Fireball mentioned the first shower you take in your RV -- that was a real "aha!" moment. Yes, the shower was tiny and limited -- but gosh darn it, it was a hot shower in the middle of nowhere! That was a real luxury, and to this day we still feel incredibly lucky to be clean every evening, even if we are 20 miles away from pavement.
The other "aha!" moment was when we were camping in Zion in April -- a sudden midnight rainstorm sent the tent campers scurrying to pack up and leave, while we enjoyed the unfamiliar sound of rain on the roof. We were such newbies that we did not know what that "tinkle tinkle" noise was!
We were there in late October a few years ago -- great time to go to the south rim. Chilly, breezy, long shadows due to the sun angle, great light for photography. If you can wake up early enough, the sunrises are wonderful, as are the sunsets. (No need to wake up early for the sunsets, unless you keep very strange hours.)
Also, the stars are terrific, especially if you go when there is no moon.
I am envious of everyone who discovered RV camping while their kids were young -- we missed out on all of that. On the other hand, empty nest camping is not so bad! ;)
I guess that since we got such a late start, we feel the need to make up for lost time -- we are now averaging about 80 nights a year. We realize that life is short -- go camping now!
This forum may not present a perfectly random sample of users, but I am struck by how many of us are disappointed by the currently-mandated "push to pour" nozzles, which I think are dangerous (as well as a hassle to use). Does anyone know if the regulatory agencies are re-thinking this issue??
There is a Vons in Bishop -- the gas station has plenty of room. Same for the Shell in Lone Pine. The Chevron in Lee Vining has a lot of room but is far more expensive than the Shell (which can get cramped).
If you don't need hookups and can get a space, Elk Meadows at Prairie Creek would be my choice. If you want hookups, we like Kamp Klamath -- but not everyone does. It is kind of funky. Very well located. Look it up on rvparkreviews.com.
The old style cans are very easy to use, but they are not spill-proof. So these new No-Spill things actually seem to be an improvement, especially when you can't see into the tank you are filling.
If you go onto their site and sit through the longer video (three minutes), the spokes-model explains how the no-spill function works, even when you can't see what you are filling.
(Sorry if this is a thread that has been done before -- I searched and did not find it.)
So in 2005, we bought a very small used trailer, just as an experiment -- we had never camped a day in our lives, but we were sick of staying in motels and eating bad food at high prices.
Just to try it out, we went for one night to a campground a couple of hours away from the house, up in the Angeles National Forest. Just by sheer luck (we went midweek), it was completely empty (which was a good thing, because if there had been any spectators, they would have died laughing while we tried to back the trailer into the campsite). We eventually got parked, and took a deep breath: Silent. Cool. Shady. Breezy.
We went on a hike that afternoon, came back and had snacks and drinks and watched the sunset. A quiet dinner by candlelight. We slept better than we ever had at home. No phone, no computer, no television, no freeway noise, no air traffic.
Brilliant sunshine the next morning, birds singing, the wind in the trees. We hated to leave. My wife summed it up: "This was magical!! Where has this been all our lives? What took us so long?" We were hooked.
OK, your turn!
My old plastic gas can developed a crack in the nozzle housing -- user error (I overtightened it). So I discarded it appropriately, and went in search of a new one. Everywhere I went, the cans were essentially the same -- there is a nozzle that is carried INSIDE the gas can, and you take it out and hook it up when you want to use it.
Except for two big problems -- first, when you pull it out of the gas can, the nozzle is now dripping wet, and second, the nozzle requires you to push down hard on the "target" to open the valve -- not so good when filling smaller equipment. Plus (third) there is no easy way to avoid over-filling.
Unfortunately, when I discarded my old can, I forgot to note what kind it was -- but it had none of those drawbacks. After a search of Google Images, I figured out that this was made by "No-Spill." (See link below.) It solves all three of those problems -- no mess, no drip, no overfill, no pushing down on the target to get the valve open. (There is a push-button -- much easier.)
So here is my rant -- this product is clearly superior to the other cans on the market (at least in California). But it is not carried by most hardware or auto parts stores. I discovered that the only places near me that carry it are lawnmower repair shops, which is kind of strange.
My guess is that the retailers do not carry this product because it costs more than the cheap junk they currently offer. But wait a minute -- this is America, land of fifty different laundry detergents in every store! Why wouldn't a smart retailer give the customer a choice to spend more for a better product?
Anyway, here is the link -- there are some helpful videos and so forth -- I have absolutely no connection to this company, by the way:
No Spill Gas Cans
fanrgs is right -- there could be a little snow -- but don't be deterred -- it looks kind of nice when they spread it all over the mountains during the night, and you wake up in the morning to this:
That was taken in mid-Sept. in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, not too far from Canmore and Banff.
We are serious boondockers/dry campers, but in the summer in the Owens Valley, give me hookups and air conditioning. We often stay at Boulder Creek -- they have a nice pool and jacuzzi. After a long day of driving, that would be my vote, for sure. (And I think they have beer in the store in the office -- call ahead and make sure!)
The view from Boulder Creek is pretty good -- this was taken from our campsite, exactly four years ago today -- that's Mt. Whitney among those jagged peaks in the middle of the shot:
After spending a month in Colorado last September, we decided that it almost does not matter where you go in Colorado -- it's all great. Here is our blog post about the week or so we spent in the Ouray area:
Ouray blog post -- lots of pictures
Wait a second. Lots of folks have the same converter -- very ordinary unit. Lots of folks have bought AGMs. Has anyone else reported this bizarre leakage under those circumstances? Not that I know of.
Bottom line -- something is wrong with that battery. This is not user error -- I happen to know that the OP is very careful and by-the-book. She should wear rubber gloves, blot up that gunk, and take the battery back to Costco.
And if AGM batteries can't handle being hooked up to a stock WFCO, the world should know about it so that we can avoid buying AGMs, if they are so difficult to maintain.
I have had more close calls on two land roads than on the interstates. But I prefer the slow interesting roads to the faster "safer" freeways. Just because the smaller roads are less safe does not mean that they are unsafe.
For example, there are more shark bites in Florida than in California. Does that mean that if I am in Florida, I won't go in the ocean? No. The chance of trouble is still pretty small, no matter what.
On the other hand, there are situations that are just not safe --going into gator infested water in the dark (like that poor little boy in Orlando recently -- heartbreaking), or standing on a mountaintop during a thunderstorm. Those are situations to be avoided completely.
To me, the slight increase in risk on small roads is outweighed by the extra enjoyment. So when we are not in a rush, we take the scenic route.
Check out the Glowstep Revolution -- really expensive, and really great. (They sent me a free one to test out -- we love it.) My wife is only 5 feet tall (she says 5'1", but I disagree), and the Glowstep makes it a lot easier for her.
FWIW, I used to have carb problems. A couple of years ago, my mechanic told me what to do. Now I run my Honda 2000 every month for a half hour under a 1500 watt load (I attach a heat gun), and then I drain the carb (very easy to do). I add an ounce of Sea Foam, too. No more problems.
I would not store it wet - the gas in Calif is terrible. And running it dry takes too long -- just drain the carb.