When we tell people how we sold our house and hit the road to live full-time in a RV, most say that we are “living the dream” and tell us they hope to do the same – someday. With nearly a year under our belts, it has been overall a great experience. As you can see if you follow our blog, we visit some beautiful places and enjoy seeing so many interesting things. Of course, when you live in a motorized vehicle, there are some downsides and, lately, we have been hit hard with that reality.

Our home normally

Since we got Big Al (the name of our RV), she has had a few issues that required a visit to the shop. Luckily, these have been short visits and we have often been able to stay in her or time it with a trip elsewhere. This was different. We had actually been gone for a month, leaving her in Pennsylvania while we travelled abroad and we were excited to get home and back into our own space.

After getting her from storage, Barry headed to a campground at the French Creek State Park. I ran an errand and was going to meet him at the campsite, but as I returned to the park 40 minutes after him, I saw him pulling off the main road with a police escort. Of course, my first thought was “what did he do?” The young state park ranger came over when I pulled up and asked, “Are you the wife?.” When I hesitantly confirmed I was, he told me, “He broke your toy.” Now, I don’t consider my home a toy, but he likely doesn’t know I live it in full-time.

Closest spot with cell signals to await callback from AAA

Apparently Big Al’s engine light came on, giving Barry about 30 seconds to pull over or the engine would start to de-rate, a fancy way of saying shut down. With no cell signal in the park, we headed to closest town to call a tow truck and find a shop that could help us. After a lot of calls and a long wait, we found a tow that handled big rigs and a shop in Lancaster, about an hour away.

Such a sad view as Big Al is loaded up on tow truck

We picked it up last Saturday, after getting a new water pump and belt, and headed to New York. About an hour later, we got a new light and after talking to the folks back at the shop, we decided to return her to them to look at it again. They started working on her on Monday and have had her ever since. It will hopefully all be resolved early next week, but in the meantime, we are sidelined.

Luckily, my good friend (the first friend I ever had in life) lives nearby and has taken us in to her lovely home. And while I am ready to be back in my own space, I can’t complain since I have a whole house and a pool in the backyard to myself while they go off to work! They also have a dishwasher – which as many of you know, I have missed greatly in the RV.

So, more adventures and pictures to come. We did have a great July trip to Europe (without Big Al, which could be why she is acting up?!) so have lots of great pictures to share. For now, here is hoping Big Al gets back on her wheels real soon.

debracbenton Travel ,

3 Replies

  1. Well the three of you have had quiet an adventure! As you know, you are in our neck of the woods. Larry and I are here to help if you need anything or just want to step inside a coach to feel at home and connected. We are happy to cook a meal and socialize at our home base on the lake! Looking forward to Cape May ~ Om Shanti, Theresa

  2. RV life is a big adventure. I don’t live full time in an RV now, but I did for two years, when my daughter was an infant/toddler. It was some of the best times of my life, but also full of adventures, like winterizing the RV by myself the first winter in Reno (NV.) I smile when I think back of the things I learned, but then it was no joke. I hope you get your RV back soon.

    1. Yes, there are always things to learn! And memories to create! We’ve made it back into “Big Al” and she’s doing great. Thanks!

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