Monday, August 11, 2008

Howie notes

We have been slowly weaning ourselves away from requiring full hook-ups for living in Howie. Full hook-ups (electric, water, sewer, yes even cable) make life very easy. But sometimes we have more options, and pay quite a bit less, when we can live without all of those things.

It started with leaving the propane on while driving, so the fridge keeps running. Emptying and cleaning the fridge is perhaps the single most bothersome thing about storing Howie. Anything to keep the fridge running is a good thing.

We have camped without sewer a few times. That's no big deal, especially when there is a dump station on the way out of the park. We don't use a lot of water when showering, so we can last about a week before needing to drain the grey tank.

Camping without incoming water is a bit harder. We've done the "water jug" thing for hand/dish washing and toilet rinsing, and it's not terrible, just not as luxurious.

When we know we won't have water hookups, we fill the water tank and use the electric pump. It's a bit loud and has a strange rhythm, but it does work. Kip stayed with us for a night in Missouri last November, and the water pump sound was the final straw that caused him to saw "you have a very interesting house."

I wasn't sure we were ready to live without an electrical plug-in, but we decided to "rough it" at Curt Gowdy State Park last week. We actually did have water, although it intermittently went off (maybe when everyone else was trying to use water too, we're not sure) - some kind of water issue at the park.

Our big accomplishment was getting the generator running! We had neglected to run it on a monthly schedule after we bought Howie in 2006 - big mistake. For anyone else buying a trailer or RV, don't neglect the generator. But John did get ours running, and it was a good park to use it in since all the sites were pretty far apart and the occasional noise wasn't in anyone's immediate earshot.

So we had "dinner and a movie" nights where we cranked up the generator, made popcorn in the microwave, and watched a NetFlix movie on the laptop. Plus we ran the generator just long enough to brew coffee in the morning. Life is good.

The Sprint card even got a tiny bit of service there so I was able to check email :)

The highlight of the week, however, came on Sunday. We checked out of the park, dumped the black/grey tanks, put some water in the fresh water tank, and drove over to the orienteering meet.

After the meet, we took showers in Howie. In the middle of a cow field. That was really cool.
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