(Formally "Plan V: A Van Dwelling Blog", when I lived in a 1978 Dodge Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome van)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A very Arizona Christmas

A very AZ Christmas: Palm trees, clear blue sky, bright sunshine and 62 degrees with almost no wind... perfect for short sleeves. (It feels wrong somehow.. haha!)

  Happy Holidays!  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Staying over in Benson another month

My rent at this Benson, AZ RV park is up on Sunday - but I think I will stay here  for another month. The stuff in Quartzsite will still be going on in January.

I have dirt cheap rent here and I'm not sick of being here really... it's quiet enough and not that far to bike to get groceries or drive to get propane. I quite like it here.... for now.

The thing is, my rear suspension is in somewhat bad shape. I knew this before I left but I don't think I should put it off any longer. The shocks are worn out and I may need some other work done such as leaf spring bushings.

I had started to use a local garage but the mechanic made bizarre claims that RV shocks aren't strong enough for my small RV. Go figure. So I returned the shocks and didn't pay them any labor for just putting it on the rack and looking at it. They acted like they didn't want to do it, so I wasn't going to argue about it.

I have since joined Amazon Prime so I can get free two day shipping and save a bundle over retail, not only on the shocks but some bicycle stuff I want and need since my bikes are my real daily drivers around here.

Anyhow, by staying over here into January, I can save a big chunk of money this month plus a chunk from next month's check at a good dedicated spring shop in Tucson as I pass through on my way to Quartzsite. By the time I do, maybe I can get everything fixed that needs fixing and not have an empty savings account afterwords.

Also, I don't see much point in hurrying into California in January or February in the dead of winter and being stuck with high RV park rent before it's good enough weather to enjoy the state. It would be that or stay over at Quartzsite even longer which I might get sick of after 2-4 weeks due to having to dump my grey water so much as a result of my 22 gallon capacity tank. Even if I don't get there until February, shows will still be going on for another month. I might miss most of it, but in terms of smart planning and saving for

I think I will go ahead and invest in a small electric heater though. Right now I'm using propane for heating. The electric here is metered, so I have to pay for usage - but at least I don't have to go refill propane tanks as often when using an electric heater. It costs me some gas plus it's a huge hassle to unhook everything, secure everything in the van.. just to drive a mile down the road for 10 minutes to get the tanks refilled. 

I should probably also buy a long coaxial cable so I can hook up the cable TV they supply for free that I haven't used any since I have been here.

Who knows... I might stay here into February even. I'll just have to see how things are in early January when the rent is almost up again. I'm using almost no gas parked here since I walk/bike mostly. The only times I drove last month (Nov) were the trip to Tombstone and a quick 3 mile round trip to get propane and a big load of groceries one day.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cheap shower head replacement

I finally got sick of the near worthless original shower head my van had. It didn't really spray, so much as just dribbled out. You could turn it face up and it wouldn't spray up into the air.

I was about to go buy the $6 Peerless shower head from Wal-Mart like I installed in the house I had with low water pressure, but I stopped off at Goodwill next door first. I found the exact shower head in an open package, but it appeared to be never used... for $1. Heck yeah!

So I stopped off at Ace Hardware and bought a plastic threaded nipple for connecting the shower head to the existing hose. Now I have a shower that actually SPRAYS instead of dribbling.

Its not real pretty but it has a water saving cutoff switch (it brings it down to a trickle, it doesn't totally shut it of) and I like it MUCH better than the old shower head. It cost me the sum total of around $1.85.

I'll keep the old shower head as a spare. There's no sense in throwing it out. It hangs on the wall there in the bathroom out of the way. if the other one gets broken somehow, at least I'd have something to use.

Before and after photos..