A quick note from Melissa and Ashley, founders of Nomad Horror Stories
Thank you to all of our supporters- both the readers, contributors and those who do both! This idea came about while sitting around a campfire in the middle of BLM land in Arizona last winter, and boy was it a great idea (we think hehehe). We absolutely love taking your stories and sharing them with Nomads around the globe. Yes we love our Nomadlife, and we also have lots of great experiences- follow along our personal instas if you’d like to see our family’s adventures and amazing memories. Because Sh*t Happens, we’ll continue to bring you laughs on this page. Stay tuned as more exciting projects for NHS will be coming your way this winter.
and…. back to this week’s story!
Hi, we’re Keith & Linda, from absolutely beautiful, breathtaking, Vancouver, British Columbia Canada and we’ve been touring the highways of America with our cutest companion, our little dog Bizou for almost a year now.
Like so many, we had the RV bug for a couple years, probably from bingewatching too many YouTube videos of fulltimers! And if you haven’t seen them, just google a few, you’ll find swarms of happy campers living in their (renovated, decorated and oh so enviable) drivable homes and enjoying every minute of it. Really, until Nomad Horror Stories came about, stories of black tank explosions, campers locked out in the middle of the night and dogs left alone in RV’s with the hershey squirts was almost unheard of. What we did see was the glamour, the freedom and we wanted it-NOW!
We wanted that enviable Nomad Lifestyle… and we did it!
Our journey began last November when we sold our house, got rid of our stuff, bought a 33’ Motorhome and hit the road. Nothing like jumping in with both feet… although we didn’t expect them to get wet….
Our first trip was a 5-hour drive from Vancouver to Portland, where we planned to visit with our son, daughter-in-law and two-month-old grandson.
We knew from watching YouTube that 5 hours in an RV was too much to tackle in one day (ha ha, see how our RV knowledge at this point was pretty much YouTube University?), so we set our sights on a Cabela’s parking lot near Tacoma, about halfway between Vancouver and Portland.
Do-able right? Just a few hours for our first jaunt ever and we had it all planned out. Nothing could possibly go wrong that YouTube didn’t already school us for.
We left Vancouver on a cold, gray afternoon hoping to get to Cabela’s before dark. As many of these tales go, it didn’t happen. Those pesky unforseen circumstances came up and we quickly learned what hoards of RV Nomads before us had… the school of hard knocks and on the road education is going to happen.
As we made our way across the Border and headed down Highway 5, torrential rain started to fall and it got very windy.
Holy heck batman, how do those Youtubers keep these motorhomes going straight in crazy crosswinds?
We quickly realized that driving a house down the highway was much more challenging than they make it look on YouTube! (I guess that was before we realized the edits and edits and edits those videos go through, who wants to see the white knuckles, crazy crosswinds and f-bombs galore. That certainly wouldn’t look glamorous and like a life we should all jump into!)
With a death grip on the steering wheel, I did everything I could to keep this beast between the lines. Already you see the motorhome was being referred to with its own personality and on that trip, it was not being nice to us at all!
We inched our way down the freeway at about 40 miles per hour. The rain, gusting winds, and 70 mile per hour Big Rigs constantly pushed us from side to side. With white knuckled determination we sat stern lipped, forward in our seats and attempting small talk but not really accomplishing much- it was stressful!
But we pushed on, and eventually saw the lights of Cabela’s off in the distance. I have to admit, that yellow glow was almost religious at that point and part of me wanted to jump out and kiss the pavement that we were finally off the road.
I didn’t kiss the pavement, but seeing those lights was like a beacon in the night, urging us weary travellers on.
It was very late by the time we pulled into a dark corner of the Cabela’s parking lot, but at least the rain and wind had stopped. We crawled into bed and quickly fell asleep, exhausted from the stressful three-hour drive.
The next morning, we awoke to the sound of pop, pop, pop (it sounded like someone was cooking popcorn?).
As we laid in bed listening, we realized it was the sound of raindrops on our fiberglass roof, which was actually very relaxing.
Ah, that was something I could like about this lifestyle for sure!
I eventually crawled out of bed to get the coffee started and was shocked to feel water dripping on my head as I stood in the kitchen.
What the jumpings????
What do we do???
….were my first thoughts, until I looked up. It was then that I noticed the water dripping on my head was actually raindrops coming from a big square hole in the roof, where our vent cover used to be!
I looked up in amazement, sure that I was imagining things and maybe I just needed to close it properly, because I’m sure we used to have one.. right?
I flashback to the terror of driving on the highway yesterday and remember the wind. The crazy, driving wind and gusts that shook our little home until I thought our dishes were certaintly going to fly out of the cupboards- yup that would do it I guess.. and was there more damage? At this point I had two things on the brain;
1. Fix the leak- how could I stop the rain from coming in through our 12′ x 12′ hole in the ceiling where a ventcover used to live? Time to play McGuiver.. what tools did I have at my immediate (wet) fingertips?
2. What else might be gone, broken or about to fall off from yesterdays drive through hell?
Luckily, the rain had tapered off a little by that time, so I duct taped a plastic trash bag over the hole. A quick look inside and out didn’t show any other damage and we decided to keep on trekking!
We hit the road to complete our trek to Portland, where I bought a replacement vent cover at Camping World, and Linda was able to put her umbrella away finally.
So, we survived our first RV road trip with minimal damage. Since then we’ve covered about 3,600 miles through six states, solved numerous other minor catastrophes, and had a lot of fun along the way.
Lesson learned- Always carry duct tape, and if it matches your exterior colors, even better!!! ha ha
You can find us on Instagram Ready Go Rving if you’d like to follow along.
Submitted by Keith and Linda and edited by Melissa Scheltgen