Houston, We Have a Problem

It all started innocently enough...

Having allowed a few days between “the incident” and the present, I am now in a sufficiently recovered state to relate the story in all it’s gory details. So, here we go:

It was one of those days. You know, the type that nags at you from the beginning that something isn’t quite right. In my eternal optimism I’d shrugged it off. After all the sun was shining, birds were singing and we were heading up to a gorgeous spot at ~9,000 feet. Honestly, what could possibly go wrong?

Enter Scene Chocolate

The Instigator...

All started well. The drive was pretty, the weather (albeit a little wet) was cooperating and the scenery was fantastic. Having arrived happily at our lovely campsite in the mountains, I had the brilliant idea to make a cup of hot chocolate.

“Look honey, the pressure difference has popped up the top of the cocoa can”

Hahahaha….mirth all around. Even the dog had a good giggle. Only the cats were indifferent.


As Nina unleashes the can a mushroom cloud of cocoa powder spreads in a finely artistic layer all over Paul and the sofa. I mention the mushroom shape merely to give you a detailed visual of the pressurized explosion. The scene became eerily quiet, so much so that all you could hear was crickets. Given that we were ~200 miles from the nearest gryllus assimilis that gives you a full and complete appreciation of the moment.

Strike ONE

An hour or so later, having meticulously cleaned the chocolate (to the mild enjoyment of the cats), I snuggled down to a hot chocolate and a book. “Aaaahhhhh” The sweet pitter-patter of rain was on the roof creating a cozy and romantic environment. All was good…

Enter Scene Water

The Enabler...


The sound was unexpected, coming as it was from the inside of the RV. A moment of panic followed with the words

“Honey, there’s water coming out the side of the slide”

“Oh, sh……..t!” was the harmonized answer

We’d  been having minor issues with the kitchen slide for some time, but this fell into the category of most definitely “not good”.

So, out with the ladder to have a look at the slide and try to de-bug the situation. It stopped raining for just enough time to let us appreciate the fact that we had no frikkin’ idea how to fix this. Not to be deterred, we went inside and decided to forget about it for the moment. After all there was not much we could do about it right now.

Strike TWO

Now at this point, a more superstitious person might have decided to pack to all up and go to bed, but I am more of the stubborn breed. I settled down with my book and proceeded doggedly with my plan to enjoy the evening. We’d had a few hiccups no doubt, but this was going to be a good day…damn it.

Enter Scene Ladder

The destroyer...

Having once more nestled in and made myself comfortable it started raining again, this time with increased vigor. A few moments later water came dripping out from the slide ceiling light.

“We’d better bring in the slide” said I wisely, and proceeded with said action

“Crunch, crack….sproooong”

“Oh, sh……t” was really the only reasonable response

The Result...

If you’ve followed the narrative closely thus far you might have remembered the ladder that was left outside in Scene II. In a great demonstration of stubbornness (and general lack of concern for its owners, I might add) it had defied movement and managed to get caught in the edge of the slide, thus producing the aforementioned sound effects. The ladder was entirely unharmed, but had produced a perfectly arched bend on the slide corner. The “sprooong”, by the way, was a rivet being ripped off the slide. Despite our combined horror at the situation, I had to give it credit for stamina.  Either way, this was most definitely Strike THREE. By this point the cats were thoroughly amused and we were thoroughly defeated.

Let's frame that moment, shall we?

Now, there are two universal truths that apply to every life circumstance such as this:

1/ At some point, somewhere you will do something utterly brainless, completely idiotic and it will be entirely your fault.

2/ How you proceed to handle said situation is entirely up to you.

And indeed it was. After some ritualistic cursing and general mutual slapping of foreheads, we decided to let it go. These are only “things” after all. We’re keeping the slide in for now and have made an appointment at the RV doctor inGrand Junctionin 2 weeks time. The cats have had their entertainment, we’ve had our lesson and life goes on. It’s going be another beautiful day tomorrow and until then…well, we’ll just have to see.

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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. says

    Oh, god. We’ve been there, too. We’ve had a number of leaks (enough that we are still thrilled each time we DON’T leak in a heavy rain). We’ve destroyed or damaged several things (including motorhome parts) through our own bungling. Ya’ got me on the chocolate powder mist, though!

    We subscribe to the “Could Be Worse” school of thought so, when we have a day like this, it usually ends with “well, it’s better than the time we ran into the tree stump” or “at least the leak drips into the shower” or “well, we didn’t get bitten!”

    Safe travels,

    • libertatemamo says

      It’s good to know we’re in good company :)
      And I totally agree on the philosphy.

  2. says

    You had me laughing out loud and remembering similar times when we were in our motorhome. Thanks for ending the suspense. I hope you turn your blog into a book or write one-it would be a best seller! We had a pat line for days like you had…”If you’re going to have an RV, you can’t get too upset when things go wrong, but you ARE allowed to curse and turn the air blue for a few minutes before you call someone to fix whatever.”
    We were on the road for 10 minutes with our brand new motorhome (Oregon) when a log came off a logging truck and smashed right into the front of us. Bummer, but no one was hurt. Next stop, body shop. Also forgot to unlock the locks before putting the slides out–not good. 😉

    • libertatemamo says

      WOW!! A log into the front of your new home…THAT must have been something.
      Our incident pales in comparison :)

  3. says

    I just love you, Nina. What a great sense of humor, and even if it wasn’t there when everything happened, you managed to make a great story out of it! We just landed in whitehorse and you are the first blog I found in my email and I am sorry, I laughed out loud. Amazing attitude!

  4. Jeff says

    Welcome to the club. We are a HUGE club. If you could line up every RV’er who has had a mindless moment and then had to pay for it, the line would go from LA to NY then to Miami. Time to laugh or to cry or to do both. Either way, laughter, like a spoon full of sugar, makes the medicine go down!!

  5. Brent says

    Holy cow, what a day, but you are right, its just stuff and it can be fixed. Glad to see you kept the positive attitude!

  6. says

    How would we survive this world without a sense of humor???I have no idea…
    You made it look funny but I am sure that when it happened it was not funny at all,it was wise to put it in words after “cooling off”.
    Thanks for the well written “report”.
    May the rest of your travels go as planned.

  7. says

    Your attitude is exactly right…move on. Keep your sense of humor and deal with it. Just remember all the wonderful times, places and experiences you have been Blessed with. Hopefully all will go well for the weekend!

    • libertatemamo says

      Thanks Marsha. We’re glad to have kept our sense of humor. That’s what life is all about :)

    • libertatemamo says

      Let’s just say he was not “amused” to the suggestion at the time….LOL
      I did think of it though….:)

  8. Sandie says

    Laugh or cry. I cry hysterically. Then I find the bright side and feel better. And what a great blog it makes.

  9. Jil Mohr says

    Been there done some of that…. At least u r all safe and sound….good u can laugh now…love the head slapping foto… Would have loved to c a chocolate Paul….

  10. says

    Nina, you make it sound amusing, and indeed, in retrospect, we are sure you find it so now, after it’s over. Our kitchen / living room slide tore up our brand new linoleum floor in two places. Got one area patched, and a piece of white plastic now lies on the other area. But the real fun time was when we decided to really give the black tank a good rinse with clear water, and forgot to turn off the rinsing hose. Took a long time to see that one as humorous — it’s been years since that smelly mess came spilling up over the top of the toilet bowl. “Oh sh……t” for real!

    • libertatemamo says

      OUCH! Now, black tank is ALOT worse than what we went through. I can definitely
      believe that one took some time to laugh about….ouch again!

  11. says

    Good job staying grounded and realizing what’s important.
    That’s the thing about RVing…when your house moves so often, lots of little things like this happen. The key is to be a duck in the water and remember that one year from now it’ll make a great story.

    Good luck with the repair.

  12. says

    Great post! When we saw your warning a few days ago that something really awful had happened and the full story was forthcoming, we both looked at each other and said, “black tank”. So, I was actually kind of relieved that while aggravating and probably expensive to repair, your disaster was at least poo-free. =)

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh man…you are SO right…black tank would have been infinitely worse!!
      Our incident is quite a small one compared to that :)

  13. Sue Bank says

    I enjoyed reading your last blog, and I was totally transported into your situation!!!! We’ve had many water “intrusions” in the past 10 years of RV’ing we’ve nicknamed our Discovery “Beluga”. We originally called her that because she was huge and white, but soon the name fit because of so many water problems! Slide leaking when it rains (the last time it dripped right into the ear of our sweet, sleeping black Lab – she was upside down on the couch and flew up, shaking her head. We thought she’d been bitten by something, but then found the problem!), staple through the water line (from the factory) causing the basement compartments to fill with water, forgetting to open the grey water valve when doing the laundry – flooded the whole inside while we were outside, blissfully having cocktails…..On and On.
    We love the life and wouldn’t change a thing, its all experience and good stories for the campfire!

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh my goodness! I practically lost my entire coffee over this one!!
      Now THAT”s a story…and what a nickname. LOL

  14. says

    OUCH!!! Ahhhh well, like others have said, been there done that. Glad you guys are in good spirits, hey what else can you do. Take Care and get that slide fixed will ya!!!

    • libertatemamo says

      Yeah, hopefully the slide fix is not a big deal. We’ll take it as it comes…and in good spirits :)

  15. Mary says

    We’ve had our share of “mishaps”, too! One that particularly stands out is backing our 40′ motorhome into our campsite and falling into the septic tank!!! Long story – but had to actually build a timber road under our motorhome so we could drive out. Took the guys two days! Thankfully, we didn’t fall all the way down!

  16. ayo says

    Yikes! Total craziness, but SO much power to you for your zen attitude about the whole thing. We could learn something from you guys.

    • libertatemamo says

      Hehe…I’d like to say we were totally zen the whole way through, but that might be puttng it too nicely :)
      It’s good to get it into a funny story though..

  17. Terry says

    Seems like slide stories are part of an RV’rs life! So far we have gotten a flashlight stuck under our bedroom slide — “crunch” and on the outside the pole from our weather station took a hit! Love your blog and photos — keep us smiling!!

  18. Michael says

    Having lived off and on in RV’s and boats a good portion of my life, I can only say “sounds like something I would do”. That is Why “RV” with Robin Williams is one of my favorite I need a laugh movies as I have done MOST of the things in that movie at one point or another… But!!! I survived and have great stories.

    Take care and thank you for your blog


  19. Loretta Jones says

    Do you think the elevation caused the original slider leak? If so, I wonder how to prevent a problem. Can’t wait to go into the Rockies in Colorado.

    • libertatemamo says

      No, definitely not. Our slide issue was simply caused by poor slide design. In our rig our Fridge (our heaviest object) is in the biggest (widest) slide and I believe HR did a bad job of that. We required quite a lot of realignment & fiddling to get the slide watertight again, and there’s a chance it will go out of alignment in the future again just because of the excess weight.. The best way to avoid this issue is to make sure your fridge is NOT in a slide when you buy your rig.


      • Loretta says

        Ok, thanks Nina, our trailer is less than a year old and we’ve already had leaks! Beginning to think that’s the nature of the beast. No pun intended. We were still under warranty, so all fixed. We purchased slider awnings. Hope that helps. We leave April 1 for our first year of full time travel. Excited beyond belief. Can’t wait to get that freedom feeling.


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