Jen got a bike!

You may not believe this, but I’ve never really ridden a bike before. I had one when I was quite young, but didn’t get to ride it much before outgrowing it. Plus growing up with severe asthma meant I didn’t get to do a lot outside. David has been biking for a long time. When we moved to the Bay Area and realized driving every day is a nightmare, he got an e-bike to commute, and loved it. I never tried it out, because I’m much shorter than he is, with much lousier balance (due to a spinal cord injury). But it always looked fun! Since I didn’t really have anywhere to commute to, I stuck with my wheelchair (with a Freewheel, which I plan to post about here someday), though it’s a manual chair propelled by my own two hands. My speed was limited to how much energy I …

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How to Maintain a Healthy Black Tank

As a mobile RV tech I have addressed many black tank problems, ranging from simple clogs to tanks that have fallen off their supports. An RV black tank has a very important job to do and works well when it is given the proper tools and conditions. The black tank is not complex, and works by breaking down the solid waste into a slurry, allowing it to exit the tank without clogging. The solids are broken down by bacteria and lots of water. Some of those bacteria give off methane, others do not, and methane is one of the chemicals that gives black tanks their unpleasant smell. The key is to encourage the less-stinky bacteria to flourish and keep the stinky buggers away. Given a good environment and enough water, the solids are broken down within 24-48 hours.   Here are some questions I’m frequently asked about black tanks: I …

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The second time our Keystone Laredo blew a bearing on the highway…

In July 2020, on our way to the worst work camping gig, we were coming down the hill into Tehachapi, California, and the truck alerted us that it’d lost the signal to the trailer brake. We immediately pull over, I run back to check the plug, thinking it’s a simple problem. It was fine, but I smelled burning and when I got back to the truck, David said “we’ve got flames out there.” We ran for the fire extinguishers, and David put it out quickly. It was the same bearing that caused us to spend a cold night on the interstate back in November 2019. This time, we got lucky (or so we thought) because it was early in the day, and all the parts stores were still open. We even had a spare bearing. Unfortunately, the bearing and race had welded themselves to the spindle, so it wasn’t quite …

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Siete Foods cooking class: baking with Buñuelos!

We are huge Siete fans around here. I’ve got a corn allergy and David needs to watch his blood sugar, so our taco nights (and there are a lot of them) always feature Siete Almond Flour Tortillas. We buy Dip Chips and Fuego chips in bulk off their website. Thankfully more stores are carrying them now, so we don’t have to order online as often! For the second winter in a row, they’ve been selling Cinnamon Buñuelos, which are my favorite thing ever. Buñuelos are a treat in many cultures, but generally they are some kind of fritter. These are small and crispy, grain-free with cinnamon and coconut sugar. For the second time, Siete hosted a cooking class to benefit an organization doing food work. This time it was No Kid Hungry. For a $10 donation, we got 2 bags of Cinnamon Buñuelos, a chocolate bar, and the recipes. I …

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Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Tomato-Free

Have you seen how much we love our air fryer lid for our Instant Pot? We try to make meals that don’t call for a lot of pots and pans, but since we had both instant pots on the counter, we went ahead and used both for this. This can be done without the air fryer step, or assemble in a casserole dish and bake in the oven. Everything is cooked, it’s just nice to brown the top and let the flavors rest. But without an air fryer, I would’ve eaten it without browning, and it would’ve been delicious. Ingredients 2 large sweet potatoes, washed and cut into 1” cubes 1 clove garlic, minced 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (or one 6-oz can) 1 tsp ground thyme 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp marjoram 1/4 tsp ground sage One 12-oz can lentils, or 2 cups cooked green, brown, or black lentils 1 …

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Quick Tips: Turning off the beep on our RV Lock!

We love our keyless RVLock. It’s so convenient to be able to come and go securely and without a key, plus we can share the code with friends and family if there’s ever an emergency and someone needs to get inside. The one thing we don’t like about the lock is the default beep when locking/unlocking. It’s extremely loud, and we can ALWAYS tell when someone else in a park has the same lock we do. But you can turn off the beep! Just hold the 1 button for about 5 seconds, until you hear a quick double beep. That’s it! If you change your mind and want the beeps back, do the same thing, and you’ll hear a quick single beep. Share this tip with your RV friends!

Broken Service door

On one of our hops across the country while hooking up our fresh water, the door fell off in my hand. The problem turned out to be a broken retracting plastic pin on one side of the door hinge. The door attaches to the utility cabinet with one fixed pin and one spring retracting pin. Both pins are plastic, the retractable one is the one that broke. When it broke, the spring and remaining bits of pin disappeared into the gravel, never to be seen again. I made a few inquiries as to how to get a new one but since we were traveling I secured it with some tape and forgot about it. We made it to our summer location and work calls started flowing in so I continued to rely on my good brown tape to hold my access door in place. At the end of the season …

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Ram 2500 Airbag Suspension Installation

We travel full-time in our Keystone Laredo 335MK travel trailer and pull it with a Ram 2500 pickup truck. Our truck has no problem towing our trailer. We use an Equalizer brand weight distribution hitch to even out the load. While traveling, we have noticed the rear of the truck tends to bounce when we travel over rough roads. Even with the Equalizer hitch, the truck tends to squat in the rear just a bit, this can affect the vehicle stability and reduce the headlight effectiveness. We try not to tow at night but the few times we have we got flashed at by oncoming vehicles quite often. To help these issues out we decided to invest in an airbag suspension system. We went with the Air Lift, 57289 Load Lifter 5000′ kit. The kit is manufactured to fit our Ram 2500. I was able to install their kit using …

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Home on Wheels Alliance

Want to help out a good cause and have a chance at winning a nice trailer? I just donated to the Home on Wheels Alliance through one of their fundraiser programs with a chance to win a 6×10′ Nomad Trailer by WeeRoll. They are helping senior citizens, the working poor, and people with disabilities from becoming truly homeless by providing safe vehicles to live in. This fundraiser program ends on 11/12/2020 and they are still a bit short of their goal. Please help them out. Thank you. Follow this link to help donate with a chance to win the trailer  

Our First Work Camping Experience (Might Be Our Last)

Our first work camping gig didn’t go quite like we expected, but does anything go as expected during a pandemic? We could write a novel about our experience, but we’ll just share some highlights. First, a disclaimer: this is our personal experience, and our personal opinions. We are not speaking as representatives of Kamp Klamath, its owners, managers, or other workers. This is specifically our experience as temporary volunteer campers at this campground during the summer of 2020. This isn’t a review of the campground itself, or a discussion of the kind of experience a guest can expect to have. This post is only a personal account of our first work camping gig on our personal blog about our full-time RV life. This opportunity at Kamp Klamath in Klamath, California came at the perfect time: David was struggling with the altitude of Questa, New Mexico and we knew we needed …

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