We glimpsed the Promised Land. To put that into perspective, it is important to understand that our journey towards full time RV life has been long and at times agonizingly slow as we have worked through the process of downsizing our belongings, getting our RV and getting the house ready to sell. It is taking longer than we planned and we are not done yet, which is frustrating, and occasionally demoralizing. We have maintained our enthusiasm mostly by gorging on YouTube videos and keeping the faith that this new lifestyle will be the right one for us, but since neither of us has RV’d before, it really is faith we are working with, not knowledge.
Recently we were given a bit of a view of one of the potential RV lifestyles out there and it has renewed our enthusiasm.
But, like most journeys it began with frustration.We took our new baby for its first emissions inspection, which is a requirement to get tags in Tennessee. Since we like breathing fresh air, we have no complaints. We pulled up to the station and the gentleman there asked for our mileage. In ANY other vehicle I have driven, the mileage is prominently displayed on the dashboard. Not so, our new 2019 Mercedes chassis. What commenced was about a 10 minute fire drill as we searched to find the mileage that involved the onboard computer, Google, and a couple of well deserved eye rolls from the gentleman assisting us and a minor amount of colorful language on my part. My apologies to the folks at the testing center and the very patient lady who had the misfortune to be behind us in line.
Mission finally accomplished, we headed back to the house to meet up with some friends, who we were hosting in the RV. Pizza, wine and RV conversation is starting to be a thing with us. This is the second time we had show and tell with pizza. Frankly, it works for us. The coach is so comfortable for 4 people having a meal. We didn’t use the dining table option, because pizza, but there was plenty of room.
In the evening, this is where the RV magic occurred. We have friends who just bought a new fifth wheel and they invited us to the RV park they were staying at for a game of you show us yours and we will show you ours. They are a different brand of RVer from us. Our plan is to travel a lot and stay 1-2 weeks at places we like. Theirs is to land in a place for the season and RV locally, with only a couple of trips away each year. The advantage of their lifestyle is that they build lots of friendships with others who stay for the season.
The Safe Harbour RV park team graciously allowed us to come inside and park in an empty slip while we were there to visit our friends. Our friends had brought other friends from the RV park, and they all had the pleasure of watching the newbies back into our first parking space (thankfully we did ok) and then we all piled into the FX to show her off. There were seven of us and plenty of room. The back seating area was perfect. Conversation flowed easily and no one was left feeling isolated.
After a bit, we went over to the fifth wheel, which was really nice, with a great layout. The kitchen was up and the living room down, and it really worked well. More of their friends showed up and that is when we then experienced the RV culture we have been hoping for all along. Loads of laughter, total strangers who treated us as family, everyone contributing to dinner (which was a taco buffet of epic proportions created in multiple kitchens) and common bonds created by a shared lifestyle. Everyone had a funny story or tip to share and a good time was had by all. Our friends said that every weekend was pretty much like this, where the community came out to be together, and the sense of comradery was addictive. We barely speak to our neighbors in our house that we have lived in for nearly twenty years. While we do not plan to stay in one place for a whole season like our friends, we know we will be back to Nashville quarterly for work and doctors and such, and we now have a crew and a plan for those times. We felt like we finally found our tribe.
We have been told over and over that RVers are a warm, generous group of people who are always willing to step up to help each other, and that is exactly what we experienced. It was wonderful and we will be buoyed by the experience for a long time to come as we close in on our goal to go full time. I want to give a shout out to Bill and Brandon and their marvelous group of RV friends. Thank you for the wonderful experience.