Sunday, February 12, 2012

Life in the Camper UPDATE {finally!}

Maybe today is a good day for finally updating my “Life in the Camper” blog, since I’m stuck in the camper, waiting for my frozen water to start running again.

We’ve been here in the camper since September of 2008, and the camper just seems to get smaller. When we moved in here, I had this na├»ve vision that I’d keep stuff picked up and orderly. Well, obviously, I didn’t just magically become some other person, a person like my Mom for instance. My Mom is the neatest, most organized person I ever met, not a slave to cleanliness, or compulsive about putting stuff away, just naturally organized. I didn’t get that. The camper is most often cluttered, and there’s more stuff in here than we need.

So far most everything in the camper has worked most of the time. The first winter, I had to replace the little water heater that came in the camper. Luckily for me, I once worked in the plant where they make the little water heaters, so I was able to score one really cheap. I had to adapt it a little to fit, without buying a whole new trim kit, but since the camper sits still, that’s no big deal.

The furnace quit once, but magically, by divine intervention, it started working again. Since then, I’ve always talked sweetly to it, and never take it for granted.

The stove works Ok, but the oven will set off the carbon monoxide detector if I keep it on for much more than 30 minutes. This has kind of cramped my ‘cooking style’. I’ve learned to bake stuff on my propane grill, but try not to do that too much, as it uses a LOT more propane than a regular oven. I also have a toaster oven that I use for some stuff, but it’s small. I also use the crock pot a lot. Since I try to devote as much time as I can to working on the house, I try to cook ahead. A lot of our meals consist of heating stuff up I cooked earlier.

We had to replace the mattress and box spring that came with camper. It was so old, the mattress still had metal buttons on it.

I found out that the shower/tub thingies that go in campers need to be supported really well, too late. Ours has a crack across the seat. I’d have to disassemble the entire bathroom to replace it, at a cost of nearly $200, so it’s going to stay that way.

When we first moved into the camper, I decided we’d just unhook the hose when it got down to freezing. That didn’t last very long! The water hose is now wrapped with heat tape and two layers of foam pipe insulation. The pipe insulation has held up much better than I expected it to. The water still freezes when it gets really cold. This winter it hasn’t been cold, so today was the first time we had a problem with it.

My husband was out of work for three months this winter, so the camper has seemed even smaller. I’m very grateful that it’s paid for though and that we’ve been able to stay warm and dry without worrying about the foreclosure and eviction that so many have suffered. I’ve enjoyed using this camper as a canvas for some of my idle artwork, and as a place to display the artwork of my grandchildren and my friends.

I hope none of this sounds like complaining, since it was never meant to. This whole camper episode, though it’s lasted longer than I thought it would, has been a great adventure. And to be honest I kind of enjoy bragging about the obstacles I’m overcoming to make my house a reality! Besides, no matter how small this camper gets, as long as my internet connection holds, it’ll always be big enough to hold all my friends!!!!