Most of this blog has centered on our travels as we crossed the country giving you a glimpse of where we have been and the sites we have seen. We also want to interlace some of the aspects of what life is like living full-time in an RV. We still have to manage our day to day lives just as we would have to if we lived in a sticks and bricks dwelling and this post looks back on the first 5 months of traveling and how we dealt with the issues that cropped up.
One of the most asked questions we get is how we would handle medical issues that arise as we travel. We have been fortunate that the times we have gotten sick it has been minor and we each got sick at different times so one of us could be the caregiver. We have had one or two more complicated issues, that fortunately, we have been able to successfully handle. Back on August 25th when we were searching for wild horses in WY we stopped for a snack of gluten & dairy free protein bars which tend to be very gooey. Jon took one bite and pulled a crown off one of his molars. As we knew it would take a bit of time to get it fixed, we booked a dentist appointment at our next planned stop near Salt Lake. Unfortunately, it turned out he would need to get an implant to hold the crown so we had to wait until we were going to be settled in an area long enough to have the work done. So that meant we had to make appointments with a dentist and oral surgeon for after the caravan in November when we would be in WA. Since we had lived in the Bothell area before, we went back to our old dentist and Jon was able to get the surgery done while we were staying on the Olympic Pennisula. It did mean we had several long commutes getting to the appointments as we had to travel from Port Angeles taking the ferry each way but we knew we were getting the best care. Now Jonathan has to wait for complete healing from the surgery before he can have the crown put on. This will take several months and we will have to plan somewhere down the road to have the new crown made. In the mean time, the dentist put a healing cap on the implant to keep the gum line in shape until the new crown is put on the implant.
For all minor medical issues we planned on using Urgent Care centers when necessary. Unfortunately, Joanna also got a trip to the emergency room after a minor cut on her thumb was not treated properly at a local center. It really can be a crap shoot as to the level of care you can expect so we have to be prepared for things to go well, as with Jon’s surgery, and things that do not go as well as we would hope, as with Joanna’s cut. BTW her thumb has healed nicely after the cute doctor at the ER fixed her up.
Another common question is about how we get our mail. We use a mail service in Florida which gathers our mail and then we can set up shipments to wherever we are camping. This has worked fairly well. We have had two shipments that did not arrive as scheduled, one because the campground only went to their PO box every couple of weeks, and one where the package popped open and since all of the mail inside had FL addresses it was returned to the service. All of the mail eventually made it to us and fortunately their was not anything that needed immediate attention. Now almost everything we do is online, from paying our bills to sending Christmas cards, so most of what we get by snail mail can take it’s time to get to us.
Jonathan’s largest frustration is the constant maintenance issues that have to be dealt with whether it was the trim coming loose on the kitchen counter or the window shade that fell on him while he was driving. We need to stay on top of all of the small issues, ordering replacement parts from Tiffin or finding the local Home Depot and devising ingenious ways to repair or replace items that shake loose while traveling 70 miles an hour on the interstate.
Joanna’s largest frustration has been the inconsistent connectivity. Over the years Jonathan had spoiled her by always having the best broadband available and now we have to rely on our two 4G LTE hotspots which are frequently less that optimal or we try the campground WIFI which is always interminably slow. The good news is that we have upgraded our ATT hotspot to the new tri-band Nighthawk router which has greatly improved our speed and reliability. We also have a Verizion hotspot for back up when we cannot get the ATT signal.
So the last five months have been a great learning experience. Not only learning about what this RVing lifestyle is all about, but also about ourselves. Down the road we will be sharing more of the details of what it means to be a full-time RVer, but for now, we will be with family for the next month or so, then we will hit the road again heading south to warmer weather.
Till next time ….