Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tucson Mountain Park


Sitting here waiting for my water pump to stop running, signaling that the water heater is 6-gallons full.  The onboard water system was the last system on my long list of "stuff to figure out".  More about that in a minute. 

Surely I’ve summited this huge learning curve and am on my way down?  I’ve had the GDB for 4 and ½ months now and am finally feeling as though I’ve kind of maybe close to figuring it out. 

I am parked in what is my most scenic campsite so far, surrounded by saguaro, mesquite, and creosote, enveloped by the towering desert mountains.  Folks rave about this campground.  For $20/night, electric only, you get all this ….. 


Back window

Side window


That's my antenna communicating with the saguaro.

Waaaaay better than a hotel.
And I'm getting a 4G wi-fi signal as well!  And lotsa digital channels. 

I spent the morning (after another great night’s parking lot sleep) completing the 10 or so tasks required by my new employer.  Including a post office run for a pre-paid express mail envelope I'll need for mailing documents in the next few days.  With a feeling of relief, I finished the work by 11.  Stopped at a grocery, ATM, and then at this restaurant for lunch.

The storefront gives one pause, but when I walked in, the place was filled with retired gringos lunching.  But then I felt disappointed, thinking that it would be the standard Tex-Mex fare.  And it was.  Though my chile relleno was tasty, I was hoping for something more authentic.  Sharon spoiled me in Austin with the migas and fresh tortillas. 

Next I headed toward the campground, determined to conquer the onboard plumbing system.  You see, I’ve always used city water (or bottled water when dry camping).  There were fresh water stations everywhere.
I had a few missteps – non fatal.  In my concern over not spilling water all over my open rear cargo area, I forgot to turn the valves to the proper orientation and, as a result, the front (summer) tank filled up.  Realizing my mistake after about maybe 10 gallons, I stopped, drained the front tank and started over.  As I told, Robert (who has excellent instructions on his website about how to master the Roadtrek 2-tank system), I’m glad the only witnesses were the saguaro. 

The pump is still running.  It's been at least an hour.  Not sure what is up with that.  I’ve sent a distress signal to Robert. 
Gonna go catch the sunset before it's over. 


18 comments:

  1. If you're going to be in Tucson a couple more days, maybe we could meet up? We're currently on BLM land near the casino but are moving tomorrow to Catalina State Park to brave the cold with electric. We'll be there until Monday but can meet up with you anytime and anyplace this weekend.

    Annie
    thegoodluckduck.com
    whotookmybucket@gmail.com

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  2. Kim, the pump won't finish priming if you don't run the water. It does waste some water unless you collect and back to the tank. Joanne from the Rt group.

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    1. So you run the water while the pump is on?

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    2. Hope you have it figured out by now but this is how most systems work. 1. Fill your water tank(s). 2. Open a couple of faucets. 3. Turn on water pump. 4. Turn off faucet when water flows. 5. Open all other faucets till water flows. 6. Turn off all faucets and water pump should shut off. Once you have all the air out of the system your water pump should come on automatically when you open a faucet and shut off within a few seconds after you close it. The key is purging all the air from the piping.
      Good luck..jc

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  3. Good luck with the water system. It does look complicated from Roberts description. Not sure if it's a good idea to let pump run for over an hour, though. It should prime, pressurize, and cut off within a few minutes, from my experience.

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    1. Too complicated! Sometimes I really miss the relative simplicity of the Casita.

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  4. lots of stuff to learn... but when you do? better than a motel - you bet...

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  5. "Surely I’ve summited this huge learning curve and am on my way down?" LOL ! Oh Kim I've been fulltiming now going into my third year - and I STILL learn something new every day !!

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  6. Hmmm, I thought that the hot water tank fills up when I am on city water and stays full unless I run my fresh water tank dry. The Roadtrek system must be really different from my RV, I never had to fool with it and I am not always hooked up to city water.

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  7. Yeah! Glad you made it to Gilbert Ray! Sooo jealous of your pretty Sonoran desert site! Hope you get to go visit the Ducks at Catalina (that's my 2nd favorite campground in Tucson!).

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  8. Looks like you are really on your way now, Kim, with the job details taken care of. Hope the setbacks are all behind you and it's smooth sailing from now on.

    Love following you... and so glad you have a friend to consult about the water situation.

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  9. I love Tucson and you have what looks to be the perfect spot! Hoping the cold front moves through FAST...lv following you!

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  10. On my motorhome, when I'm hooked up to city water, it just goes into the pipes, ready to come out the faucets. Just like in a house. There is no water storage going on.

    OR... I fill my on-board water tank and the water stays there until I turn on the water pump and open a faucet. I don't know why, but I keep my water pump off if I'm not using the water.

    Same for the Hot Water Heater. It has 6 gallons and just sits there, full, until I need it. Then I turn on the switch to heat the water and 10 minutes later (15 or 20 if it's really cold outside) the water is perfect for a shower, hair washing, or dishes. As soon as the water is the right temp, I turn off the water heating switch. Since I'm dry-camping, I don't want to use propane to keep it warm all the time, and I don't need hot water all the time.

    Like Denise said, this is a constant learning experience, and it's so nice to figure out new stuff. That's what keeps us young. :)

    Love your photos, especially the one with the GDB at night. Beautiful!

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  11. Hope got it figured out. Great camp spot! Love seeing your photos. I know you're glad to get all that paperwork done. That's the worst part of getting a new online teaching job!

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    1. Thanks, Nitewriter for all the helpful advice you've given me so far! Tonight I will snuggle up with the Faculty Handbook (all 120 pages of it!).

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  12. Hey Kim, Change of plans. Not going down to Qartzside after all. Presently on the road to Santa Barbara, CA where it is warmer! Craig didn't like the frozen water line this morning, and a weeks worth of cold weather predicted for the week ahead in Arizona.

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    1. Completely understandable! I'm not crazy about the idea of below-freezing temps either but I've come this far (over 2000 miles now). Thanks for letting me know; I feel sure we will meet along the way somewhere.

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