#27. Behind the Scenes

Our Instagram account might give the impression that the RV lifestyle is all about drinking craft beers, visiting national parks, and taking pretty pictures. I mean, to some extent, YES… but that’s just a teeeeeeny slice of the big picture. The big picture includes problems. Behind the scenes, things go sideways. Often.

For instance:

  • About a week and a half ago, water started dribbling from beneath the kitchen sink, across our living space, and under the couch into deep, dark unreachable places experienced only by cat fur and dust bunnies. It took three rolls of premium paper towels and a plea to our Fulltime RVers Facebook group before we identified a loose pipe fitting underneath the shower.
  • We discovered more mysterious water dripping from the undercarriage of the RV this morning. Once again, we couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Once again, we spent a couple of clueless hours bashing around our tin can with flashlights and screwdrivers. This time we couldn’t identify the source. We finally had to pony up and call in a mobile RV repair person, who was able to immediately pinpoint a loose freshwater hose connection. Cha-ching.
  • We have grand visions of enriching our child’s life by taking him to every national park and national monument within close proximity to our campsites. His fourth grade “Every Kid In A Park” pass makes me feel obligated to try. But sometimes we get to places and he’s like, Nope. I do not wish to be here. I do not care about that rock nor do I wish to smell that flower, and that bird is boring me to death. I would like to go home and play Minecraft. When I post pictures of national parks and there are no people in them, you know it was a day when my kid was standing off to the sides with his arms crossed, grumbling in protest and giving me a mental middle finger.
  • We don’t take pictures of ourselves worrying about money. That happens on a fairly regular basis, but the photo documentation is rather dull.
  • Know what else I don’t post pictures of? Our dumb arguments. Living in a small space with two other people – three, if you include the cat – can be claustrophobic and grouch-inducing, especially when things start breaking before I’ve had a couple cups of coffee. Trent and I definitely disagree and argue. Maybe some small space residents can live happily with their roommates 100% of the time, but that’s not what’s happening here. A representative example from last night: “WHERE IS THE SEWING KIT.” “I don’t know. Sam and I are going swimming. Do you want to drop us off at the pool so that you can go buy a sewing kit?” “NO! I want YOU to go buy a sewing kit!” “But… I don’t need the sewing kit. I want to go swimming.”
  • At least once a day I make a proclamation along the lines of, “Biscuit McDowell, if you do not stop scratching that couch/window shade/pillow/bumper, I am going to toss you outside to the coyotes.” The precious furrball is hell bent on tearing this place apart with her bare paws.

To sum it up, the problems that crop up now are similar to problems that cropped up before we started RVing: things break, things require money to get fixed, money is scarcer than one might hope, children complain despite parents’ good intentions, relationships are challenging no matter how good they are, and cats are assholes wherever they go.

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