We love getting to be home with our families, and doing a lot of fun activities with everyone for the holidays! This year, we went home for 8 weeks! When we travel home to the Pittsburgh, PA, Youngstown OH areas, we have so far flown with affordable airlines (Frontier, Allegiant, Spirit) and left our RV in very reasonably priced Thousand Trails RV park storage locations which have ranged for us from $60 a month to $75 a month. We had a great experience with this last year when we left our RV near Los Angeles for 5 weeks. We came back to no issues! This year, however, we weren’t quite so lucky!
We have put our RV in storage at Verde Valley Thousand Trails in Cottonwood, AZ. A location that we love for all there is to do, and the close proximity to Sedona, AZ. On the day that we were putting our RV in storage, we had the windshield changed due to a big crack from a speaker inside our RV hitting the windshield and causing a big shatter in the windshield. Our insurance covered a large part of this costly expense. The installers put tape on the windshield to hold it in place and told us we could remove it in 24 hrs, or after we got back with some goo gone to get the tape off. We unfortunately decided to wait to get the tape off until we came back. This was our first mistake. When we got back, the tape had adhered to the rubber around the windshield. We called the company twice about this, and all they could suggest was goo gone. We tried the goo gone, scrapers, and a blow dryer along with other methods. Finally, the best way of getting it off of all four corners of the windshield was SCRAPING IT OFF WITH OUR FINGERNAILS!! Which only took about 4 hours of our lives, but we got most of it off anyway.
When we got back to our RV and car in storage, we also quickly realized that our car and RV batteries were dead! We were able to jump our car battery, but our RV battery was not revivable, and needed to be replaced. About a week later, we also had to replace our car battery for reliability.
We also noticed when we got our RV out of storage that there was mouse poop and rice EVERYWHERE! Now, I had used dryer sheets, Irish Spring Soap, Peppermint oil, and sticky traps before we left our RV to repel any possibility of mice. Our RV smelled like soap and dryer sheets when we left, and when we got back. Somehow, all of these preventative measures didn’t matter, they seemed to attract the mice rather than repel them. It was obvious that the mice had a field day in our motorhome while we were gone, and not one was on the sticky traps. We had also cleaned the RV and fridge really well before leaving, and couldn’t figure out where all the rice had come from that the mice had sprinkled in shoes, closets, beds, furniture, and beyond. Soon we realized that the mice had emptied out a warming neck pack filled with rice and had used that as their food source to store around the RV while we were gone! We bought a new Swiffer and cleaned for 3 days to make sure the RV was spic and span. We also bought new mouse traps, including an electronic mouse trap. We quickly caught a couple of mice, and one night our furnace was making a really loud noise. We came to find out that a small mouse had met its match with our RV furnace fan, which now needed replacing. This quickly was a fast fix with the prompt help of Paul’s Mobile RV in Cottonwood, AZ! We were happy to (hopefully) have the mouse situation taken care of!
Next, we headed to Tucson Arizona to one of our favorite campgrounds, Gilbert Ray Campground. While here, I (Emily) put our car keys on the front car seat and shut the unlocked door. I came back out to the car a minute late to find the car had locked itself and our only car keys were locked in the car! Luckily, we had roadside assistance on our RV, and were able to get help to get our car opened just in time to lead worship at a nearby church that was counting on us!
A couple of days later, at the same campground, I decided to help David while he was dumping the tanks by driving the car onto the tow dolly. I had never done it before because it made me nervous. I didn’t want to overshoot the tow dolly, but I had finally convinced myself after seeing David do it a hundred time that it wasn’t possible to do it wrong…or was it?! Unfortunately, I overshot the tow dolly and ended up in front of the ridges that should have stopped the car!!! Of course this happened at one of the campgrounds 2 dumps. so I was holding up the line of 5 RVs until our 2nd tow truck of the weekend got to us. I was so sad and embarrassed that this happened, and have vowed to never drive the car onto the tow dolly again! It was quite the ordeal! See how some of this went in our video below:
Here’s to hoping that all of these crazy shenanigans of the past two weeks are over, and that our journey east goes smoother than it recently has! Pray for us! -The Free Family