We have a few days left in San Diego so yesterday we took the three little boys to Mission Bay for the afternoon. Besides the Pacific Ocean there are swings, slides, climbing bars and sand. It is true, we were outnumbered but the things to do there kept the boys busy. Of course, like all good Grand parents, we brought snacks and drinks for the kids. The two older boys, four years and three years old, are very social and really like to be around pretty girls. Climbing on the bars of the jungle-gym was essential that day because that’s what a group of little girls were doing at this playground. So off to climb they go very tentative at first but then, in an environment of athletic girls, the boys skills improved rapidly. Soon they were up on the highest point of the bars swinging and jumping down to the sand just like all the other kids. ”How old are you?” is apparently one of the most important questions in childhood, think it might have to do with pecking order and acceptance and kids seem to know this intuitively. When the four yr. old boy questioned the girls on their ages and was told they were seven, eight and nine yrs. old, he went into instant age inflation. First he said he was six. The smart three yr. old who knew better, just looked bug eyed but did not rat out his brother. So climbing, jumping, chase and digging proceeded smoothly. About an hour later, the three yr. old loyally said, my brother is six. At which time the four yr. old said “I’m not six, I’m seven”. The younger one just said “Oh”. Once in a while, one of the girls would say to the four yr. old, “You’re short” or “You don’t run very fast” but he took it in stride and didn’t explain that he was actually pretty good for being only four. So it went, a beautiful sunny day at a beautiful beach, watching high-energy kids have fun. Here we oldies are thinking it would be great to be younger and the young ones want to be older.
Tag Archive: fresh water tank
Tales From The Tricycle Lane
Mission Bay and Other Free RV Dump Sites
There are very few services that are free in San Diego so the Mission Bay RV Dump Sites are a welcome respite for the wallet. There was no line to wait in as it was early afternoon and most RVers like to dump thier tanks in the morning. I never understood this early morning need unless you are hurrying out of town. You see lines of RVers waiting at free dump sites in the mornings when in the afternoon there is usually no one there. So far, we have never paid to dump our sewer tanks or get potable fresh water. I know, I know, business that offer dump services have to be compensated for their willingness to provide the service but we have heard of charges of $10, $15 to $25 just to dump. Just a little price gouging, we believe. If we had to pay to dump for an unreasonable amount of money, we would likely go to a campground with a dump for one night, use their services and leave. The campground would be happy to get the money and paying to dump the tanks would at least have some “added” value. We don’t have any fancy equipment for dumping, just the dump hose, a “non-potable water” hose for rinsing and lots of hand sanitizer. We never put any additives in our tanks and have never had a problem with odors in any of the RVs we have owned. Along the interstate highways there are usually free dump sites. Among the many sources available, we use the book “the Next Exit” for free dump sites. It lists what services are available at each exit on Interstates and indicates “RV dump site” if there is one at a Rest Area. Our GPS will tell us of a Rest Area but doesn’t indicate if it has an RV dump site. When we had a large RV, 36′ plus the length of the hitched towed car, we used the “the Next Exit” as it indicated in red print any service compatible with a “big rig” for ease of getting in and out of there. There may be “smart phone apps” for this information but since our cell phones are “dumb phones” we haven’t researched the “apps” possibilities. Though we try not to drive the interstates, sometimes that is the best option and “the Next Exit” becomes useful to us.
RV Gray and Black Tank Level Gauges
Our RV came with a read-out that is supposed to tell us how full our various tanks are. Problem was if the tank level, for example, was over the 2/3 level and almost but not quite full it would still read 2/3 full. Also, these “original equipment in-the-tank” sensors were easily fouled and would give false readings. This can prove to be a problem if you are boondocking far off the beaten path. In the case of suddenly having a full gray or black water tank or even an empty fresh water tank while in the middle of nowhere it is…um, well let’s leave it at “inconvenient”. So we got this “more accurate” read out set-up called “SeeLevel Gauges” and had it installed professionally last year. We are told they can be installed by any handy RV owner but it took a professional almost four hours to install ours and he had done many installations of these in the past on the same type RV we own. Crawling under the RV appealed to neither of us (we’re trying to be retired) and when we saw what it took to have it installed we were glad we did not try the “do it yourself” method. There are electrical strips that go on the outside of each tank and can read the level through the wall of the tank. That strip needs to then be wired to a read-out inside the vehicle. Our SeeLevel read-out was placed on the inside wall of a cabinet after a hole was cut in the cabinet wall and the screen was attached. The wires from the tank electrical strips were run to the cabinet wall that holds the new read-out screen. We did not detach or disassemble the original equipment read-out system. When the two read-out sets of numbers are compared, it is amazing to us we didn’t have more problems with having suddenly full tanks. Well, come to think of it, we didn’t have many problems because we just dumped the tanks as soon as the original equipment read-out had been 2/3 full for a day or so likely cutting into some of our time in beautiful, quite, off the beaten path, boondocking spots. Now, our new read-out system for the black, gray and fresh water tanks are more exact as well as accurate and we can boondock knowing that we won’t have to leave a great boondock spot we’ve found any sooner than necessary. We’re frugal with resources (no grass to water & “navy showers”) so we can last for about 8 days before it is time to dump and refill with fresh water.
Traveling With Empty Tanks
To save on gas, we try to keep our black and gray water tanks as close to empty as possible when driving. Don’t want to pay for the gas to move heavy, full tanks. We do, however, travel with water in the fresh water tank. Fresh water that is potable is not as easy to find as dump sites, in our experience. Since we always use the water from our fresh water tank for drinking, cooking, etc. we like to be sure we have a ready supply. We have a “fresh water ” only hose with a water filter attached. Never had any trouble with the water from our fresh water tank, don’t use bottled water and never use any additives. We don’t always keep the gas tank full. If we know there will be a ready supply of gas stations along the way we just keep the gas tank above the 1/2 way mark. We do try to keep our propane tank full since we “home cook” all our meals. So far, this has worked for us. Going through the Yukon and in Alaska, we plan to always fill up the gas tank and run with it as full as possible.