Let me start by saying... this was not my first time doing the whole "living in a house on wheels" type thing
In 2011 I spent a year traveling with people around Canada and the US in a Dodge Tradesman camper van.
I had very basic knowledge of how it all works, which is why I decided to try it again this year. This time by myself! It was a learning experience to say the least
I guess you could say I upgraded from the van (above)
To more of an "RV"....
My first experience in the Van we never stayed in one spot for too long, often boondocking overnight at Walmart parking lots.
This time I really wanted to be CAMPING. I found a beautiful spot along the river at Chippawa Creek Conservation Area - The RV stayed put.
It's a 1987 Chevy, So yes it's older than I am!!!! I bought it from my boss and it needed quite a bit of work. My boss drove it from BC and it sat all winter in his backyard. As you can imagine it was dirty. Dirty isn't even a good enough word... FILTHY or GROSS
I cleaned. Like fucking Cinderella, I cleaned. HARD.
I took on some larger projects inside.... a mini-overhaul in the places I could. Recovering seat cushions, putting in new curtains, new wallpaper, window tint, a cork wall. Fancy, right!!
There were some more serious DIY fixes...
I put in a new secondary battery, I replaced two ceiling vents. That turned out to be way more work than I expected. I needed power tools!
Hopefully the roof doesn't leak anymore...
That was the stuff I could manage fixing on my own.
There were a few visits to the mechanic before it passed safety. A new tail pipe, new breaks, new lights, a strap for the battery... I lucked out with the engine, it's practically brand new. As I type this I can still think of things that need to be done... my toilet is a little leaky, and I don't trust my propane!!!!
Unlike the Van, I could not get my propane to work properly in the RV. Which ended up being okay.
I know, Hank Hill is screaming at me for typing that....
Since I had a 15-amp plug in at the campsite, I didn't need the propane AT ALL... I bought a hot plate and a toaster oven that can cook a roast... and Yes, of course I cooked a fucking roast in it. I even got a small electric heater for the colder nights. I ran the fridge on electric and had no problems.
What can you really expect from an older camper? You make it work, right?
All in - road ready - to own and fix the RV cost me roughly $4,000
The campsite lasted from May to October. I splurged a little bit too and picked a spot along the river. Everything you could ever need there... a toilet, a hot shower, 50/50 draws, canoe rentals, every now and then a free corn roast and nice people. It was worth every penny. I spent my days Kayaking, catching frogs and bugs, laying in my hammock, climbing trees and picking flowers. I couldn't have chose a more relaxing place to spend my summer.
The campsite cost me roughly $2,500
There were a few things I had never done before... such as dealing with dumping the sewage (poop tank) and grey water tanks in the RV.
The rule was ONLY #1's in the RV toilet... Surprisingly I only took ONE drunk shit and puke in there...
Spending my summer this way inspired me to take up new hobbies. I started Bug Taxidermy, Pressing and Preserving Flowers, Kayaking (which I had never tried before and ended up BUYING my own Kayak before the summer ended)
Now she's all packed up... "Winterized" and awaits next summer.
I will miss the lingering scent of campfire and bug spray on everything I own and listening to hundreds of cicada's sing the song of their people as I fall asleep.