Sunday, April 12, 2015

Later Sunday

What do you do on a rainy Sunday afternoon?  Among other things, you make butterscotch pudding!

One of the things I’ve been thinking about talking about is a review of a few of the things I’ve done to make trips like this work. A few of them are obvious and very expensive: the repair work Buck’s people have done, for example. These weren’t really decisions: they simply had to be done, or game pretty much over.

But here’s an example of a pretty simple thing which makes a bigger difference than I’d have thought a while back:  a wooden cover for the cook top.  This was way more expensive than it might have been, but worth every cent!

In a small rig like this, work surfaces are pretty scarce.  The 10-inch-wide strip of laminate next to the sink is about it.  The only other option is the dinette table, which I’m currently using as my computer “desk.”  

The addition of about 5 sq ft of surface is huge!

Although so far this trip I’ve been staying at places which have power, I’ve done several things in support of “dry camping.”  The solar panel, the extra deep-cycle battery, replacing the existing incandescent bulbs with with LED’s.  These added up to a good chunk of change:  probably about $300.  But they proved their worth during the trip to southern Arizona a month or so back.  

There has been a host of small purchases which simply go along with having one of these things: things like the jug of enzymatic stuff which keeps the “black” holding tank from going stinky.  (Works, too!)

But speaking of holding tanks, here’s something which doesn’t seem to have been worth it:  a wand with nozzle on the end, which is stuck down the toilet to hose out the tank from the inside. There’s what seems to be a universal problem with the sensors which are supposed to tell you how full the tank is.  They don’t work.  I drained my holding tank this morning, and here’s what my sensors are saying:  

Holding tank is 2/3rds full?  No way.  In fact, for an hour or so after I drained it, its demented little readouts said it was completely full.  The problem, I’m told, is that toilet paper gets stuck on the sensors.  It’s not, er, sludge build-up.  Anyone out there have a solution that works?

There have been other purchases: a hatchet, a folding shovel.  A set of red roadside emergency triangles. A first-aid kit. (I actually used a band-aid from it yesterday!) 

Enough.  Time to mop the floor.  How’s THAT for camping excitement?!


  1. Mmmm. Rich's butterscotch pudding. Can I please have some raspberry preserves with mine? Seriously, I'm glad you've found a cool place. As you know, we in Tucson consider a lazy, rainy afternoon to be a rare treat.

  2. I turn off the water pump, and look into the black through the toilet with a flashlight. Never had a problem with the gray or fresh tank sensors.

  3. The visual dip stick! Yeah, I've done that. It would still be nice if the indicators were less schizoid.

  4. Check out Yay, more $ to spend! HS

    1. Sorry, I cant spel too good. Evidently. Try:

  5. Google "the Geo method" for RV tank maintenance. It uses Calgon water softener. It works to getting the sensors working. I only use it rarely because I have a pretty good feel when the tanks are approaching full.