|Winter camping.. adventure?
||[Jan. 26th, 2009|08:13 pm]
We got in to the campground in Foxboro yesterday afternoon. Funny, I never thought we’d be doing so much camping on ice and snow; the stop in New Haven was so icy we were worried about pulling out the next morning, but that went a lot smoother than I’d feared. Somehow I had always pictured the sites themselves as being cleared completely, if I thought about it at all. This campsite here was plowed but snow covered and icy in spots. We had to dig near the power pole to find the water line; good thing we brought a sturdy shovel. It has really come in handy this trip. A little more shoveling was needed to clear the piled snow that was blocking the bottom of the living room slide-out, but then we were all set.
In weather like this you don’t keep the water line hooked up unless it’s heated. Otherwise in the morning you have a hose-shaped popsicle. So instead we filled the fresh water tank. All the water tanks are in the enclosed underbelly of the trailer and there are heating vents down there to keep things from freezing. Last night was the first night of the trip that we had water; because the trailer easily gets below freezing while driving down the road in cold weather (and thus risks freezing your water lines unless you run the furnace while driving, which we’re not willing to do for safety reasons), we’d been using bottled water as needed. I was finally able to do the dishes last night and was looking forward to a nice hot shower in the morning.
Alas for good intentions. I got up, turned on the shower, and it went spit.. spit.. dribble.. nothing. Oh no! The water pump was running much more quietly than usual and it wasn’t shutting off; usually it runs until the system is charged and then shuts down. I opened the drawer that sits over the water lines and it was nice and chilly down where the water line comes up from the tank. Tried to prime the water pump and that got us to a slow flow of water from the faucet, but shortly the pump was running on empty again. A test with some of the bottled water proved that the pump was fine, but every time I opened the line to prime or test the pump there was a little hiss of air and no water; usually it’s vice versa. The problem was likely that there was ice in the water line coming into the pump. So that drawer (and all the pots and pans that go in it) had to come out to allow the trailer furnace to warm the space. A visual inspection of the water lines showed a nice gap in the bottom liner where the drains go through, and a good draft coming from said gap. So much for ‘heated underbelly’!
We went to the hardware store and got some of that insulating spray foam for gaps. Several stints of spraying foam under the trailer and in the drawer space, chartreuse foam dripping everywhere (I think I got some in my hair) and the gaps are less gappy. The afternoon of heat actually reaching the lines did the trick and the water system is working as intended. I checked the weather report. It was supposed to get into the teens last night. It got to nine below! No wonder that water line froze! The pots and pans are back in the space, sans drawer, and I have hopes for an actual hot shower tomorrow. If not in the trailer then at the shower house, for sure.
We’re a little concerned (“it’s an adventure!” we say brightly to each other) about the upcoming storm. Unfortunately, heading for home tomorrow is not an option. Even if I could handle a ten hour drive, the storm is supposed to start earlier in PA than up here, so if we did head out tomorrow we’d arrive home in the teeth of it. No towing in snowstorms; it’s a rule. At least here, we know they have the equipment to handle the storms; we’ve seen it in operation. So we’ll hunker down and see how we do with (depending on who you listen to) 4 to 12 inches of snow on Wednesday. J’s already made plans to go buy French toast supplies (French Toast Index) tomorrow, and we know the trailer will stay warm; we were toasty last night despite the outside temps.