CDBaby Player

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Tiny Yule Tree


I have a new little tiny tree this year. It's a sparkly green wire "tree" strung with very tiny battery operated LED lights. They blink, so I tried to upload a video instead of a picture. It didn't work.

This was the weekend for cleaning and decorating the motorhome for the holidays, and catching up on a few of the way-too-many unfinished projects. Santa, please bring me a few years off with pay to catch up with myself?

Hope everyone has a blessed winter season.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winterizing the RV

I've been reading a lot about how to winterize a motorhome. But I'm actually USING mine, so antifreeze in the drains is not an option. Global Warming? Not here this past month. We set some records for cold.

Life aboard an in-use motorhome - and I don't mean in an RV park with skirting and heat tape - means you pay attention to heat and water.

I had nursed my dying coach batteries through the fall because I wanted to go into winter with brand new ones. In spite of the research I did on golf cart batteries and gel batteries, I bought three new deep-cycle coach batteries at Wal-Mart. I've had good luck with batteries from Wally World in the past and if they go bad I can return them anywhere I happen to be. They handle the heater blower so much better than my old, smaller, worn out ones did.

I run the furnace morning and evening but not while I'm asleep. I also have a small Mr. Heater space heater, which doesn't drain batteries but it uses the more expensive propane in pound cans. I have a carbon monoxide detector and keep a roof vent open a little bit to keep it happy. And I have an electric space heater for when I am plugged in to shore power.

I have an electric blanket under the bottom sheet for when I have shore power, to warm the bed before I get in. I also have a DC electric lap robe from a truck stop which isn't as effective as the electric blanket but it does work well enough to pre-warm the bed. If you haven't tried it, a pre-heated bed is a marvelous thing.

I drained the fresh water system and the water heater when the weather got Very Cold. I carry water in gallon jugs and heat it on the stove for washing and dishwashing. It goes down the drain like always.
That's the most winterizing I've ever done. I've had the pipes freeze when I haven't drained them but they didn't do any damage, they weren't frozen that hard or that long. Most winters I have drained the pipes at the right time. The only damage I've had, since I got my first RV in 1995, was last year's cold snap froze my waste tanks and the grey water has a slight leak in the valve. It only leaks when I actually dump it, and it's grey water so a couple of drops doesn't get me all excited.
NB: I have always had old-fashioned faucets with two turn knobs. My friend had drained his RV but re-filled the water for a Christmastime trip and forgot to drain it again. He went to take it out in the spring and had to replace both faucets because the lever mixer kind don't take to freezing well at all.

I still think the best way to winterize an RV is to drive it far enough south that people don't know what a snow-shovel is, but I'm addicted to paychecks, so I stay in the mid-atlantic region where I can get them.

Travel Safe, Stay Warm, Have Happy Holidays.
- Gypsy

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Instead of blogging, I've been...

It's been a while since I've posted anything. I have lots of pictures backlogged because I got a new computer and then a new Treo and spent a lot of on-line time setting them up instead of messing with pictures.
And then, I haven't been anywhere. OK, I'm in a different supermarket each week, in a different town, but they are still supermarkets and supermarket parking lots. With gas as high as it had gotten, at 7 mpg I took to only driving when necessary. Then I got new coach batteries and necessary became less often. I can now park Sunday night, run the furnace in the morning and evening, and have batteries still reading "good" on Thursday. So I have been catching up on my reading and what not, but not doing bloggable things.

Now, thankfully, gas prices have dropped to levels I thought were only memories, RVers who sold their rigs because they couldn't afford to feed them are kicking themselves in the proverbial butt, and I am driving more and parking less. Last weekend, for instance, it was actually cheaper to drive up to Virginia and see my friends and my kitty cat and back to the same town in NC than it would have been to stay at a very inexpensive campground near there for the weekend. A month earlier it would have definitely been the other way around.

I don't know how long the gas prices will stay down but I'm sure enjoying it.