Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “RV camping”

Poopy Pants

Miss Sugar and I have been  camping.  We have not really been roughing it because we have a camper trailer.   It includes a bathroom.

Those of you familiar with the joys and responsibility of camping in an RV are aware of the need to visit a dump station at the conclusion of the camping experience.  Guess what is dumped at a dump station.

Yes.  You are correct that a dump station is where one dumps what went down the sink and toilet in the recreational vehicle.  There are two types of “water” — gray water and black water.  Gray water comes from a tank where the sink and shower water go.  The black water is exactly what you imagine, i.e., the contents of the tank filled with contents from the toilet, which is more than mere water.

Miss Sugar, my trusty trophy wife, is very knowledgeable about camping in general and the operation of the gray and black water release systems in particular.  As her able assistant, I use my own personal hand to open the pipe and the respective valves under the verbal direction of Miss Sugar.

For those of you interested in the details, please visualize that the dump station has a hole.  The camper has a pipe.  The pipe is connected to the hole by a wide collapsible and flexible hose known in the camping world as a “stinky slinky.”  In another blog post, I described our initial experience with such a device.

That post was posted years ago.  Today I am writing about an event that occurred this very day.

Today, after I attached the stinky slinky to the dump hole at one end and the trailer pipe/tube to the other end, opened the black valve, emptied it, then opened the gray water valve and emptied it (the order is important), Miss Sugar directed me to rinse out the stinky slinky by transferring the end of it attached to the now emptied trailer over to a water spigot so that it could be rinsed by that fresh water after the gray water.  Get the picture?

Sugar operated the handle of the water spigot as I obediently held the stinky slinky and moved it to a position under the faucet.  Blessed with excellent eye-hand coordination, I accomplished the task.  Sugar’s water flowed down the wide tube, cleansing the you-know-what down the tube.  When she said, “Okay,” I interpreted that to mean that I could remove the stinky slinky because she was shutting off the water.  I was wrong.

I moved the tube away from the spigot but Sugar did not turn off the water.  Consequently, as the tube moved, its contents back-splashed onto my pants.

Sugar thought it was funny.  She suggested that I write this post and is credited with the title.

Despite her instructions to me and direction of me, let’s be clear about who wears the pants in the family.  That would be me.  I wore those particular pants as I drove all the way home.



Fixin’ To Travel

For some reason, Sugar, my wife and supervisor, believes that our travel trailer needed new fold-down steps, just because I drove away with them down and bent them by striking a post. And not only that, she was insistent that we replace the jack that some  folks say is preferable to using sheer might.   I don’t mind lifting up the trailer to put it on the hitch, but Sugar is just a girl and wants modern conveniences.  You probably think that I was somehow responsible for bending the previous jack.  You are correct.  Well, technically, I did not bend it, the concrete bump I drove over when leaving a gas station is what bent it.  You see where this is going — Sugar made me replace it.  So I did.

Sugar did not like our tires on the truck merely because of wear from a couple or maybe seven or maybe eight years.  So we got new tires.  Because I married a sissy girl.  Safety is a big concern for her so it is for me too.

Now let’s talk about glow plugs for the diesel engine in that truck with the new tires.  Sugar likes the truck to start on cold days.  I don’t mind spending a half hour getting it started.  Those old glow plugs and I understood each other.  But no, Sugar wanted new glow plugs.  So we got us some.

Get the picture?  You won’t be surprised that we got new stabilizer bars for the trailer.

So we are ready for our next trip.  I sure hope I don’t break anything.

Rule Breaker

Miss Sugar and I stayed at a campground the past three nights.  This was our first RV adventure since last fall.  It started out sort of like our first RV adventure as re-posted yesterday, the one about the stinky slinky.

We hooked up the trailer and discovered a flat tire.  I thought that was no big deal.  After all, we have four wheels on the trailer and four more on the truck.  One out of eight ain’t bad.  Miss Sugar, a cautious traveler, wanted the tire changed.  That delayed our departure.

When we got to the campground, I broke the jack, again.  Maybe I don’t know my own strength.  Or, maybe I don’t know which way is up (and which way down).  No big deal.  We got the trailer hitch raised off the pickup with a hydraulic jack some experienced camper had with him.  I appreciated the help, even though I think only wimps rely on hydraulic jacks.  I prefer using the muscles that God bestowed upon me.

The campground had a building with showers and toilets, which I prefer to using the facilities in the camper trailer for reasons explained in the stinky slinky story referred to hereinabove.  So I entered the building.

Above the toilet provided by the campground was a sign that almost threw me off my plan.  It said:

“Please put TOILET PAPER ONLY in the toilet!  Do not put in ANYTHING ELSE.    Thank you, THE MANAGEMENT, Manor RV Park”

How did they know that I was planning to put more than toilet paper in Manor RV Park’s toilet?  Well, I was planning to do that, like I always do when nature calls.  In fact, that was my very reason for entering the building and the stall housing the sensitive toilet.  Some of you gentle readers might know the feeling that I was feeling.

Can you keep a secret?  I broke that particular rule.  Please don’t tattle on me.  It was such a nice place, we’d like to camp there again, if allowed.

Launch Cancelled Again

Yesterday I wrote about why we have twice cancelled our maiden voyage in our newly acquired used RV camper. 

So today we were scheduled to finally take the camper out for a drive to a destination just 140 miles from where it is currently parked at our ranch.  That destination is Saratoga, Wyoming, which boasts of natural hot springs by the North Platte River.  Sounds like fun.  We went there a few years ago for a Cowboy Poetry Gathering in a nearby community, Encampment. 

But here is the thing — we watched the news this morning and learned that temperatures there are much colder than temperatures here.  Ergo, we are reluctant to travel 140 miles so we can sleep in a tin can in below-freezing weather. 

We can’t spend the entire weekend in the hot springs.

There is no place like home, especially if home has a cozy fireplace.

Failure to Launch Our RV

There might still be a few people throughout the world who are not fully aware of exactly what a cool dude I am and why.  Of course, there are too many reasons to list in this forum as to why I am cool, but one clear reason is my truck.

My pickup truck is a Ford F250 XLT Superduty Supercab 4 wheel drive with a 7.2 Diesel engine.  Enough said.  I am jealous of no one with the possible exceptions of those with the King Ranch or even Lariat package.

My truck is so cool that one of my Texan brothers-in-law, after seeing mine, bought one just like it to pull his RV and boat.  More recently, my father-in-law, who art in Texas, traded in his silly Dodge pickup for a Ford F150 (note: 150 vs. 250) which is almost as cool.  He did one-up me by getting the Lariat package, which includes leather seats.  I covet those leather seats.

Anyway, back to my truck, I had a little disappointment last Thursday.  In my previous post, RVing Further, I described how we fixed up our newly purchased used RV trailer.  We are itching to actually use it.

We have suffered three disappointments.

The first weekend we planned to go, Miss Sugar, my trophy wife, suffered an allergic reaction to a medication and made a trip to urgent care rather than a camping trip.  So we rescheduled for the next weekend, which was last weekend.

Well, above I said that last Thursday I had a little disappointment.  Since I have such a cool truck, I was not concerned about pulling the RV.  Turns out, I was wrong.  Turns out that my very cool truck shut itself off as if out of fuel, despite having plenty of fuel.  When I failed to restart it, I called good old AAA for a tow.  Then I called Miss Sugar to come get me.  Then I tried to start it again and was successful so, optimist that I am, I called AAA and cancelled the tow truck.  After two miles, I called AAA again and informed them of my new location in a truck that died.  Oh, I told Miss Sugar too.

I had drifted into a safe haven in the middle of Mountain Avenue in Old Town Fort Collins.  When the tow truck arrived, the driver said he could not hook up my truck from its position and asked me to help him push it into a preferable angle.  So I started it up again and backed into an appropriate position for towing.  Thus the truck  made me look as if I did not need a tow.  However, I had learned my lesson and insisted on the tow nevertheless.

When we got to the repair garage, I informed them that I needed the truck to be ready to take on a trip the very next day, Friday.  I was very clear as to my needs and schedule.

So the truck was ready on Monday, which some of you readers who learned the days of the week will recognize came at a time after the weekend.  That means we did not go on our weekend trip with the RV.  It needed a new sensor and some other stuff that only cost $420.  We look on the bright side.  Now it does not take as long to count all our money.  Oh well.

Miss Sugar, a kind soul, comforted me.  “We can always go this weekend.”

We could, except it snowed last night and more snow is expected tonight.  But who knows, we might give it a whirl.  Stay tuned.

RVing further

Back in September, I posted Stinky Slinky and Miss Sugar, which described our adventure renting a camper trailer (RV).  We, and by we I mean Miss Sugar, decided to shop for RVs.  She is the chief executive and I am in a role of giving advice and consent to the decisions.  So we went together to shop for RVs. 

We found a real good deal.  By purchasing our used RV trailer “as is,” we not only lowered the purchase price but slyly avoided the complication of bringing it back pursuant to a warranty.  We prefer to pay for repairs ourselves and leave out the middleman. 

I have previously described my vast experience of hooking up horse trailers, so you will not be surprised that I waived any assistance from the dealer when we paid for the RV trailer.  What kind of a cowboy would accept advice from an RV salesman concerning the proper manner to hook up ANYTHING to MY PICKUP?  “Just point me the way,” I says, “and I will hook up and head for home.”  Which, by the way, I did, pretty much successfully.  I say pretty much successfully,  because Miss Sugar pointed out one petty little failure on my part, which was that I left the little wheel below the hitch where it was.  Well, not where it was when it was on the ground in the dealership lot.  I raised it a few inches above the roads so we drove home  on the Interstate Highway without it scraping the highway at a high rate of speed.  However, I did not properly calculate the height necessary to drive over a speed bump in the McDonalds parking lot, nor the portions of our very own lane where a wheel placed where I had placed our trailer hitch wheel scraped bottom.  But in case you are wondering, I did not even bend it and, anyway, after we got home, Miss Sugar figured out how to remove it during times of travel. 

That was not the only thing Miss Sugar figured out.  She studied the the owners’ manual and joined an RV forum on the internet.  She cleaned the trailer and contacted a man to come show us how to work all the RV devices.  In case you are worried that I did not pull my weight, let me recount that it was ME who carried a mattress to exchange with the mattress in the trailer and it was ME who hooked up the water hose and plugged in the electric cord.  It was the handy man, who, in demonstrating how everything worked, uncomfortably pointed out that not everything did work.  Who needs the water pump to actually operate?  We decided that we did, so we paid our new friend to replace it.  And we also elected to replace the corroded battery cable and fuse socket.  As I said above, we preferred to pay $500 for those repairs rather than, as fools do, use a warranty. 

And another thing, had we not bought the RV “as is,” the dealer would have cleaned out the “black tank.”  For the uninitiated, the black tank is the self-contained sewer of the RV, if you will.   What this means is that rather than allow the dealer to deal with the waste of those who traded in the trailer, we got to empty it.  Now in an RV park, there is a place to hook up the stinky slinky hose.  On our ranch we neglected to install RV hook up facilities.  Consequently, Miss Sugar gladly emptied the fecal matter of strangers into buckets so that we were able to fertilize a portion of our property.  Most RV buyers don’t think of that bonus.  They are not professional negotiators such as me.  I am a lawyer.  I have been around you know.  I can sling the sh-t, figuratively and literally.

I am available, for a reasonable fee, to serve as a consultant for those of you contemplating the purchase of an RV camper trailer.  I will help you get a real good deal.

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