Saturday, December 6, 2008

And Away Goes Trouble, Down the Drain (I wish)

Today is one of those frustrating days that I'm sure most of us living or traveling in RVs have at one time or the other. Sometimes it's the little, tiny things that turn into monsters, that make me wish I was renting a house or apartment so that I wouldn't have to deal with them.

I love my new site because my little rig is tucked in nicely between two larger motor homes. That location cuts the wind a lot. This new site also has full hookups: water, electricity, and sewer. However, it's those hookups that are causing the problems.

First of all, whoever designed this part of the park has probably never driven or lived in an RV because the hookups for two adjoining sites are right next to each other instead of an RV width apart, as is usual. Since water, electricity, and sewer connections on an RV are usually on one side of the rig, it helps to have nearby access to the hookups. That means that, ideally, the hookups should be situated in a way to make it easy to hookup. Not here. Nope. The way this area is laid out makes it necessary for me to attach two 10-foot sewer hoses together just to reach the drain. It was either that or turn the rig around, run the hose under the rig, and make do with a sewer drain in front of my door. That wouldn't work at all.

So, last night I bought a $1.79 plastic connector at Wal-Mart, then had to drag both hoses into the RV in order to warm the ends up with a hair dryer so I could insert the connector and fasten all the connections together with metal ring clamps. That worked pretty well, and I finally got it all set up outside. But, the sewer drain outside sticks up from the ground at least a foot. Since a sewer hose usually lies on or near the the ground between the rig and the drain, gravity helps to empty the tanks IF the drain is fairly close to the ground. However, when the drain is so high, gravity just keeps all the yucky stuff in the middle of the hose, making it necessary to physically tip the hose to get all that yucky stuff going down the drain. Not a lot of fun, especially when it's cold outside.

The second frustration today is the water connection. Since it's been below freezing overnight for at least two weeks, it's necessary to unhook the hose from the city water connection so it doesn't freeze and burst pipes. That's easy. However, it means that I need to keep the on-board water tank at least partially full in order to have water to flush the toilet, brush my teeth, and so forth. Easy. I hooked up the hose to the fresh water inlet and turned on the water. Wondered why it was taking so long to fill. Actually, it wasn't filling at all because the check valve inside the inlet had come apart and is almost impossible to put back together again. That happened once to my city water inlet and made it necessary to have a new valve installed. I can't fill the on-board tank, so will most likely need to replace this valve as well. Since there aren't any RV repair places within 60 miles or so from here, that will have to wait. In the meantime, I'll fill a few plastic containers with water.

Neither of these problems is very big or expensive. I could always spend $20 on a 20-foot sewer hose and another $30 or so on something to keep it off the ground and make it easier to dump. I could find an RV place and get a new valve installed for about $75-$100. But, it's just those little frustrations that sometimes make it hard to enjoy this lifestyle. I'd probably feel better about the whole thing if it wasn't so darned cold. But, I made the choice to come to Kansas in the wintertime and will therefore deal with it. But, I'll deal with it my way.

I just got back from the supermarket with a half-gallon of Blue Bunny Homemade Turtle Sundae Ice Cream, a small sirloin tip steak, some leaf lettuce, and some fresh Brussels sprouts. That will be dinner - it will be my treat for dealing with all those little problems today. I'll load a Christmas movie into the DVD player, turn on the heat, and just enjoy. It's those little things that help get rid of the frustrations. The problems are still there, but it's no use worrying about them all the time.


Vice Chancellor said...

Hey, Chris--Wow, what a "trip"! Have you ever thought of a Larger Rig, i.e. a 38 foot RV? Let me know--I may have one to "discuss" with you.

Cheerfully, Roger Kuhrt

spiritualastronomer said...

Hi, Roger,
I think you and I "talked" about your RV a year or two ago. The offer was tempting, but I'd just rattle around in a rig that large. I feel comfortable driving this smaller one, even towing the pickup. However, I think my fingers would be permanently etched in the steering wheel of a larger one. But, thanks.

Cedar ... said...

now that's my kind of medicine,... steak and ice cream! hope you enjoyed it!