Hard to believe it has been seven weeks since I started my new lifestyle of living on the road full time in a motor home (a/k/a full-time RV). In that amount of time I have visited Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, Canada and Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park, Maine in the United States.
One thing you have to do when living this way is be conservative, be flexible, and enjoy life. Sometimes things go well, and other times the best laid plans can be foiled. Highlights of my travels and learning curve:
- The best laid plans can be foiled when you make a day trip three hours away only to discover that town’s power is out and all businesses (including museum you wanted to visit) are closed.
- Pulling off for a quick lunch break takes more planning in a 35-foot motor home towing a vehicle than it does in a car.
- Ottawa, Ontario is the capitol of Canada and is a very interesting city, but bring your walking shoes. There is one parking lot in the entire city and a lot of area to cover. If you take a double decker bus tour it is a great way to get around, but you may end up with a tour guide who has a strong French accent and is difficult to understand.
- Canadians are very pro recycling The question in grocery stores is “Do you have your own bag?” not “paper or plastic?” Some stores charge you for use of their bags.
- You can not stock up when items are on sale. There is no extra room beyond the refrigerator and pantry.
- There is a large percentage of people in Canada who hang their laundry outside to dry….many on pulley-style clotheslines.
- When living in an RV, laundry is a necessary evil that must be done in a laundromat (most campgrounds have them) every 2-3 weeks.
- You can live in a house for years and never wave at your neighbors, but in a campground everyone waves at everyone else.
- The architecture and culture of Quebec City, with its fortification wall, Citadelle, and French influence is like taking a step into another country.
- When you travel full time you need down time. This is not a vacation, it is a lifestyle.
- When you give up on the road signs being true and think you will never see a moose, one shows up on the side of the road and you do not have the camera ready.
- No matter how many times you see them, the difference between high tide and low tide at the Bay of Fundy is amazing. This is where you see the world’s largest tides.
- Getting your mail an average of once every four to six weeks takes planning so it arrives in a city where you plan to be at the appropriate time.
- A GPS can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Our Trucker GPS in the RV took us down a road that had been re-done two years ago and no longer goes through — it is now a dead end. When towing you cannot back up because it damages the tow unit, so we had to disconnect the jeep, turn the RV around and then re-connect before we could continue. Of course it would have helped if Ellsworth, Maine had put up a “Dead-End” sign, as a woman on the road said it happens all the time and they have been after the city to do something.
- In many spots what is promoted as a “scenic drive” is overgrown with nothing to see.
- Convection oven cooking is not difficult, just different. The three burners on the stove-top is much harder to adjust to as it does not easily accommodate large pans.
- I have not adjusted to the feel of the motor home when driving in high winds or uneven pavement. That one is going to take some time!
- This is an awesome way to live and I’m glad I took the plunge and jumped in with both feet.
As time goes on I look forward to sharing more of my travel adventures with everyone.