The Glamping Entrepreneur – Entry 3

Three Things I Learned Renting My First RV

This past Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I would rent an RV and moochdock at my daughter’s home in Greensboro, North Carolina. This way I would have my own space, some extra stovetop cooking space to help with Thanksgiving dinner, and a cozy spot for my aging Aussies to get away from the chaos.

Off we went on the Wednesday before the holiday for the 10-hour ride to Greensboro in our rented Class C RV. We had a full fresh water tank, refrigerator, bathroom, and generator for any needs at the rest stops.

Lesson 1: Are all doors closed and locked?

About four hours into the trip, I was flagged by a motorist on the highway telling me my utility door was open. A quick check in the rearview mirror and boom…there it was! The bottom utility door was open and flapping up and down with the wind. After safely pulling over, I walked around and made sure all the basement doors on the RV were closed tightly and locked. There are many doors so every time I stopped I did a complete outside RV check on all doors. No more flapping motorists or RV basement doors.

Enjoying the fall color in South Carolina, I stopped at a rest stop to let the dogs stretch their legs and explore. I turned on the generator for a bit so I could power up my laptop, grab a hotspot and check in with my office.

Lesson 2: Is everything shut off?

All went well until we got back on the road and this loud beeping sound would appear every other minute…like a smoke alarm that needed a new battery. That made the dogs insane and both were trying to climb to the front seat with me which was a huge no-no. So only after a mile or two from the last rest stop, I pull over again. Thinking it was the smoke alarm, I changed the battery. Still hear the beeping. Luckily, it is a rental so I called the owner to troubleshoot. I forgot to turn off the generator! Oops. After that, no beep. The dogs finally settled down (almost needed the valium) and we were back on the road.

We made it to Greensboro, plugged into my daughter’s home via the outside outlet and we had our “hotel” for the next four days. The heat worked well, was quiet and cozy, and I was able to read and watch my downloaded movies on my tablet after the other family had gone to bed. (Couldn’t get connected to the internet as I was too far away to mooch that service from my daughter. Glad I downloaded the movies!)

I had a lovely Thanksgiving and visit with my family. Greensboro is lovely and the city has a holiday tradition of hanging lighted Christmas balls high in the trees in many neighborhoods, this lighting of the trees goes on for blocks and is so magical at night. I’ve attached an article here from December 2021 that illustrates the tradition. It is very unique and was special to share this with my two young granddaughters this year.

Back to the RV…now the trip home was a breeze as I learned so much on the trip to Greensboro. But now comes the cleaning of the RV for me to return it, which does include a black and gray water dump. Many a movie has made fun of the catastrophe this can become if not done right.

Lesson 3: Take a friend with you to accomplish the RV Dump for the first time.

Thanks to many videos on YouTube done by many well-versed RV Glampers, my favorite video series is the Grateful Glamper, I was confident I could get this done. The first challenge was the search for an RV Dump Site. I was nervous going to a Pilot Truck Stop as they are so busy and I wanted to take my time and not be rushed by having people behind me waiting for me to figure this out. Luckily, I found a local park with a campsite and dump site. I took my partner Ted (no experience with this either) and we headed out. After circling the campsite three times, we finally found the small marker “Dumpsite $10.00/dump” and the capped hole in the ground which was the sewer hole. We put on the gloves and followed the precise process to get this done: 1. hose to sewer; 2. hose to RV; 3. pull the black lever first; 4. then grey lever next, then unhook from RV – lift up the hose and don’t spill (Yuck!); 5. Rinse the hose with fresh water at the dump site, then unhook it from the sewer and pack. Done! However, having 2 sets of hands doing this job truly helped. Our hose wasn’t long enough, so one of us had to hold the hose at the sewer hole (me 😞 ) while Ted did the lever pulling on my command as I was the one who studied the videos. We made it work. No spills. Mission accomplished!

The Class C RV was perfect for this small trip. However, it was very small and tight for any real long-term living, which is my goal. I did get to learn how they work and are put together. My next goal is to rent and try something a bit bigger for the next trip out west in Spring 2023. Stay tuned!

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