Trial run in GrandpaLyle’s Ark

Originally posted to on July 1, 2014

The plan was simple. Friday morning I’d head to Scotty’s RV. After getting a thorough checkout on all the new gadgets, I would drive it home, park it in our driveway, reload all the stuff that had been sitting in the back of the garage since Christmas, head out for a one-night shake down trip to a nearby location.

Sounds simple, right? 

Go home and get ready for the adventure. A little more than a year ago, I brought a used Damon Intruder motorhome. On day one I mashed it into the roof of the house – the beginning of a downhill slide from Intruder to In-turd-er. Eight months work and way too many dollars later, it’s now Grandpalyle’s Ark. This time I was more careful. 

Safely parked, I proceeded to plug it in. Using “shore power” meant I wouldn’t have to run the noisy, smelly generator to take advantage of all the luxuries found in this fabulous land yacht. Crackle. Spark. POP. That’s the sound a long extension cord makes when plugged in with a refrigerator, two air-conditioners and sundry other appliances attached . . . all trying to go on at once. Lucy and Desi were my role models.

Scotty’s RV team

Saturday morning started fresh with adjusting rear view mirrors. Sounds simple, doesn’t it. In a car, it might have been, but these mirrors are out of reach of the driver. Too proud to ask for help, I proceeded as follows: Sit in the driver’s seat, guess what adjustment is needed, walk fifty feet around the RV, tweak the mirrors, walk back to see what it looks like to the driver. Repeat as needed.

This was all happening on the longest day of the year. The Arkansas summer sun was high in the sky, the temperature was soaring and I was about cooked. And I was foolishly trying to have everything in perfect order before the first trip. 

Fortunately, Marie insisted on a sanity break. “Setting up an RV is a lot like moving into a new home,” she said. “You don’t have to have it all done in one day.” The reason for the trip was not to start the rest of my life in the Ark – it was simply to get acquainted and make a list of things for Scotty or me to tweak before I left town.

Sunday. Time for the big trip. Not so big actually, Scotty suggested Rocky Branch. It’s only about a thirty-minute drive and is in a beautiful location on Beaver Lake.

They still had a site that was reasonably level – the jacks should finish the job. Or they would if they worked. Flipped the switch and watched nothing happen. Ugh. Maybe the fuse. Pulled it out, checked it and it was fine. Put it back and everything worked – this could make me crazy.

Time to make some ice. Oops! There’s no water pressure. Ugh. Fortunately there’s a potable water source less than fifty feet away and a potty a few feet from there. UN-fortunately, the water tastes terrible and the potty smells worse. Back to the Ark. Let’s see if we can trouble shoot. The third valve I twisted did the trick – life is good again. And the double filtered water tastes great.

I’m thrilled. The In-turd-er really has become Grandpalyle’s Ark.

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