AN AVERAGE AMERICAN FAMILY

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM

Our (second) Launch Day started out with smiles and ended in exhaustion. 

From the bus not being ready when we arrived to the taillights on the Jeep not working when it was connected to the bus. Despite the problems, we still kept our spirits up and stayed positive.

The bus kept giving our mechanic issues and he wasn’t able to have it ready by the time we got there, so we had to wait 4 hours for it to be done. However, we were able to start loading our things into the bus and get it all organized before we left. Our mechanic had a HUGE property, luckily the kids were able to play in the field and stay entertained (thank goodness!).

As we were trying to connect to our Wi-Fi, we discovered that our wireless Wi-Fi router stopped working and we couldn’t get it to come back on. So, no internet. That means no TV for kids, no Wi-Fi, no uploading videos, no working on our business stuff either. The silver lining is the kids had to learn how to entertain themselves without technology (which they have been having a little TOO much of lately).

Around 7pm we were all loaded up with the Jeep connected and discovered the blinkers wouldn’t work on the Jeep being towed by the bus. Our mechanic stayed late with us trying to figure out why the taillights wouldn’t work. At this point, it was close to 10pm and we decided to stay at the mechanics shop  that night in the bus and have an electrician come look at the wiring in the morning. Everyone was exhausted and tired, we figured this would be the best option and start fresh in the morning.

We woke up hopeful the next day, Saturday. The electrician wasn’t able to get there until about 11 am and after doing a couple hours of tinkering and research, he told us that this particular year of Jeep HAS to be wired by the factory. That’s the way Jeep programmed it and there’s no override. We made a quick decision to run to the auto store and get magnetic brake lights you put on the sides of your tow vehicle so we are safe on the road until we are able to get to a Jeep dealership. The problem was that we didn’t measure the distance the wire needed to connect to the bus from the back of the Jeep. When Kyle came back, the wire was about 2 feet too short, back to the auto parts store to get an extension we go….

While we were still in the mechanics parking lot, the generator started over heating and melted our dirty water tank valve and dumped nasty gray water all over the ground. It also melted the bay door. That means we have to strictly rely on our solar to power our ACs on the road. With the way our day was going, we weren’t hopeful. The solar was definitely having a hard time keeping up and we could only run 1 AC because it was incredibly overcast outside.  We had to turn the generator off so it wouldn’t melt anything else.

We started to get a whiff of a nasty odor coming from the composting toilet. The smell filled the entire bus.  The generator heated up that whole compartment, just imagine poop in a 400-degree oven, it was despicable.

Of course, all of this happened before we pulled OUT of the mechanic’s shop. Luckily, our mechanic is one phenomenal human being, he was patient with us the entire time and helped in any way he possibly could. We appreciated it more than he will ever know.

We were just about to leave when Kyle broke his only pair of flip flops. He had to wear his nice new Chaco’s and got poop water on them when he dumped the gray tank with the melted spout.

We tried to wash up a bit before we hit the road and to our dismay we found out that the water pump isn’t working right. It’s not pumping enough water and the pressure is nonexistent. Just add that to the list of repairs we need to make….

Once we finally were safe to head out on the road, we decided it was best to go to a Walmart about 45 minutes away (at this point it’s about 3pm) so we can get groceries and Kyle can go to a specialty RV store to get a new gray water tank valve to replace the melted one. The guys headed off to the RV parts store while Jenn stayed behind with the kids. Shortly after they left, a sketchy looking guy with no shirt and cut off pants started walking around our buses and looking under them.  Once the guys got back, we figured that it wouldn’t be safe for us to spend the night there.

As we are about to pull out of that Walmart, we go to hook the Jeep back up and discover that the wire we just bought is no longer working. Stephen has to fix it, in the rain, before we are able to go. At this point in our night, it’s about 8pm and we don’t want to be there any longer than we have to.

Once we get going It’s pouring down rain on the road and is perfect timing for our right windshield wiper to stop working.  Luckily, Kyle technically only needs the left one while driving anyway, silver lining, right?

We are able to make it right outside of Tifton, GA and make a stop at a rest area for the night. As we pull in and stop, our parking brake doesn’t want to work like it should and we have to use wood to ensure that the bus stays put. Luckily, the wood worked, and we were able to get some rest before heading out in the morning. We found a nice State Park in Chattanooga, TN to stay at for a couple of days to fix our new issues on the bus and catch our breath.

So far...that’s the first 36 hours. Even though we have had some  unexpected problems come up, we are still keeping our positive attitudes about everything. When you are Fulltime RV Living, the first 6 months are the hardest. We knew our Launch Day would have some issues because we hadn’t taken the bus out for any camping trips yet. We thought we would handle problems as they came up and that’s exactly what we did.

We can’t wait to bring y’all along to experience Harrison Bay State Park and have some much-needed time to be still and breathe. If you want to catch our newest video about our launch day, watch it here.

We can’t thank everyone enough for following and supporting us on this crazy adventure, it means the world to us!