Stroke of Midnight

Where were you last night when 2014 turned into 2015? Is that where you wanted to be? These are questions that came from last years writing challenge from the Daily Post. If you are interested in these prompts, an eBook is available here (365 Writing Prompts).

The first question is the easiest, I was snuggled under our warm electric blanket. Not sure what I may have been dreaming about. I do dream but I rarely remember them.

The second question is more or less a moot point. Cannot change the past so why dwell on what could have been.  To go along with the question, it would have been nice to be in a tropical location, sitting around a campfire with friends reminiscing about the year that has just closed. Or, it would have been nice to spend that time with family. Actually, I am perfectly content with where we are. It has been a long time since we have gone out on New Year’s Eve. We’ve done that in the past and see no point in doing that now. In Amarillo, snow and ice has made traveling on the roads dangerous. It just made sense for us to stay in and go to bed at our regular time.

A few days ago, I wrote about my interest in writing (or blogging) more frequently. You can read about that here. I signed up for The Daily Post’s Blogging 101: Zero to Hero course. That does not start until Monday, Jan 5th so I though I would get a jump start on my goal of blogging more.

Somewhere about 8PM on Monday, 12/29, I bid farewell to my friend ’32 degrees’. That is about the time the temperature dropped below 32 degrees. We were in for a few days of cold weather. Sure enough, on Tuesday, we started the day at 12 degrees – and it did not get much warmer. We lost water by 10AM due to the freezing temperatures so I went to the office to get their heavy duty heat gun. Our heated water hose was doing just fine. The water pressure regulator apparently was frozen. I gently applied heat to the brass housing of the regulator to get the water flowing again. Then I got my trusty mechanics trouble light and stuck it into the wet bay. I just knew the 75 watt bulb would keep things nice and toasty down there. Yep, we had good water flowing all day.

Wednesday TemperatureNew Years Eve, we woke up with frigid temperatures – 3 degrees to be exact. And it was not going to get much better at all. Guess what? That’s right, the 75 watt incandescent light bulb had not produced enough heat to keep the wet bay warm. Once again, I use the industrial heat gun from the office to attempt getting our water flowing. That did not work as it did Tuesday. I’m now thinking our heated water hose failed or worse, the water line coming into our water box on the ground had frozen.

After turning off the water at the faucet, I disconnected the hose. Turned the water back on and had water flow. OK. Water is getting to our heated hose. I disconnect our water hose from the wet bay, turned the water back on at the faucet. YAY! I have water flow. Our heated hose is doing just what it promised to do. By now, was wet and cold. The wet spots on my jeans had already turned to ice. Dang it was cold.

I pulled apart the plumbing at the wet bay, connected our hose to a backup water pressure regulator and connect that to the water inlet in the wet bay. Carol verified we had water flowing in the RV. Good. Time for me to come in a get warm. I brought our fancy water pressure regulator in so I could take a closer look at it. The ice in the water pressure regulator was colder than ice. Sorry, I did not get a photo, but it was full of ice.

Now I need to figure a way to get more heat into the wet bay. I did not want the RV’s water lines down there to freeze up. We have a vent under the shower in the bathroom that allows the air temperature from inside the RV to flow into the wet bay. But guess what? Heat rises. I placed a small fan in front of the vent under the shower and turned it on hoping I could force warm air into the wet bay. I moved our outdoor remote temperature sensor to the wet bay so I could monitor the temperature down there. Sure enough, the temperature in the wet bay was rising.

Time to make a trip to Walmart and hopefully find a small electric heater that I can place in the wet bay.

heaterThere she is. At $18.84, the price is right. I am sure this will do the trick. When we got back from Walmart, I placed this down in the wet bay, set the temperature about mid point, turned it on high, and closed the bay door. By the time I got back in the RV, I could watch the temperature rising. When the temperature zoomed past 95 degrees, I decided I should turn it down a bit.

By the time I went to bed, I was satisfied that the little heater was doing just fine. When Carol came to bed she told me the temperature reading was approaching 95 degrees. Sheesh! I was nestled under the covers working a Sudoku puzzle on my phone. I got up, got dressed, went outside and turned it down a little more.

I awoke around 2AM from a sound sleep. Better go check the temperature in the wet bay. Super. We have it under control. Temperature in the wet bay was a comfy 54 while outside it was in the low teens again. I believe we will have water when we get up later.  Sure enough, we got through another cold night and did not freeze the water pressure regulator.

This afternoon, I headed back to the wet bay to replace the plumbing previously removed so I could get our black tank dumped and rinsed. Temperature was now in the high 20’s so at least it was more comfortable after working on this with frigid temperatures.

IMG_2174Pay no attention to gauge reading. I need a new gauge on the regulator. It was apparently thrown out of calibration by the ice that was there. Behind the sewer line and the water pressure regulator, you can see the little heater that will keep the wet bay from freezing.  The wet bay is basically a plastic box. Perhaps if I insulated the box, it would do better. That is a job for a warmer day. Or maybe I should select a warmer spot for our winter workamping gig.

IMG_2175This is what the street in front of our site looks like. The patch on the sidewalk is slick. The weather is warming up over the next couple of days. That is the good news. However we are expecting a wintery mix of rain, sleet and snow through the weekend. YUCK!

So, where were you at the stoke of midnight? Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

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2 responses to “Stroke of Midnight

  1. I still find myself being surprised at how cold it is there and how much snow you guys are getting. I always look forward to your blog posts, but even more so this year with the focus you are putting on it. Write on!

  2. We were watching the neighbor’s fireworks display from our bedroom window while Maggie was huddled by my side of the bed. Looking forward to your future blog posts. I may look at that book for my blog when I’m done with the class.

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