A Freezing Failure – Our First Night on the RV

The move into the RV wasn’t exactly easy. We were hoping for a smooth transition from our duplex into the Fifth Wheel, but because we had to get ours made and delivered from the factory in Indiana, time was not on our side. We had to be out of our Duplex on the 28th of February, meaning we ideally wanted to move into the Fifth Wheel on the 1st of March. While the RV was made and delivered to Lazy Days in Tampa by the 1st, we were unable to drive down to Tampa to sign the paperwork and schedule the coach to be delivered to Sorrento until the following weekend. Luckily we had amazing friends that let us park our U-Haul and bodies at their home for a few nights (thank you Lorraine & Richard!). So we packed all of our belongings into a 10ft. truck and waited until it could be unloaded.

We made it to Tampa to solidify everything. We crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s and scheduled the delivery for the soonest possible day they could deliver. It arrived on a weekend, which was nice because it gave us time to unpack, but also was a challenge because Dennis was a bartender and the weekends were his workdays (work-nights really). He unpacked as much as possible while I was at work in the day, and I drove straight to the RV to finish where he left off as he departed for work for that night.

So there I was, my first night on the RV, alone, and not quiet sure how to operate this sucker. After I finished putting the last box away into our bedroom cabinets, I wanted to take a shower so I could finally relax. I turned on the hot water heater on our electronic control panel and headed for a shower. It took about 1 minute under the freezing water to realize “yah, I don’t think this heater is working”…I very quickly finished the frigid shower and got dressed.

I decided to watch Harry Potter (I proudly admit I’m a HP freak) by the electronic fireplace and heated seat to warm me back up. This part oft the night was lovely. When it was time for bed I decided it was warm enough in the RV that I could probably turn the heater off (I didn’t want it to be too hot if I left it on all night). I woke up around 2:30 that morning to a freezing 52 degrees Fahrenheit in the RV. For some of your northerners, that might not sound too bad, but for me, a native Floridian who does not enjoy the cold – I was DYING. I turned the heater back on high and grabbed extra blankets, but it couldn’t seem to catch up. I had to go to the bathroom, so I walked outside in the cold night to use the public bathrooms. We knew we were installing our composting toilet in just a few days with the help of our friend Richard, so we didn’t want to use the toilet and dirty the black tank. That means every time we had to use the bathroom we had to walk to the nearby public restrooms. It wasn’t really that bad unless it was night, when it was around 45 degrees.

At this point, I was hating the RV. I was tired and stressed from the move, frustrated at how poorly things were “working” on the coach and how damn cold I was. I was honestly second guessing our decision and was worried we had made the wrong choice. After a few more hours of sleep, we woke up and tackled the hiccups I experienced the night before. Dennis figured out there is an outside hot water heater valve that has to be turned on before you can use it for the first time, with just one easy turn, our hot water was working. Hallelujah! The 2nd night I knew to keep the heater at least on low the whole night and was able to stay MUCH warmer throughout the night. The bathroom issue wasn’t rectified for a few more days, but once we installed the composting toilet, the RV started to feel more comfortable and I realized we can work through this. Our first night was not easy by an means, but we made it through and are now loving the RV life.


  1. Brandi

    This all sounds too familiar! Hahaha, I’m so glad you guys are enjoying it! I can’t wait to see all of your updates!

    • adventuretime

      Glad you’re enjoying it Brandi! Yes there are definitely some trying times when you live on an RV! Can’t wait to meet up with you one day.