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I haven't been everywhere yet,

but it's on my list!

  • Writer's pictureDeborah Latham

Two Chubby Chicks in a Micro RV - Part 2

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

I believe in telling the truth! Always! Even when it's not pretty. So, I am going to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly. Not every vacation is picture perfect. You see the glamorous photo shoots and pictures and think, wow, I want a vacation like that! We always share the best parts with our friends, but seldom share the struggles. But, I'm here to share both sides of the story! And, let me tell you, this sister's trip to Alaska had a rocky start! Two middle age women, both on the chubby side, renting an RV with no real camping experience. What could possibly go wrong? Here's how it went:

camping in Alaska in an RV rental
20 RV Rental - Ready to Go (mostly)

Day 1 - After a very long day of flying, we arrive in Alaska at 6pm. Mind you that is 10pm our time and we had been up since 3am. As you can imagine, we were exhausted and hungry! Domestic flights only serve cookies and almonds and there was no time in the layover in Seattle to grab food. We hop in a taxi to go pick up the RV. It's after hours but we've paid the bill and signed all the paperwork, and everything is supposed to be all set for us to leave. We pull in and sure enough, there's our little 20ft RV with our name in the windshield.

check engine light
This light is not ok in a rental! Ever!

We get our stuff in the camper and check out our home for the next few days, noticing that they have not left us any blankets at all. Thankfully, there was still someone on site to get us blankets. She came over and gave us a walk around to show us where everything was and began to stress that, no matter what, we were not to shift into manual ever, and the generator was ONLY to be used for the microwave and toaster. 🚩 That was our first red flag!

We walked over to a nearby restaurant and got some dinner before getting on the road. After we ate, we go back to the camper and leave to go to WalMart for a few supplies. As we start driving, we notice the check engine light is on. I call and leave a message and text the emergency number. They inform me that the check engine light has been on for a long time and assure me that it is fine to drive. 🚩 2nd Red Flag!

RV Camper Rental
This Micro RV looks bigger on the outside!

Now, we were planning on getting our supplies at WalMart and just camping in the parking lot because we were so tired! I'm sure you've seen plenty of those "worst of Walmart" pictures! Well, this Anchorage, AK WalMart takes the cake in that department! We walk in the doors to a very large woman on a scooter trying to drive out of the door, screaming at the employees that were trying to remove the bags of stolen groceries from her basket. We got to the meat aisle and all the meat was green. It was the nastiest, dirtiest, WalMart I've ever been in. By this time, we've been up almost 24 hrs and are about dead on our feet. Of course, as in all Walmart's everywhere, there are only 2 lines open. As we wait for what seems like forever, we are subjected to a very helpful, nearly toothless, way to friendly man telling us every bar in Anchorage we just have to go to! He says he would love to show us around.....ummmm no thanks! First rule of thumb, NEVER go to a bar you don't know with a man you don't know!!! There is no way on God's green earth we are camping in that parking lot! First WalMart I've ever been too with a security car driving the parking lot. So, we load up our essentials and head out of town toward Eagle Lake to find a spot to camp. Then, the sky opens up and it begins to pour! Cynthia turns on the windshield wipers. Nothing happens. At this point, it's raining so hard you can't drive without wipers so she has to pull off the side of the road. I try the wipers. Nothing happens. I text the emergency number again! I am told that they are aware of the issue and are waiting on a part for the wipers, but they've been rigged. She explains where to find a switch under the steering wheel to turn them on. It looked like an eject button or something of the sort. We would have never known what it was for and therefore would have never touched it! 🚩 That was the 3rd red flag (we should've turned around and taken this RV back at this point)! Windshield wipers finally on, we are back on our way, searching for a pullout on our route where we will feel safe to camp. Now mind you, Cynthia has to practically bend over where she can't see the road to turn that switch off and on, and it has to be very precise because the wipers stop where ever they are at the time when you flip the switch! But, we always try to look at the bright side and the forecast looks good for the rest of the week so we are just gonna roll with it. We get to Eagle River and find our lovely spot to camp on the river! And the rain has let up enough to snap a couple of photos! Alaska stays very light until very late in the summer time!

Alaska river
Our beautiful view from the camper!

Finally, it's time for some much needed rest. While trying to figure out bedding, we discover that two chubby chicks can not pass each other in this tiny space. There are no slide outs and the space is barely big enough for one person! So, one of us has to step down into the door steps to let the other pass every time we need something. Now, I'm the youngest of the two and get up the least in the night, so the top bunk over the cab is where I'm supposed to sleep. But, did they leave me a ladder?!? Oh no, there is no ladder in sight. I look in the outside compartments, in the top bed, anywhere and everywhere a ladder could be. I'm not blind, there really is no ladder! I text the emergency number again. They reply with "it's in the outside compartment." Ummm no it's not, I already checked there! I'm feeling a little testy at this point. Now, everyone that knows me knows that I'm not a little girl! Heck, I can't even see my feet under my chest. AND, I'm short! Oh, and I don't have much upper body strength either. But, here I am, unable to see where I'm placing my feet, trying to climb on the dining room bench, onto the table, up to the back of the captains drivers chair, to hoist myself into the top bunk. This couldn't have been a pretty sight! I'm really glad Cynthia had her hands full trying to help me so she couldn't video or take pictures! The table tilts forward as I step on it, and now Cynthia is trying to hold the other end of the table down while I try to get myself into that bunk. Finally, I get there; however, I have a little problem. There's only two feet of space between the bunk and the ceiling, and I'm very claustrophobic! I can't roll over without my hip hitting the ceiling, when I am laying on my back my chest almost hits the ceiling, and there's absolutely no way I can actually get sheets on this bed. Forget trying to climb back down to put on PJ's and go to the bathroom. I said a few choice words I won't repeat here, and like a big baby, I cried myself to sleep! But...I didn't go to the bathroom first, so that maybe lasted an hour before I have to wake up Cynthia to hold the table steady and guide me down off the bed to keep me from falling to my death! Then, I enter the bathroom which I had not yet visited, where I discovered that it is so small a chubby girl can't wipe without opening the door to get more room! Finally, PJs on, there is no way in hell I'm getting back up there in that bunk, so I pull all the cushions off the kitchen bench seat and lay down on the floor to sleep! Day 2 will go better after we've had some sleep right?

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