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Saturday, February 2, 2013

All Froze Up

Yep, major DUOH! But I have an excuse…honest.

Normally, we keep a very close eye on the weather and temperatures.  We’re in a monthly site here at our South Carolina “home”, which has a reasonable price, plus electric.  Trying to be a little bit (okay, a lot) frugal, we try to keep the electric cost down to help the budget some.  This creates a bit of a quandary, to use less electricity means a greater reliance on the propane.

Being all set up in our site, to avoid having to break camp periodically to refill the Journey’s onboard propane tank, I’ve been running a small propane tank “teed” into the propane line.  With some careful use, I can get three to four days out of a tank before it needs to be refilled.  About 20 minutes to get it refilled, start to finish is worth it rather that moving the Journey.



Now with the winter weather that sometimes even hits South Carolina, I went ahead and insulated my fresh water hose that feeds into the Journey.


I insulated the hose up into the wet bay, I didn’t worry about the last foot and a half, I just looped it and attached it to the fresh water inlet.  Not to worry, with the furnace running, warm air is ducted into the basement compartment to keep the water system from freezing if the temps drop really low.

A pleasant distraction to my weather eye was an overnight stay with our grandsons Andrew and Owie.  We had a pizza and movie night with them, showing the movie The Wizard of OZ, which they had never seen.  It’s been years since Marti and I had seen it so it was a great movie choice.

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After the movie, with the boys full of pizza, we put them to bed on the two pull out couches in our living room.  Because it doesn’t get the greatest heat from the furnace due to the ducting set up, we decided to use the heat pump (which can really toast your buns )to keep them warm as they slept.

Except the heat pump does not send warm air to the basement water compartment.  And, the heat pump doesn’t work well at temps below 40F degrees.

Of course, the overnight temp dropped into the low 20s.  Of course.

An early morning tapping on my shoulder by my bonnie bride woke me up.  “There’s no water and the toilet won’t flush”.  Uh oh.

I got up and checked, she was right, as she always is…no water.

Thankfully, in one of my rare moments of brilliance, I had filled the on board water tank just in case a water emergency should occur.  We’ve had two instances in campgrounds where their water system became contaminated or failed.  Being a big fan of showers, I always top off the water tank when we arrive at a campsite.

A flick of the onboard water pump switch and I was a hero.  Water abounded.  (Phew!)

So dawned a cold, cold day.  But did that slow down the mighty Geocachers?   Nope, bundled up, we headed out for a nearby park that had a puzzle to solve to find the geocache.


Hey, how come their water didn’t freeze?


There were certain math problems that had to be solved, first based on numbers found on the park sign.


Andrew used his math talents to come up with the coordinates to find the next clue.


As we wandered around looking for the next clue, Owie started running laps around the little park, he loves to run and it was a great way for him to keep warm.


We found the next clues on a plaque in the ground.


More math problems to solve to get the GPS coordinates.


With the coordinates in hand we went to find the cache.  We looked and looked and looked…and came up empty.  We finally gave up and grabbed some lunch, then headed back to the Journey.

But would Marti give up?  Not a chance, she used some more exotic technology – Google Earth! (Is that cheating?)


Armed with an exact picture of where the cache was hidden, we got ready to head back to the park.  Owie, though, decided he had enough geocaching for one day so he and I stayed behind and went to the campground playground, while Marti and Andrew headed back to the quest.

It warmed up quite a bit so Owie did what little boys do, some swinging,


and digging in the sand.  He’ll be well practiced in digging should we have to shovel for a cache someday.


Marti and Andrew came back victorious.  They found the cache.  Another notch on the hand held GPS unit.  :c)


Oh yeah, as the day warmed up, the hose thawed out with no damage.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. A really fun thing to do with the grands! Good memories.

  2. Glad you got thawed out without damage.

  3. Two nights in the low 20s and we're looking forward to 32F tonight ... it's a heat wave! Glad to hear you thawed out OK.

  4. Paul your pics show the rig connections looking too much like permanent residents. There's wheels on that rig. HAHA
    In all seriousness, glad that everything thawed and you sustained no real damage.
    We love those type of GeoCaches as much as your grandkids (and it would seem as much as Marti). A great activity for everyone.
    Stay warm.

    1. Believe me, the second we get these medical appointments under control, we'll be rolling South!

  5. It really is cold around there. I'm not going to tell it's been in the mid-70's and we're expecting more of the same. I'm not going to tell you that. No. I'm not.

  6. glad your all thawed out....its wonderful here hurry on down...nice to see the g/kids enjoy them...!!!!

  7. OK- I cannot resist-what happened to Semper Paratus? :)

  8. I am surprised your propane furnace didn't come on, once the temps passed the mid 30's? Our old 2003 Itasca, and our 2010 Journey automatically cut in the propane furnace once the heat pump was no longer effective below 36. Then the water compartment is warmed.
    Perhaps it did, and the frozen part was outside the compartment?

  9. When you get everything taken care of and can head south, be warned about Jonathan Dickinson State Park. There are hundreds of geocaches and many have puzzles you must solve to find them. In one afternoon, with the help of Dan and Tricia, we found 19 of the 21 on our list!! Marti, may never leave this park;o)))

  10. Glad all got thawed out and no damage. Looks like a great visit with the Grandkids too.

  11. Yep - head on down to Jonathan Dickinson...not only are there 100s of geocaches in the park, the weather is delightful! :-) And yes, we're going back for those 2 caches we couldn't find. We're not quitters!

  12. You might try dripping your faucet all night to keep the water flowing. It's worked for me.

  13. I agree with anonymous above. Our heat pumps switch to furnace automatically when the temp drops to a certain point. I thought they all did that. Maybe not. Or, maybe they are supposed to? No matter. Glad you got thawed out with no damage.
    BTW, it is in the mid 70's here :) (S. Tx)

  14. Don't you just love those taps on the shoulder early in the morning while you're still sleeping saying "ummm, something is wrong...."!! What a way to start the day - been dere!!

  15. I didn't know it got that cold in South Carolina. I bet next time you visit, you'll pick a warmer time.

  16. head on over to Wally World and pick yourself up a work light and 75 watt bulb. Plug it in your wet bay area and it'll help keep things from freezing. A little inexpensive insurance. Has worked well for us.