October 7, 2021
We set off for good on October 1st. We learned how to use the engine brakes and had a bit of a scare when a motorist flagged us down. It turned out the we didn’t have my scooter strapped to the back well enough so we added some straps and now she’s not budging. Luckily, it did not fall off completely and just has a little ding on one wheel where it scraped.
Our first night was spent with a Boondockers Welcome host in Hilton, NY. He warned us on the way in not to take the parkway due to low bridges. Of course we took a wrong turn and ended up on the parkway. The bridges are well marked so we knew not to even attempt it. Since there was no exit available we drove across the median so we could get off the road…fun times. Our host was magnificent though. He served us fresh apple pie when we arrived, let our dogs run in his backyard, swapped recipes and stories with us, and made us fresh coffee in the morning. I love that we meet people like him on our journey!
The next night we stayed with another host in Akron Ohio. We parked in a field within an old nursery/farm. We were able to meet up for lunch with my aunt and uncle who live close by. It was the third day that things got really dicey. We spent that night in a casino parking lot and in the morning, Luke announced we had a problem. One of the tires on our RV was completely shredded.
We eventually figured out how to use our roadside assistance who swapped this out for a new tire, but what could have caused this to happen? We decided to take it to a dealership in Illinois to check it out. They gave us the terrible news that we had a bad axle and it would take some time to get a new one. They let us spend the night camping in their parking lot at least.
We remained optimistic for the couple of days we camped out at the dealership. The sale of our house completed on October 6th which was great! However…we moved into the shittiest hotel we have ever been in later that day and started negotiations with our RV manufacturer. Things looked bleak there for a few days. We learned that by and large, the RV industry is not interested in honoring warranties or fixing broken rigs in a timely manner and they just seem to get away with it.
We learned a lot about how to negotiate with a large corporation, how to get public attention drawn to our situation, how to persevere, and I learned that Luke will NEVER GIVE UP when things get tough. I was so damn proud of him. Things started to turn around for us to next day.
Jennifer MacNeil is currently traveling the US with her husband and two dogs. She loves to have adventures, explore, meet fascinating people, and see amazing places. She strives to learn every day and spread kindness to others. She documents her journey through her photography and blog to share with others.