First, a quick view out my front door.
Believe it or not, I haven't shopped at Walmart many times. In part, because I come from Portland and the city fought against letting Walmart open stores for a long time, and in part because the circles I ran in liked to look down their noses at Walmart for the way it treats its employees. Of course, those same people would go on to shop extensively from Amazon, so we can see what good that ended up doing in the long run.
So now that I live in an RV, I find myself shopping at Walmart for two big reasons. The biggest is that they're everywhere. There's a Walmart ten minutes North or South of me. The other reason is that they reliably stock supplies for RVs, including special RV toilet paper which is very much a thing if you were unaware.
On my first two trips to Walmart I noticed that the DirecTV sales people were in the exact same location in a store layout that was effectively identical. I had this idea about a future blog post poking fun at both Walmart and DirecTV and some sort of extensive conspiracy. I hadn't worked out the details, but it seemed like an interesting framing story and an excuse to stop into a bunch of Walmarts, but my hopes were effectively dashed when the third Walmart I went to had neither DirecTV sales people, nor the same layout.
At least I got that little story out of it.
I also got a small ceramic space heater out of it. I wasn't just driving to Walmarts to sate my conspiracy lust. I had discovered, when my propane ran out suddenly in the middle of a work day, that even though my RV has "electric" heat, the heat pumps struggle to maintain livable temperatures when it's almost freezing outside and so they supplement with the central propane furnace. I honestly couldn't tell you if it's cheaper to heat my living space with electricity or propane, but I can tell you that I have electricity where I'm parked but I have to move the entire RV to refill the propane tank. It was an easy choice for me.
My other big adventure of the week involved my water tanks. With temperatures dropping below freezing during the night, I can't leave the coach connected to city water. My water tanks, however, are heated.
I'll spare the specifics of trying to figure out which way to turn which dial to make which tank fill with which fluid, because I think if you really wanted to know it'd be much easier to show you, dear reader, and skip to the meat of the story; I needed to sanitize my fresh water tank. Needed might be a strong word. It was probably fine, but out of an abundance of paranoia and being the kind of person who usually follows the directions, I set about doing it.
First, a brief digression. My coach is a 2016 Bounder 35K. That's important to this story for basically one reason. The 2016 Bounders don't have gravity fills for their fresh water tanks. That feature was brought back in 2017 to solve the clown car situation I found myself in one "sunny" morning this week.
You see, in order to sanitize a fresh water system you need to get bleach into the fresh water tank. With a gravity fill, you just pour the bleach in and then fill it the rest of the way with fresh water. Me? I only have a hose to fill my tank with. A hose that requires pressure.
So there I was, with the hose hooked up to the RV, delicately pouring bleach into the other end and trying my best not to spill it everywhere, then connecting the other end of the hose up to my fresh water supply and turning it on to push the bleach into the tank. Repeat as many times as necessary to get all the bleach into the tank. It was a nightmare.
But on the plus side, I now know my water is clean.
There are probably ways to solve this. A bit of internet searching tells me that maybe an in-line fertilizer mixer would do the job. And now I have a solid six months to find one.
In non-RV news I found a local bar that serves Hawaiian-inspired beer and plays classic rock on vinyl, which was a delight, and an honest-to-goodness 50s-era diner with a neon sign and a high rating on Yelp. These are the delightful local gems that make this kind of a lifestyle really worthwhile.
“I live in my own little world. But its ok, they know me here.”
― Lauren Myracle