Old Diary, Travel

Serendipity Strikes Today

2014101314543952Today is moving day.  Our 6 nights at Rend Lake are over.  But a moment-of-whimsy drive on Monday (before all the rainfall) changed our plans for the next few days. 10-15 route

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is one of the few, if not the only, NWR that has it’s own public campground.  There are Refuges that have campgrounds for longterm volunteers; but a public campground is a rarity indeed.  We took our drive out of frustration with the continuing rain and when we realized that the forecast at the refuge was for several days of sun, or at least mostly sun it was an easy decision to say, let’s stay here for a few more days.

Crab Orchard signI have been dithering about how to handle the remaining 630 +/- miles to Bayou Segnette and I think I just found my answer.  Why go somewhere with unknown qualities when there is someplace near by that is looking gorgeous.  The pelicans are hanging out down there (they disappeared here for most of the time we’ve been here)  and it looks like a nice place to hang out for a few days.Crab Orchard lake  Also, there are more goods and services nearby, including a used book store!

We finally found a replacement space heater for the one we burnt out last year.  When we have shore power we use electric heat far more than propane.  Last Spring we burnt out one of our heaters at the end of the season  By that time all the heaters were off the shelf and all we could learn is that they would get their single shipment of heaters in August.  August came and went  and no matter where we stopped we weren’t finding heaters.  September mostly came and went and still not heaters.  Finally, in October we started finding them.  But guess what?

It seems that manufacturers no longer want to tell you how much current the heater will draw on LOW temp.  They tell you the current draw on HI, but not on low.  So, instead of going to the store and picking out one I ended up having to go online to the manufacturer’s website and try discerning the low heat setting directly from the horses mouth — and too often I still found nothing.

Lasko space heaterI finally settled on this one.  It’s made by Lasko; it’s part of their ceramic digital  “warm air motion’ line.  We’ll see how it goes.  We’re making the move to a different style of heater. The old ones we had were not calibrated in degrees.  space heater controlThey had those ‘old fashioned’ variable heat dials, and a couple fan speed selectors and that was all.  The result was that a heater that seemed to run and run and run and still the temperature was quite variable.  It often seemed that the same setting did not produce the same warmth from day to day.  So, we decided to try heaters with thermostatic settings by degree.  The new one has a stronger fan that will move a lot more air. I’m curious to see how this will cope with the larger size of our lounge.

Heating and cooling was one thing I did not think much about when we traded coaches.  Not until a cold day in April, not long after we bought the new coach, did we stop to think that the coach not only was LONGER, it was also wider and there were a lot more cubic feet of air to keep warm or cool  The A/C works fine.  and the heat pump works fine.  But both heat pumps draw more power — enough so that we can’t run both heat pumps on HEAT while plugged into 30 amp power.  I just want to make sure my sweetie is comfortable in most varieties of weather.  I stay comfortable over a much wider range of temperatures; she gets cold quite easily.

Ok — that’s it for today!  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


4 thoughts on “Serendipity Strikes Today

  1. I was actually out yesterday afternoon looking for a new portable heater for our RV and have considered writing a post to ask for recommendations from others that use them in their own rigs. We like to camp in the winter, and this year, we are thinking about spending two full weeks out over the Christmas and New Years holidays in an area where it might be difficult or impossible to get a refill for our propane tank. We have used our space heater in the evenings but would always run our rig’s heater overnight when it typically gets down to about 32 degrees most of the time. We found that the space heater would not keep the rig warm enough. We don’t need toasty warmth overnight, as we also have electric blankets, but we don’t want icicles hanging off of our faces the next morning either. haha I am interested to know how yours works in such conditions as you have a chance to use it. I saw some Lasko ceramic heaters at Sam’s Club yesterday that looked promising for either $115 or $135, but they didn’t look like yours. We think we need one that pushes more air than the one we have been using. Thanks for sharing!


    • I have mixed feelings about propane vs electric. If we are someplace where the electric is included in the price of the site I tend to go with electric. But actually, there is more energy in propane and given common electrical costs it can actually be cheaper to use propane if you have to pay the cost of electricity used — assuming an electric cost of $.12-.15/KWH and common propane costs. If you are in the right place — like some places in OR where you can get electric for $.06 / KWH that doesn’t always apply.

      I am not sure if we bought the BEST heater, but we bought the one that seemed to meet my concerns. Ours only cost $40.00 but the LOW temp pulls 700 watts instead of 900 or 1000 watts. I wanted one like the one I have that kicks out only 400 W on low, but could not find one.

      We gladly let the heat dip to the upper 50’s when it gets cold our. Usually we set the thermostat on the heaters to 63 — that’s kind of our go to temp. But if the temps are cold I’m willing to say I’m happy with 57-58 for a few days.

      The issue with not keeping warm enough is why we now travel with 3 small heaters. They are all ceramic, 1 oscillates and that ‘lives’ in the lounge just in front of the windshield. The small one lives in the bedroom — and if it gets cold enough we can close the bedroom door and even on a cold day we stay nice and warm. The third heater exists so that on those cold days we can keep the lounge livable on a 50 amp service.

      We DO use our heat pump — but that bugger does still make a lot of noise. Not as bad as the Winnebago, but enough!



  2. Bob and Janice Flanigan says:

    When you get to Bayou Segnette, there is a place that we went in Westwego for a swamp tour called Cajun Critters Swamp Tours. The tour was great, but the area where it leaves from is very interesting too. Several vendors located around a parking lot selling shrimp and crawfish fresh from the boats docked there. We also ate at a very interesting little fish market at the end of the parking lot. A lot of foods there that we midwesterners aren’t used to. http://cajunswamptour.com/. On your way down, if you have time, the area around Layfayette and Eunice has a lot of interesting places to see especially if you like Cajun music.


    • Hey Bob, Thanks for the suggestions. Plans changed — as today’s blog will explain — and we are in Grenada MS where it will be sunnier and warmer than Crab Orchard NWR. Got tired of of gloom. Anyway…. our lakeside site may result in a slight change of plans — could be we stay here longer and shorten NOLA or Grand Isle — but we’ll see.

      There are so many wonderful places for food down there! We’ll be spending an evening in/around LaFayette when we turn Westward towards Galveston. I have long time friends in NOLA , Baton Rouge, and Lake Charles to the West and Gulfport to the East — so I’m sure we’ll have more Kibitzing on where we should go. 🙂 🙂 🙂 But I love every suggestion. I write ‘em all down, try the ones we can get to at the moment and save the others for the future.



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