Browsing "Propane"
Mar 24, 2011 -

Heading Inland

I have been blessed with three solid days of sun on the Oregon coast! I woke each day to heavy rain that would stop just as soon as I was ready to head out for the day. Much appreciated! I just hate that I’m so behind in my posts. 🙁

Yesterday was maintenance day for Miranda. There’s a quick-lube place on the road into Florence and I stopped in to ask if they could take Miranda, but they said no, worried that their bays wouldn’t be big enough (I knew they’d be fine). They referred me to Florence RV, at the north end of town along highway 101. So, I headed there first thing yesterday to see if they could squeeze me in for an oil change and I was told to come in any time before one.

So, around one I pulled out of the casino lot with just Miranda. I took on a full tank of fuel first and then rolled into Florence RV. I had a short wait and then the tech moved Miranda into the bay himself. The reason: they don’t have service wells, so she had to be driven up onto very short and steep ramps! I’m not sure I could have done that without overshooting!

All she needed was a basic oil change (no filter) and air in the tires. Total for the oil change was just $75!!! That’s what I pay for my car in Canada! I also picked up a new regulator ($28) for my on board propane tank. Unfortunately, the part has changed and is now longer, so there will be some pipe cutting to be done to fit it in. Simple projects never are with me! I may end up bartering the installation for beer should I find a good candidate. 🙂

The service tech backed Miranda off the ramps, but let me back her out of the bay. He thought he was guiding me around the various obstacles, but I don’t do well translating flailing arms with what I need to do, so I was actually focused on my mirrors. 🙂

I had mixed feelings about having work done at Florence RV. On the one hand, staff was courteous and knowledgeable, on the other the office was filthy and filled with parts for sale that were probably thirty years old. I only bought the regulator because it was one of the few shiny and obviously recent pieces of equipment they offered. The place served its need for yesterday, but I’d be depressed if it was the only RV place available to me.

I had thought to go to a dump station, too, but there wasn’t a convenient one nearby with potable water. I’m not desperate yet, so I’ll hold off a bit. I have to say that what I miss most while boondocking is a looooong hot shower every night!

Propane levels were also not low enough to consider filling in Florence, so I just headed back to the casino and parked Miranda in a flatter spot that will be easier to pull out of with the toad.

Today, I’ll be heading heading back to Eugene and up I-5. I’m aiming to leave around noon and have a leisurely four and a half to five and a half hour drive ahead of me. With the days being so much longer already, I don’t see any reason to pull in too soon to a purely overnighting spot.

My batteries are holding up splendidly. I’ve now done a full week on them and have never reached evening without them being at at least 13.0 voltage, even in overcast conditions. I have been conscious in my electricity consumption in the evening, but have not scrimped. I think I could do this indefinitely!

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Batteries, Boondocking/Dry camping, Electricity, Maintenance & Repair, Oregon, Plumbing, Preparations for Departure, Propane, Solar Panels, Technical, Towing and Toad, Travel, USA, Weather    3 Comments
Mar 8, 2011 -

Blaine to Chehalis (Washington)

I had a typical pre-departure night filled with strange dreams, with a particularly vivid one waking me up to the sound of pounding rain at 6AM. Weirdly enough, I’ve been on an ‘early’ schedule since I got to Blaine last month, with bedtime between 10 and 12 and wake up around 8. If this had been a normal morning, I would have just gotten up at six. But since I had a full day ahead of me, I plugged in the electric blanket against the chill and went back to sleep.

The rain had turned to a gentle mist when I woke up again at 8. I didn’t have much left to do since I’d taken advantage of yesterday’s warm and sunny weather to dump the tanks and load the car. I lingered over breakfast, then went out to top up the fresh water tank and put away the water hoses. I continued to putter until I saw the park manager entering the office and went to see her to finalize my stay.

I’d given a $100 deposit for power and was shocked to learn that I had used $62 worth of power this past month!!!!!!!! I didn’t even run the dehumidifier. The only explanation is that I’ve had the 12V lights blazing in the evening since I’ve been working on my embroidery project. I really do need to convert to LED, but I don’t find that LED lights up a room as well as the incandescent bulbs do.

The manager wanted to give me my refund by cheque, but I talked her into giving me cash since I wouldn’t have been able to do a deposit for four weeks.

I’ll finally mention where I’ve been staying the last four weeks: Lighthouse by the Bay RV Resort. Lovely park and well managed, with clean washrooms, a club house, and three washers. When I arrived there was a welcome package waiting for me by the door, with everything I needed to get settled in, plus tons of local info. A lot of people there are permanent residents. If I can’t afford the gas to go south next winter, I will happily consider going back there because of the affordable monthly rent, location, and lower cost of living.

I pulled out of the park at about 11 and went down to the Texaco to fill the on board propane tank. I had a third of a tank of gas left so I decided to wait to get fuel; I’d be due at about the same time I’d be glad to have a leg stretch and pee break.

It continued to rain gently as I headed south, but by the time I hit Marysville, just north of Seattle, the rain had stopped even if the clouds were still black and swollen. I saw a highway sign announcing ‘Donna’s Truck Stop’, so I figured that’d be an easy access station, which it was. I took on $125 worth of fuel at $3.76 a gallon, so 33 gallons. That put me at almost full, with more than enough to get to Eugene.

The sky continued to clear and there were patches of blue when I hit Seattle. I stuck to the centre lane and made it through the city uneventfully even with the construction. It was the same thing through Tacoma and Olympia, capital of Washington State. I saw the capitol from the highway.

I’d asked around about good options for overnighting between Blaine and Eugene and was told the Walmart in Chehalis is RV friendly and exactly halfway. Croft says that it is his first stop after the Port Angeles ferry. That was good enough for me, so that’s where I headed.

11AM departures are a pain; too early to have lunch before leaving, but arrival is too soon after lunch to make it worth stopping for food. So, I just drove straight through and had a snack on arrival at 3.

I think I may set up camp permanently at the Chehalis Walmart! What a perfect overnight stop! Besides the Walmart supercentre, there’s a Starbucks with wifi, an Applebee’s, a Home Depot, and more. I must mention my love affair with the Applebee’s chain: awesome food, cheap prices, and portions so huge I always get two meals out of my order. Since I wasn’t driving tonight, I splurged on a ginormous mojito. *hiccup*

The weather this afternoon and early evening has been gorgeous; sunny and warm. Except for a cat who got very RV sick today, it has been a perfect day. I love my life.

 

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Boondocking/Dry camping, Campgrounds, Cats, Electricity, Finances, Preparations for Departure, Propane, Restaurants, Technical, Travel, USA, Washingon, Weather    8 Comments
Feb 23, 2011 -

Winter’s Final Roar

We’ve entered a deep freeze that should last only a couple of days, and then we’re going to start climbing back into spring-like conditions.

I ran out of propane this morning. I was shocked since I’d filled the on board tank when I left Osoyoos on January 31st! I’m betting the culprit is the fridge, which was on LP mode for nearly a week.

Thankfully, I’d noticed a propane refill centre at a nearby Texaco, so I knew where to go to fill up. There, I learned that 30lbs is 7.1.25 gallons. I forget what the litre amount is.

Both propane and gas are much more expensive than I would have expected, but less than in Canada. The 30lb tank cost me $23 to fill here. In Osoyoos, it was $27 in town, but $20 at the RV park. So, it’s less here for Joe Public, but more than what I was paying. Gas is about $3.50 a gallon, so a fill is $35, about $10 less than what I was paying in Canada. Last time I filled up in Washington, a tank cost me $25.

None of this pricing irks me since last night I discovered that a meal’s worth of fresh shrimp costs 50 cents here. So long as shrimp is the cheapest protein I can buy, I will feel very rich! 😀

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British Columbia, Canada, Finances, Propane, Technical, Travel, USA, Washingon, Weather    2 Comments
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