Spoonie Retirement — Life, Love, and RV living in the time of Covid

Greetings fellow Spoonies, not Spoonies, and various other sentient beings (yeah waaaay too much SciFi around here). February is the month of love and Paula’s got the February Love Me Challenge going which is awesome. Today I’m loving my RV lifestyle.

Living full time (and by that I mean 24/7/365) in an RV can be a challenge. It’s also a lot of fun. In 2019 we made the decision to “come off the road” which simply put means we sold our motorhome and replaced it with a small 5th wheel which stays at the RV park year round. The membership park to which we belong offers a moving service, as well as both long and short term storage for the times we’re off site. Now we take vacations (well not so much this past year … stupid pandemic).

So here we are still “livin the dream.” The views and openess of Hart Ranch RV resort are awesome. You don’t get this kind of views in a house, well not one we can afford anyway. This week we’ve worked hard and overcome several challenges. The temperatures have been below zero farenheit for over a week and we are living in an RV none of which are designed for long term use. The inside stays pleasantly warm with our propane furnace, electric faux fireplace and a couple of tiny space heaters.

We lost running water sometime last week. Keeping fresh water running in arctic temps is difficult at best, so when the line freezes we disconnect the hose, bring it in to thaw and run on fresh water tanks until things begin to thaw. Generally, our heated water hose keeps us going as long as we stay somewhere near or above zero. Yesterday, our reserve tanks ran almost dry, so we bundled up, hooked up the hose and refilled the tanks. The next problem is the “black tank” yep, that’s the sewage holding tank. We drain twice a week and the problem in these temps is to keep the drain hose and the valves from freezing. To that end we have a small outdoor space heater (milkhouse heater) under the RV skirts which warms the underbelly enough to keep the drain hose running.

All of this requires outdoor work. A friend who spent 6 months working in antarctica told us it took an hour to don 25 pounds of clothes and gear, to go outside for 20 minutes and another hour to get out of said gear and was worth every minute of prep spent. So, we spend 20 minutes donning 15+ pounds of layered clothing and proceed outside to do 30 minutes of work. As Spoonies, we are acutely aware of the dangers presented by hypothermia, we stay out for 5-10 minutes then come inside, warm up, and go back out to finish. Wind chills are particularly dangerous. Extreme cold can exacerbate symptoms of autoimmune disease and both of us have neuropathy in feet and hands. Even clearing a path to the car can take waaaaay longer than expected. But … we adapt (we are Borg, we will adapt, yeah OK definitely too much SciFi).

So there you have it, a day in the life of two almost cryogenically frozen Spoonie SoDaks (South Dakotans).


Til next time ~bundle up, stay warm, stay safe ~JP

2 thoughts on “Spoonie Retirement — Life, Love, and RV living in the time of Covid

  1. Oh my gosh, JP, despite your troubles with water and sewer hoses, I’m relieved to read that experienced RV’ers like you are having these issues. Count us in on the frozen water lines and sewer. We try to do most of our BR business in the RV park restrooms. I finally got Hans to connect the line so we could have hot water for doing dishes a few days ago. Jolly good until, 9pm on Thursday, when I turned on the faucet and…nothing! Well, it was a balmy 9 degrees for the low that night and the cold snap plaguing Spokane was upon us. Several campers are without water for now. It’s heated up outside to 25 as I watch the snow fall. Our freezer let all my ice cream sandwiches melt (yes I adore ice cream all year round). Go to a hotel some friends suggested on my Facebook post…never, and too complicated with my dogs. Your 5th wheel sounds spacious. We inhabit a 24 foot living space with a nice slide out. Plenty of room. Just hope we don’t have to stay here past the end of March. Take care and stay warm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really all part and parcel for RVing in colder latitudes. Yesterday we got our water hose reworked. Even a heated water hose has a heck of a time in -38f. I got a really good, really hot shower for the first time in two weeks. We also tend to use the parks restrooms but I rush through a shower there because the building is always cold (20′ ceilings). We are FINALLY above 0 although not up to freezing yet, stay warm, stay safe and dream of affogatos (ice cream topped with espresso). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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