Tag Archives: camp trailers

Getting limited work done

My wife likes to do everything in the heat of the day. Me, not so much. I'd rather do things about 9:00 in the morning. I believe even shopping should put us at the stores when they unlock the door at 10:00.

We wanted to drain the antifreeze from the camper and get it ready for use today. We didn't even get a start until 11:30. This isn't real antifreeze, it's something else, for the sake of my sanity I call it antifreeze.

I put the hitch on my truck, and loaded the camper battery. We had to retrieve the camper from the storage facility, bring it home, and fill it with water. This allowed us to flush the lines until all the red stuff disappeared. The residue goes in the grey water tank, and in the case of the toilet – the septic tank.

This means we had to take it to a dumping facility, and the easiest one is in Emmett some 20+ miles away. We decided to take Otto with us. He does well in the car, and I have a great air conditioner. I left the AC on and a window down while I emptied out the tanks. It was about 99 degrees out there today.

Otto was a little tired when we got home, but wasn't deeply effected by the heat.

I managed to print two and a half of my critique reads out. That's when the printer refused to work because it wants a more ink. I will work up two critiques tomorrow, and will have to find someplace to print the final one.

I spent some time assembling the next radio interview, then sent out a rough draft of the one after that. These things are a blast to do, because I get to work with some incredible authors.

I'm always looking for someone to participate in Lisa Burton Radio, so let me know if you're interested. The character interviews have been well received and I don't think anyone else is doing them. I think it's a pretty good opportunity.

Otto decided he likes the laundry room and the kitchen. We have a cool smooth floor in there and he likes to lay on it. He tends to go like crazy, then crash hard. In a few hours he's ready to go again. I believe the yoga crowd refers to this one as “Resting Frog.”

Have a good evening everyone. I'm going back to my reading for now.


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Camping Achieved!

We wound up having a great time this weekend. The mission was to test drive everything the camper is supposed to do.

Our first night was kind of a mess. We arrived well after dark, because the actual campgrounds were full. Camp was out in the bush about 40 miles from the main highway. There is a paved road that took us most of the way in, but we took a considerable amount of dirt road before we found a spot. This camp has no WiFi, no cell service, and even the radio and television stations won't reach. (Perfect.)

Our first mission was gasoline. I managed a fast upload when the gas station happened to have WiFi.

Back at camp, we needed to test drive everything. I managed to pigtail the generators together, and make the air conditioner work. Thank God, it was in the low nineties. We tested the microwave too. These two items will not run without two generators in tandem, but it all works.

We bought a new gas can just for generator gas. Apparently it's been a while since I bought a gas can. The stupid nozzle has a safety on it – a safety that doesn't work – at all. I fiddled with it for about an hour, and without a nozzle you can pour gas, but it goes everywhere except where you want it. I looked in my tool kit, but nothing caught my eye. I thought about using my pocketknife.

I managed to pull the nozzle apart with my hands, gutted the internal parts, and got enough of it back together to fill the generators. It's pretty hard to screw up a hollow tube to use as a spout, but a team of engineers managed to invent something new. We'll be looking for a new nozzle.

We sat up our outdoor grill and built a pretty respectable kitchen under the awning. Both of us kicked back and read for a spell. I really enjoyed this part. The temperature dropped, a breeze came up, and the awning provided shade. My wife tested out the sound system. This is another thing I didn't necessarily want in a camper, but if it exists it must be tested.

Outdoor speakers

My wife doesn't mess around either. No mellow notes for her. ACDC provided the soundtrack to our afternoon.

To me, camping is all about getting away from things. I never wanted a microwave or a television, but in modern campers it isn't even an option not to have them. My wife bought a movie, and the plan was for dinner and a movie.

We spent about an hour and a half trying to make the DVD player talk to the television. (It exists, so we must test it out.) It went kind of like this…

“What the hell did you touch now?”

“Nothing! What did you touch?”

We wound up making it work, and watched a pretty fun movie called The Kingsmen. It had a graphic novel feel to it, but we both had a good time. Some of the stylized violence made me laugh out loud. (What can I say, it 's the truth.)

We fixed our dinner and dug in to watch our movie. Food out camping is never health food. In my family it's all about working on your first heart attack.

Homemade baked beans, steak, and campfire potatoes filled out the menu. We loaded our DVD, but you know what always happens. One of the nosy neighbors stops by.

Right out the camper window

Blogging is international in scope. For those elsewhere, this is a doe mule deer, so named for the ears. We have both whitetail deer and mule deer in this area. She stuck around for hours, and didn't really care if we were around or not. She nibbled the weeds and even looked in the door at one point.

This particular deer is pretty young and probably weighs all of ninety pounds. A big buck will go over two hundred pounds.

I got up early and checked for otters, but no more showed up. I was ready with my trusty cell phone too. I kept my phone nearby at all times. We camped in a meadow area instead of the deep timber. My questing bird didn't show up or I would have captured a sound bite.

On the way home we passed this pretty waterfall. We stopped to check it out. I told my wife to give me her best pinup pose. I was allowed to take this picture. She used to be a lot more fun.

It was 108 degrees when we parked the camper at the storage slot. We camped. Everything works, to a degree. We made a list of a few items we still need, but will be going out again.

I didn't outline a darned thing, didn't write a short story, and really don't regret a thing. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too.


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Gas stop with WiFi

We never got a campsite last night. We're bush whacking it instead. We wound up setting camp in the dark last night. Towing the trailer uses a lot of gas, so we had to make a gas run.

When I woke up, there was an otter splashing around right out my front door. He was about four feet long and cuter than cute. He's a slippery bugger, and I never got a picture.

Here are a few images I took while spinning in a circle. This is today's office.

Have a good weekend everyone. I'll probably check in after we get home.


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Upholstery, stress, and a side of anxiety

It was a stressful day for me today. We started off with the pee wee football game, and that was a breeze. Our grandson is good at defense if someone explains it to him. Turns out he’s a good running back too.

I pumped myself up for the rest of our day, but we forgot our checkbook and had to go back to the house for it. I don’t do well with life’s big decisions, but I have the ability to plow through them. Once I’ve made up my mind, I’m all in.

We went back and forth over upholstery all last night. It turns out that we were choosing the least ugly of three ugly choices. Come to find out, that version was not available in Idaho. We settled for the middle ugly version.

I’m being kind of cryptic, and so what we did today was buy a new camp trailer. We’ve never owned any kind of adult toys in our lives, and it was time. After decades of “maybe next year” we finally decided that next year never comes. We’re in our fifties now, and it’s time for us to have some fun. Here’s what we took home.

It’s one of the smaller Lance campers. I didn’t feel like manipulating a huge camper down the highways and byways. Lance is famous for their slide in campers, and they ought to make a good trailer.

It has a cool slide out section that clearly shows the ugly upholstery inside. We went a bit larger than I wanted, because my wife wanted the bed you could access from either side. Most of them are sideways, and someone has to get in first then sleep against the wall.

That image shows how the bed fits in. It also comes with a cool automatic awning. It has a wind detection program that rewinds it if the wind comes up. It also comes with some cool party lights that my wife really likes. I hope the picture shows the cool party lights.

What drives me crazy is the way all dealerships handle with their customers after you’ve made a commitment. “You want light bulbs with that?” You find out that the $150 per month for the rest of your life actually comes to $250 per month – for the rest of your life. If you want power, you need a generator. But wait, if you want to actually run anything, you need two generators. Cha ching!

We were at the dealership for about six hours while they tried to sell me extended warranties and such. I liked the idea of a Scotchguard on the upholstery and another protectant for the exterior paint. The guy had me sold and seemed to say it was $250 more. When he added it to our contract it was $1400 more. I stopped him cold. Everything is an extra on these things. The financing sucks you in, but you really can’t get that price unless you already have everything you need and waive all the extended warranties.

Then there was the five minute tutorial on how to do everything. It’s a lot of information, and I’m never going to get it until I actually do it once. That freaks me out. So I need some sort of pressure reducing part if I ever hook into water at a campground. That only happens every five years or so, and I have to remember so I don’t blow out the plumbing. Does anyone out there think I’ll remember?

But wait, there’s more. I can’t park this at my house, and have to rent a slot at a storage facility. Cha ching!

So I’m stressed. Honest to God, through the roof stressed. My wife hates this about me, but she acknowledges it if nothing else. We don’t even have an available weekend together until July. We will camp though in 2015, come Hell or high water we’re going.

My wife found some medication that seems to help a man like me. I’m sitting at the Yard House right now. Here is a small dose of Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel aged Stout. It helps, but it’s going to take several more.

We already decided we need some more stuff like a cordless drill, toilet brush, new sheets for the bed, and a million other things. Buying the damned thing was only the beginning. (Oh God! She’ll probably want to go back to Bed Bath and Beyond!) I have a ton of stuff from my tent camping days, but she says new stuff is required. She has some say in all this too, but we compromise well.

The camper has USB ports, so I can keep writing, and/or outlining while we’re out. I know we’re going to have a great time, it just bugs me to go through the process of purchasing.

I’m on my third stout now, and things are looking up. Maybe after four or five more pints I’ll be more excited about the process.

I may start writing my next novel out in the pine forest somewhere, while listening to that damned bird. Then again, I might be in a hot springs not really caring all that much at all. Tomorrow never comes, and I think we’re going to enjoy this. It may prohibit some of my weekend posts, but I’ll catch up when we get back home.


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