At this time of year most RVers have either gone south for the winter or have winterized their RV and are waiting for spring in the comfort of their warm abode. Then, there are some of us that are so crazed with white line fever that we will use just about any excuse to head out in the RV regardless of weather conditions.
Such was the case when my wife, I and some friends decided to camp at the ocean beach over New Year’s. The adventure started days before departing from home. The forecast called for sub freezing temperatures starting several days before New Year’s and continuing through the weekend.
Now I had a decision to make. I could wait until we were ready to depart to fill the water tank on the RV or fill it now and keep the unit heated. Since I would have to shut my outside house hose bibs off and drain them to keep them from freezing, I opted for the latter.
Friday morning, departure day, broke clear and cold with the thermometer showing a balmy 20 degrees. Unfortunately, we are not talking about celsius! Nothing happened when I turned on the water pump and cracked open a faucet to check the rig. Evidently, the lines in the floor had frozen overnight. Not a good start, but with my optimism only slightly diminished, I cranked the furnace up to 60 degrees and we headed down the road.
Arriving at Grayland Beach State Park, we found it had been below freezing there too. In an effort to keep their water system from freezing up, the parks department had left all of the faucets cracked open throughout the park. Now when Washington State Parks advertises “Adventures to Last a Lifetime” they mean it.
You see, when you leave water running when it is sub freezing at a full hook up site, the dripping water splashes up and forms ice on everything in the nearby vicinity, including the 30 amp electrical service box. Prying open the lid and plugging your RV to a wet ice encrusted electrical box while standing on saturated ground is definitely an adventure of a lifetime.
In addition, the running faucet water combined with heavy rainfall earlier in the month, inundated many of the campsites leaving the fire rings and picnic tables as islands in newly formed ponds. Now we are faced with a frozen rig, near electrocution, freezing temperatures and campground features only a duck could love!
Oh, and I forgot to mention our dog was having “digestive” problems too. At this point many a less adventurous RVer would have called it quits and headed for home. Not us! Soon the RV thawed out, we went clamming, crabbing and geocaching with our friends, the dog started feeling better and the last day we enjoyed a beautiful sunny day on the beach and watched the sunset before heading home. You just have to keep the faith when RVing this time of year! Don’t let this La Nina winter keep you housebound, get out there and experience your own RVing adventure.
Great Campsite for Ducks! A Shocking Good Time!
End to a Great RVing Weekend!
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.