Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
So this pandemic, Covid-19, Coronavirus thing…drove us to purchase an RV… that totally didn’t work out.
June 2020. We have a kindergartner/six year old. No school. No camps. And a long summer stretching out before us.
The future….It doesn’t look pretty.
So we start researching about buying a used RV. We figure, what the heck? We are nomadic souls. We love adventure and travel. Our kid travels well.
Our elderly retriever – not so well.
My job will let me work remote – why not adventure forth and show the kid some cool stuff while he can’t play with other kids?
We got a Netgear Nighthawk hotspot and a Netgear antenna thingy on the advice of real RV people and not us goofballs.
So with about a week’s worth of discussion…we decided to go forth and find an RV. And we did!
We located a reputable used RV place. Really they are. More on that in next post. We we didn’t want to buy new (depreciation). And we want to be on the road by July. And its early June. My mom’s birthday is in mid-July and we want to visit all the Wisconsin relatives at the height of mosquito season. Not really, but there is only construction, mosquitoes, and sub-Arctic weather in Wisconsin – so there you go.
We did research. TONS of research. We had rented from Cruise America last year. We knew what we liked and what we didn’t. And we found a gorgeous RV. Gorgeous. In a week. With all the right dimensions….
Length we wanted – 24ish feet.
Fuel-Diesel (better power/lasts longer/quieter).
A Serenity from Leisure Vans. Mfg. Year 2014.
We loved it. Oh, how we loved it…for a brief three hour moment in time.
We bought it. Packed a week’s worth of food, the kid, and the dog. Got on the road. And then three hours down the road …we had three idiot lights go on.
Thankfully, there was a truck stop about 1/4 mile ahead so I risked driving it into the truck stop. Now, we are planners. And as an attorney, I always hate it when people don’t take my advice. So I try not to get caught with my shorts down. I read and take advice. We had bought fuses. And repair tools. We had everything under the sun. We bought stuff we have no idea how to use – well I don’t. My husband might. Anyways.
And we had Good Sam. (Also an extended warranty- more on that later). We just didn’t expect to need to use all of them the day after we’d bought the damn RV.
‘Cause nothing ever goes as planned.
Good Sam sent a “classic” crusty mechanic out to the truck stop where we were (it took 3 hrs for him to get there. Highly reasonable). He then ran his million dollar diagnostic machine and told us it was safe to drive it back home – but that we really needed to drive the damn thing back to the city. And by now it was getting late. And we had a six year old and an elderly golden retriever. And after he left the battery in the RV house side died. And now we have no power and no air conditioning. And it’s late June.
So we spent our first night as RV owners in a truck stop. Without air conditioning or power. And so the queen bed wouldn’t fold out.
It could have been worse…and it could have been much, much, much better. And so the next morning, we bought the worst truck stop coffee in existence and headed back.
And then things took another turn for the worse. How you ask? I’m glad you did. Because on the way I read the owner’s manual. Who does that. Well, me. ‘Cause I already feel like an idiot having bought a potential lemon. Wherein, having read the manual re child safety it clearly states “Placing a child or child restraint system in a rear-facing or side- facing seat is not safe under any circumstances.”
There are only side-facing seats in the RV house/cabin thing. My six-year old is in one of them. And he is neither safe nor legal – and the dealership sold it to me knowing my kid was going to be in the back. He was present for our three visits to dealer. We talked about where he would sleep, etc.
So. We have a broken RV. It’s not legal for the kid to ride in it (we are on the road) – and we aren’t making it to Wisconsin by mid-July for my mom’s birthday.
Stay tuned for what happens to your crusty adventurers in our next episode: Return of the RV.