Friday, April 24, 2009

Learning the Hard Way

When I reached retirement age, I was suddenly faced with the loss of my house and a sizeable reduction of income. Fortunately, I had built enough equity to buy a used Winnebago Minnie Winnie that had been parked for two years. The dealer through whom I dealt assured me that all was working fine and since he knew the owner personally, I took his word for it.

After reading the service manual from cover to cover, I went ahead and filled one tank with water, the other with propane, and went shopping for doodads that I had been told were essential to the RV'ing lifestyle. When I stepped back into the RV, I found the floor thoroughly soaked. Some 30 gallons of water had seeped through the improperly winterized plumbing system. A wet vac took care of the immediate problem but in time, I had to replace the now warped rotten sub-floor and the carpet. Sadly, that proved to be only the beginning. . .

Next, the fridge failed to work properly. Three electronic boards were replaced for $$$ and still the fridge would not remain lit unless I'd jiggle the button repeatedly. A thorough investigation by a new "specialist" eventually revealed a ground screw that failed to connect thoroughly because of some coating that was removed by sandpaper, period. I learned later that the eyebrow board seldom has to be replaced. Now I have two.

To my great sorrow and shame, I admit to having a deplorable trait of character. I tend to trust people who come equipped with the proper title or accreditation and present with enough aplomb to make me feel either dumb, inadequate, or as a know-nothing-at-all female too advanced in years to be given so much information. Particularly with things RV or mechanical. But I'm learning. . .

Learning that full timing RV'ers have a wealth of information and experience. I don't have to make all the mistakes by myself. So now, I consult two or more full timers. If the information sounds contradictory, I check with others until I have a solid grasp of the solution to my problem. I got to know many in my travels but more so in the desert where many spend the winter, as do I. Sadly, the road to acquire experience was at first rocky. And costly. Now I know better.


Pleinguy said...

I don't believe trusting someone who proclaims expertize is a character flaw on your part, but rather on them for taking advantage of you. Sorry to hear you had such a rocky start to your fulltiming adventures. I sure hope I don't have a similar experience as I doubt I could recover from it financially.

I'm doing much research and following several fulltimers to learn as much as possible before making the leap. Luckily I have a few years to prepare.

Your writing is informative and it's refreshing to hear your personal take on things. Hope you continue to post regularly about your travels. Take care.

Stargazer said...

Thank you, Pleinguy. I hope that this comment reaches you.

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