It’s difficult to even quiet my thoughts enough to get something on paper. The last week – even more so the last two days – have been nothing short of insanity.

On Friday morning, we were all set to take the RV down to the dealer to have the large slide out fixed for the 3rd time in 3 years. (It has failed in a different way each time and will likely continue to do so because of the finicky design). We were greeted with a dead van battery which, luckily, responded to a normal jump and we were on our way. At the end of the 40 minute drive, we were in the left turn median of the highway, just feet from the entrance to the repair shop, and the RV let out a terrible clamor and died with traffic racing past on either side of us.

This time, the battery refused to respond. Two hours later, a truck and a precarious tow strap managed to drag the RV into the repair lot. A new battery was installed but we were now hours late to our original slide out appointment and were informed the 8 hour job would now be completed on Monday, leaving us a bit homeless for the next 3 nights.

We rallied, as we usually do, and devised a plan to live out of the Melodic View travel trailer for the next week. With Russell still flying to Wisconsin for work Sunday-Thursday, this was our only alternative. The plan was complicated by the knowledge that, once the slide out job was complete, we would need to move the RV 5 miles down the road to the Ford dealer who could assess the horrible sound coming from under the hood.

That is where I came to the rescue and drove the RV for my inaugural spin yesterday – from one repair shop to another. Despite the fact I’d never driven it before, I could tell instinctively that things were far from correct under the hood and I rolled down the highway at 20mph and held my breath the entire way. When I rolled into the Ford dealer, the intake agent immediately confirmed the RV was not drivable based on the sound alone. They would assess it first thing in the morning so there was nothing other to do than wait.

white sands national park sunrise adventure

The call came this morning, as promised. The RV engine had about 20 miles left to drive before it would basically explode. It was a miracle I made it those 5 miles without incident. The engine has thrown a rod and the fix will take two weeks to the tune of $9,000. That will bring the amount of money we have already put into repairing it in ONE MONTH to $12,000…nearly a fifth of it’s original purchase value.

Needless to say, this was crippling, devastating news. We had our sights set on trading it in for a different RV in just a few short weeks, already convinced it was long past time to get the heck out of ‘Coachman Freelander’ dodge. But we now have another $9,000 hurdle to making that dream a reality. No one will accept a non-working RV for trade in on a new one so, as it sits now, it is worthless without this painful repair.

From the generator to the bed to toilet to the slide out fixes (x3) to now the engine…this particular RV has been nothing but a non-stop headache and money sinkhole. During the 5 years Russell has owned it, there have been precious few months where everything has worked without issue. Let this be a lesson to first time RV owners not to be mesmerized by the affordable price tag – that low number just means you’ll be paying dearly down the line to compensate for the abhorrent build quality and lack of craftsmanship.

In two days, we will move on to Las Vegas and leave the RV behind in Arizona. We will be living in the Melodic View travel trailer for the foreseeable future and continue to deal with the ramifications of this latest implosion of all our carefully laid plans. We’ve already had to scramble to rearrange all the bookings we’d made for my mom’s upcoming trip to Vegas & the Grand Canyon and we are looking at countless extra logistics to pull off the things we’d already set in motion.

I’d like to say that life on the road is worth it. I’d like to encourage all of you out there who are considering it to go for it. But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days (and weeks) where the effort seems endless and the reward non-existent. Just know that the glamorous life you see on instagram is not the full truth about nomadic life and make sure you are ready for downside of travel.

One comment on “When ‘This Too’ Doesn’t Pass

  • Oh my goodness. How discouraging! I am so sorry you guys have been faced with such crap luck. We know a bit about that from our first truck we tried to tow with. Money pit deluxe! When you are feeling depressed and a bit crazed from your frustrations, you can repeat ‘everyday is vacation’ as Erik and I do because apparently that’s how a lot of people see our glamorous life on the road where we escape all of life’s problems. Hang in there guys! Luckily no one was hurt and even though its not just money, it really is. We still cringe at the thousands we lost on ours, but luckily it doesn’t sting as bad as it used to. Positive thoughts to trudge past this hurdle and into a better, more reliable home!

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