The perils and pitfalls of living in your RV.
Presented here in a humorous way are some of the little known "benefits"
that are included as part of the fulltime lifestyle. I'm sure that some
of you fellow travelers will relate to some of these. For you wanna-be
fulltimers, don't let these scare you off!
You sent 'em in, so I posted them! Click HERE
to see the Your Fulltiming PPPs (Personal Pet Peeves) . Or, you
can just scroll down to the bottom of the page...
Well, that's all that I can think of right now.... If you have any fulltiming
PPPs (Personal Pet Peeves) that you have been dying to express, and would
like to see them posted here, email them to
Let me tell you.... You are going to discover insects in a totally
new and personal way! I have seen bugs that not even the most adventuresome
bug-ologist has ever attempted to identify. And they're not just on the
windshield! You find them in the most amazing places... in pockets of your
clothing (surprise!!), swimming in your drink (doing the backstroke, usually)
and in every conceivable nook and cranny in your RV. There are bugs out
there that can shrink themselves down small enough to pass through any
screening you can devise and then return to their normal size once they're
inside. Most of these bugs consider insect repellants to be a big joke.....
I can hear them all laughing every time I get out my can of "Off". I have
found that, when in heavily insect-populated areas, it's best to just ignore
them as much as possible and try to breathe through your nose a lot! And
try to ignore the fact that your scrambled eggs are "crunchy". (ICK!)
I can hear you all saying that ants should have been covered under
"bugs" but you're wrong! Ants are way too smart to be considered mere bugs....
try to deal with them as insects and they'll walk all over you! Ants are
busy organizing a raiding party minutes after you back into your campsite
and I am convinced that they can simply jump onto your rig directly from
the ground. Or maybe they can levitate... I'm not sure. I am still providing
free transportation and room-and-board for ants that I picked up in Florida
last winter! My attempts to get them with bug spray have been more life
threatening for me than for them, and they sneer at ant baits and poisons.
They are those little "sweet-eating" ants, and as I type this, I see one
running up the screen of my computer display... AAAHHAAA! (squish) GOTCHA,
you little #@%&%$!. I can't seem to beat them, and the war has occupied
a lot of my "off-hours". Probably the only way to win this war is to detonate
a small nuclear device inside the trailer and then buy a new trailer.
The fulltimer has to deal with pay phones a lot, and for the most part
they do what they are supposed to... but there are a couple things that
bother me. First, there's the phone that must have been installed by midgets...
the keypad is 17 inches off the ground and you will be forced to kneel
in supplication before it in order to dial. Then, there's the phone that
has been installed in the middle of a 20 foot puddle whenever it has rained
in the last week or so. These are great fun (squish, squish). And what
sadistic person designed pay phones to have a fluorescent light in them?
What does a fluorescent light attract? BUGS! Especially mosquitoes....
There's nothing I enjoy more than an evening chat with friends while surrounded
by a cloud of hungry mosquitoes.... tends to keep the long distance charges
OK, I admit that I'm not real fond of doing the wash, but what choice
do you have? If you don't wash your clothes, the neighbors tend to avoid
you. Even when everything goes well it's no fun, but nothing compares to
the joy of a washer that won't drain or a dryer that won't dry. It's just
my luck to pick the washer that someone else just used to wash their horse's
saddle blanket or their collection of oily rags. Time spent in a laundromat
seems to go by slower than just about any other kind of time... and no
matter how good a job you do, you're just gonna have to do it again in
a week or so.
Every time I go to the grocery store, it's a different store. I spend
a lot of time wandering around lost, looking for something that should
be easy to find, but isn't. There's no rhyme or reason to the layouts of
most stores, and sometimes they put stuff in the strangest contexts...
(Hey, excuse me, where can I find the Cheeze Whiz? It's in the Pet Food
aisle??? Well, OK....)
I don't know how I do it, but I have the amazing ability to instantly
forget the name of someone I've just been introduced to. This is a real
liability when you meet a lot of new friends all the time. I'll walk over
to someone and introduce myself: "Hi, I'm Mark", they'll say "Hi Mark,
I'm John" and an instant later, their name will make a whooshing sound
as it departs my brain... usually permanently. I don't know what to do....
If it were up to me, everyone would be required to wear name badges at
all times! It's even worse when you get introduced to a whole group...
they only have to remember ONE new name, while I am required to forget
a whole bunch of names all at once! ...Just doesn't seem fair....
We take so many things for granted when we live in a house that doesn't
roll. Getting your mail usually means a short walk to the mailbox. For
a fulltimer, getting the mail can be a source of much amusement... or angst!
Most fulltimers use either a forwarding service of some sort, or a friend
or relative to deal with their mail. This means that you will either have
a professional or a friend/relative sending your mail to the wrong place.
There's nothing like calling the forwarding service and telling them to
send your mail to general delivery in Gargantua, IL and then discovering
that the post office there is only staffed from 11 to 11:15 on alternate
Thursdays. Or that the old post office burned down last month and your
mail "should be" at the main post office 175 miles away. Another fun thing
to do is to get your package successfully, only to discover that you just
paid express postage on a phone book and three Sears catalogs that you
neither want or need. Actually, mail forwarding works just fine 99% of
the time.... it's that remaining 1% that gets you. I once had a package
make the rounds of three different post offices in Little Rock, AR and
I contrived to miss it all three times. The package wound up being sent
back to the mail service in South Dakota and then sent out again to Tennessee,
where I finally caught up with it.
Hey, I like campgrounds! I spend a lot of my time at them.... It's
just that sometimes I wonder about the folks that lay them out... Most
of the time, it's no problem but once in a while..... Like the campground
that has a vicious "S" turn that you have to negotiate to get in or out.
What.., are they trying to test our driving ability? Or the place with
no signs and no obvious way to choose between the dirt road I'm supposed
to drive down and the one that dead-ends at the ravine. Or my personal
favorite: the place that has gravel roads with tight turns and 50% grades
conveniently hidden way in the back. I stayed at a place once in a site
at the bottom of one of those steep gravel turns and it was exciting (terrifying?)
to watch big class-A motorhomes slide down that hill directly towards me.
I'm also fairly fond of the places with really low-hanging trees, or with
trees strategically placed to make my pull-through a pull-in-back-out.
I guess it's all part of the adventure....
This is a tough one for me. I would rather walk up to a stranger on
the street, hand them a scalpel and say "Go ahead, take out my appendix!"
than allow someone else to work on my vehicles. It's not that I don't trust
other mechanics.... well, actually I guess it IS that I don't trust
other mechanics. I do most of my own maintenance while on the road. This
can sometimes lead to angry confrontations with campground managers, so
I try to be as discrete as possible when working on things. The problem
is that without a garage of my own, I wind up working in less than ideal
conditions. Laying in the mud, on sharp rocks, or on top of an anthill
tends to remove some of the joys of doing it yourself! And nothing hurts
me more than to have to go out and buy a special tool to do a particular
job when I know that I already own one.... only it's in California and
I'm in Tennessee.
Surely the bane of any traveler's existance, road work can offer you
some impressive challenges! Such as: the uneven pavement zone that empties
the contents of the fridge onto the floor , or the freshly gravelled road
where oncoming 75 mph semi's are throwing up rooster tails of gravel, or
the detour that takes you and 75 semi's onto some farmers tractor path
for 15 miles, or my personal favorite.. the squeeze play. That's where
they set up big concrete barrier walls on both sides of a single lane and
you are expected to drive in this narrow corridor for several miles. Then,
as you are driving down this narrow path, the barriers slowly get closer
together. AAAAAA!!! I tell you, it's not a passtime for the faint at heart!
Most of the roads that they are working on surely need the repair... I
just wish they'd wait until after I pass through to do the work.
A lot of us fulltimers have Cell Phones. They can be lifesavers, and
very handy for more mundane uses, but Roaming charges really piss me off!
How can a one minute call from someone else cost me $5 ? Isn't the
government supposed to be regulating these guys or something? All I see
on the tube are ads from competing phone companies offering .0001 cents
a minute to your grandmother in Bulgaria and it costs me $5 to pick up
my cell phone and tell a telemarketer to take a flying leap! Something's
wrong with this picture!!!
PPPs (Personal Pet Peeves) from the rest of the
I have received some peeves from folks all over the country. Here they
are for your enjoyment!
Those parks that have huge signs saying "we welcome the big rigs" then
after several miles of roads you wouldn't take a scooter on - there it
is ! With no where to turn the "big rig" around ,especially one in
Texas , when all spots are full and road ends at a river ! You get the
joy of unhooking in the rain - driving the toad back to main road , backing
the coach about 2 miles to a farmers lane, turning around , re hooking
and trying it again at the next place that welcomes the "big rigs" OR even
better - there is the state placed sign showing campground at this exit
- drive several miles through a housing development only to discover the
campground was "developed" 4 years ago and state never took sign down !
O the joys of full timing
My PPP is when you are sitting outside of your unit enjoying the great
outdoors and the next thing you hear is WHAM! You are looking to see where
the bomb landed and then you realize it was your neighbor coming out of
his unit and slamming the door.
Why is it Picnic Areas always seem to be on the LEFT side of the road?
And, when you finally find one on the RIGHT side, there's an 18-wheeler
parked in it?
Radio stations that don't let the listener know where they are. You hear
something like "There's a bad storm heading East" but do they tell you
East of what - NOOO.
I'm going down a highway and all traffic must detour, you exit and guesswhat?
No signs to tell you where to go. Probably not that much problem for those
of you with GPS, but another adventure if you don't have one. You pull
over, break out the map, and Gee Whiz, the road you have been detoured
onto is not on the map. I have been to some very interesting parts of the
--Charles D. Thigpen II
--Thigpen's Law: Murphy was an optimist
Most RV parks don't have instant phone connections for my laptop so I can
surf the web and get e-mail. That's inconvenient and I hope more
parks update their service soon. I know alot are modem friendly but
I like to be in my coach and take my time on AOL. The last park we
were in the had connect.net in the clubhouse @ 5cents a minute. It's
better than nothing but then you have to just have flash sessions so you
don't overdo it financially. Also, the space in the kitchen has really
turned me off to cooking. It is really laborious to make a decent
size meal. You constantly have to wash and keep things put up or
you will be unable to function.
Camp sites are crowded here in Canada, this is necessary because so many
of us want to be out and about on those glorious weekends and we have approximately
only 10, good weekends a year. I don't mind this, BUT, what does
bother me is the camper that arrives right beside you, pulls out their
awning, a small table and places a cheap, tinny sounding radio on it.
Now they find and tune into the local radio station that plays only music
from "back in the day", blasts it and then promptly leaves their camp site
for the rest of the day leaving us imprisoned in our camper trying to get
away from the noise. If the loud music isn't bad enough (really,
how many times can you listen to "I can't get no Satisfaction" by the Stones
and still enjoy it?), just having to hear the endless stream of bad commercials
is worse! This seems to happen every time and every campsite we go.
People, keep you music inside. And...(I'm on a rant now) when you are actually
at your campsite, none of you seem to listen to your radio, only scream
over top of it. Turn if off for a minute, listen to the birds, the
bees and the wind sweetly rustling the leaves (I have to admit that I even
prefer these sounds to U2...really) In summary the commercials
are the worst, their killing me!! Happy camping to everyone in 2005.
This page last updated on may 8, 2005