I chose the name Rocinante because of two reasons. For one, John Steinbeck chose that name for his truck top camper in 1960. His main reason for chosing the name and my second reason is that Don Quixote’s horse was named Rocinante and this horse, in many ways, was not only his horse, but his double. Like Don Quixote, his horse was awkward, past his prime, and engaged in a task beyond his capacities (taken from Wikipedia).
My Airstream was Rocinante, but the name fits my life as it did Don Quixote’s, so I want to keep the name. Even though, officially, the new RV is Rocinante II, I will refer to him as just Rocinante.
I feel like I have enough skills that I can earn an income from the inside of an RV as well as from an office.
Buying the Airstream was a leap of faith. I was hungry for travel and adventure. My eyes longed to see new vistas and long missed friends (and to have my own bed with me at all times AND a place to charge my personal batteries – I’m an introvert). I chose the Airstream because it seemed a good size for myself and two dogs (Einstein and Emma). By myself, I was able to hitch, unhitch, set up and take down camp, search for diesel gas amidst the vastness of the desert lands of the Southwest, with their great distances between exits, and to be content with the simple life I encountered within the cozy curved space of Rocinante I. None of those tasks came easy. I had to do lots of research, watch many videos, and prepare myself mentally for the upcoming challenges. When my adventure concluded, I felt stronger and a whole lot happier than ever before. I felt knowledgeable, capable, and full of joy at all the opportunities I’d embraced. Sure, I made some mistakes. I figured out, on my own, how to overcome them. It was good for me.
In January I bought a Winnebago Vista LX 35F. Its ten feet longer than the Airstream, but I got to thinking about it. The Airstream plus the truck were actually fifty feet long…so now I’m in a smaller rig really. Right?
I know many full time RVers tend to downsize. At this point in my life, that’s probably not going to happen for me. I have lived full time in the new Winnebago since the second day after purchasing it. I was afraid that I wouldn’t come to love it as much as I had the Airstream. Two months have passed and I find that I love it even more. Even though the weather has been very cold, the RV has stayed quite comfortable using the electric fireplace and, on especially cold nights, the small Broan heater I bought while traveling in the Airstream.
I use my Verizon JetPack for internet. I have 15 GB of 4G speed. With the work that I do, that lasts me anywhere from three to five days out of each month. The rest of the month I have 3G. I’m able to do most of the things I need to, but sometimes must go to a friend’s house to do some of the more intense tasks, such as patches for software and downloads of large items. I get by okay though.
Even though I do filming and editing, I’m not accustomed to being on the front side of a camera. The videos I watch on YouTube, made by other Full Timers, have inspired and taught me. Some of the folks who make them seem like long time friends now, even though we have never met. I don’t know why, but I love the videos that are tours of their rig. I love seeing how they store things, what gadgets they use, the layout, and changes they make to accommodate their lives better. My favorite part is seeing them so excited about it all. I’ve watched many HGTV house hunter shows where the people searching for a new home want closets bigger than my whole RV. In the YouTube videos I love that the people are so very excited about having a closet at all. Having a cover for the kitchen sink to give them more space for food prep makes them giddy with joy. I have covers for my sinks, but I seldom use them. I’m happy with the space I have for making meals. Knee room in the bathroom is a thing to be coveted. My particular RV has two slide outs – one for the bed and one where the dinette and couch are. I’ve seen humongous RVs with slideouts the length of the entire rig. It makes the interior look like an apartment. I’d love to have something that awesome one day. Until then, I’m finding that the one slide out makes the living area very cozy and comfortable. I have just the right amount of space and closets and storage. Some of the features I’m especially fond of are the extra bathroom (half bath), the washer/dryer combo, and the residential refrigerator. I like having space under the RV for a few things, like tools and lawn chairs and such. What I’m trying to get to is that I would like to make some videos about my life as a full timer in a motor home. My rig is a little different than many others, so perhaps there would be a use for videos about life in this Rocinante.
I am very excited that the couch and my favorite side of the dinette face the TV and electric fireplace. I’m glad that I have a gas oven. The Airstream had a convection/microwave oven and it was very difficult to figure out. Every time I used it to actually bake something, it seemed to work differently. I found no manual with operating instructions. Trying the same things twice in a row didn’t usually work. It was also down where an oven would be, so I had to sit on the floor to read the words on the buttons. I’ve gotten quite good at lighting my little gas oven. I’ve made many delicious meals in it already.
When I had the Airstream (which had a wonderful memory foam mattress, although it was a short queen), I bought a very nice mattress topper that is 4 inches and made of Gel/Memory Foam. It’s especially made for people with joint problems, arthritis, or painful hips. I have periodic joint pain. I had to cut off the bottom of it and round the corners. When we bought the Winnebago, I feared my topper would be no use anymore. It turns out that it works better than it would have it I’d have left it full length. When the slide out is in, the bed slides up under the cabinets on the opposite wall. If the topper was full length, the bed would not fit up under the cabinets and I would have to manually roll the topper up so the bed would slide under. However! With the end cut off, the bed slides under the cabinets to exactly the right place. Having the topper shorter doesn’t cause any problems for sleeping either. I’m glad for such a happy coincidence.
I used the comforter that came with the RV to make a room darkening curtain to hang down behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats. If I’m driving at night and I have a passenger who is back sitting at the dinette table with a light on, the glare from the light makes glare on the windshield. The curtain eliminates that issue altogether. It also insulates the living area from a few degrees of colder air from the cab area. When not in use, I lower the bed that is over the cab area, flip the curtain up over it, raise the bed back up, and the curtain looks like trim work.
So what adventures do I have planned? For the near future I have a weekend trip planned to a local area, a trip to Japan (without RV), a trip to Ohio, and another trip to Florida (just returned from there recently – great first trip with the new RV). I haven’t thought past that yet. I apologize for the length of this post. As soon as I make a video tour, I’ll replace the written post with the video. Until, happy trails!