RV House, the New Reality Show

Yeah, it’s a real Frontier House over here sometimes.

For the most part, we’re okay. We’re warm, we have working plumbing, I can have a hot shower when I want one, and we have a full kitchen. The RV is behaving. But, to keep it behaving, there are chores. These are the times when it starts to feel a little 1862 around here. I was explaining to a friend that we go outside and fill a cistern each day, and that I have to light a fire in the cabin each morning. She quipped, “You guys are out of your minds. Someone should film this for PBS.”

Starting a fire in the woodstove is pretty straight forward, and I really only have to do it if I want to use the cabin that day. My piano is in the cabin, and sometimes I like to sit out there with my computer. Pretty run-of-the-mill, and the draft on our stove is good, so it’s not that big a deal.

However, in the Water Department – Our water is down in a well. Quite literally, a lined three-foot-wide hole in the ground with a cap on it. (pictured) As is usually the case, the RV is completely self-sufficient, and has a 40 gallon water tank. The problem is, I have to get the water from the well to the RV tank. Can’t very well leave a line out there to freeze. So, I do it the simplest way possible.

Have you ever taken a shower while dodging a rolled-up  50 foot garden hose and a sump pump? I do it every morning. Our hose/pump contraption lives in the shower. We roll it up and keep it in the shower so it doesn’t freeze. Each morning, I drag it out in the yard, negotiate the snow, shove the heavy well cap off, and toss the business end of the thing down the well, making sure that the electric cord and plug for the pump stay on dry ground. I take the other end of the hose and walk it over to the water tank inlet, and stick it in. I go get an extension cord, go over to our electric pedestal, plug in the pump, and let the water flow. I can tell it’s almost full when it makes a gurgling sound. Then I roll up the hose and bring it back inside. That takes a while. Rolling up a fifty foot garden hose (with a pump on the end of it) in sub-zero temps … well, you can imagine.

It is at this point that you’re welcome to stop to think either, “That makes sense,” or “He’s completely out of his mind.”



Filed under adirondacks

13 responses to “RV House, the New Reality Show

  1. Kat

    Sounds like your setup is basically a three-season one that with work, creativity and ingenuity is letting you be a 4 season resident. I do not think you guys are crazy at all, but I can imagine all this will be wearing a little thin by the end of February (and with another 2 1/2 months still to go). I salute you.

    Having said that, how are your plans for a more permanent cabin coming along?

  2. I’m cheering you on!

  3. You are hard core, friend! lol! I think we’re roughing it up here sometimes, when I’m hoisting logs that are two heavy for me to leverage properly. I have a bad habit of dinging up the woodstove door as I throw the logs in, because I use my arms, my legs, my mid-section… whatever it takes to get them in… and I always hit the frame around the door. Then the door wont close properly. lol!

    I might rebel seriously about living in the middle of nowhere if I literally had to get water from the well every morning. My hat is off to you!

    Happy New Year!

  4. amy

    You’ll be the first to call if we try the pioneer route. I too am cheering for you! Have a Happy New Year!!

  5. Alliedog

    Good for you. Keep up the positive attitude.

  6. Happy New Year!

    Ooo… I saw the well, very nice!! Lehman’s has a nice little pump. Fits quite nicely on a little well like that. Great for filling buckets of water for thirsty chicks and gardens. Nice to have in an emergency when the house is built and proper pump is installed.

    Have you discovered Lehman’s yet, out in Ohio? Totally 1862!! Love to dream over their catalog when I get all off-grid and back-to-the-country thinking!

  7. Um…. note re above, the pump is for summer only, so won’t lessen your current workload. I have the unfortunate habit of saying what is on my mind, and that picture of the well-cover totally reminded me of the little red pump! I think it had a leather thingie inside…and it didn’t work so well in winter, but it might’ve been the users, not the pump. And it would make the lid hard to remove, unless you put in a trap door for access.

    So, sorry for the slightly “off season” comment!

    Takes dedication to live as you are, but I have an idea that your dream cabin is rather motivating!! I am really looking forward to watching your dreams come to fruition!

  8. Lynne! I LOVE Lehman’s! We have the black hand pump – even have a drop pipe and a seat for it. Need to get a foot valve though. I used it a little bit last Summer, but I discovered I really need the foot valve, prime-less pump or not.

  9. Sarah

    Hey you guys are doing great! You’ve done so much in a short time. Later, some summer, you can dig a 4′ deep trench (shouldn’t freeze that deep) and bury that line and insulate it where it comes up out of the trench–oh you’ll figure something out.

  10. now you know I would love a new reality series FRONTIER HOUSE, meeting other folks who permantantly live in RV’s. We don’t even consider that we are roughing it, actually we live quite comfortably in our RV and we’re DEBT FREE!

  11. hideawayhill

    You’re doing great! I know the water retrieval thing will be resolved with time but wouldn’t a simple hose reel help make things easier? It looks like you are hand rolling and unrolling?

  12. Hmmm … never thought of that. LOL Yeah, a hose reel may be in our future.

  13. Well, not while dodging a garden hose, but certainly had my share of short, cramped, not-so-hot showers having lived in a 25′ motor home while operating a mobile scuba diving business!



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