Monday, June 06, 2011
Being adopted by a cat will definitely change your life.
Until the Callicat adopted me, my biggest responsibility was the refrigerator. Make sure either it is level, or turn it off. Cats, on the other hand, you can't turn off. Did I mention I work at supermarkets? And the average supermarket parking lot has no shade. So this week with temperatures in the high nineties, we got to experiment with what would keep the motorhome tolerably cool.
This Holiday Rambler is the first RV I've had that has had an onboard generator. In the past, in this sort of heat, I would wet a golf shirt, turn on a fan, and have portable personal air conditioning. Or park and go somewhere interesting with a/c. That doesn't work so well for a cat. (Although, Tuesday when I came out from work and she was hotter than I thought she ought to be, I wet a dish towel and after 3 tries she decided I was right, it really WAS cooler to have that over her.)
I didn't want to run the a/c because one must shut the windows to keep the coolness in, and if it went off, it would become a hot box in there really quickly. But it turned out there was no other way to accomplish acceptable temperatures, so I turned on the genny and the a/c and that worked.
The Callicat, however, was not amused. She HATES the noise of the generator and runs to the opposite end of the rig to be as far from it as possible. Unfortunately, the genny is in a front compartment, and Callicat's litterbox is at the foot of the passenger seat. She let me know in no uncertain terms - if you have cats you understand this - that this was not acceptable to her. Now, when I turn the generator and a/c on, I have to put the litterbox in the back bedroom too.
So far I've been lucky: I've been able (with manager's approval) to open my awning on the job site. I do subscribe to the Parking Etiquette for RVs and before the Callicat, I would never have considered opening my awning in a parking lot. However, her life and health are my responsibility and if that demands some shade to help the a/c cope with the heat, so be it.
Another thing that helps is Reflectix. Basically, bubble wrap with aluminum on both sides. It comes in rolls in the insulation department at Lowe's. I bought a huge roll and have made inserts for all my windows and a cover for the windshield. I put the cover on the outside, partly because it was easier to fit and partly because I had read concerns about trapping heat between the reflectix and the glass. Bungeed in place and held down also by the windshield wipers, it makes a most amazing difference.
$14 at WalMart produced a big box fan which I put in the dinette window. When it's not hot enough to make the a/c an absolute necessity, I can get lots of air flow using this as an exhaust fan. Someday I'll have a Fantastic Fan vent, I'm sure, but it's not in the budget right now.
So that's what I've added this year to my bag of tricks for surviving summer heat. Someday maybe I'll be able to just drive to someplace cool instead.