Dawn Wilson Photography | RV Livin' - Post #3 - Things I have learned

RV Livin' - Post #3 - Things I have learned

September 16, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I am not quite a week into my crazy adventure, but there are already a few things I have learned:

  1. Things will go wrong with the RV – even with the new things
  2. Things will not always go your way on your travels – rain will fall, kayaks will loosen on top of vehicles, and dogs will bring mud into the RV and then jump onto the bed
  3. Whatever you think launching this lifestyle will cost, anticipate it will cost more
  4. Always return things to their proper location – making things accessible in their regular location saves time from hunting in all those nooks and crannies of creative storage spaces in RVs
  5. RVs use a lot of gas – A LOT!!!
  6. Always detach the Jeep from the RV on flat, level ground – thankfully I thought of this before detaching the Jeep
  7. RVs rattle a lot – nothing is spared from the constant jiggling (I found sticky dots work great to hold things in place)
  8. Vinyl flooring and seats make a ton of sense in RVs – road dust and dirt gets everywhere
  9. You will meet a lot of people who share stories, want to hear your stories and are willing to provide information
  10. Just because you no longer own a brick and mortar home doesn’t mean you don’t have chores to do – kitty’s claws still have to be cut, beds still need to be made (or else those muddy dogs dirty your clean sheets), and dishes still need to be washed (or else they will make beautiful noises as they rattle around in your sink along with everything else in the RV)

So far I have also learned that I am getting into a groove and am really enjoying the time spent outdoors.

My first day in the RV was last Thursday. After another delay with some installations, I was finally able to pick up the Jeep and hitch it to the RV.

The RV and the Jeep all decked out and ready to go

I am still amazed that the dealer hands you the keys to the RV, gives you a 30-minute session on how to attach the hitch and braking system, a two-hour walkthrough on the ins and outs of your RV (take good notes – you will refer back to them), and sends you on your way with 44 feet of motorhome and vehicle without much other training.

Needless to say I spent the first few days with white knuckles and cramped hands as I grabbed the steering wheel way too hard.

The first two nights I stayed at Horsetooth Reservoir just west of Fort Collins. It was close to the RV dealer, it was an area I was familiar, it was close to my office (where I still had a lot to do before heading out on the road), and was a beautiful location.

I didn’t detach the Jeep the whole time I was there – all those wires and cables were a little daunting – but I got in a little photography right by the campsite.

The local mule deer made an appearance on Friday night. I took some time to sit near them but quietly and not approaching. There were six does and two fawns, with the fawns being the most curious. They are so cute with their big ears that they haven’t quite grown into.

As I was photographing one of the fawns I had a distinct feeling of being watched from my right side. I looked up to find one of the does about a foot from me. She was quite curious about the equipment I had and came right up to it and sniffed my hand resting on the camera. It was a tender moment before she scampered away.

My next stop was Mount Evans. It is my favorite spot in Colorado to photograph wildlife and, since I knew it so well, I thought it would make a safe second stop on my soft launch of living on the road – a little further but not so far that I couldn’t get back into town if need be.

It was a good thing because I had to head back into the Denver area twice – twice to head to Rack Attack to purchase a better rack for the kayak (better than my original, makeshift option to save a little money – saving a penny will usually cost you a dollar), to Foothills Animal Shelter to look one last time for my missing cat, Bella, who decided she wanted to go AWOL the night before I sold my house, and to the Sprint store because in all this what timing wouldn’t be better to have your cell phone stop charging (thankfully it was the charger and not the phone). 

I spent two nights at Mount Evans parked in the lot by Echo Lake Lodge. The photography was great, the critters abundant, and the light gorgeous. There was a good chance it would be my last opportunity to head to the top of Mount Evans before they closed the road for the season so I took advantage of the time and really explored.

Bighorn_sheep_Mt_Evans_2015_2Bighorn_sheep_Mt_Evans_2015_2A herd of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) runs over an alpine ridge covered in fall color near Summit Lake on Mount Evans, Colorado

So all things finally seemed to fall into place: the kayak rack and kayak were now securely attached to the roof of the Jeep; the bike was securely attached to the back of the Jeep; the backup camera on the RV seemed to be functioning properly; the hitch was attached and the braking system signal being received in the RV.

Off we went to the next destination – Grand Junction, Colo. – to work on my next article.



January February (1) March (1) April May June July August September October November (2) December (2)
January February March April (1) May June July August September (15) October (22) November (9) December (10)
January (2) February March April May June (1) July August September October November December (2)
January February March April May June July (1) August September October November (1) December
January (1) February March April May June July August September October November December