RV Tank Sensors and Cupcakes

You'd think for $350.00 they could at least give you directions.

You’d think for $350.00 they could at least give you directions.

I ordered new tank sensors from our Winnebago dealer.  You may or may not remember that the older rv’s like our 2002 model had capacity sensors mounted inside the tank.  They were subject to sticking, and in the case of the backwater tank sometimes you’d get a hunk of poo stuck in the sensor and it stopped telling you anything worth knowing.

A few years ago an engineer figured out how to sense fluid level without sticking anything INSIDE the tank and voila,  sonar sensors were born.  I have no idea of they really use sonar, but that’s what they call them.

So, ours have not been working correctly for a long time ( spell that since we bought Journey) and Peggy goes crazy worrying about whether the tanks are full, so we popped the $350.00 to pay for new sensors.  There’s a local Mobile RV repair guy around and I was sure he could handle the install.  After all, it would seem all you have to do it stick ’em on the side of the tank.  

Well, they arrived.  Four nice little plastic bags full. One Circuit board and three bags of three sensors (1/3, 2/3, and full) .

What did not arrive were directions for how to do the install.  ARGH.  I’ll suss it out eventually, because after calling Winnebago direct I was no further along than before calling Tech Support.  There may be plenty of tech, but on this account no support at all.



On a happier note –>

Our experiments with pizza in the RV are getting better and better.

Before going mobile we purchased one of those small Cuisinarts; not the big 7 cupped, or the even bigger 14 cupped, but the little ‘un.dfp-3  We promised ourselves we’d throw the other one out — the motor still works but the mixing bowl is a scandal, all chipped and cracky. But after 30 years of use who isn’t?   We still have the old one, AND the new one but that’s another story.

The little one makes pizza dough using 1 1/2 cups of flour — just about the right amount for a pizza for two.  And we’ve been using it regularly for just that purpose.  The smaller batch of dough is able to be processed using the regular knife blade so that the kneading time is all done by machine and in about 15 minutes from start to finish I have a ball of dough (the longest elapsed time is waiting for the yeast to proof).  Plop the dough into a bowl, let it rise and a couple hours later you have dough ready to go into the oven.  OR, put the dough into an air-tight container and then into the fridge and you have the perfect place to let the dough mellow and age for better flavor before taking it back out of the fridge to warm, rise again, and make your pizza.

A Pizza Peel

A Pizza Peel

I’ve been experimenting with cornmeal.  The best pizzas we’ve ever had all had a little cornmeal on the bottom.  Not necessarily in the dough, but more as a transfer aid to get the pizza off the peel and onto the deck of the oven.  In Milwaukee we had a large pizza stone and we used a peel to get it in and out.  Here, our little convection oven is barely large enough for the pizza much less carrying around enough ceramic tile for a tile oven floor.

So, I started mixing some cornmeal into the dough. That worked fine.  Not the same texture but the flavor was getting closer.  We’ve been doing that for a long while now — 10 years or more. After we arrived here we ran out of the Quaker cornmeal we have used all these years (It must be more of a Midwestern product than I thought).

Good Ole Quaker Cornmeal

Good Ole Quaker Cornmeal

There began one of those search for a replacements that can be so much fun when you move.  I went all over both our groceries here and I could not find a blue and yellow round container of corn meal anywhere. I looked high and low and I found bupkiss.

Go find a store employee. “Do you carry Corn Meal” I asked?  She gave me a quizzical look but offered to help me look.  This is what she came up with:

It looks the same, but isn't.

It looks the same, but isn’t.

Ok — a different brand. No big deal. Or is it?  The Albers is more finely ground than Quaker.  That means it absorbs water differently.  After a few attempts with varying amounts of cornmeal in the dough I think we’ve found something that works pretty well and yields a tasty, cripsy, dough.   To be fair — I can’t tell how much of the difference between what I remember as the flavor of pizza from our home stove with quarry tiles in it, and the flavor of pizza from our Microwave/Convection oven could be the result of cooking in a convection oven — but I truly feel that the improvement is because of the new cornmeal.



And, while we’ve been experimenting in the kitchen…. we’ve segued to cupcakes!  Actually, it’s not so much the cupcakes as it is the silicone baking utensils.

Silicone is such a treat when it comes to cooking.  I love my silicone spatulas and hot pads.  But I’ve been slow to embrace the idea of silicone in contact with food.  I know I’m being stupid (maybe) but if silicone caused so many problems when implanted in women’s bodies there’s this part of me that wonders if there could be some parallel using it for cooking (and the necessary HEAT) and having it ingested in some way or another.  I know that’s probably a stupid thought, but I use my wooden spatula, and pot scraper more than I use anything else.  But back to my story….

We bought our first set of cupcake cups in silicone.  We bought them to try baking in the microwave — not the convection oven.  We have owned microwaves since… well… since Carter was a pup …. and if you don’t remember that expression well, it’s a long, long, long, time.

I have never tried baking in the micro.  I know that’s silly.  Friends of ours bake in them all the time.  But I just like the process of baking with heat instead of baking with energy.  However, our volunteer who is leaving soon made a deal with me (actually he blackmailed me)  that he would stay an extra week if I would bribe him with baked goods.  And I was stuck!  I know what I want to bake — I have a killer recipe for muffin-method coffee cake.  But it takes forever to bake and I was looking for an easier way.  Hence the cupcake cups.  I might buy a couple larger size — you know, 9 x 9 or a standard loaf pan, which I guess is about 9 x 4 1/2.

Our first attempt at cupcakes worked out pretty well.  6 little cupcakes in 2 minutes cooking time.  Not bad. Actually, it’s pretty freakin’ outrageous!  2 minutes!

So, we’ll have to see where this may lead…..

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


7 thoughts on “RV Tank Sensors and Cupcakes

  1. I’ve never had a food processor. Didn’t know you could make pizza dough in them. Interesting.

    I seldom look at my tank sensors. I just wait for the sound to change when I flush to know it’s time to dump. 😉


    1. Judy,
      I have used and abused our Cuisinart with love for … well, as long as they have been available. I puree soups with it, make batters for cakes and cookies. We make dough with it all the time, and use it for chopping and even use it in place of a meat grinder when making sausage. It’s great.

      We really thought we’d get rid of the bigger one we have — but I can’t bear to part with it. It’s bound to fail soon — but I’ve been saying that for a while — the bowl is so checked with internal cracking — but it keeps on taking a licking.

      Judy, I wonder if one person living alone in the RV would know better their usage. So far we can’t really ‘hear’ any difference in sound — but then Peg is so paranoid about full tanks that I always end up emptying backwater way sooner than I need, and the gray water sometimes fills sooner than either of us expects. Since arriving on the forest we have not been frugal with water and dual showers on an irregular schedule seems to throw us off.

      You got me wondering now… can I hear any different sound if I listen? Hmmmmm. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!


  2. You might be a good candidate for 3-2-1 cake. Mix together one box of angel food cake mix and one box of any other cake mix and store that in an air tight container. When you want cake take a mug and mix in it 3 Tbsp of cake mix with 2 Tbsp of water then microwave on high for 1 minute. Cake!


    1. Linda,

      I never have mixes in the house. I’m a scratch-made guy from way back, but I’ll have to look into the idea of a mix I can make myself and try storing for just that use….

      Thanks for the idea. 🙂


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