On April 9th we left Arizona with the RV in tow and set off for our new home in Big Stone Gap, VA. The springtime drive was beautiful, everyone was enjoying the trip (including the baby and dogs), and after two years we finally felt like we had this RV thing down.
Have you ever noticed that in the movies everything is perfect right before disaster strikes? That is exactly what happened to us.
I won’t go into details about the wreck because an insurance claim is still open for the truck. The important thing to note is that all people and pets are fine. Wear your seat belts, folks. They probably saved our lives in this situation.
These photos were taken the day after the wreck. We now know that the RV is totaled and have agreed on a settlement, so I feel comfortable sharing. As you can see, the 5th wheel portion of the RV nearly split open.
It takes a great deal of force to bend metal like this!
Right before we began our journey, I commented that I felt like everything finally had a purpose and a place. Ha!
This is the interior side of the bedroom window where the RV started to split.
We had already cleaned up the mess at this point. Clothes were strewn everywhere I found them on the bed, in the shower, even in the kitchen sink!
How do you like the new flooring that was installed the week before we left? If you look closely you can see purple paint spilled along the front of the couch and a big gouge to the left of the baby’s bouncer. I have no idea what would have made that hole in the vinyl.
Paint cans were hammered shut and stored under the kitchen sink. I wish I had a recording of exactly what happened inside this RV. The counter tops were cracked and splattered with paint too.
So what do you do when your home is totaled on the side of the road?
First you open an insurance claim. Then you rent a truck and a U-Haul, salvage what you can, and get back on the road.
The wreck serves as another reminder to us that tangible things have little value. These happy campers don’t stay down for long!
We continued to Virginia, and I started my job on the planned date. Our intention was to stay in the RV until we closed on a property that was large enough to build our dream home on and install a series of RV hook-ups. But that fell through too.
Next the plan changed to securing a house to rent, which is surprisingly tricky in southwestern Virginia. The demand is high and property managers rarely allow dogs.
After about a week of living in a hotel, we signed a year-long lease on an 800-square-foot house on five acres and moved in the next day.
The home is simple and small compared to most, but it suits us just fine.
Initially my little shopping buddy and I made a quick trip to purchase the essentials – window coverings, light bulbs, sheets, a shower curtain, etc. Then we bought baby chicks!
Having chickens is the one thing we missed most while living in a RV. Furniture will come in time. We spend most of our time on the floor with Sadler anyway.
Strangely, I don’t feel sad or disappointed about losing the majority of our possessions. I feel grateful and free.
So what does this mean for HappiestCamper.com? It means there will be more posts focused on minimalism, family, exploring our new surroundings, and always looking for the silver lining.
I’ll also share details about our insurance and claims process as it progresses. Eventually RV’s will be part of our lives again, in some capacity. We are exploring the possibility of buying a RV park. Now THAT would be an adventure!