I Went on an RV Trip and Lived to Tell the Tale

There’s nothing more magical, but at the same time as daunting as first times.

My RV

My RV… A real beauty

I sure remember that feeling, when I’ve first started my RV and thought “Well, I guess I’m really doing this.”, while I really had no idea what on Earth I was doing. Maybe you’re here just for a laugh, or maybe you want to know exactly what not to do… either way, you’re in the right place hombre.

See, my first RV trip was a mess, because I didn’t know any better. It was in a second hand 2008 Vista Cruiser. A broken AC, leaking sink and a lack of a spare wheel were just some of the minor issues compared to my lack of knowledge of portable generators and boy, did that come back to bite me up my…

How Did I get Here?

To add to my backstory. I’ve retired early in my 50s, back in 2014, since my back worked no more and I’ve had enough money on the side and in my 401K to live out my days comfortably. But you know how it goes – it only took me two weeks to get bored and by the third, I was going through second-hand RV’s and found my old beauty.

The thing seemed fine for the buck and the sleazy feller even recommended me an RV-ready generator to go with it, a portable generator of a totally unknown Chinese brand, with a whopping output of 1500 W.

Destination – Lake Marion

A cypress tree at Lake Marion, South Carolina

Beautiful Lake Marion and its infamous cypress trees (photo: santeecoopercountry.org)

So, in July of the very same year, I went on my first RV trip to Lake Marion. It was a nice drive. I left my wife at home, kids were too old to come with me and grandkids too young – I thank God for that to this day, as that would just double the mess.

Though the old van didn’t do well in rough terrain and chugged way more diesel than I’ve expected. Still, nothing could ruin my summer trip, or so I’ve thought… until my wheel broke… and I found out that the RV didn’t come with a spare.

Well, after 2 hours of walking, I found a diner, bought a spare off a youngster from Ohio, who asked triple its cost – not that I blame him. Bought a coffee to go and walked the way back. By the evening I was back on the road.

The Generator

I made it to the lake by the night. Sleeping was horrible, since I realized the AC doesn’t exactly work. Spent the next day fishing and the evening fixing it. Well… once that was done, I powered it on and… nothing?

This is where my portable generator comes into the forefront. See, the lousy 1500 W of the generator he sold me was far from enough for my small fridge, freezer, lights, boiler and the AC. Boy if only I had our wattage calculator back then *wink wink*.

Chances are, the sleazer had a friend in the store next door who needed to get rid of some of his cheaper toys. Maybe he didn’t like me for haggling. Or maybe he just didn’t know any better. I guess I’ll never find out.

I’m a Positive Old Geezer

The next day the sink broke down, but I didn’t care at that point. I was enjoying the nature and the freedom I had after 30 years as a wage slave. Didn’t even bother fixing it before I got home.

I spent the week fishing, reading, or just watching the clouds. The weather was clear, no nados’ that time of the year. No storms or rain. Makes me want to live it again when thinking of it.

What I’ve Learned

I guess this is the part where I get all smart on you… but really, I just learned how little I knew. I got into RVing and fairly quickly learned how to get properly prepared and check everything before setting off.

More importantly for you, I got into generators thanks to this old mess and now, you don’t have to go through all that! So remember kids, don’t trust sleazers, and use our generator sizing tool.

And you? What happened during your first RV trip? Let me know in the comments below!

Paul

Paul

Founder of generatorbible.com. Early retired from the OPE industry, living in South Carolina. He now mostly spends his time traveling and taking care of his wife and grand-children.

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