The RV Learning Curve, Sharp But Effective

Like most RV couples, Trace and I have an arrival and departure system that works for us.  This system isn’t unique, in fact we most likely adopted the entire process by watching other couples at the camp grounds. Whether we are coming or going, I am responsible for the interior RV jobs and Trace takes care of the exterior RV jobs….mind blowing right?  

There we were, a hot summer day in Anaheim California.  We were with our boys, Trouper and Tanner, enjoying the beautiful weather and planning to visit Disneyland the next day.  A few days earlier Trace had suffered a self-inflicted injury attempting to pop a wheelie on a 3-speed bicycle trying to show the boys “how it’s done”.  It’s a beautiful thing to watch your husband teach his kids about traumatic knee injury. Emotional stuff. I am not sure who cried more. The kids cried, Trace cried and trust me I cried too but not over the knee.

The injury left Trace compromised to say the least.  Laid up on the couch, ice bag on the knee, snacks, drinks, all the things a patient needs when feeling down.  It also left some of the “exterior” RV jobs to me! Specifically, the black hose. It doesn’t matter what kind of RV you have or how much you paid for it, everybody has one and everybody knows what must be done.  So there I was, gloved hands, hose securely attached to the ground, the only thing left to do was pull the tank handle and let it flow…..one deep breath, a quick prayer and I slowly pulled the handle.

I could hear movement in the tank, so I turned to check the connection and that is when I saw the hose end POP up out of the connector!!  There is NOTHING more frightening than seeing that hose come alive. I wish I could tell you with absolute certainty what happened next, but I cannot.  I dove the distance from the outflow handle to the ground connection and slammed my hands on the elbow joint of the hose. Oh, things were moving now. The hose kept trying to pop up and wiggle out of the ground connection.  It was like I was trying to push Jell-o through a key hole…..tricky! On my knees, I was pressing down with all the strength I had to keep the hose from “showering” the ground, the RV and me. Needless to say, I was making quite an impression on the neighbors who were clamoring to offer assistance from a distance. “Twist the hose! Twist!” they were shouting.  Finally! I saw the error of my ways….I had not locked the hose in place. Luckily the flow was beginning to slow down, the pressure decreased, and I got the hose locked in the proper position. I was speechless. The neighbors stood there, slack jawed and tight-lipped.

In a sad effort to avoid more embarrassment, I gave the neighbors a quick smile and wave, they reciprocated, but no real words were exchanged. We all knew the kind of disastrous crisis had been averted. A messy one.  Somehow, I managed to keep everything contained and for that I am thankful. There is no way to recover from a black hose incident. You just take notes and try to do better the next time.

The next day we made our trip to Disneyland with the kids.  Trace spent the day on a motorized chair either blowing past us or running into my heels.  Turns out, if you are on a scooter, Disneyland lets you go to the front of the line and avoid the wait. Thank you, Disneyland.

The neighbors, well they pulled up stakes and moved on down the road.  I can’t say I blame them we were crappy neighbors.