This Impossible RV Life

First (non-day-trip) Trip

So yayyy, I finally did an overnight trip! Two overnight trips actually.

Skip to “First Overnight”
If you’re not aware, my RV was in the shop for nine months waiting to get a new roof, awning, and a gas leak repaired. The job itself didn’t take that long but because of COVID and their being backed up with jobs and “losing techs”, they were making very slow progress. I didn’t ask in what way their techs were being lost. I think I should have, but I’m pretty sure several had been sick…when someone is sick in this day and age, you automatically wonder if it’s COVID. I also think some quit…from being overwhelmed no doubt.

I’ve been told I’m too patient. That’s proba definitely true.

When I went to pick it up, the gas detector started beeping and the check engine light (CEL) was on. They seemed to get the CEL cleared somehow and said the CO/LP detector was because of low voltage. I had messed with the battery cutoff switch just before it happened so that made sense at the time. I’m not happy that the batteries were allowed to go dead, but they have been ok since I gave them a good charge. The RV was fine on the way home, No CEL and ran great-ish.

But when I started it a couple times later, the CEL came on again and it was running awful. My car is down for the count so I decided to use the MoHo for some errands. I found out later that a misfire (which is what the code eventually turned out to be) is bad to continue driving with. Since I had made travel plans and really didn’t want to cancel them, I brought it to my mechanic. $500 later it’s running like a top. He said I do need a tune up though but he didn’t have time for that. I was appreciative that he made time for this in his very busy schedule…saved my weekend. Part of the cost was for a set of ignition wires and he only replaced one so I have the rest of the set for my future tune up.

First Overnight My first overnight was at Sturbridge RV Resort, a Thousand Trails (TT) campground. The trip there went well, but I had an issue with brake fade it seemed like. That was a bit nerve-wracking. I didn’t ride the brakes so I don’t know why. Maybe just heated up from many miles on the highway. After that one or two times, it was ok the rest of the weekend but I’m going to have the brakes checked ASAP. The pedal is a bit low but I figured I was just used to my car. Better safe than sorry though.

I also made a wrong turn, which I thought was the Garmin’s fault but now I’m starting to wonder if I just made an assumption rather than listening. After reversing down a dead end road, the guy at the end (beginning?) told me it happens every so often. He pointed me in the right direction and allowed me to turn around in his driveway (again pointing me in the right direction. haha) and soon I was at my destination.

As a TT member, my stay was “free”. Since I was only staying one night and was leaving early-ish the next morning, I wasn’t too picky and chose a small site that was parallel to the roadway. Once I was set up with power and water, I didn’t really do much outside. I can say that where I was at least, it wasn’t like a sardine can but had a reasonable amount of space between sites. There was a free spaghetti dinner that night but I didn’t go.

The staff were friendly and very helpful, and even showed me how to dump my tanks since I’m a newbie. Sure I was kinda told how when I bought the RV, and I read how, and watched You Tube videos, but until you’re looking at your own rig with your own tanks and equipment (hoses, etc.), you really don’t know. That’s how I see it anyway.

Next morning I headed to Mashantucket, CT. Foxwoods Resort Casino. They have a parking lot for free overnight RV parking.

I was meeting my cousin and his wife who got a hotel nearby, and we were there for the annual Schemitzun “Feast of Green Corn and Dance” Powwow.

Our usual itinerary goes like this: we go to the powwow Saturday AM, have lunch there, go to the casino for supper and some recreation, then back to the nighttime powwow activities. Then on Sunday, back to the casino and then the powwow, or vice-versa. Then head home. One year we also went to the Pequot museum on Saturday before heading to the powwow. The museum is closed on Sunday, which would be more convenient for us.

They have shuttle buses to get to and from the powwow as there is not much parking near the grounds.

This year we went to the Saturday Powwow as usual. My cousins had to leave early to check in to their hotel and then they were coming back. There was a lot of people there this year, I assume since they didn’t have the event last year. So the waits for the shuttle were longer than usual and eventually my cousin texted me to meet him back at the parking lot and we’d go ahead to the casino.

At the casino, our usual restaurant was still closed from the pandemic, sadly, and we were pretending it was no big deal and we weren’t hungry, but really I was starving. We didn’t have lunch at the Powwow because the lines for food were tremendous! We also met up with friends of my cousin and hung out with them for a while. They had tickets to a show there and so after a while, they headed to that and we got pizza slices and soda. lol. That really hit the spot.

After that, it was getting late so we decided to forego the night powwow. I went ahead and lost my self-allotted amount of money and they did some shopping and then we called it a night. I was exhausted and aching! My fitbit told me I took 13,943 steps. I don’t know if that’s a lot on the average but it’s HUGE for me!

Second Overnight Other than a little bit of traffic noise and normal neighbor sounds, the Foxwoods “RV Parking Lot B” was just fine. Plenty of space. I don’t have slides and I didn’t open my awning but there was plenty of room if I wanted to. I think so anyway. During the night a travel trailer was backed in next to me but I think there was still room for my awning if I’d wanted to open it. Most RVs had at least one empty space between them and the next one. When the guy came to check me in, he told me the lot has never filled up “…almost did once” he said. I asked because I was going to have to drive the MoHo to the shuttle pick-up point and I was concerned about losing my space. My space was taken when I got back of course, but as long there was a space available that was what mattered, and there were plenty.

When I got settled in, I was so hot and exhausted that I guzzled two nice cold AHA seltzers and took my nightly meds. Used my mobile hotspot for a little bit then crashed.

Yucky Alert I have an issue with my GERD where I will sometimes reflux while sleeping and then inhale and choke on it. Many-a rock star has died this way. Luckily I’m not drunk so I wake up choking. Well, this happened and I got up for awhile. Had another seltzer and stupidly, some Tostitos. Stupidly because if I don’t eat anything, I can’t easily reflux and choke. It definitely helped me feel better. But sure enough, around midnight I did it again. First time I’ve done it twice in a night.

Other than that, I can say I would have slept well, and actually did sleep well after that.

In the morning, I walked over to the Dunkin Donuts nearby only to find they were closed. The sign said they open at 8 but I don’t think they did. I was too achey from the day before to walk over a second time but I saw no activity. We decided not to attend the powwow Sunday, but my cousin wanted to go the the Asian bakery at the casino, before heading home. There’s a Dunkies in the casino but I had to wait in a looooong looong line to finally get my coffee and some food. I have a coffee maker that does K cups so I was ok at Sturbridge but I only brought enough for there and was supposed to have ground coffee for boondocking. I had bought a travel mug that has a filter that you pour water in, on Amazon, but I thought I had a bag of coffee in the RV. Couldn’t find it. Hence the whole Sunday AM coffee dilemma. After that I lost some more money.

The main reason for the trip each year is for the powwow and the side trip to the restaurant and casino is a fun bonus. I was disappointed the restaurant was closed (and that I didn’t win any money). The powwow was great even though we didn’t stay as long as we usually do. I got to see some of the people I look forward to seeing at these events, but just for a very short time. One was just a quick handshake and a good to see ya. I figured we’d have time to chat when we came back later

Photo from 2016 Schemitzun Powwow

but we didn’t come back later. Overall it was an absolutely beautiful time. The atmosphere, the burning sage, the drums (I think there were four), the beautiful regalia, the great people. It’s been almost two years since I’ve been to any powwow so it was really special.

But… I am very much out of shape! My legs and hips were aching for days afterwards but it was a good ache. I didn’t lose any weight though. Kinda surprised me.

On the way home the motorhome ran awesome and there were no brake problems. The Garmin pulled a fast(?) one on me though. When I got home I studied where I went via the Garmin’s route and compared it to Google maps, and I can’t figure out why it took almost three hours to get home when it should have only been a little over an hour and a half. You’re thinking, “it’s because you went slower with the motorhome” but the Garmin told me that ETA before I even left, and I did go a little slower some of the time, but went the speed limit most of the time. Couldn’t figure it out. No biggie though. At least it was a safe, smooth, and comfortable ride.

I took a few cell phone photos but really didn’t get crazy with picture taking unfortunately. At the powwow I decided not to lug my big ol’ DSLR around. I was going to invest in a new mirrorless camera for this trip but the car and motorhome repairs pre-empted that. It would have been lighter, not necessarily because it’s mirrorless but just because it’s smaller. It would also have more modern features, including video which my current camera doesn’t do. Eventually I’d love to move on up to a full frame mirrorless camera but for now, I’d have to go with the APS-C…when I can even do that! My camera, a Canon EOS 50D is hefty and is about 12 years old. It’s still quite capable, but if I’m reluctant to bring it around with me what good is it. I am hoping to document my travels – all of them – with photos, videos and these blog posts. I’ll get into the swing of it I’m sure. I recently bought a dash cam, which among other benefits will provide me with some b-roll – is that what it’s called? I bought it before the trip but didn’t end up installing it until I was home again. I’ve yet to try it out.

Hope you have enjoyed this post.

Happy Travels!

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