So I’m finally on the road! Have been living in Miles for 3 weeks, and on the road for one. I’m still working full time, so I haven’t figured out where blogging fits in my usual routine. I did find time over a couple of weekends to slap a video tour together, though!
This was my first time producing video in a long time, and I’m not sure whether I’ll prefer to do more video or text in the future. I don’t want to hear about my production quality or verbal fillers.
Since I started working towards full-time RVing in late 2015, I felt a little boxed in by my city life. Now I’m spending a few weeks with family in Fort Collins before I hit the road. This is my view every day. It doesn’t get old. 😊
First, the good news: I’m moving out of my apartment this week, and today I moved my first truckload of stuff into Miles! (I’m not moving into Miles full time yet, but am taking a pit stop with family for February because I didn’t want to start out during the coldest month of winter.)
But when I drove to the RV storage lot for the first time in about 40 days, I was greeted by an old nemesis at my door: the awning. Completely unfurled, and already torn and shredded in multiple places.
I’ve had nothing but trouble with my awning from the start. The very first time I saw Miles at the dealership, a technician was tweaking the motor to make it work. He seemed worried that it wouldn’t work while demonstrating it to me. I was overwhelmed by a lot of details while inspecting the whole trailer, and this didn’t register with me as a big deal at the time.
The very first time I actually used the awning was in Albuquerque during my trip back home. Some mild wind kicked up and rocked the arms around, and suddenly the motor wouldn’t work at all. From what I’ve heard from other RV owners, this seems to happen all the time. (The worst irony? The manufacturer’s name is “Carefree!”) It was hard to get the awning retracted as just one person, and I have no idea how it’s supposed to lock into place without the motor working. I managed to duct tape a zillion different parts of the awning down – not knowing my way around my RV’s systems yet, I just tried to compensate with redundancy after redundancy. I knew the duct tape wouldn’t last forever, especially with exposure to UV rays and changing temperatures. But it got me home just fine.
It’s probably just an issue where something is out of alignment or needs to be tightened. I tried to take it in for repair, but then it became too cold to work on. I had been planning to just call a mobile repair technician once I was living in it. But, indeed, some of the duct tape has lost its stick in the extreme cold, and wind unfurled the awning again. Add snow to the mix, and nothing about it is safe. The material is already showing heavy shredding.
I haven’t made up my mind yet, but even if I can get everything back to working state, I’m not sure I want to keep the awning at all. Not that it doesn’t offer some benefits, but it sounds like RV awnings have frequent problems. I don’t want to deal with something that’s both hard to repair solo, and represents a big safety hazard going down the road.
For a little over a year, I’ve been researching and preparing to move into an RV full-time. I’ve since bought a truck and a trailer, and with my apartment lease about to end, it’s finally about to happen!
I’ve set up Money for Gasoline as a separate blog just for RV stuff. I want to keep this blog for more general stuff. Go check it out! The introductory post has more information about the rig I’m starting with; it’s sure to evolve as I learn and get settled.
I’m still trying to figure out how much I want to do in written format, and how much to do on other networks. YouTube videos seem like a good idea, but YouTube comments do not.