Just Do It

We really appreciate the support and encouragement we are receiving from our family and friends.  A common theme seems to be, “Just go buy another RV.”  And that is our plan.

If you get a little depressed, go curl up in a small space

But that’s easier said than done, of course.  It’s not like an iPad that you can just go out and buy another one.  Not only are RVs very expensive, but models and availability are limited at any given time.  We have to drive an hour in each direction to reach the first town that has RV dealers, given we’re somewhat in the middle of nowhere here in Joshua Tree.  Thank goodness for the Internet, although the quality of RV dealer websites varies greatly and their inventory is not always up-to-date.  Another challenge is we’re in California where everything is just darn expensive, including gas at $4.49/gallon.  And March is the height of their RV season, so the dealers aren’t very motivated to negotiate on price, and models are selling quickly (one RV that we were interested in disappeared before the next day when we were going to see it).

Plus an RV is not an impulse buy.  When purchasing our first RV, once we had settled on purchasing a Class A type of RV, it took a couple months of searching before we found our little Hurricane at a dealer two hours north in Ohio.  And that was kind of a fluke: it wasn’t listed online (we were actually there to look at another RV), the Hurricane arrived on the lot just the day before, and it would’ve sold to another couple had we gone to lunch to think it over like we probably should have.

We’ve also been thrashing a bit on what we want.  One upside to the accident is we’ve been given a chance to reboot our trip and improve on any problems we’ve perceived from our month on the road thus far.  One alternate plan we’ve considered is skipping the RV and instead staying in hotels and rented cabins.  We ran the numbers, and using a generous average of $150/night for lodging, it’s comes out about the same as travelling by RV.  This is because there is no RV insurance, maintenance, depreciation, and 8 mpg gas if we stay in hotels.  But there are two main problems with this plan.  First is that many of the parks we hoped to visit (such as Mojave National Preserve) don’t have decent lodging nearby, so we’d have to drive long distances each day to reach the hiking trails or skip a bunch of parks altogether.  The second problem is that finding lodging that is in or near the parks, will allow 2 dogs, has a kitchenette (we dislike eating out every meal), and fits within our budget is actually fairly rare.  The exception is Motel6, which is pet friendly, but usually these only have a microwave and mini-fridge, and who wants to spend their entire trip in a tiny hotel room?  So we’ve dismissed the lodging plan.

We’re pretty discouraged and a little depressed right now, but we’ll keep pressing on.  It doesn’t help that I’m actually in more pain than I expected.  It hurts to breathe and move and get in and out of the car.  When I take my prescribed meds, it helps with the pain, but I get very sleepy, which is not helpful for the challenging task of finding an RV.  So yesterday when we went RV hunting I skipped my meds so I’d be fresh and alert, but then I was grumpy because I was in pain the whole time.  Fortunately the pain seems to have dropped in half today.  We are heading 2 hours west to San Bernardino to check out some more RV dealers.  Our fingers are crossed that our new RV is waiting there for us.

Thanks again for all your encouragement.  Even in our darkest hours we don’t want to give up and go home.  Of course we wish this accident had never happened.  But when we look at it from an outside perspective, “We have to buy another RV, woe is me,” it seems pretty foolish to get too upset at our relatively minor misfortune.  Especially compared to the brother of a friend who lost his house and all of his family possessions in a tornado yesterday in Ohio (thankfully no major injuries).  Even though we can relate to losing our home, very few of our possessions were damaged, and we still have a real house in Kentucky to return to if needed.  And just outside our hotel each morning sits a homeless woman who sleeps in the nearby bushes.  These are stark reminders just how darn lucky and blessed we are.

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