March 21, 2017.
Yeh, so, last week we had record low temps here in NC and oh lucky me, the furnace quit on the coldest night for some unknown reason.
People we’ve met along the way have sighed when they hear that we’re trying to knock stuff off our Bucket List, explore the country. “I envy you”, they say. Well, it’s not all glam when you’re camping/glamping (glamorous camping in a motorhome). Clearly, they haven’t spent the coldest night of a mountain NC Winter ‘cuz we damn near froze our butts off for two nights before we got the furnace rockin’. We had many invitations to stay with friends but seriously, it’s kinduv an imposition to have a 145 lb Great Dane couch-surfing in your house. “Step away from the dog. Don’t talk to Zuma, her tail will wag and will clear every countertop”. Man, you really find out who your friends are and EVERY ONE of our friends have been so super hospitable, inviting us to stay at their place …. but Zuma and I toughed it out, we felt it wiser to stick it out rather than have her happy tail wreck people’s homes. So, we got our pioneer women big girl panties on and bundled up with a mound of puffy comforters and I locked on 2 pairs of fluffy socks and all the clothes I could fit into in layers and waited for the RV Mobile Repair Unit to come because, despite our best efforts, my friend and neighbor Oscar tried, but, alas, still no heat. Gaaagh. We need PARTS.
So, the RV Repair guys came and they were AMAZING. To make a long story seem like it will never end short, the guys got the furnace working and also the hot water. I’ve been roughing it with cold water only because I could not figure out the hot water (it turns out it was all about winterizing the camper but nobody told me of all the shite I would have to endure to get back to normal. No fault of the camper, we’re just novices but I’m feeling pretty savvy now. The camper was winterized and there are more valves and twisty turny knobs to adjust than my simple brain can handle. Oscar read the manual and we agreed we had it figured out one night but …. the hot water would only run for 30 seconds. I am all about conserving water and saving the planet but a 30 second shower? Seriously, that’s kinduv a challenge, ya’ll.
The Mobile Repair guys were super about supporting me on the ‘phone after they replaced the entire guts of the furnace. After a couple of consultations Zuma and I were toasty warm and feeling pretty cozy.
HOWEVER, the night the furnace was repaired, we heard on the weather report that it was going to be blaaawdy cold so they advised “keep your taps running to prevent them from freezing ” so I did. Because I believe everything the weather guys say. Because they have their freaking snowflake sweaters on. They’re not foolin’ around, America. That’s when I woke up at 11:00 p.m. to the sound of gurgling water. Gurgling?! I leapt out of bed and yowzers, my feet were spongey WET! When I turned on the lights I saw a sea of water trickling at great speed across the floor of Hula Girl. The noise I heard was WATER trickling down the steps. OMG! Instant panic.
In my leaping mode, I saw that the floor was FLOODING and I had no idea of its origin. Long story short, I used every towel, my coats and every piece of potentially absorbment material to mop up the mess. It was a Lucille Ball moment. I was laughing my arse off. But it wasn’t funny. I was just thinking about how hard I’d laff my arse off afterwards.
As the water-logged material became saturated, I turfed everything outside our door onto the lawn. I hope the neighbors weren’t thinking, OMG, there goes that Maine woman again, chucking stuff out the door like trailer trash. Thankfully, my neighbors are very cool and friendly and totally get it.
After about ten minutes of bend-over middle-of-the-night mop the floor panic, I finally realized I NEED HELP. WTF is going on and why is there water flowing through the camper and where is it coming from and will I be mopping the floor for the next 12 hours?? I chucked the soppiest towels out the door and realized ‘this is bigger than me’ as the water continued to flow under my feet and I couldn’t locate the source. Zuma took one empathetic look around and, despising puddles and water discomfort of any kind, she instantly retired to the higher level of our bed with a disgruntled snort. No way was she getting her feet wet.
I am like, so outta here.
Oscar, who is a rock star about helping me, had said “Anytime you need help, just call me. Any time”. Well, I don’t like to ask for help but Oscar is so sweet (he’s happily married and in the Air Force) and I was really feeling like I was in over my head with this whole bad camper karma thing. So, around 11:15 p.m. I knocked on his door and apologetically said, “I have a problem. My camper is flooding”. He immediately sprang into action and raced over to bail out the damsel in distress. Seriously, I needed help.
So, longer story shorter, we figured out that the water valve was partially frozen shut and the tank was filling up and, with nowhere else to go it was overflowing; water was building up and coming out the shower stall which was spewing clear tap water all over (because I had taps running to prevent a frozen pipes scenario). Oscar opened the valve and we mopped up the mess. I was going to wash the floor anyway, lol. Zuma watched in big dog fascination.
After we figured out the problem, I asked Oscar, “Wanna beer?” and so we sat and had a brew and sighed. It all dried up and no damage was done. Except I had a load of frozen laundry on the lawn the next day but I got through it. Sigh. Trailer Trash. Thaw frozen towels in our shower stall, mop up droplets, swear like my Dad did when our old car broke down, it’s all good. Sometimes nothing like a REALLY GOOD EFFECTIVE swear word works.