After finally leaving Houston, our first night in Louisiana was great! We got in late but Steve parked the rig like a pro! (He assured me there’s no reason to doubt his master backer skills. We’ll keep score. Steve: 1, RV Life: 0) It was pitch dark and the road in the campground was windy and narrow but he didn’t even flinch!
Pro Tip: When you can’t see your spot, go place a flashlight on each back corner of the space (like a runway) can see to back in.
Once we got her parked, got the slides out, we all went to bed. Little did we know that the next morning would kickoff a literal shitstorm or RV life Trial by fire!
Adelaide woke us up early and said her bed was wet. What?? How can this be? She has never ever wet the bed (which might be a bit of revisionist history, which we’re entitled to as parents, but she doesn’t wet the bed). I’m questioning her and then I go to feel the bunk mattress and notice the window has leaked. UGH! IT stormed hard the night before but it never dawned on us we could have a leak. We thought wrap guys must have nicked one of the window seals when they trimmed the wrap. No big problem, small leak. We’ll pick up some silicone to seal it.
Night number two, after buying the silicone but not putting it on (there’s a lesson in there), we get a total Gulf Coast summertime thunderstorm. Big thunder. Big lighting. Big raindrops. And….BIG FLOOD! I yell for Steve to check the bunk window that’s leaking again. While he’s trying to figure that out…the other bunk window is leaking…and now the bathroom….and the kitchen….and the living room! (It’s easy to check them all when they’re all within 10 feet of each other.) Miracle number 2 and neither of us know where the stroke of genius came from, Steve yells “weap holes!” and runs out into the dark with an exacto knife (read: razor blade for the non-crafters). The vinyl wrap was covering the weap holes in the window frames! A handful of quick slices through the vinyl, including duct taping the knife to a tension rod to reach the high spots, and the flood waters stopped. (We’re going to call that one a tie…Steve: 2, RV Life: 1)
So we take everything off the bunk including the soaking wet curtains and mattress – set it up to dry – open the storage and remove all of the shoes that are also wet and hope the carpet underneath dries quickly. Luckily the top bunk didn’t get wet at all (mostly because it drained down the wall onto the bottom bunk)!
We had a great first day exploring Mandeville and then having a great dinner event with our friends and colleagues (see blog post for where we recommend lunch!)
We get back to the RV thinking the flood is behind us. Smooth sailing from here on out as we head north to visit family in Ohio…right? So even though we’re “Welch Party of 3”, there’s actually 5 of us…two dogs who had adapted to RV life in Houston for a month like champs. But you know how when you drive over a hill real fast, that feeling, the one in your gut? Turns out actually traveling in the RV was giving the dogs a bit of a feeling in their guts…well, more accurately in their butts. The next 72 hours, both on the road and in Ohio, were a series of unfortunate doggie smoothies in close quarters.
If you can take a flood, fire ants (left out the reduce the number of curse words on the site), and leaking dog butts in an RV in the first couple of days, we figure you can make it on the road. Many of you are probably thinking “Nope, I’d be going home and selling that traveling stinkmobile!” and we get it. For us, you gotta take the good with the bad and laugh it all in (just stay close to an open window for fresh air).
So that’s the first couple of days. Stay tuned for more adventures…