So, for the last year, I’ve only been giving you most of the story. I have purposefully painted our lives in shades of pretty and exciting thinking that’s what you wanted to see. There are a few things that I have been holding back on and I feel that the time has come to share them with you all. I have not been sharing some of the *real* events that happen to us because…well….some of them are just gross….and others I’d rather forget all about! But, I know that some of you are actually looking at our blog as a ”how-to” and not using it as just a simple form of entertainment. So, we’ve decided to share the frustrating, icky, where’s my gloves, bring me a bowl cause I might throw up kinda stories….all in the hopes that you will learn something…or at least have a laugh at our expense 🙂
You’re thinking, “gross—what kinda gross?”, right? How much ”gross” can there really be living in a camper? I’m sure if you put your mind to it, there really is only ONE conclusion you can get to…and you’d be right. There are times where a plumber, snake, and hubby simply aren’t available to you and you (meaning ME) have got to pull on the big girl undies and get to work. And by work, I mean garbage bagged up to my shoulder and diving elbow deep into the toilet bowl to figure out what’s clogging the drain. Yeah….THAT kinda gross! And to save you the ”bring me a bowl cause I might vomit” feeling, we’ll stop there.
Really though, we DO have times where it feels like we just can’t win. Days where the ants go marching one by one, hurrah….hurrah….
We have had an ant problem three times in this camper. The first time was right when we first started and we were unaware that we should employ preventative measures when setting up camp. These preventative measure come in many forms and ours have slowly evolved into a routine that seems to be working. From that first event we learned to not park the camper where anything touches it on the roof….ants can (and DO) come from above! The second and third time happened when we camped too long in one place and forgot to reapply the preventative measures. But by this time, with research and experience under my belt, I pulled out the big guns and employed my best ant hunter…
On the inside, after I figure out where they come from, I confine them by using a combination of petroleum jelly and baby powder….then I set out the ant bait. I have found that using Terro works really well in about 24 hours. The plus side is that it’s not a spray or a toxic bait. It’s basically sugar water and borax. Plus it comes in handy little self contained stations so we don’t even have to touch it! And man, once one of those little suckers find it they ALL come running out like it’s a pool in the Serengeti! After a day or so there are a bunch of dead/dying ants all around and the living ones are still swimming!
The outside preventative measures come in the form of a bathroom cleaner….who knew that Comet was such a creepy crawly deterrent?! Heck yeah! I just put some of the powder down around each point of ground contact and make sure it gets reapplied every week or two and we’re ant free!
Now you’re thinking, ants..psh….everyone gets ants! Yep…I know….but while your bed is three rooms away from their marching line, ours is about three feet…so we go to lengths, no matter the time of day, to get it taken care of lickety split!
Sometimes, our problems start right as we pull into the rv park. You have to understand that we pick our parks pretty much blind. Yeah, I do try to read reviews and whatnot, but sometimes thats not always possible, or there aren’t any good, honest, reviews to be found. So, we joined a club with the understanding that all their parks are of good quality. When we first got to the Delta (about 45 miles inland from San Francisco), we chose to stay at a club park. I think this park must have gotten lost in the shuffle because they were….lets just say….NOT someplace we would elect to stay at. And I have to tell you, we don’t have high standards. We just like clean. Maybe a playground or some large open area for the kids. This park, on paper, looked great. They had a playground, volleyball, put-put, pool, nice grassy areas….and when we pulled in it looked nice too. But then, the cover’s always pretty isn’t it! First of all, she told us we could park anywhere..so we did…only to find out that THAT particular site was for a driveable RV because the hookups were on the wrong side…she told us we should get an extension…and for those of you who know my husband, you know we had the longest possible connectors…and the STILL wouldn’t reach. Sigh…so, we have to hook back up and find another site….but the ones with enough shade (cause summer here is HOT) had a lovely aroma of cat urine every time the wind blew. Come to find out, after saying something about it, they had a feral cat problem. ummmm….right….hubby’s allergic not to mention that the play area was SAND…then we actually took a closer look around. We saw trash, lots of it, overflowing dumpsters, piles of junk which you now knew housed the kitties, and some ”guard dogs” that were noisy during that evening/night. Here’s some proof:
Let’s just say that the very next morning, we were outta there. We found a much nicer place which actually ended up being closer to where we wanted to be anyway!
Sometimes the problems come in issues that I can’t fix. And if hubby’s not home, then I have problems. This last weekend, Labor Day weekend, something happened (maybe a surge?) that fried my 30 amp cord and receptacle. That, my friends, is a fire hazard…and being that I’m paranoid about things like that, this resulted in a panicked call to said hubby, aka Mr. Fixit, and a mad search for an RV repair shop who could look at the camper, fix the problem, and get us back on the road. After leaving it at Camping World, which we are losing faith in, and being told that the root cause just couldn’t BE the root cause….(for you electric minded folk out there…he told me that what caused my AC problem was my battery…which is DC….huh?) we decided to take it to another guy. I found him online and his reviews were spectacular. And when I called, he spent about twenty minutes talking with me before I even agreed to bring it in. I like that a lot. His name is Allen and he owns Specialized RV Repair. This guy is everyone’s dream of a repair shop. Seriously. His initial figuring on what the problem was fell in line with Carls thoughts, he fixed it all, checked it all out, and had it back to me inside of 48 hours. He even gave us a loaner battery (free of charge) and said he could store it for us while we were in Hawaii after doing a few other things to it while we are gone. Allen was honest, to the point, and very patient with his explanations. Not to mention very reasonably priced! I highly suggest using his services if you are in need and find yourself near the Sacramento area. We are so satisfied we are having him do more stuff….and possibly will be our ”go to” guy for our European camper…he specialized in remodeling campers!
Anyway, the kids and I spent three nights in a hotel…which wasn’t all bad! No school, no cooking, and lots of pool and tv time….it was like a vacation! (albeit a pricey one!) But, the camper is fixed, and we are back at the Sugar Barge hanging out until we head off to Hawaii in 2 weeks….did I forget to mention that? We are heading to the big island for two weeks on the 24th. Hello birthday!! (for me AND Sy!) But let’s not get started on that eh? My baby boy’s about to be 5….
So, there you have it….as you can see from the few instances I’ve shared….it’s not all fun and games. But the pro’s definitely outweigh the con’s….even when crap’s on the list!!