Monday, August 6, 2012

Driving the Beast

We have been a little confused. What should we call that huge thing we'll be traveling in? We've been calling it the 'trailer.' But it's not a trailer. We won't be towing the danged thing. It's a motorhome. Motorhome sounds like too many syllables, even if it is just three. It also feels, well, pretentious. But that's what it is. A motorhome. We've thought about calling it a bus, but it isn't a bus. Buses have two rear axles. I've referred to it in this blog as an RV. Short and sweet in the syllable department, but it seems too generic, a little cold. My brother-in-law referred to it as the 'Motor-monster.' Cool but, again, too many syllables. Now, a motorhome has two major parts: The coach is the space in which you live; the basement is all the compartments underneath for storage. We could call it the Coach, but it just doesn't have the right ring to it. When asking each other where something might be located, we could refer to either the coach or the basement. But, what do we call it when referring to the whole thing? Rob initially started calling it 'The Beast.' I nixed that as it seemed negative. I don't want to live in a 'Beast.' But then again, I hadn't driven it yet.

Last evening we performed our first departure routine. We walked around the outside of 'The Beast.' All basement doors securely closed - check. Electrical cable unplugged and neatly tucked away - check. Engine compartment secure - check. Generator compartment secure - check. Inside, both slides retracted - check. All loose items on countertops put away or secured - check. Water pump off - check. Windows closed - check. Levelers retracted - check. Chock levelers removed and stowed - check.

Off we went to Costco. In the motorhome. We arrived 15 minutes before closing time, went in for a fast-food kind of dinner, took our food back out to the motorhome and ate it. We watched as customers wheeled their carts heavily laden with toilet paper, laundry detergent, packages of meat and veggies, TVs, garden supplies and trees out to their cars and drive away. We watched employees gather together and push unwieldy wagon-trains of carts to their nightly resting places, all lined up nice and neat. We watched them watch us watching them. I wondered if anyone would approach us to ask why we were sitting there, not leaving, but nobody did. Once the parking lot was empty except for a few cars, probably those of the employees, I slid into the drivers seat, adjusted it to my liking — which isn't saying much because the seat doesn't go low enough for me to rest my heel on the floor while pressing on the accelerator or brake pedals. I moved the steering wheel around until it felt right, too, and adjusted the side mirrors.

After starting the engine, Rob counseled me on checking the air pressure levels in the brakes and turning on the rear camera so I can see behind us. Rob walked around the back so I could determine, spatially, how far away everything was and how far of a view the camera encompassed. Once Rob was back aboard, I put it in drive and gingerly tested the accelerator, then the brakes. Rob wanted me to drive it in circles to calibrate the compass. What? I've never driven this thing before and he wants me pushing buttons and paying attention to a device while I'm driving it? Good dang thing the parking lot was pretty empty! Once the compass was calibrated, off I went going up and down aisles, turning right, turning left, wiping out about six imaginary cars, drove a rear tire over a curb, got the hang of it. I drove it all the way home. The thing is big, huge! It's a BEAST! But easier to drive than I thought it'd be.

Maybe we will refer to it as The Beast in general. But, once we're on the road, maybe we'll just call it Home.


  1. You are so funny Linda! If you keep writing like this I think you might have a book on your hands. A book for beginner RV'ers

    1. Thanks, Deb! Wouldn't a book be a trip! (No pun intended).

  2. Mom- I think you should just call it whatever comes naturally to you. Maybe an official name will come when you are out on the road. I love the way you write because it feels like I'm right there with you. Maybe a little bit is that I know you and I can completely picture everything you and Dad are doing too. Can't wait to see you.
    Love, Kristie

  3. Mike says you should call it "the novel" because it inspires you to write, and there is a lot of chapters to be written