Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sick in an RV

I think I will be reflecting on our first "longer" trip by writing a series of posts rather than try to digest it all in one piece. Much of what I have been thinking about writing is what I want to remember.  Some is written for others who are sharing this adventure vicariously, and some is just blather.
We left the rally grounds early Sunday, but not without catching the “bug” that was going around.  I became very sick about 9:00 PM.  I won’t go into the details, but it was much like what we called the “24 hour flu” when I was a kid! Maybe I don’t have the resilience that I had back then, but this sure took me down.  I was over the worst of it by morning, but rode lying down on the couch to our appointment at Alfateers so they could service our generator and install the new fuel filter that we ordered last week.

By Monday morning I was again able to eat and except for being weak and sore I was O.K.  The secretary at Alfateers said that at least 100 people had fallen ill at the rally.  I bet that was just the number reported into the first aid station, and that there were at least 100 more like me that did not.  She also told me that a few weeks ago she was at a family gathering in the area and 10 of the 60 people got sick.  One went to the hospital and was told there is a new strain of flu going around, and her doctor called it the Riverside County Flu.   So maybe it wasn’t “food born.” The good thing was that it ran its worst course in about 12 hours. Plus a couple of days of mild discomfort.

What I learned:

1.  Getting sick in an RV is no worse than getting sick at home.   Sick is sick.
2. The bathroom is closer in an RV than in any house!
3. In a class A, the couch is also a bed.
4. An air freshener would have been good to have, but running all fans full force for awhile can make the sick room smell better.  In general Craig and I both dislike artificial sprays or deodorants.  But it might be a good idea to try a few to find one that is tolerable for this type of emergency.
5. Carry a small bottle of bleach for clean up. 
6. Use the sanitizing hand wipes!  Just having them is not enough.
7. Pepto-bismol does nothing other than make things more colorful.

And last: 
All members of the team should be comfortable driving.   

When we left Alfateers Service center on Monday morning Craig was just starting to feel a bit queasy.  Since we had dry camped for six nights we were out of water and needed to dump. We had to get to our next full hook up location, two hours away, as quickly as possible.  

Craig started to drive because although I was better, I still felt weak and tired.  After about an hour he had to pull off at an exit, set the brake, put it in park, and leave the driver's seat for a dash to the back.  Because I had been taking turns as the driver, I was able to take over and maneuver through an unknown, semi-busy city area and get us safely back onto the freeway, and on to Santa Barbara.

I would not have wanted this to have been my first time driving!  If I hadn't been able to take the wheel, we would have been stranded on a busy exit of the L.A. freeway system! Not good.

So my message to all of you "partners" is share the driving.  Make a point of driving part of every trip.  You don't have to start with backing up or winding country roads, but you should be comfortable with all of those different controls, especially on the diesels.  Because I drove into the park for the pre-rally, the subject of women driving came up.  Several women told me that either they were afraid to drive, or that their husbands wouldn't let them drive.  

Ladies, most of us have had babies!  
We CAN drive large RVs.  

Besides it's fun...


  1. Point well taken. Good to be comfortable taking over for scenarios just like you mentioned. I have not had the opportunity to drive/pull yet as we are stationary for awhile. I will learn after we pull out.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Good points to keep in mind, thanks for sharing.

  3. I agree that both should be able to drive, but I have not convinced Anneke yet;)

  4. I have always traveled with Lysol or something similar, even before I owned an RV.

  5. I have always traveled with Lysol or something similar, even before I owned an RV.

  6. Good points. And, having one toilet in an RV is no more problematic than having one toilet in a house. Sooner or later, it's going to be a scene from Bridesmaids.

    The Good Luck Duck

  7. Very good point. Hope you both get to felling better soon.

  8. Good for you, Merikay. Yes, we certainly can drive these big rigs. If I get sick on the road, I just get to the nearest campground and stay put until I can drive again. Wish I had someone to trade off driving with, though.

  9. Points well taken -- I'm one of those procrastinators on driving our MH...guess I'd better get with it. Hope you guys are feeling much better!

  10. Thanks for reminding all of us that BOTH partners need to be comfortable driving. Sorry you guys got "hit" with the flu or whatever it was...We wipe down surfaces in the RV quite often with the antibacterial wipes. We've been very very healthy for the past year and a half, but your story just reminds me that it's mainly because we haven't been around crowds of people!

  11. Sorry you got sick and glad you're feeling better. We have been much healthier since we've been fulltiming. I agree with Jeannie that it's because we're not around so many people. I am one of those procrastinators who have not learned to drive our rig. We're getting a new diesel truck this summer. Maybe I'll learn how to drive the diesel truck and tow the RV in the same year. To be honest, I'm just scared to do it.

  12. Great post have enumerated some very important points. Sure hope you and Craig are feeling better by now.

  13. Amen!! Well said and I totally agree!!

  14. Hope Craig is feeling better and it is good that you were able to take over. I don't drive when towing very much and I know I need to now to convince John of that. I just told him your story maybe that will help.

  15. I agree, sick is sick whether in an rv or not. Our motorhome IS our home so I'd feel as comfortable there as anywhere. The only problem I can see if you both got sick at the same time with only one bathroom!

    You're right...I need to start driving the motorhome, but I find I'm losing my desire!

  16. I had a virus last year, respiratory, and just did what I always do. Rest, drink fluids, watch TV, etc. It's the same as living in a sticks 'n bricks home. The good part is that everything is closer to you.

    When boondocking, we think more about conserving our water, and maybe don't wash our hands as often as when we have hookups. Having wipes and/or the little antibacterial hand wash bottles in one's pocket would probably be a good idea, especially at large gatherings.

    I sure hope you are both feeling better soon! :)


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