It’s been 24 days and…finally…today…we have on-site water! We’ve been so busy these first few weeks that we hadn’t had the time to try out the water and sewer system. Well today, Kayak Chris hooked it all up. It’s wonderful to be able to wash your hands without walking to the bath house! No more rationing water consumption for fear of the late night, flashlight led, trek to the bathroom. Now we’re living!
The Bath House Experience
Some bath houses contain bathrooms only, showers only, or if you’re really lucky, you’ll get both under one roof. Even better (but not common) is the combo bathroom and shower stall in the same personal unit. The facilities differ drastically between campgrounds: some are in the “if you squint they are usable” category, a very few are nicer than what you have in your house, and a great many are primed for scenery in the next available horror movie. (Should I dump Purell hand sanitizer over my head after I’m done with this shower?) And of course, some places have no bathroom facilities at all, which is fine as long as your trailer system is hooked up and working.
The Trailer Water Hookup
The Jayco manual was little help in the initial hookup and sanitation endeavor. The instructions were too simple to be useful. For example: (1) connect the hose, (2) turn the valves, (3) fill the tank, and (4) grab a beer and start camping. I want more detail, please! Where are the valves? What does each do? Which way is “open”? Luckily, Kayak Chris figured it all out while Gram Weenie diligently (but uselessly) watched.
He sanitized the water lines and tanks with a homemade bleach and water solution. The 12 volt pump under the sink sucked the mixture up and flushed out the remaining antifreeze from a prior weatherization activity. The smell of water that had been sitting and chlorine filled the air. Yum!
There are three tanks: the fresh (the good), the grey (the bad), and the black (the ugly.) So far we’ve learned:
- our tank sizes are: 46 gal (fresh), 33 gal (grey), and 33 (black), but we don’t yet know how many days of use that equates to,
- for sanitary reasons, you never want your fresh water hose to come in contact with any other hose,
- you should let the water run a little bit before connecting your hose (who knows how long the water has been stagnant in the city pipes or what the last campers did with the faucet connection),
- you can bypass the fresh tank to deliver on demand water without having to store it in the tank first,
- if city water hookup is unavailable, you can get water in the tank via the pump or an outside gravity fill,
- it takes approx an hour for the hot water tank to heat up (but who wants a hot shower in the summer anyway?),
- it is very easy to burn yourself with the hot water,
- it is easier to reach the drain values, which are under the trailer, when the slides are pulled in,
- and the grey tank takes forever to drain. We need to move this activity up a day in our departure prep procedure.
The Tiny Shower
We celebrated by taking our first showers that night. Everything in our rig is tiny, and the shower is no exception. The shower stall itself is tiny, the controls are tiny, and the amount of water available to use and store is tiny. The water controls are literally at the height of my shins. Since you’re taking a “get wet, soap up, get wet again” type of shower, you have to bend down 4 times to make it happen. Kayak Chris has to duck to get under the water stream. Regardless of minor inconveniences, we’re very happy with our new water features! The whole water system appears to be an easier setup than that of a “sticks and bricks” home.