How RV Quarantining Is Different

Disadvantages of RV Life

As I’ve said before, we got out of D.C. just in time and found this campground that we hope we can stay in for at least a month. We’re good.

However, we do face different challenges than if we’d stayed at home.

Insecure Home

This is worth repeating: campgrounds across the country are closing as they try to keep would-be vacationers home, off the roads, and away from rural areas with very small hospitals.

I am grateful for this plan! But those making the campground decisions seem not to realize that people who live in their RVs and get booted from a campground must then get on the road (the exact thing we’re aiming to avoid) and they have nowhere to go. Our peers are getting evicted with no recourse.

Thankfully, we feel somewhat secure in our RV park because:

  • It’s privately owned (whereas predominantly the national, state, and county parks are closing their campgrounds).
  • We have a monthly reservation, and those are being honored more than daily or weekend ones where campers are getting evicted or turned away.
  • A good percentage of people in this park live here full-time, so this may qualify (for whomever is making the decision) more as a trailer park than a vacation campground.
  • We’re in Virginia where it seems the governor will not issue a stay-at-home order (I do not understand this).

So, chances are we’re safe to stay, but the virus is spreading so quickly, and people’s decisions and changing quickly, too. Thankfully we do have relatives nearby with driveways we can park in in an emergency.

Unusual Goods Needs

Had we stayed at the house we left, we would have made a trip to CostCo and have been done with a month’s supply of everything. But in this new lifestyle, we’re just learning. For example,

  • You think toilet paper is hard to find? Try finding special RV toilet paper that’s safe for our waste tanks. Our big order right before we left was canceled.
  • Our fridge is not full-sized, so we can’t stock up on fresh foods. And the freezer is the size of the printer we left at home.
  • We need propane to run the furnace to keep the pipes from freezing (come on spring!).
  • We need diesel fuel for the truck in case we have to scram. So far we’ve heard this is okay to find on the highways, but we’re competing with truckers who are on the road more now and stressed out.

New Emergency Plans

Which leads me to our plans b and c in case one of us gets sick.

We don’t know the local hospital here. Lord knows I’ve spent untold days and weeks (months?) in hospitals in Richmond and Charlottesville with my niece and sister, but I still don’t know the best one to go to in case I’m rushing Tracy to the ER. I’m going to research that today.

And how would I get him there? I haven’t learned to drive the truck, and what would I do with Banjo? If the weather is hot, I can leave her in the Airstream with the AC going … but we haven’t left her alone here yet. Better start practicing.

In the trailer, if one or both of us is sick, this looks to be a challenge. We have only one bathroom, one bed, no space to separate sick from healthy. Right now I’m up in the middle of the night typing away on my laptop, and I can hear Tracy sleeping a few feet away. Germs!

New Territory

Not only are we unsure about the hospitals, but also:

  • We don’t know the local grocery store so have to take more time inside than we should finding things.
  • We have spotty WiFi and cell service—not enough to stream Netflix or YouTube, so we have to drive somewhere with good WiFi and park there to download video and podcasts.
  • We’re separated from family, friends, and familiar neighbors, although we do have extended family nearby which is a great comfort.
  • The people we do see, especially over the weekend, have no stay-in-place common sense, seemingly, because they’re vacationing for weekends here in the park, partying together and driving their golf carts at top speed, and basically touching everything in the campground and making me uneasy to touch any shared facilities.
Screencap of my countdown app


I hate to complain though, because we really are doing well. For one thing …

We’re Retired!

We’re not losing our income (relative to people who have lost their jobs), and we have no day-to-day stress of working from home.

We’re Isolated

We’re living in a rural area where you’d hope the virus will spread less quickly.

We’re Delightfully Distracted

We’re distracted as much as we choose to be with learning our new digs.

For example, so far in our tiny kitchen we have cooked:

  • Indian-spiced lentils and rice,
  • tacos al pastor,
  • nachos (in the convection oven – success!),
  • pizza (also in the oven, not perfected),
  • oatmeal in the Instant Pot (you’ve heard that story)
  • coming soon: chili, grits, soups, pasta—all the things you are cooking at home, but in a dollhouse kitchen,

I’m even distracted with even decorating. I want to try:

  • a curtain between the bedroom and the hallway,
  • a magnetic board on the fridge where we can post campground maps and info (the fridge itself is not magnetic!),
  • window clings on the clear cabinet doors to mask the extra supplies crammed in them. I’ve already started this, and it’s absurdly challenging and fun—there are six sliding cabinet doors to cover, and my workbench is a rotting picnic table.

This is a pretty crappy shot of the window film I put on a cabinet, but you can see that when light shines on the film, you get a prism effect that’s interesting.

When the cabinet is backlit, or the room is dark, the film doesn’t mask what’s in the cabinet at all, which was the whole point. I’m trying something darker for the cabinet over the bed.

And there’s a new hiking trail! Plus Banjo is a continual joy with how much she’s taken to our new life with us.

The Bottom Line

We’re safe and happy. We just have a brand-new environment and lifestyle to learn as we continue to prepare for the virus to spread.

You guys stay safe too, and look out for each other. Especially healthcare providers!

5 thoughts to “How RV Quarantining Is Different”

  1. I love the “calendar” shot of banjo. Reminds me of the 1940’s(?) calendar girls. I love the sparkly cling on the shelf windows. Very pretty! I think if one of you were to get sick, I would probably use an ambulance so the other one could stay home with banjo, because they probably wouldnt let you stay with the sick one anyway. You guys are at low risk, but it is good to plan.

    1. I hadn’t thought of the ambulance option, but you are so right. I know how quickly lungs can fill with fluid. I might hesitate to call an ambulance here in the campground though because I’ve heard from campers around the country that they’ve been kicked out once the facility discovered they have coronavirus, and I am not capable of moving the trailer yet! I guess if Tracy (for example) were in dire straits I would call anyway and then deal with the consequences later.

  2. I walk by a pile of special RV TP every day at work. (Menards) How to mail it? Ask if you need help.