Dang, I was one wound-up tight gal yesterday. Not so bad today though, thank goodness.
Mark and I took the day yesterday to take care of some business with Fiona. It was time to dump the holding tanks, exercise the generator (run it for about an hour each month, with the a/c on), and add DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) fluid. We combined this maintenance day, with a two-hour trip up to Lytle, CA to talk to a man about a horse.
OK, so we didn’t actually talk to a man about a horse. But we did go to Area 63 Productions to talk to Uwe Salwender about doing a solar upgrade on Fiona. Now that was the fun part of the day. In Airstream circles, Uwe is considered to be somewhat of an Airstream guru. We showed up for our appointment with a couple bags of little cookies from Jack In The Box, you know, to butter up him and his crew. I think it worked, as they were all very nice to us!
A quick word about AREA 63 PRODUCTIONS….. This is a cool place! A ginormous barn/workshop, and loads of really cool old Airstream trailers around the property and inside the workshop. Fun to see all these old classics, some of which will be magically transformed into shiny, restored beauties.
Back to my story…. We spent a couple hours at Area 63 Productions, talking about doing our solar upgrade. Uwe was very thorough, and did a basic vehicle inspection to check out the wiring, the existing equipment, and the existing house batteries, to see what he had to work with.
Uwe discovered that our house batteries were bulging, and that we have somewhat low battery charge readings. This is a bad thing. And I think this is when I felt my stress headache coming on. The day was still pretty young, and still to follow was accomplishing all of the other tasks we had planned.
As the day progressed, little by little, I was starting to crack. Each little task had it’s own stressfullness about it. And once the stress started festering inside me, it just escalated.. It wasn’t anything in particular. It was just everything in particular. Even the dogs were stressing me out. Before you know it, I was Debbie Downer, in a deep funk, and angry as all get out!
I won’t go into all the “issues” we encountered, but at the end of this post, I will tell you about our plan of action to remedy everything that was not quite right on this day. Suffice to say, there was a lot of annoying shit going on!!
Poor Mark had to put up with me. I’m quite sure that if there was a passenger eject button, like in comic books, he wouldn’t have hesitated to launch me into oblivion.
At about 7:00pm, we stopped at a campground on Lake Elsinore. Figured we’d cook dinner (and by “we,” I mean Mark), and run our generator with the a/c at the same time. Nothing like hanging out inside your rv on a chilly evening, running the a/c. Lovely. I was pissed off at the world. And my headache…oh, my headache!!!
By time we made it home, it was 11:00pm. I thought my head might actually explode. On top of this, I was starting to doubt our ability to do a long trip in Fiona. We were just not adequately prepared.
When I woke up in the morning, I was, once again, a totally happy camper (pun intended). I had had a great epiphany about the day before. I realized how lucky we were to have encountered some of those obstacles at this time. It was truly a day of learning! Now we have plenty of time to work some things out so that everything will just run more smoothly when we really hit the road.
Here are the things we will be working on in the weeks to come:
- Get all of our travel apps and bookmarked sites, onto our new iPad, and figure out how they work. This will make it much easier to navigate and find things we need to find, like auto supply stores, and places to dump our holding tanks.
- We need to buy the proper USB adapters to hook up our new iPad and our new generation iPhones.
- Rearrange the rear storage area so that we have easy access to hoses and cords that we need to use on a regular basis.
- Remove the TV that’s in front, as previously planned. It blocks full access to the two overhead storage areas.
- Remove at least one of the second row seats, as previously planned. Possibly remove both, and have custom made cabinets installed, or some other less expensive solution.
- Buy a special tire pressure gauge adapter for our rear dually tires.
- Figure out a way to install a dog gate at the sliding door, to keep dogs confined in rig.
- Look into buying an x-pen for the dogs so they can hang out outside, without being tied up.
- Print out a copy of our pre-flight check list.
We’re doing a short 4-5 day trip to Utah in a few weeks, so, if I left anything off of this list, I’ll probably get a sharp, abrupt reminder!! Only thing is, that now I will recognize any and all future suck-fests, for what they really are…big, big learning experiences…and I’ll embrace them.