Monday, May 23, 2011

Storms in Texas and Missouri While in a Camper

When we owned our home, we had an underground basement.  In that basement was a room that had no windows and was in the center of the basement, next to the ground.  Anytime there was severe weather, I would send the kids into that room for the night.  Sometimes they had to sleep in the big walk in closet and other times just in the bed and on the floor.  It had a TV, VCR, toys, books, blankets, emergency kit, and other necessities and non essentials. 

Now, living in a camper, we are in extreme danger during bad weather.  We all know the risk that people take staying in mobile homes during severe weather.  The news always says to get out of them and into a shelter. 

Campers are even worse. 

Yet, I want to stay on the road.  But, I do believe we need to change where we spend the spring.  We will not spend tornado season, March through June, in tornado country again.  I'd rather be there in the heat of July than blown away in the spring or fall.

I knew weather would be an issue while traveling, I never had a clue just how much it would rule our decisions.

I remember the second year of traveling.  We went to Montana and the Northwest.  As we drove to our winter campground in Arizona, the snow was hot on our tails, or should I say "cold on our tails!" 

We paid the extra for double insulation in our camper - I think that just means they put extra tissue paper in the walls.  Double pain windows would be great, this camper didn't have that option.  We decided to only get one air conditioner put in.  That was a mistake, we really need two air conditioners when it is super hot.  We use two electric heaters in the winter, along with our furnace, which keeps it plenty warm.

We have two carpets and a foam barrier in the back to help with insulation.
We made double layer curtains for some windows.

Silver bubble wrap insulation works great on the window during the winter.  It made a huge difference.

Now, we look at the calendar, weather patters, and the map and put all three together and decide where to go.  We know God will protect us where ever He wants us, we just need to go where He says...and learn from our past mistakes.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A New Trick for Items Sliding While Moving a Camper

It is always great to get to talk with other RVers.  Some have been traveling for over 10 years and have a wealth of experience.

We were doing some volunteer work at Lake View Conference Center in Texas.  There were some other volunteers there that we had done  V-work with in Arizona last year.

Janna invited me over for a ladies coffee and snacks.  As I walked into her camper I felt like I had entered an extremely high class home.  The curtains, couches, table,  and kitchen were stunning.  I loved just being in there!

I visited with her for a few minutes, enjoying her homemade muffins.  That is when she mentioned how she traveled with all of her tea pots and expensive glass wear.

She buys the Duck Easy Liner shelf liner.  I have a link for you so you can see what I bought.
I bought the kind that was not the smooth top.  Janna cuts it up into just the right size pieces for what ever she places it under.  The day before they travel, she takes out the pieces of cut liner and puts it under her tea pot, cups, decorations on her coffee table, and other fragile pieces.  She does wrap her extremely fragile tea pot in bubble wrap and puts it in her sink, though.

So, I thought I would give it a try.  We put it across my entire dresser.  My laptop, printer, and other items sit on it.  It seems to keep it from sliding.  We had a terribly bumpy ride through Oklahoma since then and everything was fine.  I do not keep anything near the edge of the dresser, just in case.  Also, our bed slides up to the dresser, so I am hoping that if there was a problem while traveling, any of the items on my dresser would at least fall onto the bed.

It also works great on book shelves, under toys, and under the basket on my washer/dryer that hold laundry soap.  I do have a hook to help hold that shelf, though.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bad Weather in a Camper

There are many positives and negatives to hitting the road full time.  We love traveling, seeing the sights, visiting family, climbing, hiking, four wheeling, kayaking, mountain biking, spending more time together, are just a few of the wonderful reasons to travel.

Yet, there are negatives and the worst for us is bad weather. 

The recent outbreak of storms has hit us hard in central Texas.  It is quite scary to have lightning crashing around us as we hide out in our 42' camper that seems like a tin can when the wind is rocking it back and forth.

The first big storm hit about a month ago.  We were at Navarra Mills Army Corp of Engineers campground.  It was a beautiful place to stay.  Our camper was nestled among numerous large trees which kept us shaded during the day.

But, when the winds hit, the trees bent extremely far down.  I was concerned one might fall on the camper, and even if it didn't fall, lightning could strike one of them and then go into our camper.

The winds hit suddenly and the kids and I ran for our truck. We didn't even have time to put shoes on.  I drove as fast as I could to the bathhouse just across the field.  We ran inside and huddled in the corner.  Most of the kids were half asleep as this happened around 6 or 7 am.

Shae, my husband, and Cody our 18 yr old, were still at the camper, closing windows, vents, and grabbing as many items outside before they blew away.

It wasn't but a few minutes after we had arrived at the bathhouse that Shae and Cody showed up. 

We hid in the bathroom/shower area for over an hour.  It got very cold so Shae ran back to the camper to get us a blanket and shoes. 

Once the storm was over, we drove back to the camper, relieved to find everything in tact and accounted for.  The only damage was to our tent we had set up for the kids to play in.

We were thankful to be ok and to have our camper in one piece.

Storms are terrible in a camper.  I have more stories to about the tornado!