Life ~ Thoughts ~ Writings, RV Tips, Tricks & Lessons

Our RV Broke! Now What?

Today I wanted to take a moment and talk about choices. We all make them. Every day! I’m on a few RV sites online and I see an array of emotions when things break or stop working, or quality isn’t what they think they deserve. So I’m going to climb up on my soapbox here for just a minute. Agree or disagree with me, it’s ok! That’s what makes the world go around. And we still love you!

In the last 7 days, we’ve been done quite the 1200+ mile drive from Colorado to the Seattle Washington area. We’re meeting some friends, heading to Glacier, speaking at the Washington Grand Design Rally in September, and heading from there to Vegas for Halloween (come on – everyone has to do that once in their life right?). 300 miles from our destination we stop for the night. Justin very calmly says “we need to find an RV place” and shuts the truck door. I thought for a moment. Then chased him down and asked for an explanation. He notices we broke a shackle. Yep, we’re stuck here in a Cabela’s parking lot until we can find parts.

Here’s where the choices come in! We can run to the edge of the proverbial cliff, decide it’s worth jumping off, get angry, be mad that the whole day (maybe even week) is ruined, cause a bunch of drama, complain, cry, throw a pity party, stress each other out and then – Guess what?


One thing Justin and I have learned in the last two and a half years of RVing full time is things break. On a regular basis even. Not only on our RV but our tow vehicle too! We seem to be at our best when these things happen. I’m not sure why, or what triggers it, but both of us seem to talk a little more softly, and get into this “what do we do now, and how do we fix this?” mindset. Yes, we have a very well-made RV. Yes, Grand Design is known for its quality. But it’s still an RV. It’s still traveling down a road at 65 MPH for hours and days (2 and a half years to be exact). And if you have been following us long, you know we push the limits even more than the typical person. Our RV doesn’t spend much time on the pavement. We boondock in the most amazing, epic places. We go down roads we may not always recommend others do. If it breaks – we fix it. We aren’t reckless, and we aren’t lacking common sense, but if we’ve done our research, and we think we can get there, we try! “Afraid” is not in our vocabulary.

So we sprung into action with a somewhat nervous smile and some great suggestions from some local friends sent us just 17 miles down the road to pick up new parts, and Justin had them on in just an hour. Yes, in the Cabelas Parking lot! Thank you to Cabelas for your support of full-time RVer’s.

But things could have been different. It’s really all about attitude. We are so blessed to wake up and live another day in this life, and as cliche, as it sounds, “A Bad Day RVing is Still Better Than a Great Day at Work”. We could have been angry and yelling, but we make the choice not to be that way. Why? Because it’s counterproductive, toxic, and doesn’t change a damn thing.

I often see people on group sites online mad that after 3 years their couch is peeling, or they are mad that these RV manufacturers put cheap mattresses’ in their RV. Or … Or … Or … Let me ask you this – When was the last time you purchased a house with furniture inside already? And, if you happen to be that 1% of people who might have bought a furnished condo/house, was it high quality, top of the line stuff? Our daughter rented a furnished apartment in college, and let me tell you, it’s not high quality. You surely spent over $200k on your sticks and bricks house right? An empty one! So if you don’t like your mattress go get one that makes you happy! If your furniture is showing wear and tear after a few years, go get what makes you happy. Just be happy! No, of course not everyone can run out and spend big money on a new mattress, but some people can sure jump online and cause 200 people to have higher blood pressure for a few days complaining about it. Because it drags them into it misery loves company. And it doesn’t change anything. They still have a bad mattress! By the way, when we bought our Grand Design our mattress was less than ok, so we went and bought the two things linked below, which were lifesavers. Two and a half years later, there isn’t a night we don’t crawl into bed and say “I love my bed”. Sure we could have bought a whole new mattress, but this was in our budget at the time and we thought we’d at least try it first. So happy we did!

FUN FACT – Did you know we spend one-third of our life in bed?

2021 Update – I am still using these two same products. We love them, and highly recommend them!

Tomorrow is never promised! We say that a lot. It’s ok to be upset for a minute. We’re humans. But then turn it around, be thankful for something. Find something small even. Today, I found that I was thankful for so much. We didn’t notice this broken shackle until we arrived at our destination for the night. That means no one got hurt. We didn’t get into an accident. We didn’t hurt anyone behind us with flying metal and we arrived safely. I was also thankful for bright sunshine today as Justin crawled around under our 5th wheel. We all know how much it has rained in Idaho this year. I was thankful that Cabela’s was a big, safe, clean parking lot, in the middle of a city with cell service. Did I mention 2 days ago we were driving through Wyoming for 2 solid days without seeing even a building, and had no cell service to speak of? Today I was thankful for so much, even though we had a little speed bump in the road of RV life.

So if you’re full-time living in your RV, or even part-time. Or about to hit the road. Keep this in mind. Pick your battles. If you ask yourself “will this matter in a month? or a year?” and if it won’t … take a deep breath, and know that there is a reason for everything. Find the positive of the day! And smile! Even if it’s hard!

Ok, I’m stepping down off my soapbox. We hope every one of you travels safe, and we hope to see you all down the road sometime! Before you go, here are a few blogs we hope you’ll check out!

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2 thoughts on “Our RV Broke! Now What?”

  1. So glad you got things fixed and got back on the road! Thank goodness it didn’t happen in Wyoming – there is NO cell coverage there. Or people I swear. For hours and hours, just like you said.

    1. Thanks so much for your well wishes. You’re right! And everything happens for a reason. We’re all fixed and awaiting some upgraded parts now. Thanks again for stopping by!

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