Or how Grandma introduced our granddaughter to showering in our small RV…
RVs mean many things to many people. Our 10-year-old Roadtrek 210 Popular has meant fantastic journeys to places we only dreamed of as kids. To our granddaughters, it is a magical vehicle, perfect for our annual week-long campout at Michigan's Lakeport State Park.
Before the Roadtrek we all tented and loved it. Now, our camping has “graduated” to the gentrified camping experience of Roadtreking. Now, we experience outdoor sleeping when we want, outdoor cooking when we want, and of course, we still have campfires whenever possible. Things inside the coach fold and swing and a drawer becomes a countertop, a cupboard hides a table, our couches become a giant king-sized bed. Seats swivel to make a parlor, cookstoves appear out of nowhere, and a fan in the ceiling comes on when it is hot and shuts down when we are cool. The sun charges our batteries and we have plugs everywhere to plug in anything. Our granddaughters love it, and they long to stay in it with us “forever.”
During their week at “Camp” with us you’ll find them in the screen house gamely working on crafts provided by Grandma and Gramps. Throughout the days they lovingly bury as much of each us as they can in Lake Huron beach sand. Fearlessly they charge into the chilly waters of Lake Huron to help Grandma with her lifelong quest for the perfect Petoskey stone. Sunshine bathes us all and camplife offers us few irritations. As in the past, the park’s only drawbacks are in the bathroom functions.
Lakeport State Park, like so many others, provides older but adequate showers with lots of hot water and good pressure. And in the early summertime, there are a few bugs. Actually, there are more bugs to be seen up close and personal than most people care to see from any distance. They happily join in your shower and some of them are friendly. Very Friendly.
Grandma loves a good shower and has convinced her granddaughters campshowers are “so cool.” But there’s still that thing about the bugs. To be fair, they all tolerate bugs quite well–they are campers after all–and my granddaughters catch all kinds of bugs keeping up with the most fearless boys. They love bugs, just not in the in the context of a shower.
Roadtreks are relatively bug free, especially in the bathroom functions. The shower in our Roadtrek is home to nary an arachnid or isopod and is so much more inviting than the campground showers on every level.
My wife is shorter in stature than I and much more coordinated, so she loves the aisle shower in our 210 Popular, and uses it deftly and to the exclusion of all others. We have upgraded it by adding a Body Spa showerhead by Oxygenics, which magically increases both the volume and pressure of the water provided by our 12v pump. (I know such a feat is impossible without changing something else in the plumbing system or using more water, but I did say that it was magic!) We also removed the foldout door from the back of the closet which when opened completed a solid wood, private-as-a-confessional shower booth. This door wasn’t really necessary to keep the bed from getting wet, as the shower curtain works as designed and we are careful showerers. So we saw no need for the door’s extra weight. The floor drain works perfectly as long as we are level or parked nose down a degree or so. The shower is operated largely as designed and built by Roadtrek.
Today one granddaughter had to leave camp with Dad for half a day to attend a birthday party while the other remained for some one-on-one time with us.
So I made sure the tanks were full, the water heater on and there was plenty of hot water in the Trek, I rode my bike down to the campground shower for my own personal cleansing. I don’t mind bugs, but more importantly, “the girls” had ejected me from my van while Grandma made the van into “Spa Road Trek.”
Finished with my own shower, I wheeled back 10 minutes or so later to a call from within the RT. “I’m soapy and naked and out of water in here!” Mixed with the tenor of Grandma’s angst, came a light chorus of the sweetest giggles heard anywhere. I tried casting the giggles aside and appreciate the seriousness of the situation, but I had to chuckle. I got inside the van with them. Since the shower stall was still in place, I could only hear what was going on in the other end of van. That imaginary picture of Grandma and Granddaughter soapy, shivering in the air conditioned RV waiting for me to return was at once hilarious and very serious.
After a quick game of “did you try …?” there was no apparent earthly reason for the pump not to be pumping. And, when faced with unearthly problems, I did as professional electricians do. I went to the Oracle—the fusebox. I located the fuse for the pump, removed and inspected it and reinserted it. Success! Somehow, the fuse had needed to be reseated in its socket and a good connection was made.
The interrupted shower could now continue.
I knew this shower would end well, that our granddaughter’s wonder at the World of Roadtreking would increase, and a happy memory was made.
The tell-tale clue?
The last thing I heard as I headed back out the door was, “Oh Grandma look! You forgot to take off your underwear!” followed by waves of shushed giggles so Grandpa wouldn’t hear.
Note: other modifications we have made include: a solid plywood platform to replace the ingenious, but hard-to-use slat ladder that spans the benches and makes up our king sized bed; a 130-watt solar panel to top off our two six volt wet cell batteries; plumbing hook-ups which include a pressure regulator, a filter, a back wash preventer and a really handy quick connect for city water while in an RV park; new curtains reminiscent of the “Dating Game” asterisks; addition of a shore powered 110 outlet over the sink; LEDs to replace regular light bulbs in the cabin to reduce power consumption and heat production; and two of my favorite examples of my wife's quilting to cover with and decorate our home on wheels.