January 2016 Journal: Ice, Skirts, and Propane Certs!

After being forced to end our moonshine enterprise in Texas due to relocation, we decided to become activists for ending the strange booze laws in Kansas. We have chained ourselves to a government building demanding the right for liquor stores to sell wine openers with their wine. It will be a hard fight but for an honorable purpose. OK, not true, but in all seriousness, who decided liquor stores couldn’t sell wine openers…Were they drunk?

Condensation Consternation

Natalie in the office.
Natalie in the office.
Levi filling propane
Levi filling propane.

We finished off our training and officially became part of the USI RV Park family. Natalie got a little crash course in Campground Master reservation program and I got certified to pump propane in the state of Kansas. Even after the first week, there was still ice on the ground and we were informed that it would only get colder. We were also told that we should skirt our RV. Considering we were doing well (keeping warm) with freezing temperatures, we decided to wait and see. We needed to tackle a more current issue. We were waking up every morning and wiping condensation off the walls and windows. If your windows are cold and you have decided not to die of hypothermia in your rig, you will have warm moist rig air touching the cold windows and it will cause condensation to build up, especially if your windows are single pane. This can cause all kinds of problems in the future, like mold and rotten wood. Our first line of defense was to insulate the windows so the cold air didn’t touch the warm air. This didn’t help much because we couldn’t seal off the windows completely. After several days of fighting it and using a blow dryer on our windows, we took to RVillage.com. If you haven’t been there, it’s like Facebook for RVers. It is an indispensable tool to have when you need help because there are so many helpful and friendly RVers logged on 24/7.

We asked what others had done in similar situations and the best answer we found was that many people got a dehumidifier. This makes perfect sense! Less moisture in the air means less moisture to condense. We already had a tiny one but it wasn’t really getting the job done. The RVers on RVillage.com suggested we get one rated for more square footage than our rig to ensure success. We settled on a 70 pint dehumidifier from Frigidaire that we ordered off Amazon.com and it has been great. Our condensation problems have almost disappeared. Our windows may fog every now and again, but they do not drip. If you are having condensation problems, you can check out Amazon’s list of dehumidifiers using our associates link here.

Whatever Blows your Skirt Up!

After taking care of the condensation problem, we were set…or so we thought. One night we had wind chills down to -10. Our hose froze about 1:00 in the morning, even though we had it heat taped. We turned the water off and decided to use the water we saved in our tank in case this happened. We woke up to the pump not working. It was frozen. Our heater does blow into the water compartment but it seems not enough for those kinds of temperatures. After thawing out the water pump, it leaked. Taking it apart showed no cracks, however; so crossing my fingers, I made sure the pump was clean and free of ice and hooked it back up. I am happy to say it is still working and there are no leaks.

It was time to think about the skirt. Which is basically a covering around the bottom of the RV that prevents wind from blowing under it. This keeps the underbelly warm. I was hoping for snow so I could just shovel it up against the rig as opposed to skirting it. My snow dance was not making it happen and the neighbors were getting tired of me painting my face and dancing in my underwear at night, so it was off to the local hardware store to find skirting supplies.

My idea was to use tarp cut in strips wide enough to cover the gap under the RV. I would use industrial strength Velcro on the top, add grommets where needed and stake the tarp down to the ground. The Velcro had sticky stuff on the back so all I had to do was stick one piece to the RV and another to the tarp, or so I thought. The Velcro was sticking to the RV with no problems. It would not stick to the tarp which led to hot gluing each piece. This too started to fail so I ended up stapling the Velcro pieces to the tarp. Over all I think it turned out pretty well. We will just have to wait and see if the winds (everyone tells us are coming) blow our skirt up… so to speak.

Making the skirt.
Making the skirt.

Tallgrass Prairie

We took a break from our ice issues to go to Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Keeping in mind that we saw this place in the winter, Tallgrass Prairie is beautiful at its worst. The Tallgrass Prairie once covered 170 million acres and now only 4% remains, a stark reminder that progress comes with a price. What is left of it is a breathtaking testament to the beauty nature can accomplish when left alone. There are many trails around the preserve to enjoy wildlife and land. Dogs are only allowed on a couple of those trails so we stayed on those considering we had Brewie with us. Below is a slideshow of some of the photos we took of the place but they do not do it justice. If you are ever in the area, it is a must see place.

Sedgwick County Zoo

We also went to the zoo in January. It was an inexpensive, good time! I must say that this particular zoo has great exhibits that make viewing the animals easy while not sacrificing comfort for the animals at the same time. This also marked the day that we officially decided to go vegetarian. No, it wasn’t because of the zoo. We discussed it over breakfast before going to the zoo. We have been meatless aside from fish since.

Yoder, Kansas

Yoder is a small Amish/Mennonite community. According to their website www.yoderkansas.com/:

“In 1906, A.M. Switzer plotted the little town of Yoder as a central point for surrounding Amish communities. Today, Yoder is still considered to be that. Though many businesses and homes have moved in around Yoder, the picturesque town has stayed the same size.

With the emergence of new business, Yoder has prospered, inviting visitors to take a step back in time and enjoy the Amish settlement.

The town is a quaint mixture of the past and present, as horse buggies are intermingled with cars and trucks. Many businesses cater to the tourist trade, making it convenient to enjoy this wonderful Amish community.

Yoder welcomes its visitors to enjoy the simplicity of the past with the comforts of the present.”

 

We decided to check it out, and found a dairy that sells everything from raw milk and cheese, to pickled goods and eggs. We got some eggs, milk, and a few other things. After trying the goods, we got we decided to become Amish…just kidding. We will be getting milk and eggs from them consistently while we are here though. Again, if you are staying in Kansas, it is worth a look.

Yoder

All in all, it was a very eventful month and we look forward to what February may bring.

The lesson of the month: When the locals say you need a skirt, they aren’t joking.

 

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