Happy Anniversary!

20 02 2019

Super Snow Moon over Silver Mountain

Last Sunday was our 1 YEAR anniversary of living mostly full time in the RV!  We headed out on the 2018 Spring Road Trip last February 17th and returned to Colorado on April 27th.

Less than 30 days later we’d finalized inspection items, packed up the house, moved everything to storage and signed the mountains of paper work for the sale! Wow, how time flies!

Since last May and the end of the Spring Road Trip, we’ve spent 97 nights at Circle the Wagons in La Veta, 29 nights in various RV parks around northern Colorado and Cheyenne, WY; 8 nights in Rio Rancho, NM and about 170 nights on the property here at Navajo Ranch.  Since the New Year we’ve had two major weather events.  The first was very cold temperatures on New Year’s Day with a record of -4 degrees.  The second has been the wind.  On Super Bowl Sunday the wind forecast was for 30-40 MPH winds with gusts to 60 MPH.  A local weather station at the base of La Veta Pass recorded a 73 MPH gust.  We’re not sure how much wind we had, but there were several sections of our “skirt” that needed a bit of repair and reinforcing!

And, speaking of skirting.  We’re not exactly sure how much it’s helping, but undoubtedly it keeps the underbelly & floors warmer.  Prior to skirting, we’d experienced freezing of the galley drain valve when temps dropped to single digits.  Now, even with temps dropping below zero, we’ve never had an issue with that valve.  Our propane consumption hasn’t noticeably dropped, but we’re trying to use more furnace than before – it’s cheaper and gives us the knowledge that we’re keeping the pipes and tanks warm in the underbelly.  We originally purchased ShurTape Foil tape at about $17/roll to construct our skirt.  After a few weeks, this tape appears to be less effective due to the warm/cold changes in temperature.  For best adhesion on the insulation board, I’m now using standard Gorilla Tape – which seems to stick very well.  On the fiberglass and plastic of the RV I’m using a 3M Foil tape that is specific to cold weather.  It’s a bit thinner, but overall seems to be holding up better.

And, an update on items that needed “fixed” or investigated:

  • Just after the cold snap in January, we purchased and installed 3M Window Insulation film on a couple windows.  This has made a major difference in drafts and cold air infiltrating the windows.  For $12, this may be the most economical and easy cold air reducer.
  • You’ll remember we said the refrigerator, or more specifically the freezer wasn’t freezing.  After some amount of research, we decided we needed to warm or at least prevent lots of cold air from entering the exterior refrigerator “box”.  With two sets of vents behind the refrigerator, we’ve blocked most of the lower vents.  This seems to help in our most typical 40 degree days and 20 degrees nights.  However, when temps drop further, the freezer still hovers around 25 degrees, not capable of freezing ice cubes overnight. With lots of these cold nights, some type of heat source would be necessary – so far we haven’t gone beyond covering the vent.  However there are plenty of blog articles about added heaters, drop lights and light bulbs stuck in the back of the refrigerator.
  • Water – as of the New Year, we still didn’t have water *to* the RV pad.  It was available at an outside tap, but that was 5 hoses away!  When temperatures dropped, the crawlspace under the unheated house was cold enough to freeze the pipes and water turned off everywhere.  About 50 feet of pipe heat tape, 10 sections of pipe insulation, one very long extension cord, and a couple of hours’ worth of work in the dark crawlspace yielded water to the RV pad!  I’d already purchased the shark bite connector, and with a quick snip of the PEX plumbing, tied in the line to the RV pad and left the rest of the frozen house lines to thaw and drain.  With about 6’ of heated tape on the outside faucet and the 25’ of heated water hose, we’ve not had a single problem with frozen pipes or hose.  I’m sorry it took so long to “fix” this problem!

That’s it. Other than removing the TV antenna due to wind noise, we have done nothing else to modify the RV for living through a Southern Colorado winter.  We’ll keep the snow shovel handy, and the boots nearby just in case.  And, we’re hopeful that we’ll be moving into the house within the next 30 days!

More as Spring approaches…

 

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

31 12 2018

It’s now been about 5 weeks since we left Circle the Wagons and moved to the property at Navajo Ranch.  We have all the modern conveniences, electric, septic, internet (at a blazing 5MB) and satellite TV.  But, we still need to get water to the RV port.  For now we’re stringing 5 hoses together and filling the fresh water tank every few days from the tap outside the house.  A real pain!  But, the parts and tools necessary to turn on the RV spigot have been purchased…  more on that subject later.

The weather moderated during the second half of November, with highs in the mid-50’s and lows in the 20’s. Our warmest day was 61 and the coldest night was 13. Most of December followed the same pattern until late in the month when we had a couple days that failed to get above freezing, a couple nights in the single digits and on the 29th we dropped all the way to zero!  Before leaving for Christmas we had a 100 gallon propane tank delivered – no more refilling propane bottles every week.  We expect at least 50 days, possibly closer to 100 days on this new tank.  And, with 10 sheets of 2” insulation panel, we’re now completely skirted in.  We hope these upgrades will help our energy consumption and allow more comfort during the coldest nights.  The New Year will arrive with snow and very cold temperatures in southern Colorado.  We’re expecting about 5 inches of the white stuff and teens and single digits for the next 3 days.  But, by Friday the forecast is back near 50 – so a nice end to the first week of January.

100 gal propane tank and fully skirted for winter!

 

The house continues to move along at a snail’s pace – mostly because of weather complications.  If it’s not snowing, it’s cold, or too windy or something.  Over Christmas the half-walls were added to the RV Port, completing the framing necessary for electrical rough-in.  We hope to get the electricians back later this week once the weather warms a bit.  Happy New Year everyone and here’s to a good 2019!