Hi there, RVing noobs here. We've made it to Ojai and we're camped out (or baby "boondocking" as I have now called it) behind a hotel where the owner is a trailer enthusiast. We came here a few weeks back on a day trip with A, had some canned wine and pizza and met some Airstreamers. Ojai has been so beautiful (and surprisingly not too hot!), and the people are fantastic. The hotel here is even letting us use their electric, ice machine and showers... so it has been a great place to get our feet wet! Sean even ran into an old high school friend staying here on her honeymoon. We sat outside last night drinking the beer from the brewery they are starting in Oakland.
Getting to Ojai, however, was a bit of a slog. Admittedly, I've never really fully grasped what people mean when they say, "The devil is in the details." Well, I most definitely do now. Detail upon detail built up on us, where every day there was yet another fire to fight! We'll spend the next few days adjusting to our (official) new life on the road, making sure we've worked out a few of the kinks before heading a bit further east.
For a laugh, here are some glaringly obvious lessons we have learned in our departure:
- Renovations take WAY longer than your contractor will tell you. Go ahead, snicker at this one. And yes, my love of Property Brothers made me think that any renovation could take six weeks flat. One tricky part about renovating an Airstream is that it's small so you can only fit so many people inside at once, which means you can only go so fast. There is no hyper speed.
- You have to know what to ask. and then repeat yourself often We had all hell of a time getting our vehicle up to towing ability. U-haul didn't ask us about what kind of trailer hitch wiring we wanted. So we assumed that telling them WHAT we were towing would be enough. WRONG. They wired it for the wrong thing, and we were left trying to find someone who knows how to work with a vehicle that isn't common. The Touraeg is one of the best vehicles for towing out there, but U-haul mostly wires Ford trucks and the like. Thank goodness for Conejo Vacation Trailer in Thousand Oaks, who fixed our wiring (ran power from our battery back to the trailer connection and installed the correct piece).
- You're going to need a checklist. And then you are going to need someone to QA your work. There are so many things that need to happen before you can safely tow.
- Things are going to break. Or, maybe you just don't know how to use them yet? I dunno. Ask me again once we figure out how to get our refrigerator running and our light sconce rewired (flipped off on the drive down).
By no means is this an exhaustive list. I'm sure we still don't know what we don't know. I bet that makes you all super excited for the post following our first time having to dump out our black water tanks! Huzzah!