That There’s an R-V

Home sweet home!

The long search is finally over. We have our “tenement on wheels.” Picking up the beast was just the beginning of our journey, and if this first week is any indication, we are in for one hell of a ride.

Picking up our coach just north of Houston, TX

After our offer was accepted, we had to wait a couple weeks to pick her up. So on Memorial Day weekend, we rented a car in St. Louis and drove down to Houston to pick her up. Since Aimee and I collectively have 30 minutes of actual motorhome drive time, we felt it would be good use of our 12 hour drive time to watch instructional videos on You Tube. By the time we reached Houston, I knew just enough to make me want to turn around and go home, sans RV. But we push on, because we bought it and can’t really ask for our wire transfer back.

We head straight to the seller’s home, but not exactly, because our GPS first took us to a different, less desirable, street named “Magnolia”. One where random dogs chase our car, and couches are lawn furniture. There were many RV’s in this area, most being used to add square feet to their existing homes. It was sketchy. Once we figured out our mistake and started out on the right path, we had to double back because some of the roads were closed by flooding.

We arrive and there she is, all 40 feet of her stretched out across the lawn like some bizarre overgrown lawn ornament, challenging me to come closer.

It just got real.

The generator is humming when we arrive, cooling her off inside. The owner greets us in the driveway and we walk over to meet our new home on wheels. The intro is brief. We circle the coach as he rattles off features, opens hatches and doors, and hastily explains how everything works. My head is spinning. Aimee is grinning. We climb on board. A few more minutes of explanation on buttons, switches and knobs. But I stopped listening several minutes ago. The only thing I could think about now was stopping this ride to get off. How do we get out of this deal? I want to go home and hide. No way I’m driving this thing.

Seller:  “Here are the keys! Go ahead and start ‘er up!”

Me:  “Uhhh.”

Seller:  “Enjoy!”

And he leaves. Then Aimee leaves. And I’m alone behind the steering wheel of 30K intimidating pounds of rolling house.

This is happening WAY too fast for me! Where’s the foreplay? We JUST met. I need to be eased into this. Why don’t we just hang out and talk about it for a while. You know, get to know each other a bit. Then I’ll come back tomorrow and we’ll address some additional concerns, lay out the ground rules, maybe take a quick test drive.

No. This is happening whether I want it to or not. And I don’t. But here we go.

My smile masks the sheer terror and heart palpitations I’m experiencing.

I release the brake and put it in drive, slowly ease onto the street, and follow Aimee in the rental. It’s all very surreal at this point, more of an out-of-body experience, as I build up to about 7 mph. 100 yards down the road some low hanging tree branches stretch out across the road and wack the side of the coach, reminding me I have no business driving this thing. We turn out of the subdivision onto a REAL street, and there’s a cop parked right at the entrance. Great. No plates, no temporary tags, bank hasn’t sent me the title yet. I do have insurance, but it’s in the rental car disappearing in front of me. Thankfully he must have had something else to do, because he didn’t pull me over. I give chase to Aimee in the rental but have a hard time catching her. She has a lead foot and must have been doing at LEAST 25 mph. Geez lady. I spot her in the distance entering the highway and I panic because the guy specifically said we wouldn’t need to get on the highway to get to the RV Park we’re staying at. She exits immediately, makes a couple turns, and we end up at the park…about 7 minutes from where we picked up the coach. I’m exhausted.


It’s a pull through space, so parking was pretty simple. Immediately I pull out the manuals, all 75 of them, and begin thumbing through the pages. There’s so much. Too much really. How will I ever learn everything? Why did I do this? Why is my dashboard hissing at me? There’s a hissing sound, like air pressurized air leaking from something, just underneath the dash. Is that normal? Certainly not. Aimee calls a friend that lives in Houston and he heads out to meet us. He spent years building and customizing trailers for a living and offered to help us get acquainted with ours. He had visited our coach a couple weeks prior to give it a once over to make sure it was worth buying. Praise God for him. He’s a lifesaver. He quickly finds the problem…a cracked gauge. A $650 cracked gauge. Thankfully the previous owner purchased a 1-year warranty, so we’re hopeful it will be covered.

We spend the next 48 hours figuring out how to hook up, turn on, flush out, and so on and so on and so on. It’s exciting at times, frustrating at times, and almost always overwhelming for me at this point. When I don’t know something…something that directly affects me, whether it’s something I own, something I’m participating in, whatever…it drives me nuts. I obsess over it and can think of little else.

At least the RV park, or rather “RV Resort” is super nice. Everything is really clean and new. They have free Wi-Fi, a pool, and a clubhouse with exercise room and entertainment area. None of which we use (except wi-fi) because we’re too busy studying and analyzing the insanity we’ve gotten ourselves into.

Everyone is crazy friendly here. Everyone waves. Everyone talks to you. It looks like quite a few people live here, or at least are staying for an extended period of time. Some motorhomes/trailers have full-on outdoor living spaces set-up, including hanging plants and gardens, dining areas with grills, you name it. I’m sure we’ll visit and stay in some sketchy places along the way, but if most are like this, I’m happy.

Back to our big, beautiful beast.

It seriously has more room than some of the places I’ve lived.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 6.18.41 PM
4 slides: 2 up front, 2 in the bedroom.
Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 6.21.12 PM
Brand new captain’s chairs. Couches fold out into beds, not that our kids will ever do that.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 6.18.21 PM

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 6.18.53 PM
Corian countertops, stove, convection oven. Refrigerator just off screen.


Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 6.19.37 PM
Bedroom with king size bed.
Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 6.46.05 PM
Plenty of closet and drawer space. Hook-up for washer/dryer combo.

But it’s dirty. Nothing we can’t handle, but it would have been nice to have it detailed before we picked it up. Whatever. After we clean it up, and add our updates and special touches, it will be home in no time.

Oh, and it has ants. Apparently they must have moved in before we did. They’re the tiny little black ones, so they’re really more annoying than anything else. But they have to go.

There’s a million little things we noticed in our first 48…leaky city water intake, bathroom light not working, switches not lighting up, doors not aligning. All things I think we can handle, but they start adding up in a hurry. We got a really good deal on the coach, but it’s going to take a few dollars to make it move-in ready. Thinking I might start a GoFundMe page.


13 thoughts on “That There’s an R-V

Add yours

  1. Oh Jimmy…I have laughed my ass off! Very fun read!!! Enjoy your adventure. Can’t wait to follow along. Love n hugs! Linda

  2. Amazing! I want the whole series. This is gonna be BIG, pardon the “pun”!Happy Flight!Love, Miguel

    From: Disney with a(n R)V To: Sent: Sunday, June 5, 2016 6:24 PM Subject: [New post] That There’s an R-V #yiv5030948568 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5030948568 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5030948568 a.yiv5030948568primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5030948568 a.yiv5030948568primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5030948568 a.yiv5030948568primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5030948568 a.yiv5030948568primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5030948568 | Disney with a(n R)V posted: “Home sweet home!The long search is finally over. We have our “tenement on wheels.” Picking up the beast was just the beginning of our journey, and if this first week is any indication, we are in for one hell of a ride.After our offer was accepted, w” | |

  3. That is one huge vehicle! Lol. Love reading about your adventures and can’t wait for your jouney with the family to begin!

  4. We can totally relate to your terror! It sounds like a great idea, we even got to txt drive ours, until you are leaving the parking lot heading for the great wide world of campgrounds not knowing you know less than you think you do. One thing we did was write up a setup and takedown checklist. That way we don’t take off with our satellite dish still up in the air or forget to check check the ebrake is off in the car. Also, Mike almost got hurt when ine if our level legs collapsed while he was pulling out hoses and such for connecting to services. Now we level first, connect second, run slides next. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures. What did you do to get rid if the ants? Also, is that tile floor? What did you clean with?

    Maybe we will see you on the pavement!


  5. Jimmy, I found your blog this morning. Great writing. Great Living. Here is my site. I am not a professional writer, but I’m working on it. We have been full time since May of 2015. We started in a 16 year old 37 foot that proved to be a money pit. We had paid cash and thought that was our value-based judgement. We found we spent a payment each month on repairs. Last December we moved back into payments and upgraded to a much nicer and larger big rig. I retired from 44 years in pastoral ministry. My spouse is one of the top Mary Kay ladies in the nation and we are working her business as we travel. About the critters: The primary entrance points are usually around the utility entrances. Do two things: A. purchase a gardeners kneeling pad and cut tight fitting circles, using the caps that close the entrances while your travel as a mold. Slice them to the middle and create a hole just smaller than the water hose or electric line. Install them every time you hook up. (for the 3 inch grey and black drain you can use rags. B. Then spray the hoses and cables with a repellent solution every time you hook up–about 18 inches below your coach. These two simple steps will greatly reduce the incidents of unwanted house guests. Blessings on your travels. We may be in SW St. Louis for a couple of nights Around Aug 5-7 or so. Larry Kinser, Domicile: Wichita. Residence: Home is where I park it.

  6. This is very, very, very close to what my wife and I just experienced. I shopped and dreamed and shopped some more. We found BigGina and fell in love. First weekend, “come on friends, this will be a blast”. And it was. Forth of July in style out on the Llano River. We set sail in a few weeks when the house closes and couldn’t be more excited. It was great to read your story and know that we aren’t alone. Again, cheers, good luck and may the road never end.

  7. I can totally relate! I am 4 months into my full time adventure and I am amazed at everything I’ve had to fix or replace so far. All part of the journey right! 😉 keep your head up, it is all worth it! Even the chaos. And there is a loooot of chaos as you know

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: