"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." -Confucius
We are still camping newbies but have been camping long enough to know the basics---check your tire pressure before each trip, chock tires before unhooking from the tow vehicle, do a walk around before pulling off, etc. Jeff and I also watch videos other RV couples post about the do's and don'ts. Several people talk about doing the majority of your driving during the day so you can set up camp with daylight.
This past weekend, we learned from experience why it is recommended to drive and set up during the day. Our RV was being serviced and could not be picked up until 4pm. Since we only had to drive about ninety minutes, we figured we could tough it out.
All I can say is Confucius was right, learning from experience is bitter.
Not only was it dark, but it rained the entire time we were on the road. It was so dark and wet, the road signs were hardly visible, and directions to the Jordan Lake Campgrounds are not available from GPS. We went too far and had to do a u-turn---(YIKES).
Jeff is an amazing driver and he was totally calm. I was an emotional drama queen--fussing at the Jordan Lake website directions (as if they could hear me) and was ready to be all set up and warm. I think my drama hit a new high when we finally arrived at our campsite and Jeff asked me to get out and help him back in.
"What? In the rain and dark?" I huffed. "Well, babe I can't see". He said. Just imagine my thoughts were the same as Rhet Butler when he was talking to Scarlet O'Hara in Gone With the Wind.
NO, I didn't say it but I thought it! I was terrified yet I got out and attempted to help him back up. Every time I heard a noise, I just knew a bear, snake, or the Loch Ness Monster were coming to get me.
After several pull ups, run through mud, screams through the phone as I gave directions, and back up and again to infinity...we were able to unhook.
And we camped happily ever after!
After hooking up our power we discovered the auto leveling, slides, and heat were not working.
Ok, so I'm wet, cold, and almost in tears now (drama, drama drama).
Jeff called our service tech and I sent a desperate message to the Heartland RV Owners Forum we are a part of. Within five minutes, wonderful people on the forum gave solutions to our issue (a tripped fuse with the hydraulic system). (Apparently the heat runs through this same system.) The service tech helped Jeff find the fuse box and we finally could fully set up.
Well..not FULLY set up. I totally forgot the Jordan Lake Campground website said they turn off the water to all the campsites because of pipe freezing. So our slides were out and we had power and heat but no water. It was too late, too dark and too wet to try to fill our fresh water tank. (I booked the site so Jeff had no idea about the water.)
Hot showers would have been amazing but sink wash offs with stove-heated water would have to do. Once in warm clothes and socks Jeff said "Well babe, we are learning".
Yes we are learning. We are learning to take the good with the challenging and are beginning to understand the value of perseverance.
For all of the craziness of Friday night, the rest of the weekend was glorious.
...but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3b-5