Friday, January 14, 2011

Always learning!

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!  
    

12 comments:

  1. As long as you don't get to feel to stressed by making do it can work for the short haul.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like you were really camping in the van. I also enjoy the house aspects my van RV gives me. Much more comfortable than basic camping. My stumbling block is cream for my coffee. My fridge is unreliable - works sometimes & not others. I used a cooler & ice. PITA but it worked. Have you tried the bag liner (cat box liners work well) with a little pine cat litter method for the toilet? No water needed & it works quite well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like you were really camping in the van. I also enjoy the house aspects my van RV gives me. Much more comfortable than basic camping. My stumbling block is cream for my coffee. My fridge is unreliable - works sometimes & not others. I used a cooler & ice. PITA but it worked. Have you tried the bag liner (cat box liners work well) with a little pine cat litter method for the toilet? No water needed & it works quite well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. interesting post..sounds like you are really use to 'roughing it'!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. And the older you get the more you appreciate those (not so) little things.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love how you improvise when the situation is needed..

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yep..something always seems to be breaking down ! I think Heidi should def do a post ! In a few months Ben and I will be on the road in the gypsy camper...and will need a lot of advice !

    ReplyDelete
  8. A very short time Merikay :) I like my comfort!

    Tesaje, I couldn't handle having to deal with the toilet each time. I like only needing to dump the tanks every week to 10 days. It goes quickly and needs no investment in kitty litter :) We usually are able to find free dump stations too so it works well for us. If the toilet breaks in any significant way though, I am going to change the system over to a composting style.

    Sue and Doug, it was definitely "roughing it" compared to how we normally have it. I don't like letting others fix my rig, but if something like this happens again, I am going to get it repaired temporarily till I can get to it and make some improvements. I don't like failed things going back to just stock :)

    Absolutely agree Bob!

    Thanks Anne! Hope you are both doing well!

    Hi Pam, I have been pestering Heidi to do the post and she assures me she will soon :) It should be a good one, she is really clever and came up with a lot of great solutions while our fridge was down. Great to hear you will be on the road with Ben soon! Hope you blog about your travels!

    -Mike

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's great that you can take those issues in stride. I imagine that the furnace would bother me the most, but our sleeping bags are pretty cozy. Good luck with the fixes!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Being comfortable on the road is very important hand down. There is no question about which I prefer either! Glad you figured things out on the go and made it work for you both.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Improvise is the key word for us, too. We live in our Big Foot Truck Camper and have dealt with many glitches this winter. It's quite a learning curve for us - we are not handy with tools and such. But, it's 5 degrees this morning with 9 inches of snow on the ground and more expected today - and we have heat and electricity and water! Snug and warm!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of this blog. It's sіmple,
    yet effectіѵе. А lot of timeѕ it's very hard to get that "perfect balance" between user friendliness and appearance. I must say you have done a very good job with this. In addition, the blog loads super fast for me on Opera. Superb Blog!
    Review my homepage cat tree

    ReplyDelete