Learning the RV life and Leaving California

Learning the RV life

I have been on the road for 10 days, it has been quite the learning process. Not just for me but for the animals. Cali has adapted much quicker than I thought she would and the boys are figuring out where they are comfortable. Charlie has claimed the front passenger seat and Sawyer sits between us on his dog bed during drive days. I keep Cali in a 4 foot wide enclosure that sits above on the overhead bunk. It has her liter box and food. It keeps her confined and safe.


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Most of the day Charlie sleeps but he’s 12 and old and Sawyer is still a bit nervous. Tends to shake when we first drive and then chills. I honestly think its the noise everything makes when I hit bumps. 

What have I learned so far, drive days are tiring and I find once I get to a RV park and after set up, I tend to take a nap with the dogs and decompress. While driving the rig is getting easier, it is really a giant box and the wind and semis that blow by me (because I do keep it between 60-65 mph) push my moving home sideways. It can be tiring and honestly for the last 15 years, I’ve not driven this far.

I’ve also learned that most drivers in cars don’t think about the fact that it takes me much longer to stop. Larger cities you see more people cutting you off, as I got out in the open, it’s just mostly semi’s, other RVers and some cars. There is so much land between places that seems to be untouched.


Leaving California

It was definitely time for me to move on, It was the longest I have lived in one area (outside of growing up in Ohio). The only plan I had, was to travel as much of Route 66 that I could. I knew that I wouldn’t be stopping at all the locations, but I was going to hit some of the highlights. Before hitting the road, I purchased a Route 66 guide and maps that specifically dealt with Route 66 and stopped by the Wigwam Motel in Cali while I was staying in San Bernardino.

Peggy Sue’s Diner, while not directly on Route 66 was worth a stop. Like the dinosaurs they have decorating the property, it is like a land lost in time. Filled with movie memorabilia, music and a 50s style theme, it transports you back.  

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Since it was early I decided to continue past Barstow. Stopping at a rest area to let the dogs stretch, I looked up a few RV parks and found Moon River RV. I booked 2 nights, just because I knew I wanted to take some time to re-adjust a few things in the RV. Which meant rethinking where things went on drive days.


A town of Asses

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In my guide, I read about Oatman and knew I wanted to check out this town that seemed to cling to the history of Route 66. Plus who wouldn’t want to see Burros wandering the streets? 

Those that work and live there take care of the burros, while most seemed to be in town, there were signs outside of town that they explore. All of the burros are named and the owner of New Diggins, has created a facebook page that you can follow (www.facebook.com/New-Diggins) the donkeys and their adventures. If you do want to swing by this cute little bit of history, be aware that no vehicles over 40 feet are allowed - really NO room!!

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I left Oatman and drove the remainder of Route 66 and found my self driving along a very narrow and curvy road. Along the way was a reminder of what Route 66 was at a very small stop called Cool Springs.

I had booked a couple of nights in Kingman at another RV park. This allowed me to get a few things done, really exciting things, like laundry and cleaning the RV. 


Major lesson learned

The first RV park was an experience. Not only was this my first time with full hook ups. It was my first time truly dealing with the black tank. Unlike an apartment, a house etc, you don’t really think about plumbing and dealing with where everything goes once you flush. In an RV, while not the best part of RV life, it is something you have to deal with.

Unfortunately my first attempt at dealing with a black tank, my biggest fear happened. I guess it’s better to get it over with, handle it and then realize the mistakes you made later. In an RV you have three tanks, fresh water, grey and black. The fresh water is just that, water you use in the sink, shower etc, that water drains to the grey tank. The black tank is where all the other “crap” goes. 

Tip #1:

Make sure both are completely shut before removing the cap to attach the sewage hose…I did not do this, I NOW do this EVERTYTIME.

I really try and not use it for #2. In doing this, the smells that can happen are limited. Plus I’m staying at RV parks for the most part, so I just use their plumbing and showers. 

Unfortunately in trying to get everything set up, instead of checking to make sure the plug was closed I released the cap. Roughly 3 gallons of waste dumped out, I lost my Adidas … which sucked because I really loved those shoes, but knew I would never wear them again!

Yes, I cried. Then I laughed because really if I can’t laugh about this minor mishap, then I shouldn’t be RVing. 

I was wearing gloves, but still showered and washed up immediately. 

Doesn’t matter how many YouTube videos you watch, it’s almost like a right of passage to RV life everyone seems to have dealt with. I am now officially a part of the club. Sorry no video of the mistake…lol 

If this is a life you are interested in, you will have to have patience. Over the last year, I’ve learned the meaning of patience and have accepted that things are going to happen and the best way to handle it is to solve one issue at a time. This is definitely not an easy task and I still have trouble but I’m learning and even though the carp has literally dumped on me…

I am the happiest I have been in a very long time.


Photographic Journal

Click the link to purchase some of the images of Route 66