Heidi and I love to learn and come up with solutions to the various problems we encounter. We really had no shortage of learning opportunities this past year! Taj, who is very reliable usually, decided to throw us a few curves in the way of, the coach water pump, the furnace, and the LP ignitor on the fridge all failing one right after the other. We decided rather than just repairing them on the road, to use simple methods of adjusting to the situation until I was in a better place to make my typical upgrades.
The water pump was the least pleasant of our losses and the most work to compensate for. We purchased a 5 gallon water bottle and hand pump for drinking water & cooking. We picked up a solar shower bag which got very little use, it was enough of a hassle that we often spent a five bucks for a shower in town instead. We also refilled a few extra gallon jugs when we would go to town (for flushing the toilet). It really surprised me as to how much more often we had to go to town with this situation. Between the showers and the refilling water bottles, it was at least every other day. I really missed Taj's 37 gallon tanks and our more comfortable shower!
The desert gets pretty cold at night, especially without the furnace! Lots of blankets and hot water bottles did a reasonable job of keeping us warm, but come morning, that hot coffee was really appreciated! I have to say too that the seat heaters in the front captains chairs saved my butt, literally :) I was really glad I chose to run them off the coach batteries! They did a good job of keeping me warm while watching movies in the evening.
Heidi really got into experimenting with ways to go without a fridge. Enough ways that I am going to ask her to do a separate more detailed post on it here next.
We have heard many times how some believe it is better to just go simple rather than having all the complex systems that make up an RV. The biggest thing I learned by having to compensate for the failures of those "systems" was that we really appreciate having them! Things break. Being comfortable on the road is very important to us since it is our home! When there are system failures, we can still survive just fine using the simple methods that anyone with a basic van might use to get by as needed until those systems are repaired. There is no question about which we prefer!