Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009 Issue

In This Issue:

What's New With Us: RVing California's Central Coast

Article: Stretching Holding Tank Space

Recipe: Easiest Ever Corn on the Cob


What's New With Us:

We have just returned from a 10-day RV trip along the lower portion of the central California coast.

First stop was Jalama Beach Campground . Jalama is a somewhat remote county park north of Santa Barbara. The campground is located on the beach and is the only sign of civilization for miles around. A few of the 98 campsites have electric hookups but most do not have any kind of hookups. There is however, in addition to restrooms and showers, a dump station and a place to fill your water tank. We especially liked the lack of a cellular phone signal; no incoming calls and no having to respond to anyone. And, just to make our sense of isolation complete, we did not use our satellite TV. We were out of touch and loving it!

This was our first dry-camping experience since installing our four 6-volt coach batteries (see March 19 issue). We operated the 12-volt lights, water pump and furnace fan for five days. We also used the inverter to provide power for our electric coffee maker. The batteries were still at 70% capacity at the end of five days (let's see, the batteries cost $500 and, so far, we have gotten five days use out of them, hmmm...).

The tides cooperated while we were there. We enjoyed almost isolated walks along wide, hard-packed stretches of sand in the mornings and late afternoons. Once out of the campground area we turned Molly loose. Happiness is... a dog that can run free on an endless stretch of beach.

Our next stop was the Pismo Sands RV Park in Oceano, just south of Pismo Beach. Designers of RV parks should take a look at the layout of this RV park. Wide streets and long, easy-access, pull-thru sites with full hookups make this an inviting place to stay. We used this park as a base-camp while we toured some of our old haunts in Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Cambria and San Simeon.

Heading south towards home we stayed at oceanfront McGrath State Park for a couple of dry-camping nights. No hookups but nice restrooms and showers plus a dump station and fresh water source. McGrath is just a short distance from the Affinity and Good Sam Club headquarters in Ventura. We used the opportunity to touch base with some of our friends who work there and to have lunch with our editor, John Sullaway, and the lady who runs the show, Sue Bray.

Just an observation here - - Jalama and McGrath, being on the beach, are in high demand during the warmer months , especially during school vacations. We prefer to visit these spots during the "off-season" times of the year.

Our next adventure is our bus tour of the British Isles.


Stretching Holding Tank Space

Dear Joe and Vicki: We enjoy camping self-contained in government campgrounds. Our trailer has a 50 gallon fresh-water tank, 30 gallon black-water tank and a 30 gallon gray-water tank. We’ve developed an easy method for refilling our fresh-water tank and our black-water tank is more than adequate but it doesn’t take long for us fill the gray-water tank. Any suggestions for “stretching” our gray-water capacity would be appreciated.

Joe: Wouldn’t it be great if the RV manufacturers caught on to the fact that we need more gray-water capacity than black-water capacity. Here are a few ideas to minimize the flow of water to your gray water tank:

Keep in mind that anything you can do to conserve water will also conserve holding tank space.

Use the campground’s restroom and shower facilities whenever possible.

If you shower in your RV, take a “navy” shower. Using the control valve on the shower head, turn on the water and use a minimal amount to get yourself wet, turn the water off while you soap, turn the water on just long enough to rinse off.

Shave with a rechargeable, battery-operated shaver rather than using a blade razor and water.

Vicki: Use paper plates to cut down on the number of dishes that need washing. Rather than pre-rinsing the dishes, wipe them off with a paper towel before washing. Wash dishes only once a day.

Frequently, when camping self-contained, I put two plastic dish pans in our double sink to wash dishes. One holds the soapy water, the other the rinse water. When I’m through washing dishes, instead of emptying the dish pans into the sink drain where the water would go into the gray-water tank, I pour them into the toilet where it goes into the black-water tank. This conserves gray-water tank space and adds much needed liquid to the black-water tank.

We’ve seen campers using waste-water collectors called “tote-tanks.” The idea is to collect gray-water in the tote-tank. When the tank is full, rather than moving the RV, you only have to take the tank to the disposal station,. They come in various sizes and even have wheels that make it easier to tote them.

Eventually, you will have to take your RV to a disposal station. That's what we consider "roughing it"

For more tips on RVing check out our book: "RV Travel and Camping Tips"

Recipe: (from Vicki's book: "My RV Kitchen and Favorite Recipes")

Easiest Ever Corn on the Cob
(Quick and Easy)

I have always cooked corn on the cob the traditional way. Boil the water and add the corn. Then one evening while camping at Yellowstone with our friends, Marilyn and Sandy, Marilyn made this "easiest ever" corn on the cob. Nowadays, this is the only way I cook corn --no pans to wash, absolutely no clean up. And, the best part, the corn is tender and delicious.

1. Husk and wash desired number of ears of corn.

2. Run each ear under water to moisten.

3. Place 2 ears at a time in a plastic bag, tightly closed.

4. Microwave 1 minute per ear on "High".


Return to RV Know How