It was frosty. Snow began falling. The four of us, two parents and two children lived in an RV surrounded by towering oak trees that had, none too recently, lost their leaves. Our Airstream was parked in Northwestern Ohio. We were stuck there for the winter. And we were worried.
Would it be difficult for her?
Our then 6-year old daughter, Savanna, was our concern. She had allergies. She had asthma. One brought on the other. The cold wasn’t good for her lungs, either. It made it hard to breathe.
Why didn’t we just bolt?
My father-in-law, Dick, was recovering from an operation. Both my mother-in-law and Dick needed moral support according to my husband, so we stayed on hoping the winter weather would be mild. And besides, we told ourselves, people live comfortably in RV’s in the winter…
Things went well until it got colder
Cooking inside a trailer makes it warm, but it also creates lots of moisture and that’s where the problem started. Moisture collects on the windowsills. And while you could wipe the moisture off, it never completed got eliminated. Why? Because cooking three times a day and four bodies living inside a 33’ travel trailer just creates moisture. Condensation creates mold and Savanna had allergies to mold.
That was the beginning of Savanna’s allergy symptoms. Coughing that went on and on, day and night, with nothing to take to squelch the cough. Even asthma medication, which she was on, wouldn’t touch it. We had had enough; the living conditions weren’t good for Savanna, so we were emphatic we had move out, but where?
Grandma’s house had dogs
Savanna had allergies to pets, so that was out. Aunt Callie’s house, even though she was three hours away, was out, too. She had a dog. The other grandma had no room for the four of us. We were left with the only other option available.
Let’s see are there “dangers” in a hotel room? And by dangers, if you’re a parent of an allergic/asthmatic child, you’ll certainly understand why I use that word. Yes, there are. There’s the possibility of pet dander, even though a hotel might be pet free, you know some pets are snuck in. And what about cleaning products? Petroleum or plant based cleaning products can produce allergies, too.
We rearranged furniture and brought our own pots and pans to cook in our room’s kitchen. It was also the holidays, and because we couldn’t bring a tree inside (we thought Savanna was allergic to it) our “tree” became Christmas lights strung on the walls.
We lived in the hotel for a number of months until the Airstream was sold and Savanna’s grandpa recovered nicely. And lesson learned, we never again stayed in an RV in the winter, at least in the northern half of the United States.