Joyous cruising with happy children playing board games, with lots of leg room and a fully stocked fridge close at hand?
That's the image we had envisioned when we rented a motor home a few years back to take our family camping (yes I know... a motor home isn't exactly roughing it) in Near-Northern Ontario, about 5 hours north of Toronto, Ontario Canada. (Can you tell I'm getting more International readers?)
|Image: WeDiscoverCanada.ca - Who we SHOULD |
have consulted before renting.
Here's a very important bit of advice... If you are going to rent a motor home, do it from a large reputable firm, or one that was recommended to you by someone you trust. The company we rented from did not fit into either category.
When we showed up to get our vehicle, it wasn't there.
The owner's son had given it to a group of his friends to take to Daytona.
That is Daytona. As in races. And week-long parties. And kegs of beer.
The friends had promised to have it back in time.
I suppose drinking all that beer made them bad at keeping promises.
They were late.
They pulled in at around 1 pm.
If this group of young gentlemen had been a group of grannies, we could have likely topped up the tank, got in and driven off in a spic and span coach.
Instead, what drove up could only be described as a portable frat house that had just been to Daytona for a week.
Faced with the prospect of losing our holiday, or waiting till they cleaned up the unit enough for us to take it, we opted for the latter. This holiday was important to us. I sent my wife on ahead in the car, and my sons and I decided to wait.
Ninety minutes later, it was mostly done, with one small issue.
These monster motor homes have very large tanks that hold "grey water" until you can get the vehicle to a dumping station. For those of you who missed my post Grandma's House, Hockey and Sh*t Disturbers, "grey water" is what is produced when you flush the toilet.
Given the volume of beer consumed on the Daytona trip, the toilets had been flushed. A lot.
The grey water tanks were full and it would take at least an hour to get them drained.
We could take the unit as is, and they would give us a discount for our troubles.
Given that we had already chewed through most of the first day of our holiday, we elected to take this option.
What this meant is that we started our vacation inheriting a motor home tired and abused, shined up but still dirty, and full of someone else's sh*t.
Much like the situation new leaders can find themselves in when they move into a new organization.