I suspect I am not alone in the universe when I reveal that I prefer life when all goes according to plan. When curve balls are thrown, one after another, I tend to get a bit rattled. Today was supposed to be a relaxing Saturday; Donald making pancakes, boys in their underwear watching cartoons and jumping horses with my father in law.
After spending two hours awake in the middle of the night for no real reason I slept in until about 7 when I realized the RV was quite chilly, a sure symptom of an empty propane bottle. I did the wise thing and woke my loving spouse to deal with the problem. It was, after all, 17 degrees outside. I set to making coffee and tea and very quickly realized we had no water. And our water pump was making very sickly sounding noises. The only thing we could do was spend two caffeine-less hours waiting for the RV to warm up and for the Flathead Valley to open up shop so someone could tell us what our problem was. I brushed my teeth outside in the cold and we ate yogurt so we didn't have dishes. Luckily, our first call found us a Heartland dealer.
When normal families have plumbing issues they call a plumber, right? Not us. We have to pack everything, hitch our house to a truck and haul the house to the plumber. The dealer told us that our water pump went bad but is under warranty. Hooray! The bad news was that our water tank was frozen. They recommended that we build a Tyvek skirting around the RV to keep out the wind. We do have a sealed, heated underbelly but with all this cold weather they wanted us to stay unfrozen. So we trooped to Home Depot and bought heat tape and insulation to keep our hose warm and four huge sheets of Tyvek with which to wrap the RV. By 2 pm we had our house parked back in its spot and everything unpacked and back in place. By 3 we were fighting the 19 degree wind and whipping snow in order to measure and cut the Tyvek. We were also fighting each other. I will freely admit that I don't do so well when I am cold and by this time I had lost all feeling in my fingers, even in their gloves. There is also something quite harrowing about the idea of my house freezing and I was near tears. The Tyvek wouldn't stay in place and, by the way, duct tape doesn't stick in sub-freezing temps. We gave it up, shoved the supplies in the RV and went back to Home Depot.
Home Depot offered several suggestions which sent us to two other stores, fighting the wind and snow all the while. On a positive note, I did find a Dyson vacuum on an amazing sale! I'll be hauling it to Wyoming for my mom! After visiting the last two stores and comparing advice we went with the path of least resistance: use the heat tape on a specialized hose covered in insulation, drain any unneeded tanks and pray our heated underbelly does the job!
We got back to the RV at 4 with the temperature dropping and the snow still blowing. It took twenty minutes to wrap the hose and then we realized we started at the wrong end and had to cut all the tape off and start over. At this point it was almost humorous that we had to start over on the hose; it seemed about par for the day. After everything was taped and wrapped, the tanks drained and the end in sight, I managed to walk straight into an overhanging edge of the RV. I was knocked to my knees, my teeth were rattled and I literally saw stars. The only thing that saved me from stitches was the goofy fur hat I'd been wearing since 9 am.
We managed to get to my inlaws by 6 pm, only 11 hours after the day began. The boys barely blinked when we walked in; they'd been watching cartoons with Grandma all day so they were happy as clams. Better that than being dragged by their parents to every store in the Flathead Valley that had anything to do with RV parts. The best part of the day was hot, crispy, gooey lasagna that I didn't have to make. God Bless mothers in law! For now the RV is warm and thawed but the temperature is supposed to be sub zero by Tuesday. Everyone out there say a warm prayer for us. And if you decide to live in an RV full time, go to Florida. Or Arizona. This is not the time of year to visit the Rocky Mountains, no matter how magical they look in the snow!
By the way, does anyone need four sheets of Tyvek?