At one time I wanted to be a rock star(Got the T-shirt, had the band, was working on the drama). But the reality is that as much fun as it is, and the excitement of being on stage, it just becomes… Well… a pretty crappy paying job. I’m sure most musicians out there will tell you that it’s not about the money, it’s about the craft. And I agree. BUT when you stop playing music for fun and start playing music as a career, you have to treat it like a career, and evaluate it like a career. Lets just say, that the initial pay scale for a musician flat out sucks. Most look at the MILLIONS OF DOLLARS that rock stars make and think that’s what you get when you “make it” and get “signed” but the truth is, the record industry will sign a band, and throw their CD on a shelf in a warehouse and never promote them again. Welcome to the Tax write-off.
I’m not out to tell you not to pursue your dreams of being a rock star. Go for it. I’ve just gotten to a point in MY life that I don’t care about being a rock star. So what do I want out of life? Realistically, I just want to travel. I think to some degree that’s why I wanted to be a rock star in the first place. But I can do that on a smaller budget than Million Dollar Rock Star™ salary. There’s so much of the US that I have not seen. Well… not as an adult, and not that I can remember. And that brings me to this blog.
My girlfriend and I have had a few adventures so far. After living here in Arizona from 2001 I only finally got to the Grand Canyon in 2012. I know, crazy right? My girlfriend and I had been out camping in many of the places in Arizona, and it was only with her that I finally got to see one of the Natural Wonders. She’s great. It’s because of her that I am finally getting out of the house and SEEING the world I thought would be too expensive to see.
We started out by tent camping. There’s nothing wrong with that, and if you want and like to do that, GREAT! There are a lot of camp sites available to you. We made the mistake of camping in a tent on an air mattress in a really cold place in November. Those that have done that already know what I’m talking about. Air mattresses channel the heat away from you. It makes for a VERY cold night. After that fiasco, we decided on getting an RV.
Our first choice was an old 1970’s Class C. The wiring in that thing was shot. It cost us a boat load of money to get it drivable, then it friggin died on us as we were headed out of town. I guess it’s better than it quitting on us while we were at a camp site, and not being able to get home. After that we decided to sell that and get a trailer.
After looking around a bit we decided on a 5th wheel. And that’s where we are now. We picked up a 1986 Nuwa Hitchhiker for $1500. It was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I still have a good bit of work I need to do. But it was a good baseline. When you’re looking for an RV a few of the tings you want to make sure of are as follows:
1) The refrigerator works. Make sure it’s not just some house refrigerator. For one those aren’t warrantied if used in an RV. Second, they MUST be plugged in to AC. Third, They are the MOST expensive item in the RV. If it doesn’t work, forget it. move on, unless you already have another or want to replace the fridge anyway.
2) The AC unit. It’s expensive as well. About half what the fridge costs, but that’s still $500. That’ll buy you a lot of time camping.
3) LEAKS: Make sure there are no major leaks. If there are, you could be looking at mold in the walls. And good luck getting rid of that.
4) The floors: If there’s any weak spots, you’ll probably want to get those taken care of. And they will not be cheap. It’s probably a good idea to pass if the floors are soft anywhere. That is of course unless you intend on gutting and replacing everything.
I’ve been able to repair some of the issues I have come across. On my 5th wheel the water heater was rotted out. The section underneath it was rotted as well. However it was possible to cut out the bad and replace it.
Another area that I had to replace was the landing gear. It was a load of fun there. When you’re somewhere and you have to jack up the front to get it loaded back on your truck… That’s not what you want to have to do. It wasn’t too bad, but it was a real scary thing to have one of the legs pop and the side drop. There was a bit of cursing and nearly peed pants.
At any rate, I’m going to try to chronicle our adventures to see if it’s worth anyone watching.