It’s amazing to see yourself inside a large life-changing experience that month’s ago was only a plan. The plan was to move a family of 4 into one RV and me into another. The purpose was to live on the road while traveling around the United States filming Season 2 of our television Show “At Home With Didiayer.” Another purpose was to was for our musical duo “Standing in Waves” to write, record, and perform music in all these various settings. The expectation was to do this for six to eight months. Didiayer, her husband Christopher, and their two daughters would live and travel in their Class A RV and I would acquire a smaller, Class C RV that would not only serve as my living space but also as a production suite for our TV show and music.
After weeks and months preparations including selling and storing unneeded items and of course purchasing new ones, we at last said goodbye to our home and friends and headed from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for several meetings, to visit some friends, and of course to begin our leisurely trek towards central Florida which would be the starting point for our journey. Of course, the first stop on a trip out of town is at a gas station to fill up, check your oil, and to check your tire pressure. As the temperature would be nearing 100 degrees that day, I set the tire pressure a little low to allow for the expanding air in the heat. After one last walk-through, and around, I made my way to the I5 freeway and headed south. A few miles down the road, was another onramp and a merging car on my right would neither slow down nor speed up causing me to veer slightly to the left so as not to hit them. A moment later I hear a loud crashing sound to my left as a semi truck is passing by. The truck has run in to and shattered my rear view mirror. My window had been down and I now had glass all over my lap.
I immediately exited and pulled into a gas station to calm my nerves and assess my situation. I realized that I had slowed down to let that small car merge which I should not have done. As with boats and airplanes, larger vehicles need more time to speed up and slow down and so for safety’s sake have the right-of-way. Conveniently, Auto Zone had a replacement mirror and in less than 30 minutes, I was on my way.
It was late summer and reaching 100 degrees in the desert. I was still getting used to driving a larger vehicle, on edge due to the mirror incident, and generally nervous that I’d bought a lemon and was sure to break down. Passing Baker, CA and it’s giant thermometer later in the day, I began feeling confident that I would arrive in Vegas with ease. However, after cresting the peak on an 11 mile incline my engine and dash lights started to sputter and blink. My RV stalled. Luckily I could coast downhill and made it several miles to the bottom of the next valley. After pulling over to assess the situation, the engine started and I was able to drive only another fifty yards before it stalled again. Crap. After calling some friends and trying to assess the root of the problem to no avail, I decided to start it up again. This time I was able to make it a mile up the road to a Shell gas station. A tow into Las Vegas would have cost me hundreds of dollars and I didn’t want to rush to do that as the engine would keep starting, however, the sun was setting and I didn’t want to get stuck on the side of the road on the I15 in the desert overnight.
So I decided to spend the night in the gas station parking lot. After a restless sleep, I awoke before sunrise, started the engine and made it to Las Vegas without a hiccup. I drove directly to Camping World to have a mechanic access the situation and then met my friend Jerry for breakfast. Later that day, I receive a call from the service department: “We changed your oil and looked over your engine, transmission, and electrical system. We can’t find anything wrong. She runs great.” The final assessment was that due to the RV having not been used for several months, there was probably some buildup of gunk in the oil. There has been no problem since.
Written by AHWD Cameraman and musician, Michael Edwards. visit: www.standinginwaves.com