Chilling in the Longhorn State

Our neighbor Dave wasn’t ready for the cold.

Perhaps his fifth-wheel was ready, with propane and solar and all the usual precautions against freezing. 

For Dave, that wasn’t the problem.

“I left New England to get away from this,” he said.

Vicki and I didn’t want the cold and the freezing rain and the sleet, either, and especially not the forecast of three or four nights with wind chills in the single digits. We had survived one such night in late December, not long after arriving at The Waters RV park east of Lavon Lake. On the second day, the freshwater holding tank had frozen up. That time it thawed out as the sun warmed things during the day.

This time, the temperatures dropped steadily on Wednesday and continued to fall as the rain started. The forecast on our iPhones kept saying it was heavy snow outside, but it was mostly rain, then a hard sleet.

Come Thursday, we were glad a medical appointment had been canceled. We had no intention of getting out in that. There are too many crazy Texans out there who don’t know how to drive in icy conditions. 

So we hunkered down for the day, never setting foot outside our wee caravan. We didn’t even open the door, not sure how much ice had settled on the northern side of the camper. 

The systems worked just fine, with the heater blasting out its warmth from under the bed at regular intervals, and our little cube resistance heater trying to keep our toesies warm at the other end of the camper, all of eight feet away.

We had made the preparations we could. Vicki did all the hard bits, since she’s not the one with the medical appointments. Black tank dumped and rinsed, gray tank dumped, city water disconnected, fresh tank full, door to the space under the sink left open to allow the heat to circulate.

We were snug and warm Thursday, listening to the sleet striking the roof and the windows. After the sleet ended, I opened a window and stuck my head out to check the depth of the sleet and the ice accumulated on the step. No way was I risking that step. The door, however, looked to be clear of ice, which is a good thing to know if you really must get out.

The water systems continued to work until around midnight, so we went to our backup plan, starting on the water jugs filled in anticipation of need.

The R-Pod is not designed for winter camping. It’s not designed for full-time use either. But I have never had any desire to let it crumble into rust and sawdust, sitting unused in a shed or a side yard. The goal is to buy things and use them, and that’s what we’re doing.

We added some insulation to the inside walls under the bed and the dinette, and Vicki says it seems warmer than usual as a result.

Our little R-Pod is pretty resilient.

So long as we survive the next two nights of single-digit wind chills, I promise to stop worrying so much. (Vicki says I borrow trouble. It’s true.) 

Right now, as the sun comes out on Friday afternoon, I can see Dave’s rig out Vicki’s window. Water is streaming down from the roof as the ice up top melts. The sleet is darkening and thinning out on the parking pad, and the street is a mix of wet pavement and some slush. They might even be dry before the sun goes down. 

So for right now, with the sun shining, we feel ready for the cold. Besides, it will be in the upper 30s tomorrow. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: