Armed with the understanding that my mobile lifestyle was supposed to be mobile – I found myself traveling very little for fear I would experience a break down that would be very costly. I was paralyzed by some of the stories I had read/watched on Facebook, blogs, and YouTube about RVers stuck on the side of the road. However, we have to face our fears. Fear can paralyze a person. I had faced so many fears in this new lifestyle, but I knew I needed a change if I ever hoped to travel and live the life that I believe I was called to live.
When I originally planned my RV life, I wanted to get a truck and a trailer. I felt this would best meet my needs for travel and living. But I had just purchased a new car and was unable to trade the car without a significant loss. After months and months of looking for an acceptable RV, I found Myrtle. I will readily admit when I found Myrtle, I was caught up in the fantasy of traveling and Myrtle would make this new lifestyle possible … or so I thought. From the first day I picked up this Class A RV, I knew I would have to get use to driving a big rig. Right out of the gate, I had some rather large repair bills … from engine work to having to replace all the brakes … I was losing money with each trip to the service center. After a lot of outgoing cash … Myrtle was finally sound and travel worthy, but I still had nightmares of not being able to stop (brake issues) and engine failures despite the fact that I had repaired the brakes and repaired the engine.
As I began my travel adventure, I soon discovered Myrtle and I were not a match. While I loved living in the Class A and was able to get on the road quickly, I found myself delaying travel plans to go to the places I wanted to see. I had made it as far as Foley, Alabama and setup up house in a small country RV park. Little did I know, but this would be where I would sit for the next year! I remember a conversation I had with my brother where I told him … this life is not going to work for me because I do not see myself driving this big Class A all over the country. I told him “I am grounded” and stuck in lower Alabama. Being the true motivator, he told me to start thinking about what I would need to get on the road. At this point, I was totally discouraged and ready to call it quits.
Adding to this conundrum – my savings account was decreasing each month because my online income was not as promising as it appeared it would be before I left Florida. My world was a mess and so was I. As I wondered about how I would manage all this craziness, I was offered an opportunity to teach under contract in North Carolina. While I was not crazy about the idea of leaving Myrtle stored at the RV park to go up north, I knew I needed to take a break from RV life and gather myself in order to make a plan. And – that is exactly what I did.
I completed my teaching assignment and returned to Alabama and to Myrtle. She had been in storage at the RV park for close to 6 months and I was concerned she might not start or she would need more expensive repairs. However, much to my happiness – she started up and ran beautifully. Aside from some general clean up and maintenance related issues – Myrtle was good to go. You can watch the video here by clicking the link. During my time away – I had made up my mind I was going to face my fears and was leaving Alabama headed out to Louisiana to see my mother and spend sometime out there with her. Operationalizing these plans would be a little more of a challenge.
You see I did not have a tow dolly – yet another part of my travel dilemma. Add to this issue with the fact that I had never towed anything in my life and my dislike to driving Myrtle and … well … you get the idea. It was going to take a lot of courage on my end to get on the road with a 29 foot Class A RV towing my car. Back on the phone with my brother … sharing my feelings about all this and he was quiet on the other end. If you know my brother …. he is never quiet about anything. Finally – he said … for a guy that has faced so many challenges in his life … I cannot believe you are going to let something like towing your car keep you from getting on the road. There are very few people in my life that can get me moving … but he is one of them. After the call … I thought long and hard about our conversation and decided I would rent a tow dolly and get out of Alabama. Trust me, by this point – I was ready to go!
I went to U-haul and rented a tow dolly, hooked up and stated down I-10 West. Driving the Class A RV with a tow dolly was really not a big deal. It seemed the tow dolly weighed the back end of the coach nicely and made driving a little more comfortable. Driving down the road – it seemed all the fears and hesitations I had disappeared. Yes – it was challenging to drive – but I was doing it like hundreds of other RVers out there. I was on the road towing my car – heading to Louisiana. “I got this!” I thought as the miles passed. No worries – this is not too bad. Haha … ok – the truth – I was done. I knew driving my Class A with a tow dolly was not going to be for me. This trip basically confirmed that my goal was to get a new setup and soon! Watch the video of me getting the tow-dolly and hitting the road.
Arriving in Louisiana I found a sweet RV park called Bayou Wilderness RV Park. Butch and Donna were wonderful people as the owners of the park and they provided me with a great site. The park as much larger than I had expected. You see, I had been in contact with Donna since I left Florida. She had been expecting me for a while and when I finally arrived, I think she was a little surprised (actually – I was surprised I actually had made it there too!). The park was gated and the people were very friendly. Louisiana hospitality was what I needed after my 300 mile trip from Alabama. I began to settle in and started thinking about my plans for change. My first course of action was to trade in m car for a new truck. I began researching the type of truck I would need to pull the RV I was going to get.
So a few months have gone by since I arrived in Louisiana. It was nice to send time with my mom and her friend Shirley. We would plan dinners, go out to eat and we started playing a card game called Skip-bo. Shirley was the champion of this game as she never could seem to beat mom. But, it was not long before I was beating both of them and enjoying the spoils of being the Skip-bo champion in Louisiana. But, I digress …. I seem to do this when I am writing a blog post that is this long. In any event, I knew my time was drawing short and I needed to get moving on finding a truck. I had visited several dealerships, but the prices on the trucks were outrageous and I began to wonder if would be possible to trade my car. After many weeks of looking, I came across Courtesy Ford in Breaux Bridge – just down the road from where I was staying. The salesman Johnny was very nice and before I knew it, he had made me a deal I could not refuse.
Sitting in the finance office of the Ford dealership, I began to see my change plan start to happen. The dealership had made a great trade offer on my car in exchange for a new 2017 Ford F-150 Ecoboost. After a great deal of research on my part, I knew the truck was perfect for my needs and I signed the papers. Driving away from the dealership in my new truck was awesome. I felt like my plan was starting to come together …. now all I needed was to trade in Myrtle!
I started driving my new truck around town. Now – the pot holes in Louisiana are very real. In case you did not believe the other RVers that have reported this in their blogs or videos … make no mistake – the roads are terrible. This becomes increasingly more problematic when you are driving a new truck. Right out of the gate, I wondered if I would need a new alignment before leaving this great state.
Stay tuned for part three of this crazy story!