Frozen Pipes, Camping and Porta-potties

   Written by on January 4, 2018 at 12:53 pm
The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

On Friday morning Management and I awakened to discover our water pipes were frozen. This was my fault. In one of my continuing multi-year construction projects I attached a new water line and neglected to cover it deep enough to prevent freezing.

In any case our water was frozen and thawing it is an all-day project.  So we made a sensible decision. As long as we were out of water we might as well go camping.  It takes less water camping than it does at home.

We had a lovely weekend with the exception of one thing.  At  5 degrees outside we were comfortable in sleeping bags or in heavy clothes. On the other hand the interior of porta-potties is exactly the same temperature as the outside which I may have mentioned was five degrees.

Now while Out-houses and Porta-potties are a definite improvement over nothing at all -five degrees is still five degrees.  I can’t say any more about this without whining.

Speaking of out-houses, which I have used many times, I have never understood the purpose of a two or three holer. Growing up we had only one bathroom which meant one toilet. We all survived although there was some dancing outside the door.

As far as two-holers go there are some things that should just  be done in private.

There is at least one thing worse than two-holer or a 5 degree bathroom.  In my one trip out of the country I went in one restroom that was nothing more than a trough in the floor. That is one room with a trough.  It might have worked if there hadn’t been ten people there.  There just wasn’t anyway to have any privacy or a view that wasn’t unpleasant.  I decided there wasn’t anything I needed to do that wouldn’t wait.

When we got home I dumped a load of hot mulch on the water line and thawed out most of it.  My torpedo heater and blow torch did the rest and we’re back in business.

Let me tell you a warm private bathroom, running water and flush toilets are generally unappreciated but they have moved up on my list.

I have also moved finishing my little plumbing project way up on my list, maybe even as soon as this weekend. That is unless we decide to go camping again.

Although I hate to use sports metaphors, Last week I thought I’d made a homerun but actually fouled out.

I’d bought a salvage camper trailer at the auction at close to my favorite price which as you know is free.  A friend of mine picked it up and delivered it. I was delighted. It was in great shape and even had new tires.  Then I got a call that we had picked up the wrong trailer. Bummer.

We worked in returning it on the way to our camping trip. I returned it and picked up the one I actually bought.  MY trailer had one side ripped off and had been gutted but I’d bought it for parts.  I had to change one tire before leaving the salvage lot and had a blowout thirty miles later.  It could have been worse. The blowout was just as I turned into where we were camping for the night.  Fortunately for me I had two spare tires.

With my collection of trailers, flat tires and blowouts are expected so I am usually prepared.

Keep in mind that I don’t consider staying in a trailer with heat and running water camping.  Not that I have anything against RVing.  There is something to be said for all of the amenities at a campsite including heat and so on.  Especially the part with heated bathrooms and flush toilets. Did I mention I really like that.

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