Day 169 – 2/15/21 Travel day: Frozen pipes, then on to Las Cruces, NM.

We had a good day dealing with frozen pipes and the slide out, and moving to Las Cruces.

Well, I decided to wake up a little earlier to at least have time to write down the main things from the last 3-4 days since I have not finished writing the posts since Friday (including).  I put the alarm for 5am, but I woke up around 3:30am and could not really sleep anymore.  The furnace ran pretty much all night, every couple of minutes.  And once in a while I checked the outside temperature, and it just kept dropping.  It is now 19F with a feels like of 6F!

Damm… so, as my usual routine, the first thing I wanted to do was make my coffee, and I was afraid I would not have water coming out due to frozen pipes, and sure enough, I had just a little water come out and then nothing.  So, I’ll have lots to deal with as the day gets going, and warms up later.  I’ll have to unfreeze pipes and make sure nothing broke, and then we can use restrooms and such.  I’ll need to open the grey tank valve, so I can empty the tank, which is likely almost full after three showers yesterday.  That right there should be enough to keep me busy all morning, and I’ll have to deal with the slide system later, and hopefully it will close properly at least.  I may put some WD-40, or if I have a chance to get some silicone spray, I’ll put that instead as that’s the appropriate lubricant for the slide.  Also, it is so cold outside, that the windows had condensation when we went to bed, but now they have ice. 

It’s not going to be too fun of a morning… yikes.  Well, at least I had a big water container we take on hikes, and had enough to make my coffee, so I’ll proceed with the plan, get some main points written down at least, before everyone is up and the day really starts, then I’ll deal with the outside.  I’m hoping I can skirt the tanks with a tarp I have, then maybe use a space heater or some other heater to heat up the area until that starts going so I can empty tanks.  Then I’m hoping to be able to thaw the water line somehow, or that maybe if it was the water filter that froze, or some other connector, that I can just remove it and bypass it and it will all work.  We’ll see.  More to come.

I kept writing down some of the important points I wanted, and then got the girls up and going with school.  After Carol woke up, I stopped and went outside and started working on things while she took care of the inside and helped the girls.  The girls actually had a good school morning, and got most of their work before before we left, and Bia wrapped up a call she had from the truck.

Once I got outside, I decided to start with the tanks, because if we have water, it needs a place to go.  I got a hairdryer and started trying to heat up the pipe around the valve, it was going very slow, but after some time I could tell it was working little by little.  But, I didn’t want to be kneeling there too long, so I changed strategy.  I got a tarp I have and wrapped around the tanks, then I left an opening and put a space heater right there so it’d push the heat into the tarp enclosure and warm up the tanks.  Carol also brought a hot beanie bag and towel, and I put those on top of the valve.  I left all that there for maybe 10 minutes or so, and then tried to open the valve again, and it worked!  I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see “sewer” flowing… hahahaha…. 

Then it was time to move to the water.  First, I just removed the filter and elbow, then could tell the water was good from there inside the heated hose, so I connected the hose directly to the trailer and voila… water.  That hole ordeal took about 2 hours between going in and out, trying this and that, putting tarp, etc, but it worked.  

With the tanks drained and water coming in to finish cleaning up, fill water bottles, etc we got going with our packing, wrapped up everything and were ready for one of the other issues we had, the slide out.

The slide out is making an awful grinding noise, and it looks like the wall is kicking on the rear bottom driver side, so when Carol started bringing it in, it started kicking and I “assisted” by pushing it in and it went in… but did not sound good.  With everything packed and the slide out in… we were ready to go.

Bia continued her class in the truck using the T-mobile hotspot, and Bella did a few more things and then moved on to crocheting.

Our drive from Lordsburg to Las Cruces was tense!  It was a straight shot on I-10 and the first 30 minutes was fine.  But then the roads were wet, temps were around 25F, then there was some snow on the road, then a mix of wet and snow and salt.  I was being very careful and slowing down when I felt I needed to, and there were areas I hit 45mph, and big semis were blasting by, throwing snow and salt all over the truck and trailer.  To make it worse, my windshield washer fluid was frozen, so I could not properly wipe.  The windows were ok, so it was not dangerous or anything, but it was dirty.  But, that’s ok, I took my time and we made it to Las Cruces safely.  The closer we got, the more snow we saw as well.  The area here looks amazing, with some mountain ranges nearby, it’s too bad we lost a day as it’d be great to explore more.

Our campground is right off the highway, so it was super easy to get to.  Check in was easy, and they let me know due to the freezing temps overnight, that most water points are still frozen, so I may have to wait to get water coming in.  With that news, before heading to our spot, we used the restrooms, which are by the office.  The girls checked out the shower rooms and were impressed, so we are all using those for sure later today.

We actually had a nice spot, lots of space and pull through, so easy to park and get lined up and level.  Carol and I decided we would not open the slide out until we tried to get someone to come look at it, or we would get the silicone spray and try to lubricate it.  We got everything connected, but didn’t open the slide.  Water was not coming out as we connected, so I got the space heater out again and warmed up the spigot, and within 20 minutes we had water.  This time I didn’t connect the filter, just the pressure regulator as the water pressure there was pretty high.  I made sure to cover the pipes well so there was nothing exposed, and also made a “cover” for the tanks, to see if it’d help not freeze them.

As we were done with our setup, we all left to go to Walmart for groceries.  On the way, there was a trailer sales and service store, so I stopped there to see if they had supplies, and they did, so I got the silicone spray and some RV anti freeze for the tanks.  Yes!  Then we went to Walmart.  We got some groceries, some juices and sparkling juices for the girls, 2 six packs of local beers for the boy :). The girls are beginning to be “girls” (don’t shoot me) and they wanted to go check out clothes… hahaha… coincidently that’s when I started feeling funny and told Carol I’d wait in the car.  :). It didn’t take them long to be back.

Once we got back, we put the groceries away and immediately worked on the slide out.  Carol hit the button to push it out just a little and then put some spray from inside, then I got the can outside and she pulled it back in.  Then she pushed it out again little by little, and I’d go and spray it, and she’d pull it back it… and we repeated that process until we had the slide out completely out and the track completely sprayed.  It worked very well, and we got it out without noise on the last one, and it went all the way out, the way it’s supposed to be.  Sounded and felt like it was when we got it.  That’s all it took, lubrication 🙂

Carol liked the silicone spray so much, she spent the next few minutes spraying everything around her… steps, door jams, key holes, hinges… I’m surprise she didn’t spray Maggie’s knees 🙂 hahahahaha   Anyway, with the slide out out… we were all properly setup.

Carol got dinner done, we ate and then all went to shower by the campground showers.  It was very nice there.  Roomie individual stalls, hair dryer and everything.  I got back quick, and next came Bella…. Bella was crying saying she missed a turn inside the bathroom area, and ended up outside of the bathrooms when she was to be waiting for Carol, and then could not go back in, and could not find the trailer and felt lost… but she found the trailer.  It didn’t take long for the others to come back.  We put things away, did some homework, some reading and watched some TV before going to bed.

And just as we were watching TV and I was working on some things on my laptop, I got this error message and the computer just shut down. Not good… it kept happening, but eventually worked again. We’ll see what happens from here. Yikes… when it rains, it pours!

We had a good moving day, some tense moments, but felt accomplished to get the slide out fixed, and felt good to be in Las Cruces, keeping our route.

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