don’t….

So now, it’s Tuesday night, on the eve of my life chaining in a very drastic way. My nomadic ways are going to continue, but the monthly rituals of scouring the internet for housing, repacking up my life, loading up my car, unloading my car in a new city, moving into a new house, and unpacking all over again are officially over. I don’t think it’s really fully hit me yet. Everyone asks if I’m excited and to be honest, I can’t say that I am quite yet. I think I’m not letting myself get too worked up since this week is already dragging by at the pace of a sleepy snail. But if my activity on Pintrist is any indication, I’m very, very excited for this next chapter to get started.

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I’m a bonafide RV-renovation-pinning fool.

Let’s just hope the repairs actually get done tomorrow and no one gets the sniffles between here and there…

The RV World- Week Two

September 4, 2014

The true story…

… of one thirty-something couple (and their pets)…

… choosing to live in an RV…

…travel the country together and have their lives blogged about…

…to find out what happens when people stop being polite…

… and start living in an RV.


The RV World – Day 8


Our pets seem to be adapting to life in a box well.


Well…. as well as a 70 lbs pit bull and slightly-insane bengal cat can.


Meaning that our cat has explored every last cabinet, nook, cranny, and air vent on the rig in the hopes of finding an escape route. (The cat is a regular Houdini, I swear.)


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“Yes. This will do nicely for my evil lair…”

He’s only escaped a few times, though, and after his third breakout attempt, I clipped his harness and leash on him and took him around the campground. I quickly learned that he really isn’t interested in escaping as much as eating grass.

So, turns out, instead of a tiny wildcat, he’s just a furry cow.

Mikko, on the other hand, is taking to RV life like a pro.

He’s just about two years old and we don’t usually trust him outside of his crate when we aren’t at home in our rental apartments around the country. But there just isn’t enough space in the RV’s walkway for his crate. So he’s thoroughly enjoying his newfound freedom when we leave the RV.

As far as we can tell, he busies himself with napping exclusively on our bed.

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“This is my bed. Sometimes my humans try to sleep here too…. but it’s really just mine.”

For the first week, the kids spent most of their time in the front cab of the car. We are in a 30′ Class C, which means it has a Ford van cab in the front.

When we first moved in, the kids explored the rig with their usual curiosity, but when they saw the drivers cab, they stationed themselves up there often, expecting to take off at any moment. After all, they spend a lot of the year driving around the country with me in my Prius, which has a dashboard and two seats, just like the Ford cab.

So when they recognized the layout, they took their usual positions of cat-on-dash-with-dog-in-seat and kept looking at us expectantly, waiting to drive this weird house/car to our next city.

When Phillip and I do drive away in our Prius to go to work or explore Montreal, they rush to the front cab to watch us go, and maybe to try to figure out how to move this huge car and follow us down the road.

The RV World – Day 11

Do you want to get to know somebody? Live with them.

Do you want to see someone’s true self in every situation? Live with them on tour.

Do you want to know if you can really stand a person in almost every way? Live with them in an RV.

When I embarked on this RV-experiment, I joked that if I could make it out of the RV in three weeks without punching everyone in my family at least once, I would consider living in an RV full time.

Two weeks in, and the status is….. good… ish.

Don’t get me wrong. My boyfriend is the most wonderful partner in the entire universe, and my pets are adorable and fun…. but we live in a tiny, tiny box. We are bound to get on each other’s nerves. Right?


See, I’ve been lucky enough to pick the most amazingly patient boyfriend in all the land, so mostly everything is great in couple-land. Sure, there’s been a few “CLOSE THE DOOR!” shouting incidents, trying to keep our cat inside that has hurt some feelings… and maybe there was an incident involving a door slamming on someone else’s finger accidentally … (I still feel bad about that) But really and truly, I have to give credit where credit is due- I never could live in a tiny box with anyone else besides my kind, loving, and extremely understanding boyfriend Phillip.

My pets, on the other hand….

Just kidding. They’re great. Yes, Mikko chases the cat like it’s his job. And yes, it kinda feels like a baby elephant is tap dancing on the roof when he does…. but seeing as Copeland spent most of Mikko’s first year on earth slapping him in the face with a paw and running away, hoping to get chased, I can understand where the pup gets the bad habit.

And yes, Copeland is plotting his great escape every time we open a door, but for the most part he stays inside or, if he manages to slip by, doesn’t run far before plopping down in some grass to graze and rolling around on his back.

So for the most part, the relationships in my family are intact, and as of Day 11, no punches have been thrown. Not intentionally, at least….