Browsing "Plumbing"
Mar 16, 2013 -

Last Weekend On the Beach :(

Friday was a much needed down day for me. The most exciting thing I did was drive into Port Lavaca to pick up my mail and some avocados.

I also checked out all the car washes and decided that none were convenient enough to get into with the rig for me to spend money at them. I really want a nice big wash area that I can pull in and out of without having to unhook. I’ll keep my eye out for such a place as I head out on the road, really needing to remove the salt spray from both vehicles and to buff out any rusty spots. Moya is also asking me for a wax job, so I really want to find a place where I can wash at my leisure.

When I got in, I spent the bulk of the rest of the day watching the DVDs that my friend had sent while cross-stitching and going for strolls along the beach to enjoy the crazy beautiful weather. What a tough life I lead! 😀

I have a weekend-long project to do, so my last couple of days on the beach will be sedate. I am sort of thinking of going to the saloon for a beer and dinner tonight, but am not particularly stuck on the idea.

The weather is slowly growing less pleasant as heavy clouds are rolling in and the wind is picking up, so Monday will definitely be a good day to get back on the road.

I play to roll out between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. I’ll be getting gas here on the beach as a final gesture of goodwill to the community. I did the math and it will be only $10 more for a fill here than in town, so it’s not a huge extra expense for me, plus the gas station is super convenient as you can pull in then circle around the building.

I will be detouring into Port Lavaca to get propane since I am completely out on board, do not want to have the fridge off for long, and the Port Lavaca propane place is super easy to get in and out of with a long rig even if the entrance is rutty.

After that, it will be about three hours to Van Ormy, just outside of San Antonio (I’ll be doing a post about the RV park once I’ve had a chance to check it out). I can check in as of 1PM and want to pull in as close to that as I can to get my full 22 hours on FHU!

Some of the chores planned for Monday afternoon and evening and Tuesday morning:

– hose down my black tank from inside with my high pressure hose attachment;

– vacuum the entire rig (the dust from the beach as been an insurmountable foe);

reshine the floors as the the sand I’ve been tracking in despite a mat has been very hard on them;

– give my batteries a good soak on shore power (I’ve been getting a full charge by late afternoon all week, so I’m not desperate for charging right now, thankfully!) and recharge anything that needs to be recharged.

Late Tuesday morning, I will move into the no service area.

I don’t have much to do to leave on Monday, so I won’t even think about departure until then beyond making sure there’s plenty of room in the back of the truck for the propane tank.

I’m ready, not eager, to go.

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Batteries, Black Tank, Boondocking/Dry camping, Campgrounds, Cleaning, Countries, Electricity, Itineraries, Maintenance & Repair, Personal, Plumbing, Preparations for Departure, Propane, Technical, Texas, Towing and Toad, Travel, USA, Weather    2 Comments
Feb 12, 2013 -

A Bump On the Head

I think we all have projects on our lists that we tend to forget about until it would have been great to have them done, but it’s now not the right time to do them.

One such project for me was to get the hand cream and soap off of the vanity counter. It’s been four and a half years and at every departure I put the damn bottles in the sink and bemoan my not having taken the time to come up with a better storage system for them. Four and a half years! I know, I’m a moron!

I opened an overhead cabinet in the study this morning that I apparently haven’t opened in a while because the contents had shifted. I was promptly hit over the head with a wire door organizer. Gah, why do I even still have that thing?! It’s always falling on my head! I had bought a three-pack, but ended up only using two in the kitchen.

Waitaminute… I really am a moron. How many times have I moved that organizer and kicked myself for not just donating it already? Not nearly as many times as I have kicked myself for not securing the stuff on the vanity, but a lot. And the solution was to merge the two annoyances, like so:


As for the bowl and cup on the counter, I’m just about out of water on the on board tank, so I keep the bowl filled from a large jug I replenish in the beach’s public bathroom and then use the cup as a dipper.

Yes, I could probably pull out and find water somewhere, but why bother? The only reason to have running water in my opinion is to have hot running water. I have a 10-gallon water heater and am not taking showers, so heating that much water would be stupid. Ergo the bowl. For doing the dishes, I have a large pot that I can fill with water and heat on the stove.

It’s no hardship and it actually makes it easier for me to be conservative with my water use as I know exactly how much I’m using in a day, which is about a gallon (4L). I could surely reduce that more, but I like to have really clean dishes, so no just washing them in a cup of water when I can haul all the water I want.

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Boondocking/Dry camping, Homemaking, Organizing, Personal, Plumbing, Technical, Travel    5 Comments
Jan 25, 2013 -

I’m Charging My Laptop While Using It!

All right folks, I think we can say that Rae’s battery bank and whole house inverter set up is operating at full capacity!!! I’m sitting in partial sun with about 12.8V only on all the various monitors and I am not only charging my laptop, but also using it! The inverter does beep when the clouds get really heavy, but just for a second! I still think the DC charger I’m getting tomorrow is my best solution, but I feel soooooooo much better than I did yesterday!

I really want to thank everyone who has given me input on my battery upgrade woes. Every single comment I’ve gotten has given me just a little insight into why things weren’t working correctly, how to fix it, what to expect in terms of performance, etc. I really had all the knowledge I needed and the right tools. The problem was with the execution. Make good connections, folks!

Croft asked me how long I plan to stay here and what my plan is if the weather goes bad. I was able to go 13 days on my old batteries with fewer amp hours in mostly crappy cold super overcast conditions. Right now, I’ve got the rig plugged into the whole house inverter and am running the fridge and charging the computer, for a total of 2.8 amps going out. I have 0.9 amps coming in. My monitor is telling me I could run like this for another 43 hours before depleting my batteries. When I was just running a light last night, I could have kept going for 150 hours before depleting my batteries.

So I have a lot of reserve capacity for cloudy days, especially since I don’t have to run the furnace. I suspect I will run out of water and holding tank space before I run out of power. I can haul water from the icky public bathroom and dump grey water there and I can go about six weeks on my black tank. So unless the weather goes really, really bad, I should be able to last four weeks here as I had hoped to do.

This experiment is going to serve me well since I’ve decided I’d rather not put much money into my property next summer. So I’ll leave here knowing if I stand a chance of lasting the summer without plugging in.

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Batteries, Battery Monitor, Black Tank, Boondocking/Dry camping, Communications & Electronics, Computer, Electricity, Fresh Water Tank, Grey Tank, Personal, Plumbing, RV Pad, Solar Panels, Technical, Texas, Travel, USA    6 Comments