We officially made it through the first night in the camper! It was quite an eventful one. After getting the majority of my things moved, we put one car load away and decided to go to dinner. Which was delicious, by the way. Plams Fish Camp is definitely a place to hit in Jacksonville. We grabbed some beer at a nearby gas station and headed back to finish unloading.
For a little backstory, I had been staying at my sister’s house while waiting for my spot to open up and had a few things stored in her garage. Here was my first bad decision; I was storing a couple delivery bags full of food in said garage. Unthinking, we loaded them up in my boyfriends car and brought it over. The Panera bag seemed fine, I unpacked it and then folded it and put it away without any incident. But then we brought in the Postmates bag. In it comes and we set it on the floor by the sofa, where my dog was hanging out. I looked over and words decided they no longer existed in my brain. My poor boyfriend had no idea why I was freaking out, until I finally remembered how to speak and began yelling “snake! snake!” at him. There was one crawling out of the bag of food. Randall sprang into action and got Bronson out of harms way first. He picked up my 45-pound pit mix with one arm and threw him safely onto the bed. Then he grabbed the bag and threw it out the door. The snake slithered away. We went out to get the bag and saw buried down inside was another snake. That was more than enough reason for us to zip up the bag and take it to the dumpster. We didn’t want to leave it just sitting outside to attract more animals and we figured the snake, which we later determined to be harmless, could find his way out to freedom. So after a long day of work, moving, and snake wrangling, we decided it was time to shower and relax.
What was supposed to be a quick shower turned into me standing around naked and waiting for the water to warm up for half an hour. Since we’re new to this and I remember almost nothing from the walk-through, I took to Facebook for help. I’m in an RV group that my dad added me to, specifically for tips and helping fellow RVer’s. They were super helpful but I couldn’t even find the switch for the water heater. My dad saw the post and called. With him on the phone we eventually figured out which switch was for the water heater. Dad hung up, Randall and I thought we were victorious, and we flipped the switch. I was so ready for a warm shower at this point.
Victory was short lived. Not five minutes after turning on the electric side of the water heater, we blew power to the camper. The TV, AC, fridge, and microwave all went out. We flipped the breakers in the little fuse box inside the camper a couple of times but it had no effect. So we call my dad again. He says it sounds like a main breaker was tripped and directed us to the box outside that our camper is plugged in to. Randall heads over with a flashlight as it’s about midnight now and very, very dark out. Meanwhile, I went in to try and switch the fridge over to propane to keep what little food we have cold. Like my leftovers from our amazing dinner! It never did ignite and we still have to figure that one out. Eventually, after flipping the 30 amp breaker that we’re using several times, the power finally came back on. We were just about to give up and settle in for a very warm night, which probably would have made the lack of hot water more desirable. Still, we didn’t want to chance it and decided not to run much power for the rest of the night.
I must admit that during all this I had some serious doubts about getting into this lifestyle. It was frustrating and a learning experience but now we know we really can count on the RV community. Between the helpful folks on Facebook and our neighbors, our family, and even our landlord, nothing will be a problem for long. I think the universe was testing us and I’m glad it did. Because even given our hectic moments for our first night as full-timers, that’s what they were: moments. And I’ll take them if it means I get to live like this.