(One Of) My RV’ing Mistake(s)- Getting a 2WD Truck When I Needed a 4WD Truck. Big OOPS!

One might not know how they will choose to live when they start RV’ing full time. In campgrounds? Boondocking? Moochdocking?

I didn’t. I figured boondocking, but not right out of the gate. Too scary.

So I got what I thought I needed. A 24′ travel trailer and a 2WD V8 Toyota Tundra.

Perfect, right?

(Wrong)

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Awww, look at that poor naive little RV’er about to go full-time! She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing, and she’s about to find out the hard way! Poor little bugger. 😈

I soon came to know I would boondock, ALL of the time.

However, in the beginning, I didn’t know much about RV’ing. As you can witness in the video below, I didn’t even know how to put out my awning. (I watched a video right before I tried it, to learn.)

Then, I videoed myself, knowing full on it probably had comedic potential.

I was right.

The awning attacked twice. You can only really tell the one assault, the other is less obvious, but it hurt. Bruises appeared immediately. You can see them at the end of the  video.

So I dove right into RV’ing, and I have a few lingering scrapes and bruises from my many, many missteps.

Below, this is what my face might look like if you asked me how little I knew about RV’ing when I started on the road: (I’m on the right)

 

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OR Jennifer, left, could actually represent my RV. Laughing at me for all the RV’ing fails I have had.  

 

My first massive flub happened back in December of 2015. I had to cross Snoqualmie Pass with my 2WD truck towing my rig.

It’s a mild pass but it gets hit hard with winter storms. And, of course, I got hit HARD. (The pass closed shortly after I went through.) Hell, it was my first time driving in real snow. It was definitely my first time driving in a snowstorm. And it happened to be through a mountain pass. And while pulling my RV.

Thanks, Universe.

But the FLUB was that this genius (myself) didn’t know that she had REAR wheel drive. This mistake made it impossible to keep moving forward once I hit some real incline because my chains were totally ineffective on the front tires.

Unable to move FORWARD, I had to stop in the MIDDLE of I-90, in a worsening snowstorm, to move the chains to the back. Dangerous for sure. You can read about that incident  here.

 

 

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“Look at the moron with the snow chains on her FRONT TIRES! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!”  (Crash)

 

Then there was the suck-ass super fun incident of getting the RV stuck in a crevasse at Marble Canyon. (To read about that, click on the link to the left) Let’s just say I have a new respect for the power of a stupid little ditch.

 

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This little shit almost caused me AND Marshall an ENTIRE day of hell!

 

Then there was the time I put my snow chains on too loosely and because of that, one chain came loose and caught on my brake line.

It pulled the brake cable super tight. And since the brake line was pulled tight, the brakes were engaged, and the truck couldn’t move even an inch in order to unhook the chain caught on the brake.

(But THIS woman GOT IT OFF SOMEHOW ALL BY HERSELF!) -Am I proud of that? Hell yes. Thank god I was only going about 5-10 mph when it happened.

 

I’ve also:

  • Shot my shoes 10 feet into the air, falling over my solar panel in the dark
  • Gotten a flat around 10PM in Banff N.P.
  • Left a window open while traveling
  • Got frozen/broken pipes from staying in the cold too long

Now that you’re caught up, let’s laugh at my LATEST incident/adventure/failure.

Back in July, I needed a place to store my RV while I drove to Austin. I had just found out that my dad had pancreatic cancer, and so of course, I wanted to go be with my family.

No way I was pulling my rig from to Austin from Colorado. The guy I had just started seeing, Michael, let me park it at his place. Very nice of him and perfect!

Well, perfect except….

  1. He basically lives on the side of a mountain.

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    Cute, eh? Not so cute getting up there. 
  2. His driveway is almost as steep as a 45* angle. Or so it seems.
  3. It’s a gravel driveway.
  4. The angle at the base of the driveway was worrisome for bottoming out.

None of these things sounded appealing to my lowly 2WD Tundra. My Florida truck already knew it was a stupid idea.

I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work but hell, why not try? Life’s an adventure!

(Yeah, but where’s the logic there???)

The decision was already made.

Upon arrival, I parked on the street, jumped out and looked at the driveway.  I had gone up this driveway maybe twice before. Without the RV.

Thinking back, my wheels had spun a little going up it WITHOUT pulling a trailer. (Huh.)

Soooo, they’re not gonna spin if I am pulling 4,000+ lbs?  

(Where’s the logic Where’s the logic Where’s the logic…)

I got out and walked over to ‘inspect’ the driveway…

Here’s what that looked like:

…you know how when a man’s car dies and he opens the hood and looks inside, trying to look like he knows what he’s doing?

That was me looking at the driveway.

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Titillating TV! My favorite game show. Plinko was the best. (Is the best?)

On a side note, sort of, the Lumberjack mountain climber guy from the cliffhanger game on The Price Is Right popped into my head while I was ‘inspecting’ the driveway.

The driveway hadn’t changed.

Fuck it. 

I climbed into my truck and threw it into low.

And I started pulling my RV up the monster drive.

And it moved! It was gonna work!

I was heading UP!

UP- IT MOVED UP! -for about,    ….

-for about,    ….mmmmmmmmmm…    5 seconds.

After my five seconds of glory, the tires just spun and there was no further forward movement. None.

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Hey, guys! Look at the Florida idiot who thought her 2WD wussy truck could pull that thing up a Colorado Mountain driveway! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

So I braked. But when I braked, the truck and RV STARTED SLIDING BACK DOWN. Yeah, that threw me into a state of panic.

(P.S. There’s a ditch on both sides of the driveway.)

I didn’t know if my RV was destined to end up in the ditch or not, but it was totally out of my control. (Visions of Marble Canyon danced in my eyes.) Thankfully, it stopped without ditching it.

Well, shit.

 

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Not touching at this moment but it definitely dragged. Hard. Good Times!

So there I sat. Waiting for Michael and his friend’s 4WD Ford to rescue me. I wasn’t going to try to back up- I know my RV’s ass dragged on the street going up and I didn’t want to do damage by backing up and dragging it again.

 

 

4WD came and saved the day. It was an mid 90’s Red Ford F-250. The type you can find on any working ranch in Colorado.

We backed up my truck and trailer until the RV’s ass end was back on the street. We did it to keep it from sliding during the transfer of tow vehicles. (‘Is my frame bending????’)

I was silently freaking out at this point.

 

It’s just my house and everything I own on the line here. Yeah, I was nervous.

We lodged rocks under my RV’s wheels and slowly unhitched my wussy truck. The Slingshot didn’t slide. (Relief)

 

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Nevermind my giant RV blocking the street with its ass covering half of the road. I was pretty happy that it’s a very quiet subdivision. Nobody cared. 

 

We got Big Red into the driveway, backed it and hitched it up.

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I honestly had doubts that even the 4WD could do it. I’m amazed. Watching someone else, essentially a stranger, pull my house was nerve wracking. 😳

The F250 heaved my little house up the STEEPEST side of the driveway without even one tiny complaint or tire spin. A MIRACLE!

Yeah, NOW I get it… 4WD is the shit. But give me a break, I grew up Florida, all like ‘What’s 4 Wheel Drive? Isn’t it just for rednecks who want to go 4 wheeling?’

 

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Oh, the shame. My wussy Tundra watched the show. She sits here in a cloud of shame, pouting. However, the sun rays shine on her for all the other times she got me out of a bind. It’s ok, little Tundra. Don’t be sad.

 

The Lesson: I need a 4WD Truck.

Now that I KNOW I drive dirt roads, and that I love mountains, I know it’s a necessity.

So my house was successfully parked on the side of a mountain. However, the spot wasn’t exactly level.

Luckily I had a jack. The boys used it to MASSIVELY jack up the right side of my rig. Call it wobbly, but it worked!

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“Well, I think it goes this way…” My heroes!
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Beautiful! Dominoes, anyone? 😬

 

I hope you have enjoyed laughing at my adventuring fumbles and hiccups! It’s no fun just keeping it all in my own head.

The journey will continue. And I will continue to screw up and share my ridiculousness with you, my friend.

The moral of this story?

Consider having 4WD if you plan to Rv anywhere but in campgrounds!

Coming up:

 

‘Wait, Am I turning into a redneck?’  😬


27 thoughts on “(One Of) My RV’ing Mistake(s)- Getting a 2WD Truck When I Needed a 4WD Truck. Big OOPS!

  1. And those are just SOME of the reasons I could never do what you’re doing … how do you keep your equanimity in those dire circumstances – I would have had my first heart attack – and I don’t even have heart trouble LOL!  Keep going, and keep the blogs coming – the video was riotous.  You’re so talented! LVYA, Rosemary

    From: RvChickadee To: rose0696@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, November 25, 2016 4:08 PM Subject: [New post] Don’t Make This RV’ing Mistake- “She Tried to Pull Her RV Up That Steep GRAVEL Driveway With Her 2WD Truck?? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!! #yiv5192476000 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5192476000 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5192476000 a.yiv5192476000primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5192476000 a.yiv5192476000primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5192476000 a.yiv5192476000primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5192476000 a.yiv5192476000primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5192476000 WordPress.com | RvChickadee posted: “One might not know how they will choose to live when they start RV’ing full time. In campgrounds? Boondocking? Moochdocking?I didn’t. I figured boondocking, but not right out of the gate. Too scary.So I got what I thought I needed. A 24′ travel traile” | |

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    1. Love you girlie! It is fun despite what I wrote about! This is more entertaining than if I wrote about ‘safely moving from spot to spot’ or whatever. Lol!!! Keep in touch- glad you liked the story and video!

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  2. You are definitely my sister from another mister! This shit happens to me all the time. It is the price that we pay for real adventures. Anyone can stay in commercial campgrounds. It takes a special kinda idiot to boondock. I say that it is time to embrace your newly developed redneck. Sell the toyota and for even money you can buy a good used 4wd dodge diesel with a cummins engine. This way when you decide that your lifestyle is better suited for a truck camper, you are ready to go.

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    1. Ha! Yes, it’s the price to pay for adventures like we get!! It comes with the territory, and to me, it’s worth it!! I’ll get a different truck as soon as I can- it’s just not in the cards right now. Life will be a LOT easier once I do. I’m ready to hear about how you have all these trips for free!!!!!

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      1. This is why I am a terrible blogger. I promise something and never deliver. My muse seems to be the road, and I have not seen it in months. For now, check this outhttp://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/start-here/ Be careful though. Once you go down the wormhole you may never come out! I can honestly say that discovering travel hacking and camping are the two best things that have ever happened to me (sans my family)!

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  3. You’ve got a great sense of humor which makes your lifestyle doable. I am very much like you and love the adventure of never knowing exactly how things will turn out. But that’s what makes life interesting. Carry on and be safe!

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  4. I enjoyed the read. I think you described it very well in one of the comment section. Everything that happens is an adventure. That is the only way to look at it. It is all an adventure!

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    1. HA! Thank you Bill- I really do appreciate the feedback, and yes, we might as well make life an adventure as much as it is possible… WHY NOT???!!! Who’s going to tell you to stop? 😂 Pretty much only yourself. 🙂🏔😀

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  5. Oh, my, this is crazy!! I can’t believe you are still living as a fulltimer after all this! You are one brave individual:) Glad you got your RV up the driveway:) You most definitely need a 4WD vehicle for the west. We don’t know where we would be without our Jeep. We are heading back west Jan. 1 and it can’t come soon enough. We aren’t huge Florida fans any longer and haven’t been back for three years. We so miss the hiking and open views of rocks and mountains. I love your dogs! That was such a cute video with them meeting:) Thoughts for you and your family at this difficult time:)

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    1. Hi Placestheygo! Thank you for the wonderful feedback- it’s priceless to me, so thank you! Yeah, I figured out the 4WD necessity back in Marble Canyon when I got stuck. I can’t afford one at the moment so I will have to be more careful in the meantime. I LOVE the West too! I can’t stand Florida- grew up there. NOW I know what I have been missing! LOL!

      Well I’m sure you can’t wait to get back out here, I don’t have any desire to go back East again any time soon. There’s so much to see out here! I love my little dog meeting video as well, (so cute) and thank you for addressing the family issue. Safe travels coming back out here next year. 🙂 I’ll surely still be tripping over myself somewhere out here on the road! 😂

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  6. Love this story! iI grew up with 4wd now i live in GA and purchased a 2wd Diesel truck so far have not had any issues getting stuck, but i have managed to get a 2wd through some surprising amounts of sticky clay, mud, and frozen creek beds. 2wd can do some awesome things but its not quite a 4×4. i Especially enjoyed the tire chains on the front tires!

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    1. Hi Redsway- Thank you so much! Yeah, my ***hole tends to pucker up when faced with something such as a creek bed or sticky clay to cross… to make things worse, my truck has this monster hitch hanging off the back, LOW off the back. So I bottom out a lot, trailer or not. We ALMOST crossed a river/creek with just the truck to get to a trailhead in Silverton. He was sure it would be fine, I was leery. He started driving it. Just as the front tires hit the water, I mentioned the hitch bottoming out. (The other bank was pretty steep) He IMMEDIATELY stopped and said “I’m glad you said that”. He wasn’t thinking about that aspect. So, I have MORE to deal with with the truck than just 2WD! “Why don’t you just take the hitch off?” Great question- because I can get the key into the hitch lock, and turn it, but it doesn’t OPEN!!! 😠 LOL! Oh well.

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    1. SIX YEAR BRUISE?!! LOL! Not funny when you do it to yourself. Did you ever knock yourself out? Somehow, that one time was the only time I have done it. Yeah, as soon as I can afford it, I’m kicking this 2WD to the curb! So, you can relate to my perils . A lot! Sisters from another mister. 😜

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  7. Love your sense of adventure, logic be damned! I’m new to RV living too, but currently living stationary (anchored by hubby’s job-of-24-years and my teenage kids)… I SO admire you for jumping in! 🙂

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    1. Well thank you, Kana- life can be very repetitive and humdrum… so yeah, I do try to ward that off as best I can I suppose! There are benefits and drawbacks to doing this, like anything. But I prefer it so far! It’s far more exciting in your life I had. It’s fun to share, so thanks for following along. 😊 You might be full time traveling one day as well! 😃

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