Trains versus trailers


Today (actually, a couple of days ago) I got a chance to try both, and I learned a few things.

We rented a small Recreational Vehicle to go camping this weekend. It was my first experience at the RV life.

I found out that the battery is designed to lose its charge (i.e. the heater goes off) at precisely the moment the weather is coldest.

Loss of power also affects the water pump, forcing you to do the one thing that inspired you to rent an RV in the first place…namely, use the house-of-horrors open pit toilets provided by the campground.

While we’re on the subject, I discovered that the sewage hose is cleverly hidden so that you can’t find it when you want to return the trailer to the Air Force Base. This serves to erase all doubt with the on-duty staff whether you are, indeed, a novice.

Pilot lights aren’t as easy to light as the instruction manual implies.

It does help with your perspective, though. You know how you grumble when you get stuck behind semi-trucks struggling to get up a steep grade? The truck drivers were grousing at me this weekend. Gas alone cost me about 150 bucks, and that doesn’t include the rental fees.

Then we rode a train.

The Union Pacific Railroad gave the Wyakin Warrior Foundation a generous grant recently, and we got invited to ride the train for a brief trip.

It was great.

We just walked on board, with friendly, smiling staff members there to help us up the stairs. “Welcome aboard,” they said. We chose our seats and settled into the comfy cushions. The train started rolling and we got to watch the countryside pass by.

When we got back, the staff thanked us for coming and helped us back down the stairs.

No sewage issues.
No gas consumption (on my part anyhow).
No pilot lights or lack of running water.

And it was free.

So if you are in the market for a Recreational Vehicle, be careful. Shop around. Ask questions. Know how to use each and every appliance in the trailer before you leave the lot. Then hook up, pack up, and head out to a good relaxation spot.

My recommendation would be the train station.


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