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Monday, January 26, 2015
I was thinking this morning.......yes I do that on occasion......that for 10 months in 2014 (we did pay for spots 25 days this year, excluding Tahoe Valley Campground....see #5) we have been 'courtesy parking' our home on wheels. 'Courtesy parking' is a loosely defined term (depends with whom are are talking), but essentially involves the provision of some form of hookups by a host at no cost to the owner of the RV being 'hooked up'. More often than not it involves electrical and water, but can be just an electrical connection, or, on rare occasions, full hookups. As it is living full time in one's RV home tends to be less expensive overall than living in a 'sticks and bricks' home, but when you throw in 'courtesy parking' the cost can decrease significantly. The following is a list of 'courtesy parking' opportunities as I define them:
1) Parking your RV on the property of a friend, or acquaintance.....can involve, on rare occasions, full hookups, but usually involves at least a 20 amp electrical connection (sometimes 30 amp), and often a water connection.
2) Parking your RV in an RV park with full hookups provided by a temporary employer (Amazon).
3) Parking your RV in a location where temporary power pedestals have been installed (fairgrounds in the case of the sugar beet harvest, or in a grass field in the case of the INDY 500) where you are provided a 30 amp electrical hookup with access to water to refill your fresh water tank, and a means to dump your black and gray tanks as needed.
4) Parking your RV in an RV park, or some sort of state, or national park campground when doing volunteer work (in our case Rancho Jurupa Regional Park and Cape Blanco State Park) with full hookups provided.
5) Parking your RV in an RV park/campground where the employer steeply discounts the monthly rate (Tahoe Valley Campground).
6) Parking your RV in a city park (Nebraska and Colorado for us this past year) where you are provided hookups courtesy of the local township for up to 3 days.
In our case we have, on occasion, provided a 30 amp boxes to our hosts to install (at our cost) for our use when we visit. We have these boxes in Florida, Oregon, Washington, and California with the prospect of a few more being installed in the future. When we visit my sister-in-law in east Texas we provide a temporary 50 amp receptacle which my brother-in-law wires up when we are there. In our present 'courtesy parking' situation our host has provided a 30 amp receptacle, water, and access to their sewer cleanout to dump our tanks when needed. When we return next winter they will have full hookups (50 amp, water and sewer) for us, and the many others who visit them over the course of the year.
Example of a 30 amp box....the kind I buy
When we began 2014 we did not anticipate that we would engage in some form of 'courtesy parking' for over 10 months......it just kind of evolved that way.
Now, what happened Sunday? For starters it was time to empty our black tank once again, so I got out the portable macerator pump, ran the various hoses required and got 'er dumped.
Portable macerator pump I built 5 years ago
After taking care of the black tank I spent time repairing the wind chimes I had dropped the other day breaking the little 'tiki god' the spoons and forks hang from. I used a two part epoxy to put the base back together, then had to re-string the beads at the top, which had come apart when the fishing line that we hang them from snapped, which is why I dropped it in the first place.
wind chimes repaired and back in use
Then it was time for us to take a walk.....this time our goal was to walk into the desert for 30 minutes, and then back. We had planned to leave earlier, but didn't get walking until just after noon time. Sunday was probably the hottest day since we have been here in Wittmann at 75 degrees, which by most objective standards is not 'hot', but the sun here in the desert is quite intense with the very clear skies.
By the time we returned from our one hour walk we had covered just under 3.3 miles and were ready to cool down. By that time Tom and Darlene had returned from church so we went inside to visit for a while, then for me it was time to get out the recliners and read my book for a while.
We spent the evening with Tom and Darlene watching Marvel's 2014 "Guardians of the Galaxy", which we had wanted to see, but never got around to it while it was in the theaters.......and I'm glad we waited......it was funny, funky and full of cool 80's tunes, but I don't think I would want to pay $9/person to see it on the big screen.
By 10:30 we were saying 'good night' an walking out the front door to our coach....I love how it looks when it is lit up by all our lights.....yeah, it takes a lot of work to put those lights out, but it makes me happy.......:-)
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