Expect the Unexpected – First Day of the RV Life


If an RVer drives a diesel pusher with a Cummins engine, they do not want to see the emblem above unless it’s for general service and upkeep.  Otherwise, that emblem is a bad thing.  We met Brian today, and he had the dreaded emblem on his shirt.  Brian is a heck of a good guy, but he didn’t deliver good news.

This was supposed to be Day One of our fabulous journey, but we have experienced what every full-time RVer knows–there is always something that is going to go wrong.

Today, it was an engine warning light that was serious enough to send us to the Cummins shop.  It’s also keeping us plugged into their parking lot overnight.  While Mike is fully versed on the problem as explained by Brian, all I heard was “Blaaa, bla, blaaa, diagnostics, bla, blaa, blaa, in the bay all day, blaa, bla, blaaa, and probably won’t be able to get parts until Monday.”  Of course, this was followed up with, “Maybe about $4,000 or $5,000, but the good thing is you can stay hooked up with us free all weekend.”

After I picked up my jaw and willed my heart to stop pounding, Brian assured us that it should still be under warranty once they figure out the exact problem.

As a result, the first day of our trip consisted of approximately 20 miles–and we haven’t even left the city limits of Jacksonville.

It’s all good.  It’s all part of the process, but it could be so much worse.  On a positive note, we share parking lot space with Mike and Wanda from Delaware.  They are in much worse mechanical circumstances and so far away from home, but they had an infectious positive attitude.  It was nice to share a delicious meal and visit with this lovely couple who had so many entertaining stories to tell.  Our first “on the road” new friends.

Just another day in the life.  Even if it is just the first day.

Seriously, it’s all good.


  1. God love you…what a precious, positive heart! I loved our lunch together today and was thinking a short time ago that you were probably sharing dinner with your Alabama friends. It will happen and be even more enjoyable given this little setback. You will have many miles and many stories (mostly positive 😉) to tell! Safe travels and Happy Trails, Dear Heart. Love to Mike, your fearless leader, as well! Looking forward to those stories! Love & Hugs!

    1. We were fortunate and got out of there late this afternoon. On the road tomorrow early. I loved our lunch yesterday and had so much fun. Could have stayed for another couple of hours, though. Will have to arrange a longer visit when we are back in Jax. Loved the goodie bag (and the bag), and the card did make me cry! Much love and hugs, my friend!

  2. Ugh… I feel for you. I have met Brian as well as Jim, the Manager. You can let them know I said “Hi” and that I am still trying to get estimates for the bin door damage from my last visit. RV body shops are few and far between and charge for estimates. I lost my summer vacation because of them, and after they “repaired” it twice, the RV never made it 40 miles from J’ville before overheating and I had to rent a camper for two months for my beet harvest job. It spent weeks in the shop and only got half fixed. They broke injector lines, and charged ME for it, and threw away the old parts that I asked for. I pray you have better luck with them than I did. Unfortunately, they are the only Cummins game in town.
    Best of luck with the repairs and hope to see you guys on your adventure soon.

    1. I’m sorry you had so much trouble with them. We were repaired and out of there late today and will be on the road tomorrow. Our friends, unfortunately, are stuck in Jax until next week sometime waiting on parts and repairs. The whole waiting game for diagnostics, etc., was not pleasant, but we were waiting to some great people that made the time pass faster. We head out first thing in the morning. Take care! I hope the canoe is working out for y’all.

  3. Good grief!! If you’re going to have problems, get them out of the way on the first day close to what’s familiar to you! Hopefully this means smooth sailing from here!

  4. Well, you’ve got the full-timer thing goin’ on…if it ain’t one thing, it’s another, but it’s worth every stuck-in-the-shop minute of it, in my opinion. My brand-new rig has already been stuck in shops from Michigan to North Carolina to Tucson….but other full-time RVers tell me that’s just part of the adventure. When it goes off warrantee it won’t be such an adventure…but I hope by then the bugs will have been worked out! I hope yours are worked out and not horribly expensive….safe travels! Maybe we’ll meet on the road somewhere.

    1. It was a setback (more emotionally than functionally, to be honest), but it worked out well under warranty. We also met some good friends to spend the time waiting. We are now safely in Houston and will hopefully get a few more miles under our belt without any problems. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! Looking forward to your adventures, as well. Dawn

    1. LOL! If we are close, we’d be happy to do that for you. 🙂 We actually aren’t Escapees–we use a mail service out of Green Cove Springs, FL–I didn’t want to do all that change-of-residency stuff.

  5. We are parked for the winter (snow and ice covered as well). So when we moved in to the RV, instead of traveling and finding things to fix, we are one by one finding them as we live in it. We bought a very nice used RV. Glad to say we also purchased the extended warranty, which we never do! That has saved us a bundle! On first names with Skyler, the service manager of our RV repair shop…The stress is still there, as we cant just drop it off and live “Where?” With our cats while it is fixed, but at least we are close to the repair shop (only about 80 miles) and can easily get help and parts while living in the RV. Nice to meet you! Happy travels!

    1. Nice to meet you, too! I’m so happy that our repairs were under manufacturer warranty, and we also have the extended warranty. I’m afraid we are not going to be so happy when those warranties are no longer in place, but I guess it’s what we signed up for–but it sure is worth it! Take care, stay warm, and safe travels!

  6. Good luck – you’ll find as you go, the repairs never stop I’m sorry to say – there’s always something!
    For us the saying is, “That’ll be $1000” because it seems that is the price for any part that goes wrong or any upgrade we need! 🙂
    But….it’s worth it, full time in your RV is great – enjoy your travels!

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