All the Little Things

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We had planned on being in Florida at Tiffany’s parents for the holiday, but well, things never happen as planned. We had also planned on being in North Carolina at my sister’s house for Christmas, but that will have to be adjusted as well. For now, we are going with what we know and figuring things out the best we can.

We got a ride from a campground employee to the nearest grocery store yesterday and stocked up on everything we could since we don’t know when the next time will be that we will be able to go to the store, and we also needed supplies for Thanksgiving. We have a few neighbors in the campground, but most people have already left. So tomorrow, it will be just Tiffany and I and our cats. For that reason, we bought a turkey breast and found a recipe for cooking that breast in a crockpot. It was recommended by a trusted friend, so hopefully it works out. We also have everything else we need for the holiday, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and of course, Wisconsin-style green bean casserole (french cut green beans, and cheese on top).

Now, we don’t have an oven. Our RV never had one and besides, we ran out of propane a week ago and wouldn’t be able to cook anything anyway. So the turkey will be in the crockpot and hopefully everything else can be made in the microwave. It should be a small, but good meal and leave us with plenty of leftovers.

For today though, we have work to do. Tiffany I both tend to stay up pretty late and sleep in the next day, so we don’t get as much done during daylight as we’d like to. Right now, I am at the pavilion using their high speed internet to update all my apps, but in about an hour when I’m done, I’m going back to the RV and we will be cleaning everything. We’ve really let things go since we’ve been stuck here for so long. Part of it is having no storage, part of it is Zoe getting sick and having to pull out the big dog crate again to keep her away from the other cats. We got a lot of deliveries as well, so we have a bunch of boxes that need to be broken down. Cardboard is great for starting campfires though, so I’ll just cut that down into smaller pieces we can store somewhere and use it later.

We did also get an electric heater that a friend sent us, and it has worked great. Its infrared and has a thermostat, so we can turn it on and leave it on and not worry about it. The sides stay remarkable cool and the front puts out a good amount of heat, so it does warm the whole RV throughout the night and we don’t have to worry about being cold at night.

For other things to do, I have a couple small items arriving today from Amazon, though the campground probably won’t bring them to us until tomorrow or even Friday, but that’s fine. I ordered the large 50 foot roll of Eternabond, a new kitchen sink, a smoke/CO alarm, and a new valve for the toilet. The Eternabond is for the roof. I found that it was leaking into our closet across from the bedroom, the ceiling was damp to the touch after it had rained a lot. It was dripping, but obviously, any water in an RV is a bad thing. Hopefully Friday we’ll get the sealant and I can climb on the roof and clean off the seam and put the Eternabond down. That stuff is great for seals, its super sticky and rubbery and doesn’t let any moisture through at all. I used some when I made the mount for the TV and put bolts through the roof, and it hasn’t leaked at all. Its a little pricey at about $1/foot, but totally worth it for the peace of mind it creates.

Then there is the kitchen sink. We have wanted a new one since we got the RV. The current sink is low and leaks. We spent about $35 and got a faucet that is much higher so we have more room underneath it. I’ve replaced a sink in a house before, so this should be pretty easy. Once that is done, we can put the Britta water filter on the kitchen sink instead of the bathroom sink where it is now, and that’ll allow us to fill up water bottles more easily with the extra room.

Smoke/CO alarm is self-explanatory. I got one that has a ten year lithium ion battery in it, so I’ll probably mount that on the outside of the bathroom near the kitchen area. I don’t know why we didn’t get one sooner, but its an absolute must have in any living situation.

Finally, the toilet. For the longest time, our toilet worked fine. It wouldn’t hold water in the bowl, but that was fine. Then we got towed to this campground, and it magically was sealing so I could fill the bowl and flush all at once. That worked for a few weeks, and then something changed. I’m not sure what happened, we didn’t move the RV at all so nothing should have jolted into our out of place, but it started leaking. The water to fill the bowl now runs constantly, albeit at a trickle. And now the bowl leaks into the black tank. This is not a problem in our current situation since we are hooked up to city water and sewer, but if we were somewhere that we’d have to go to a dump station, we’d be there every other day. And without a working transmission, that would be impossible.

So basically, water flows into the tank through the water inlet, then into the black tank. All the time. Not a lot, but enough to fill the tank about every three days. I can drain it when it looks like its getting full, but if that were to keep happening and we were somewhere without a sewer line, we’d be in sore luck. So I researched a lot and found the valve for the toilet. I had considered replacing the whole toilet since it is the original 1988 Toilet, but I figured spending $25 versus spending $150 was a better deal at this point. I did some searching online, and it appears that it is really easy to replace the valve, maybe half an hour of work, so hopefully that is really that easy and we can get it done this weekend. I had turned down the water pressure when I found out the toilet was leaking, so it will be nice to be back up to a higher pressure again.

At some point as well, I need to get a tankless on demand water heater. I found one for about $140 that uses a normal AC outlet plug, so we could just install that under the kitchen sink and plug it in back there and at least have hot water in the kitchen. The old water heater that is in there leaks from the tank, so it has been bypassed and never used. I could replace the water heater completely, but I figure that since we only use the campground’s showers anyway, we don’t really need hot water in the bathroom. It would be nice to have it in the sink, so if we get one for the kitchen, then if that is easy to install and works well, we’ll put one in the bathroom as well. Still cheaper than buying and paying to have installed a brand new gas tank heater.

Other than that, we are pretty well set. I have to call the auto mechanic today and find out what the status of our transmission is and when we can get a tow to them to have them install it, but that’s about it.

For future projects, I want to put shelving into the big closet and make it more useable space. Right now its pretty much just crammed with stuff and that doesn’t work for us at all. I’d also like to run some electrical wiring and put some more outlets in the back by the bed so we have some more places to plug stuff in as right now we have a spiderweb of extension cords all over the place that needs to be dealt with.

And beyond that is things like doing something about the dinette, replacing the flooring, maybe taking out the gas stovetop and putting in a induction cooktop. After that is minor things like upgrading our server computer and network hardware, getting a weBoost cell range extender. It would be nice to have better wifi wherever we are, but that is a $500 investment we can’t afford at the moment.

Also, while we are getting the transmission installed, we are also having them check out the rest of the mechanical parts of the engine to make sure nothing else needs to be fixed right away. Nothing comes to mind as being a problem at the moment, but it would be nice to know there are no other issues that might strand us again for a month and a half.

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