Life lessons; learn them or repeat them

Last month we brought the trailer out of storage for the first time in 18 months and we had a few propane related problems… air/water were quite cold and we couldn’t get the oven to light.  Here is my previous post:

With that experience behind us, we decided to spend a night in a populated area to have access to suppliers and parts should this still present problems.  Bend, Oregon seemed like a great place to be stuck if we needed to be – and we did need to be.

A word to new RV owners, don’t, I repeat, DON’T, attempt to light  the hot water heater without first being absolutely sure you don’t have the ‘bypass’ valve closed.  You see, when this valve is closed there is no way there will be water in the hot water tank and the reset buttons are tripped off and you burn up the hot water heater element with no water to heat.  The furnace was a bad relay switch which was in the same panel with the element.  Sigh, we created a larger problem because we thought we were doing something wrong the first couple of times we turned each of them on.  We didn’t even realize we had a bypass valve!

If you read about how we were tired and hungry and only wanted to heat our grocery store pizza in the oven before crashing after working hard in the yard at the ‘old’ house you know we couldn’t get the oven lit to heat the pizza and we cooked it stove top out of desperation.  Well, that evening we had a discussion about lighting the pilot light vs using the automatic starter; it is very uncommon to have an auto-light pilot in an RV oven, we needed to light the pilot after all.  I think I see another pizza in our future, this one cooked in the oven as it should be.  (Be forewarned, you will also have to do this!)

Thankfully, we had a terrific mobile RV repair guy, Jason, at Advantage RV here in Bend ( to rescue us and get us back on the road.  He was thorough, prompt and fun to visit with and he didn’t shake his head and say that we were people who shouldn’t have gotten an RV in the first place.  (Price was very reasonable and he was available when we needed him.)  Thank’s Jason!

Old Mill District, we had hail and rain most of the day - crazy June weather!
Old Mill District, we had hail and rain most of the day – crazy June weather!

Once we were sure we could leave civilization (yes, we ‘Glamp’, done my fair share of roughing it through the years and have earned some comforts now) we decided to spend the day in Bend.  We took advantage of the downtown shops that were close together.  We also made sure to experience two more breweries along Bend’s ‘Ale Trail’ ( that I will review in future posts.

Stainless steel, convertible wine glasses for our home away from home.
Stainless steel, convertible wine glasses for our home away from home.

REI was able to provide us with wine glasses we were looking for but couldn’t seem to find in stock online or off when we wanted them.  There are fun shops down by the Deschutes River at the ‘Old Mill’ and some other gems that, were we actually on our way home instead of just starting out we might have made purchases at.

No looking at clocks, no schedule, no deadlines and no cats (although I still think I see Dragon’s black coat whenever a black jacket or sneaker is left where I least expect it); mostly positive, definitely needed and very appreciated.  We learned lots about our RV today and about ourselves.  Did you know it is next to impossible to park on paving stones without lining up the wheels with the paving stones?  I can assure you this is true.  We walked through the whole park this morning and not a rig was out of alignment with the pavers.


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