Friday, December 4, 2009

Winter RV Life...Are We Having Fun?

We've all seen the T-shirts or read the jokes..."Mom, are we having fun yet?" spoken by some tiny tot as the family is on vacation someplace.  The same sentiment could be expressed regarding winter experiences living fulltime in an RV.

Bruce and I choose to stay in the cold climate of Tumwater, Washington during November and December.  Nobody is holding a gun to our head to make us stay here.  And we are still having fun!  We stay here because of our kids and grandkids.  We met a few couples last year in Forest City, Iowa and the subject of holiday time came up.  There were a few, like us, that said they'd be spending the holidays with their families.  There were a few others that said things like, "I'm going to Florida (Texas, Arizona) and if the kids want to see me, they'll have to come there."  You know there is nothing wrong with either plan, and everyone has their own way of being an RVer.  Some year, we may leave here in the early fall and head south and then fly back up to Washington to celebrate Christmas with the kids.  That will not happen until our Annie the Schnauzer has left this world.  We will not put her in a kennel for boarding.  She is 12 years old and has never been placed in a boarding kennel....and we aren't about to start now.  Her needs must be considered along with everybody else.

A couple of days ago we had a beautiful full moon with clear sky.  That cloudless sky usually means a colder night.  This is the best photo I could get with my simple camera.

The weather prediction for the next week is not a pretty one.  Low temperatures will be in single digits.  We've done our best to equip ourselves with some items to help deal with the cold snap coming through.  We've had our outside water hose wrapped up for about a month now.  We got this flexible insulating tube from Home Depot.  It comes in 6 foot sections and costs about $2.75.    It worked for us last year and it is doing the job this year as well.  This way we don't have to unhook the hose and tuck it away every night. 

Last year we stayed here for 5 months of winter....and it was the coldest on record for over 50 years.  We developed so much condensation last year we had water dripping off all the windows and accumulation of moisture inside our interior cabinets.  We went in search of a dehumidifier.  We saw some small ones, but decided to go for the big guns.  At the time we had 2 feet of snow on the ground and it wasn't going away fast, either.  That meant the issue of dealing with the extreme condensation wasn't going away quickly.  We bought a Frigidaire unit and it works great.   It has a 25 pint capacity and has castors for ease of moving.  We bought this unit at Lowe's. 

You can set it on high or low setting, it has a timer, gives humidity level, and will let you know with a "beep" if the water level gets full.  We've set it up in the kitchen again, but this year it hasn't been needed as much as last year...YET.

We also use our electric space heater.  It has been very useful and we have it turned on almost all day long.  It has a thermostat to regulate the heat flow.  Keeps us cozy while we're watching TV or when I'm blogging.

Right now we can get our electric heat pump to work during the daytime hours so that helps conserve propane.   With our 50 amp service we can use the heat pump and the washer/dryer and a few other conveniences at the same time without problems.

One of the disadvantages of a fulltime RV life is no longer having a garage.  That means that every morning we have to scrape the car windows before driving anywhere.  Small price to pay for a lifestyle we enjoy.  All in all, we're doing just fine.

Until next long for now!   


Paul and Mary said...

We're right there with you!!!
Stay warm!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

That dehumidifier is a great idea! How much does it weigh? I think that would be just the ticket for cold weather RVing. Often we find ourselves mopping the windows down with bathtowels after showers, even with a vent cracked and fans going.

Gypsy said...

I haven't had TOO much problem with condensation yet, but will keep the dehumidifier in mind. I like the insulation for the hose - but I sure hope it doesn't get cold enough in coastal Georgia to need it!

Happytrails said...

We so understand....we are "parked" also for the holidays. We only have one child, a son, who is not married. We choose to be with him for the holidays. We wouldn't have it any other way. Family comes first.
I also liked your comment about Annie. We just lost our beloved Molly (Shih Tzu of 18 years)and many decisions were made for her best interest. She was part of the family.
Great thoughts!
Take care,

Rick and Paulette said...

We're of the same mindset as you guys. We stay home so we can be with our kids and grandkids at Christmas and there is no way we'd put our two pups into a kennel so we could fly home for the holiday. We'll probably just keep doing what we're doing now for the foreseeable future.

Jerry and Suzy said...

We have exactly the same deuhidifier you have. We bought ours for the humid summer in the midwest, and boy did it put out the water. We have even used it a little in Arizona during the monsoon season.