Edited by Russ and Tiña De Maris
Here’s our semi-monthly digest of reader commentary. Keep ’em coming!
Keeping that gray water valve closed
Most RVers keep their black water locked up until their tank is almost full. Doug Swarts from Drainmaster.com, our doo-doo specialist, recommended the same be true for the gray water, too. We got plenty of feedback on this sloshy subject.
Some liked the suggestion. Here’s Tommy’s take on the matter: “Prior to watching this video, I’d never given much thought to this. We generally leave our grey tank open – UNTIL NOW. This makes perfect sense to me.”
On the other hand, Dave was quick to explain why he didn’t like the idea. “I used to do my gray tank the way he recommends in the video. After overflowing the grey tank and getting water damage in five out of my seven RVs over 32 years, I started leaving my grey tank open. One overflow is a big problem, and anything I can do to avoid another one is worth putting up with a few minor problems.”
More than one way to deal with it, responds Doug: “You should have put an alarm in your shower pan as that is where gray water will overflow from your Gray tank first. I would think the simple solution would be to dump your Gray water every 2 days or so to insure you don’t overfill your gray tank. A simple 24 hour timer at your entrance door would also help serve as a reminder.”
Leave your porch light on?
Our resident boondock enthusiast, Bob Diffley, took a dim view of leaving an RV porch light on for “security” reasons. Apparently this thinking was a light-bulb moment for several readers.
For those who find a light can ruin their night vision, here’s a thought from Einar. ” My wife and I like star gazing at night. So we keep the out side lights off most of the time. But I have put a red lens over our outside light to help with night vision when it is on. I learned that trick on my father in laws sailboat. Works out great. We do keep small flashlight on us or pen lights.”
Lorna had another thought, keeping light for your own use, but keeping it away from the neighbors: “I use solar ‘step’ lights. They are somewhat directional. I glued magnets to the holders so I can stick them on the sides of the bus (steel sides) about waist high. I can also grab one to use as a flashlight when needed. During the summers they tend to be able to stay lit all night. In the winter or on cloudy days, the lights do not last much past midnight. I bought mine in a 4 pack from Home Depot for $20. These are what I have http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-2-Light-Stainless-Steel-Outdoor-Solar-Step-Light-4-Pack-258554-41HD/204385791
Or how about another kind of light? Lorna suggests, “I like to use solar powered, motion-detector lights when boondocking and at home. The only time I see lights go on is when someone approaches the rig. Having them on both sides, attached to my truck and the back of the rig gives me a little extra peace of mind, especially in unfamiliar areas. Those approaching are startled, and would-be thieves will take off running.”
And just where do you find such a critter, some asked. Deana & Christle shared their experience with them. “We bought ours on Amazon. There are several different brands and prices but they aren’t expensive. Ours also have a small pin hole where you can insert a paper clip to turn them off if you don’t want them to work. Only drawback has been they are dim or don’t work if there are consecutive days of limited or no sun. Everywhere we go, people ask about them and we’ve seen numerous people buy them after seeing how ours work. Also recommended these to some people who were concerned about theft and vandalism in an area hit by tornadoes where there was no electricity and they were either living in or trying to salvage things from damaged homes.”
Recalcitrant to retire?
Our resident RV psychologist, Dr. Shrink, took on the question of what to do if one-half an RV couple is ready to hit the road, but their significant other isn’t ready to retire. Here are some alternative therapy suggestions.
Take the bull by the horns, says Lou. “My friend leaves her husband, the guy said we’ll travel after you retire and now decided he doesn’t want to, at home. She hooks up the 5th wheel and goes without him. She can drive and park that as well as anyone. Doesn’t take muscle to hookup/drive/park a camper.
Ron offers a kinder, gentler suggestion. “Often people, especially males, are afraid of not having anything to do. You can only look at the cactus outside your door at Quartzsite for so many days Potential retirees may find Habitat for Humanity a good option which gives flexibility in terms of places, costs, and timing. It may also teach some new skills to non-builders (as it did me).”
And a related thought from Judy. “There are various Workamping positions available all over the country. While these positions do not include salaries, most do include a site and full hook ups in exchange for services.”