The trial
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The trial

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After looking at RVs, discussing together that we’d liked to move in that direction, we thought it might be wise to test the waters. While we have been car camping quite a few times together, we have never been in an RV. So that year for Christmas and Heather’s birthday (right after Christmas), we rented an RV as a trial.

Driving south towards Santa Fe

Cruise America was the best option because they allowed us to have our dogs with us. That was important because they are part of the family and we will be bringing them along for the ride. We decided to drive south to Santa Fe, NM. We realized it was winter and it was actually going to be a little harder for us. It was COLD and we couldn’t use any of the water systems in the RV. This definitely put a damper on the usage, but being campers we made do just fine.

We ended up getting to test out 3 different RV parks, one on our way down south and two while in Santa Fe. The first night was definitely a trial. Paul didn’t hook us up properly in the dark upon our arrival and the heat went off in the night. Well, did I mention it was cold?!?! I think even the dogs were cold early in the morning and Paul had to get back outside with a headlamp and get us hooked up properly for us to get the heat back on.

The dogs settled in pretty quickly.

One learning curve over with, we moved along to our destination of Santa Fe. This time we hooked up properly and had sufficient heat for the 20 degree temps and snow. Yes we were fortunate enough to see it snow in Santa Fe. From what we understand it doesn’t snow all that much in Santa Fe proper. The mountains nearby definitely get snow, but accumulation in the city wasn’t the norm.

Luminaries for Christmas Eve in Santa Fe, NM

Needless to say we really enjoyed our time in Santa Fe. Our biggest obstacle was not having a towed vehicle. Every time we want to go out, we had to take the house with us (not easy on narrow, old Santa Fe streets) or find another mode of transportation. We brought our bikes thinking that might be an option. It was so bitter cold and snowing that neither of us thought this a good option. Instead we opted for using the bus system, which worked out decently. It was pretty reasonably priced at $2 round trip per person. Also, on Christmas Eve it was free as there was the Luminaries special event and they encouraged people to take public transport to avoid too many parking issues.

Snowy, cold adventures in Santa Fe
We often found our dogs in the front seats when we returned from our day’s adventure.

The night that it was really snowing we were supposed to head out for a nice dinner to celebrate Heather’s birthday. Well, we waited all bundled up for well over half an hour at the bus stop. No bus came and we ended up witnessing/hearing at least 4 accidents during that time. Both of us finally looked at each other and agreed to change our plans. Time for some popcorn and a Red Box movie night! We had purposely left out one dinner for the birthday celebration and that night was about to change. I think we adapted nicely to the circumstances and stayed cozy and warm inside with a delicious home cooked dinner and a movie.

Tasty breakfast in the RV

I think we learned being adaptable might be one of the most important parts of living the RV life. Going with the flow of whatever comes your way and making the best of it. The snow was beautiful and we still enjoyed even the next day. It make photos a little different with the southwest architecture and snow. It also made us utilize the bathrooms and showers at the RV parks which worked out fine. We were even able to wash dishes with a bucket in the sink and some boiling water. We made do and we enjoyed our time together in close quarters. Even the dogs fell into a routine and relaxed into the RV.

After the trial, we feel pretty confident we can make this work. Next up researching and buying the truck.