Our first day on the road had lots of RV lessons learned. We’d made it to our site at the Madison RV & Golf Resort late, but okay. After a quick dinner, we went to bed early and dropped right off to sleep, tired but pleased with getting through the day.
We woke up cold and shivering in the middle of the night.
We’d left the heat pump set, and it was warm when we went to bed. Now nothing but cold air was coming out.
RV Lesson: Check the weather and prepare
It turns out that heat pumps don’t work when the outside temperature drops below 50 degrees. We switched to the furnace and went back to bed.
We woke up to a beautiful frosty 26-degree sunrise, safe inside our warm Airstream.
Then we discovered we had no water.
Adriel put on a coat and checked our water supply.
Yep, the hose feeding fresh water to our trailer was frozen solid. He turned off the water and disconnected the hose. We turned on the pump and used water from our tank.
The good news is that we use an expandable water hose. It had enough flexibility to handle the freeze so it didn’t burst. We had to wait for the sun to warm up the hose enough to thaw out the frozen sections.
As the cold weather was going to be around for a while, we planned how to handle it better. We’d use the propane furnace when the weather forecast was below 50 degrees. And we’d fill up the fresh water tank and drain the hose if it was going to get close to freezing.
RV Lesson: keep overnight stays close to the highway
We’d planned to leave early as we had a long drive for the day but dealing with the water hose added extra time to our prep.
As we’re total newbies, we keep checklists on our phones to make sure we don’t miss anything. Based on yesterday’s experiences, we took the task of checking tire pressure more seriously.
The cold weather made everything outside more difficult and time-consuming. Still, we knew we needed to keep to the checklist to be as safe as possible.
We were finally ready to start our next day on the road.
We found a gas station close to the RV park and made our way there. With a full tank and happy faces, we headed back to the highway.
We carefully drove mile after mile on narrow two-lane roads. Finally, after almost 45 minutes, we made it to the highway.
Yes, it was a lovely park, and we’d love to stay there for days. But it wasn’t worth it for just a quick overnight stay.
RV Lesson: don’t push it
Today’s goal of the Homestead RV Park in Lafayette, Lousiana, was over 300 miles away. We had a late start and a long drive just to get on the road.
We decided to drive a bit faster to catch up.
We discovered even more construction on I-10. The jersey walls made the roads extremely narrow. The truckers hardly slowed down, which made it that much more stressful. And the wind gusted enough to keep our average speed about the same as the day before.
We used fuel stops for grabbing food, hitting the restroom, and checking everything around the rig. We made good time with no major issues.
Still, it was dusk when we pulled into our lot in the RV park, and we were beat.
We’d heard about the 3-3-3 rule, and now we knew why it was a rule. We got the trailer reasonably level, connected our utilities, and grabbed a light dinner.
Before bed, we checked the weather, drained the water hose, and left the furnace set to 68 degrees to keep out the cold.
We promised ourselves that we’d never push this hard again. We were just about halfway through our trip and hoped we were over the hard part.
Little did we know that the next day would bring yet another lesson we’d never forget.
This is part of a series of posts about RV lessons learned. Even with all our struggles, we love our rig and our time on the road. We hope these stories of how we learned new levels of resilience and skills will help you keep yourself safe, happy, and excited.