How We Roll
Spontaneity is overrated. We are led to believe it's desirable to be spontaneous. (doing things that are unplanned, unpremeditated, unrehearsed, being natural and unconstrained). Otherwise, life becomes routine…aka…boring.
Turns out you don’t use two 12-volt marine batteries in our motor home; you use two 6-volt golf-cart batteries. Boo found a place that sold them and got two of them to replace the new marine batteries under the step. And he got a couple of new tools in the bargain...he’s sneaky that way. Apparently, spontaneity requires making mistakes and buying new tools.
Boo read and re-read the manual for the generator and found out that a generator needs to have right about 12 volts available (not a lot more or less) or it won’t start. So after installing the two new 6-volt batteries, he tried starting the generator again and this time it worked! Yay. (My advice to anyone planning a motor home adventure; invite a person along who fixes things…oh yeah, and make sure he reads the manual first.)
Our generator was working fine and we weren’t having any more power surges but we stayed at the KOA for an extra day so I could get some work done. We traveled for another 2 days and then found a campground in Texas where we could stay for a month. Life is less spontaneous if you stay in one place for awhile, but you can plan day trips in the area and then spontaneously decide where to eat lunch. That’s much more our style.
Boo discovered that the batteries under the steps were low on water and so he filled them with distilled water to see if that helped. It did not. A battery check showed they were not charging. Since we were right there at Wal-Mart, we decided to buy two new batteries. Easy peasy. We could roll with the punches. We were spontaneous.
This time we needed to find a campground so we could hook up to electricity and test everything out. I called 3 campgrounds in the area and they were all full. So we kept driving until we saw a sign for a KOA. We pulled in and inquired at the office. They had a space for us. Great. Back to being spontaneous. We got registered and plugged in.
Turned out it was harder than we thought to undo and remove the batteries we had and install the new ones, since they were down inside the step and therefore hard to work on. But Boo is a determined fixer and he accomplished it (with hardly any help from me). So…4 hours later…we were on the road again.
The problem was, even though I had checked the campground’s website and thought there would be space available, when we got there, the campground was full and we were turned away. Our spontaneity seeped away like air escaping from a balloon with a slow leak. “Now what do we do??? Park the motor home somewhere and drive or bike over to see the manatees for one afternoon? Put off the manatees until another time?"
After a lot of spontaneous grumbling, we decided to find I-10 and head west. We drove for several hours before stopping to spend the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Crestview, Florida. Why there, you ask? That’s where our permanent address is through Good Sam…where our mail is delivered. We usually have our mail forwarded but since we were in the area, we decided to stop by and pick it up in person.
We would get a good night’s sleep, pick up our mail in the morning, and hit the road. But instead of proceeding smoothly the next morning, our generator suddenly quit working. When you live in a motor home and are not hooked up to electricity, you need your generator to work. So we really had to fix it. (And anyway, an unexpected generator breakdown is very spontaneous.)
We were en route from Florida to northern California, but we had 2 months to get there. We left the Titusville area and planned to be spontaneous as we drove to a place called Blue Springs. We had heard that manatees hang out there during the winter because they like warm water and won’t frequent waterways in an area where the air temperature is much below 80 degrees.
So we set out on our new adventure. Manatees are very cool and the idea of seeing a lot of them in one place was intriguing. We we’re really looking forward to spending several days in the area. And even though we had planned it, we had not made a reservation so we were still being spontaneous. (And we didn’t really know where we were going next, so we were doubly spontaneous.)
Our new lifestyle on the road requires us to be spontaneous much of the time, and I’m here to tell you, it’s H-A-A-A-R-R-R-R-D. (Somebody, call us a wambulance.)
Everything was fine until we started having power surges. Those surges ended up burning out about 10 of the initially-expensive-but-energy-saving light bulbs we had installed in all of our interior lights. Oh, and the power surges also took out the bathroom fan. Fortunately we unhooked the new batteries before they spontaneously did any more damage.