We’re finally here! It’s done and we’re in.
Does it live up to more than a year of hype and hope? Hard to say yet, we’re only a week in. But so far, it certainly shows the potential, but there were a few hiccups. Read on to find out what happened…
For those of you just catching up with us, we officially and permanently moved into our Airstream travel trailer on Saturday, Feb. 12th (here’s why we would do such a thing, and how we pulled it off in a year). Our first week has been really fun and surprisingly relaxing! Both of us have enjoyed some of the most restful nights’ sleep we’ve had since moving to Texas, but this rest didn’t exactly come without a few missteps and technical difficulties.
We started out early on Saturday morning for the drive to Corinth where the RV was stored. The 40+ mile drive back to the RV park was a piece of cake, and given that Dallas traffic is usually terrible, this was probably the most stressful part for me. We hooked up the Big Weaz and we were on our way (after remembering how to connect our Equal-i-zer Hitch – its not difficult, it’s just been a while). The trailer actually seemed easier to maneuver than the old 22′ one… Im sure there’s some reason behind it that Deke has already written about somewhere on Weaselmouth.
We researched a lot of parks in the area and found one of the nicest to be within a 30 minute drive to Deke’s office (we’ll tell you more about it in future posts and park reviews). When we arrived, the hosts pointed us to of the best spots in the park — a pull through with a double yard area and enough room for two cars. The yard will definitely come in handy when we bust out the awning, table and chairs for some front porch dining. We had many offers to help with pulling into the space and a few neighbors popped over to say hello as well. As Ive said before, people are friendlier in this environment.
Deke fully expected nothing to work on the first night in our new home. To be honest, we were taking a pretty big gamble. With our work schedules, family issues to attend to, and a crazy Texas winter, we really couldn’t find the time for a post-winter / pre-fulltime camping trip. So, we were moving into a new trailer with no alternative arrangements in case things went poorly. Not the smartest plan, but hey, we were excited.
Our first challenge was leveling the trailer. With an Airstream, leveling front to back is a snap, but there isn’t really an easy way to level side to side. You either need to find level ground, or carry leveling blocks (which we didn’t have yet). It turns out we were able to realign the trailer between ruts in the gravel enough to satisfy the level’s little green bubble, but not without adding these Tri Lynx Leveler Blocksto our must buy list.
Then it was time to hookup. At first, everything looked great – we had power, water, and the Sewer Solution fit perfectly. But as soon as Deke made his way back into the trailer, we noticed a subtle flicker, and then lights out. Oh. No. On closer inspection, we found the 30 amp power connection had a short in it. This is where we’d like to hug the gentleman at Out-of-Doors Mart who suggested we carry a 50M/30F AMP Dogbone Adapter. Deke hooked it up and no more power problems. (Later, one of the fulltime work campers here at the park came over and fixed the 30 amp supply for us.)
Time to Unpack
We spent the rest of our first day unpacking and filling up the trailer with (what’s left of) our stuff, and quickly realizing that we still have too much. I took a look at my original 100 Things list and actually, Im not too far off! There are small things here and there that came along for the ride and maybe I have one or two extra jackets, but I still seem to be under 100 items. I just think 100 might be stretching it for each of us (plus a dog) in this space. Luckily we have the back of the truck to store some things like my sewing machine and Lucy’s dog food. Even more fortunate is that Lucy doesn’t require her own 100 things.
We’re also finding that we still have a lot of doubles. As the clock ticked down on getting out of the old house, I threw things in bags not really knowing if I’d already packed similar things. But I’d rather deal with a really packed medicine cabinet in the short term than throw away perfectly good boxes of Qtips and bottles of Advil. I don’t like to waste things!
But even with all the extras, we ran into an interesting phenomenon – it’s really difficult to fill this space! I know that sounds weird, but now that we’re living in a smaller space, where everything should have its own place, we’re really trying to be careful about what goes where. Every square inch is so much more meaningful now.
Catching the Hiccups
Soon after our first Airstream dinner (which, by the way, was an amazing assortment of seafood cooked on our new portable grill), things took a rocky turn. While Deke was outside, he heard water dripping outside the trailer. Never a good sign. It was pouring from our closed and locked fresh water inlet. That’s certainly not supposed to happen.
After a lot of hand wringing and airforums.com searching, we found the source of our problem (or at least the most reasonable root cause of our symptoms) was a faulty water pump. Luckily, the only problem with the pump is that it can’t keep water out of the fresh water tank, which means we’re able to use our fresh water tank, as long as we keep it filled.
So far (knock on wood) this has been the most serious problem we’ve had to tackle. Filed under “Most Annoying,” our shower head also doesn’t work. That means we can’t shower in our new home until we get a replacement. We could have bought a cheap-o replacement, but keeping with our mantra of quality first, we wanted an Oxygenics handheld showerhead. Of course, no one within 100 miles had them, so we ordered. Long story short, we’re showering in the RV Park’s clubhouse until early next week. Thankfully they’re super clean, have great hot water and water pressure. Plus, its kind of like being at camp.
Other than that, we’ve only found a few minor things here and there. The microwave drawer doesn’t stay open, a few drawer pull screws were loose, our water tastes really bad from the freshwater tank – nothing too bad or unfixable.
Oh, and I locked myself out of the Airstream on day 2. Who knew an Airstream door can be set to lock itself? I do now, for sure.
Pulling It All Together
After 1 week, we’re already getting the swing of living in our Airstream fulltime. We’re savoring our space, but using it wisely. We’re finding new tricks every day that make this whole thing work slightly better. Give us a few months, and we’ll be pros.