Old Diary

Floating on Clouds

2014032009342721The drive to the Visitors Center was gorgeous this morning.  The trees in the valley seemed to float on top of the clouds.

The rest of Thursday morning might have been better if we’d stayed on top of the hill instead of continuing into the office.

That water pump I mentioned the other day wasn’t the problem with the water system.  The problem is the well itself and it appears a ‘repair’ is going to be a major investment.  We aren’t sure the campground will open this season.  While the maintenance department is working their end of the equation nothing here happens in isolation.

The failure of a well means the hosts are without water — and they need to move. But the failure of a well doesn’t happen in isolation.  We wanted to move the hosts to another location.  It happens that we have an empty campground to which they could move.  Peg and I headed North to Tahkenitch to have a conversation about whether they would be willing to host at a different campground.  That would put me in a bind because I had another couple driving up from S. Texas to host there during the summer, but our first priority had to be those hosts who were already on the ground and in place.  What I was going to tell the other couple I hadn’t figured out — first I had to settle this problem.

Well, this host family arrived about a month ago. I think I mentioned them at the time.   On their way here from UT they had a severe battle with snow and wind.  Driving into a headwind, the wind got under the fiberglass at the front end of their 5th wheel, shearing the bond between underlayment and fiberglass and pulling 12 sq ft of fiberglass from the trailer. They drove a couple hundred miles into the driving rain without a patch on that damage and by the time they arrived here the underlayment was looking pretty ragged.  I checked with them a number of times about a repair, but all they chose to do was to apply a sheet of plastic over the damage, and silicone seal it so that the elements would not get underneath the heavyweight plastic patch.

Evidently the patch wasn’t as good a patch as it might have been.  They developed mold inside the RV.  They also parked their pickup and haven’t disconnected from their 5th wheel at all.  Using their drive behind auto the pickup truck has been unlocked and unheated since arriving, and opened and closed numerous times to get things from inside the pickup.  End result:  humidity inside the pickup resulting in more mold.

One thing about Oregon in the winter — you can’t ignore the water.  Not in terms of what you attempt to do outdoors; but also in terms of how your care for your belongings!

End of story:  given the mold situation the family decided they had to move to drier climes — so they are headed back to Bend where they have family and drier air.  They’ll figure out what to do and I don’t have to move them, or worry about what to say to another couple who are still planning on arriving.

I’m really thinking that one of the things that deserves attention in our new Volunteer Handbook is some discussion about dealing with mold and mildew in Oregon in an RV.

Those of you who full-time should realize that any of the RV manufacturers whose literature I have read, none of them describe their products as full time long term residences.  There is a reason they are designated Recreational Vehicles.  You use them for recreating.  And yet many of us do use our RV as a primary residence.   We all need to take specific precautions against the unintended consequences of RV life.  Just because aren’t using some things doesn’t mean we can let them sit, and the very fact that we are  using other things means that we have to adjust for the duty cycle.  

  • We need to run our engines from time to time.  This is especially important if the engine is gas powered to insure that the fuel will not gum up the fuel system making it impossible to start.
  • We need to run our generators — in most cases — monthly.  Most of the RV gensets are manufactured by Onan, and Onan recommends running your generator once a month for a minimum of 2 hours.  Bearings and moving surfaces need to be lubed from time to time.
  • Periodic inspection of any place where moisture can gather, inside, outside, or in the basement.
  • Running fans or dehumidifiers to counteract the accumulation of humidity from <eeeeewwwwww> perspiration and expiration.
  • Flushing holding tanks to clean them out thoroughly.
  • Sanitizing freshwater tanks periodically.

There are more. I didn’t touch on cosmetics — how things look — like combatting oxidation on finished exterior surfaces; destreaking (you know, those black streaks that run down the side of RV’s) There are plenty of good resources on RV maintenance, and we all owe it to our investment in our ‘homes’ to care for them.

I did settle a few questions.  The boss was in and I got to ask questions for about 7 minutes.  But in seven minutes I resolved that our requirements for hosts were that they have a “self-contained RV” and not a “Hard Sided RV” — a difference that affects whether I could hire one particular volunteer who seemed a good fit for us, but lives in a Vanagon.

You've seen these pop top Vanagons, I'm sure.

You’ve seen these pop top Vanagons, I’m sure.

Being new to the coordinator position I didn’t want to say yes to a volunteer and then have someone else overrule me after the volunteer arrived. So, getting the answer I was hoping for allowed me to make a quick phone call to an eager volunteer.

Other good things happened too, (it wasn’t a complete bummer of a day) but that’s enough for today.   Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.