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Old 03-05-2009, 10:46 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 135
Full-timing it three months at a time

My wife is a nurse, and is now trying out travel nursing. Despite it apparently being a bad time to try to get into this (travel jobs are much more scarce now), she got a contract (and another call-back right afterwards). Standard contracts are 13 weeks, so as long as she does this, we'll be full-timing it in the bus three months at a time (possibly longer if her contract is extended).

Bus wasn't quite finished (are they ever done?), but we had to go ahead and head out. Tried to wire it up for a tow dolly, but I went through five taillight converters and couldn't get a one to work. All would let the parking lights work (that's supposed to just be a pass-thru) but nothing else. Even hooked direct to battery, again just the parking lights work, no other wires let current through. So I have it wired up to do everything but the parking lights. At night I just turn on the parking lights on the car itself (and learned it doesn't take long to completely drain the battery).

We drive by my mom's to see her, then to my dad's for the night (he put in a 50-amp receptacle for us to use). Put some more storage under the top bunk bed, then headed out. Got caught in a snow storm between Jackson and Memphis in Tennessee. We were at a standstill on I-40 for about 10 hours. At least everyone else got to sleep. Hated to be stuck, but if you're going to get stuck for ten hours on the interstate in the freezing cold, an RV is the place to be. Had the generator running, plenty of heat, TV to watch, restroom facilities, food, etc. Felt bad for the people who had to figure out a way to take care of bathroom needs.

Was able to refill the water tank at a Love's (they have water faucets at the pumps, not sure why...don't tell me they're not sanitary please, at least I did have some bleach in the tank), and dump at a rest stop (only a little spillage this time, much better than the first time). Most meals are in the bus, but we do make one stop at Pizza Hut.

We get into Houston a bit too late to go to the rv/mobile home park, so we overnight at Wal-Mart. I buy some supplies, hook up the battery charger to the car (battery dead due to having parking lights on, luckily I put an outlet outside the rv so I just run a cord all the way back and connect a battery charger), and get some sleep. We head out first thing, finally find the place (I wrote down the address of the office, not of the rv park itself), wife showers and we head out to her new job.

I've found a lot of little things that could use some tweaking. Bathroom is a good size, but there needs to be a place to put your dirty clothes and to put clean clothes you're going to change into. There's no good place for all the electronics I have (they're strewn all around the front tables). You can never have too much storage.

Other things have worked out pretty well. The cable guy (needed internet) was confused as to how to install the cable (didn't know codes for an RV, took many calls but he finally got it done). Satellite took a bit but turned out to be easy (got a slimline-3 for hd, tripod took a smaller pole than needed, but heating a 1 1/5" pvc pipe in the oven at 250 degrees for about ten minutes made it pliable enough to slide over top of the pole I had for the older dish, and that made it just the right size for the bigger dish). Space is cramped but our son still has enough room to hop like a frog, spin around until he's dizzy, and jump on the couch.

Even if this is the last trip, it's been a great learning experience. If it's just one of many trips, then I'll be even more prepared when it's time to upgrade; whether it's another conversion, or a "real" RV.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:04 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 82
Re: Full-timing it three months at a time

I know a guy who has a full time job coordinating those travelling nurses. He would disagree...he is still hurting for nurses. He told me a story of a couple that would take assignments in different parts of the country depending on what suited their fancy and what time of year it was. They lived in an RV and got a per-diem. The husband was a stay at home driver (no kids) and they were incredibly happy. I hope your experiences turn out to be similar.
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