"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Friday, November 21, 2014

busy, busy, busy

Wow, where did the last month go? We have been settling into our new roles at work and finding our "groove". There are always adjustments whenever a new boss(es) takes over but things are running fairly smoothly. We have only had one long time employee decide to make a change but he has been looking for quite some time so it wasn't a total shock when he walked out. He will be missed though as he was very knowledgeable and an all around great guy.
Rudee and I are continuing to work a Thursday through Monday shift and like it for the most part. We will be working all the Holidays this year but don't mind too much since we can take a day off in the future to make up for it. This will give us some vacation days to use while we build up "official" vacation time.
Late in October we made the move to a new campground for the winter. Heritage Village Campground which is owned by Crazy Horse closes on November 1st and they shut down all the water to the sites. We found a nice small park in the town of Custer, 5th Street RV Park, and are settled into site #1. Sorry but no pictures yet. :-(
We were lucky, or so I thought, and got everything set up before the weather changed in mid-November. The change started with snow and we had about 5" of the white stuff but the worst was yet to come as the temperatures dipped well below zero! This continued for over a week with lows in the negative teens and highs in the single digits. The rig was doing good and we were staying fairly comfortable. That all changed last Friday evening. We got off work, came home, changed clothes and went out for dinner. When we got back home an hour later I heard water running as soon as I got out of the truck. Oh, no! I found it pouring out of our wet bay on the Journey and quickly shut it off and started looking for the problem. I found it pretty quickly, there is a small plastic pressure tank hooked into the fresh water lines. The tank keeps the on board water pump from running too much by keeping the lines pressurized. The plastic tank had a big crack in it and water was spraying everywhere. Keep in mind I do have a small space heater in the compartment as well as a remote thermostat that I can monitor from inside the coach (it said 55 degrees when we were home changing). We also had a stream of water running so I'm still not sure if it froze somehow or busted from age and water pressure. Regardless of the cause, here I am, in the dark, kneeling in a puddle of water working on the plumbing and it's -10 degrees outside! BRRRRRRR! I was able to remove the tank but needed additional parts to make the repair, it would have to wait. Rudee made a quick run to the store to buy some gallons of water for us to use and I went inside to warm up.
Saturday I spent my lunch hour shopping at the local hardware store where I bought some Pex tubing and connectors and once I got off work I hooked up the new tubing and we had water again. The repair wasn't perfect though and one of the push on connectors was leaking. Rather then chance it by connecting the hose back up we just ran from the on board tank and turned the pump on and off whenever we needed water. This got us through until I could buy a better connector at Lowes on Tuesday and I took it all apart again and got it fixed with no leaks!
Thursday morning I got up and no water!! What the heck?? I went outside and our hose was frozen. I have used this hose for several years in below freezing weather and it has never failed me. I made it up myself by attaching a heat tape to it with electrical tape and then insulating it with foam pipe wrap. The heat tape was plugged in, the power was on but the tape itself was ice cold. :-(

I was lucky that I didn't have to go to work until noon because of a special event at work so I made a run to the hardware store, got a new heat tape, new insulation and pulled out my spare white hose to
make myself another heated supply line. Rudee and I got everything in place and voila! We could shower again! This winter living in an RV is not for the faint of heart but we just roll with the punches. :-)

We still have snow on the ground but have had a few days above freezing so it has been starting to melt some. I promise to get a few pictures of our new neighborhood for the next entry. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Phil,
    I know a number of FT RVers that always use out of the fresh tank. They do for a few reasons, keeps it fresh, helps you kow when to dump grey and black, no need for or trouble with the heated hoses that fail, and if a leak develops the demand pump sounds the alarm by running when it should not. Of courst you do have to fill the tank out there in the cold but the trade offs seem to be worth it for many!!
    Good to hear things are going well, stay warm.

  2. Oh boy, the joys of RVing in the winter. Glad you guys are rolling with the punches :)

  3. Hope you guys don't have too rough of a Winter, although it sounds like it will be a cold one. We're basking in comparative warmth in SC after 4 years in NJ. We always made sure our fresh tank was full, even though our water hose never froze (heat tape and insulation). In single digits or subzero, we would turn off shore water, drain the taps inside and then run off the fresh tank. That worked for us. Winter weather can be an adventure!

  4. My husband and I are wintering in our RV near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thanks for the suggestions to fill our water tanks. We will be following your blog, and hope that you stay warm and dry. We agree that a positive attitude is the best way to approach this adventure :) We have written about our preparations on our blog explorvistas.com. Diana (& Jim)

  5. Phil,

    Sounds like old man winter has had some plans for you....but you handled him well!
    Did you skirt your rig this year? Keeping that cold air out from under the bottom will help a lot.

    Stay warm and look forward to seeing you in May when we start our work gigs there.

    Happy Thanksgiving,


  6. If you can handle this winter, you can make it through anything! We have been disconnecting the hose and using the fresh water tank. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Hopefully you will get time and a half for the holidays!

  7. I can only imagine the panic you felt when you heard the water running. Good thing you were able to create a temporary solution before finishing all the repairs needed as soon as possible. Anyway, I believe you’ve been accustomed to those kinds of situations, and I do hope you won’t experience anything similar ever again. Keep safe, guys! :)

    Cristina Hamilton @ Mount Comfort RV

  8. Howdy! Just stumbled to your blog from another. Realizing that you work while traveling, I cannot figure why you would situate yourself where you are at this time of the year. Why not in the southwest? Or at least south of where you are. Just curious.

    1. Ed,
      We have been fulltime RVers since 2009 but have always had to work more and travel less. We are not retired and as our blog title indicates we are "Workin RVers". This past year the opportunity to work at an amazing place at a job we love was offered to us and we accepted. We have worked in the South and the Southwest the last 3 winters in temp jobs which were OK but not fulfilling to us (just our bank accounts) and we were hungry for something that provided us with both and think we have found it. Maybe I can convince them to pick up the mountain and move it South for the winter ...... hmmmmm, doubtful but who knows :-). Phil