How Did We Let THAT Happen? – Full-Time RV Life

The blog is named Random Bits of Trial and Error for a reason–just putting that out there from the get-go.  We researched almost everything about this lifestyle before we embarked on the journey, but some things are educational as they happen and sometimes by simple trial and error.  When those experiences pop up–we learn from them.  Sometimes, the lessons are a big, fat, and stinking mess.   These occurrences are funny in hindsight, but at the time, not so much.

So, what does a Crock-Pot, wine, and olive oil have in common?  Other than creating something yummy for dinner, all three taught us valuable lessons in different stages.

Stage One:  The Crock-Pot Incident

What’s better than a pork roast slowly cooking all day?  Not much, at least in Mike’s opinion.  It takes hardly any effort and it’s a perfect dinner for a busy day.  We were staying at a state park in Georgia with no sewer hookups when a quick trip to the dump station needed to be done.  Mike had a short break from work, so he stowed away everything in the motorhome for the short trip.  The Crock-Pot had little grippy things keeping it snug to the countertop, so he headed off to take care of business.  He turned a corner (ever so gently) and the Crock Pot toppled off the counter onto the floor–sending broken Crock Pot shards and delicious chunks of pork roast everywhere.

It was a sad day for Lexie (our bullmastiff).  Pure puppy dog heaven was distributed all over the floor, but the possibility of porcelain shards in the meat crushed her dreams.

Lesson Number One officially learned, and the same mistake hasn’t been repeated. 

Stage Two:  The Wine Incident

Ah, the wine incident.  That one was entirely my fault.  I am in charge of stowing the inside of the coach when we get ready for travel.  One of my duties is latching the refrigerator door.  We had an appointment to get the tires on the motorhome replaced, so we had to leave the campground for a short time.  It was only a mile or two down the road, so we did a quick stowaway for the short distance.  Mike drove the motorhome and I followed in the truck so we had secondary transportation if needed.  Mike stopped in front of me and turned the emergency blinkers on.

“What’s wrong,” I texted.

“The fridge wasn’t latched and those three bottles of wine fell out,” Mike replied.

Oh, no.  He started moving and pulled into the tire facility.  I got out of the truck and entered the motorhome.  The scent of spilled wine hit me like a ton of bricks and I saw the beautiful whites and red we had just purchased from a local winery traveling in rivulets on the tile, rolling under the slide carpets, and shards of shattered glass everywhere.

I had a brief vision of me crawling on the tile sucking up delicious wine with a straw, but billions (maybe trillions) of pieces of shattered glass made the spill a complete loss.

Lesson Number Two officially learned.  The same mistake hasn’t been repeated. 

Stage Three:  The Olive Oil Incident

This was the most recent.  When we travel, it’s like little earthquakes as we go down the road.  We thought we had learned everything we needed about stowing things away securely to withstand those little vibrations.  After all, we’ve been on the road for two-plus years.  When I opened the pantry last night after arriving at our destination, a bottle of olive oil (and a box of pasta) slid out from the top shelf and hit the floor.  The cap flew off and my favorite garlic-infused olive oil flew out of the top like a Vegas water fountain and went everywhere.

The good news is I will have to return to the Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Company for more decadent olive oil the next time we are in Texas.

Lesson Number Three learned.  The same mistake will not happen twice. 

We are always, always learning new things about traveling, our rig, and how to make occurrences like the above never happen again.  It’s an evolving wisdom.

  1. A Crock Pot cannot sit on the counter while traveling, even with grippy thingees.  However, it can sit down snugly in the kitchen sink and continue cooking the yummy pork roast while going down the road.  We’ve switched things up, however, and replaced the Crock Pot with an all-purpose Insta-Pot (with no cooking while moving).
  2. It’s important to follow the usual complete stowing and safety procedure even when taking quick trips.  I usually secure breakables better in the refrigerator to prevent shifting items while in motion.  Unfortunately, since we were going on a short trip, I neglected to follow the usual procedure.  I didn’t secure the bottles in the fridge and I didn’t latch the door before take-off  (Mike found a great solution for a fridge latch in the video below).
  3. Even pantry items can shift and become dislodged.  This includes boxes of pasta, canned goods, and olive oil.  I should have had the oil on a lower shelf where I have front security bars.   I’m also going to add some more grippy material to the top shelf to prevent it from happening again.

All three of these incidences made a huge mess and was a royal pain in the a** to clean up.  But, I’m grateful none of the flying items hit and injured Lexie, Mike, or me.  Each incident was 100% preventable and we’ve learned the hard way.  The lessons we’ve gathered are muscle memory now (knock on wood).  So word for the wise:  Don’t do what we’ve done!

After all, the most memorable wisdom is gained by trial and error.  Right?

Have you had any humorous incidents you’ve learned along the way?  Oh, we have so many….


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  1. Ahhh, lessons learned. Luckily, I haven’t had any glass items come flying off the counter, but I have had cans of veggies topple out of the cupboard and land on my toes. And my computer is a monitor/computer all in one. I always lay it flat on the table before we go anywhere, the table is wooden and I didn’t put anything “anti-slip” underneath, it crashed to the floor on our first turn. Now I always put “anti-slip” under it!! Luckily it still works fine. What a cool fridge lock! Pretty ingenious! Safe travels and happy manatees!

    1. The fridge thingee is pretty cool–the guy made it on his 3D printer. It is very ingenious and works like a charm! The box of pasta did hit me on the head, but haven’t had a can land on my toes (ouch!). Thank goodness the computer monitor still works. Every time I think we have everything down and are in perfect sync, something happens to remind me we always have something else to learn. LOL I love anti-slip and need to buy it in bulk. I’ll use your Amazon link! 🙂 Happy manatee hugs.

      1. I hope he patented his fridge lock!!! We are also always learning. Even with lists sometimes we miss something lol. I would have been up the creek for sure if the computer didn’t work after it fell. ❤️ and happy manatees! Miss you!

  2. You learn something new everyday. These were the new things that won’t happen again. Love you
    We all learn from our mistakes.

    1. It was a tragedy, and it won’t happen again! Thank you for reading. I just visited your blog and followed. I love your mission statement and totally 100% agree with every word! I’m looking forward to reading your adventures. Dawn

  3. I use a thin silicon bake sheet on top of my glass top stove to help protect it – when one was wearing out, I cut it for shelf liners in my refrigerator. It works the best of anything else I tried. (I also have a shower bar in front of shelf.) I have since bought other silicon mats and am gradually lining all of my shelves and drawers. My pantry closet has two slide out drawers on the bottom – all of my glass and as many cans as possible reside there. I use a velcro strap to keep my double refrigerator doors closed when we travel and we lie a dining chair on its side to prevent freezer drawer from opening. We keep a cut down wine box in a cabinet for wine bottles and can fill out with water, gatorade, etc if necessary. But after a bumpy ride we always try to open all doors S-L-O-W-L-Y just in case items have inched forward. We bought our Thor at a show – we still find pieces of a ‘show vase’ in slide areas that the dealer staff failed to store when they returned to their location (and that is 4 years ago!)

    1. The silicon bake sheets are an EXCELLENT idea! I love hearing what other RVers found works for them and ‘stealing’ ideas like this one. I knew better, of course–we were just in a hurry thinking it was only a short trip. Live and learn (the hard way). I hope you’ve finally found all the pieces of the vase! Thank you so much for your suggestion–I’m going to try it out, for sure. Dawn

  4. That was interesting to read about things flying about the RV, but it’s too bad you had to grapple with the cleanup. If it’s any comfort, we drop things in the kitchen from time to time with the same result.

    1. I’m a clumsy person, so I’m always dropping things in the kitchen. Lexie (the dog) loves when I’m cooking, because she sweeps in to clean the floor and can sometimes get a full meal out of it (slight exaggeration). The flying debris while we travel is usually kept at a minimum, we were just in a hurry for all the scenarios. As long as nobody came away with a concussion, it’s all good!

      1. I’m glad you wrote about disasters, because I never thought of special circumstances in an RV kitchen. I’ve had some spectacular spills in a kitchen that didn’t move.

  5. Wine, red wine, stored in a cabinet above the sink behind a cabinet door held closed with velcro strap. We went through a pothole that torqued the rear of the coach. Two wine bottles hit the cabinet door with enough force to open the velcro strap, only one shattered as it hit the floor(that was enough). there were remnants of the wine on the carpet, if you knew where to look, when we sold the coach 4 years later. Wine is now stored in a floor level cabinet.

  6. While we have been fortunate thus far to avoid anything spilling on the floor, we just recently ran into a related mishap. Our fridge came with a cabinet latch which has never failed us. Recently, we went around a curve and the fridge door flew open (I’m assuming after 3 years of constant use, the latch is just not as strong as it once was). Luckily, I have fridge bars in there to keep the stuff on the shelves from flying out, but the door has lots of stuff stored in it too and it got so much momentum going, it smashed into the stopper that’s attached to the wall (designed to keep the fridge door from making contact with the wall.) The stopper left a DENT in our fridge door!! So much for our fancy stainless steel fridge. Whoops!

    1. That dent tells an important story! There’s a tiny spot on the body paint on the outdoor storage bay where Mike hit the corner of a picnic table (it’s teeny, tiny and nobody would notice). It drives him nuts and he says he wants to get it fixed (he’s anal about everything being perfect on the RV). I tell him it’s a story, a memory, a lesson learned–sort of like the scar on my knee from when I fell off my bike when I was 6. Dents and scars–a life well lived! 🙂

  7. Oh my! And no kids around to help you clean up the mess. At least it wasn’t glitter! Poor thing! Love the fridge lock. That’s pretty smart. Thanks for sharing the not-so-glamorous parts of your RV life. Makes it real.

  8. We just bought our first RV last year. Fortunately we haven’t had any big mishaps yet. Thank you for sharing your stories. Very helpful to others!

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