Truth be told, thing are actually cooling down. We recently experienced one of our coldest nights yet. It was twenty-something. Last winter we were boondocking in southern California / Arizona and the temps would drop in a similar fashion forcing us to don our winter garb INSIDE the van. We’d eye the small electric heater we had decided to keep from our sticks and bricks days, rue the generator that was supposed to run it but kicked the bucket as soon as it got cold and contemplate our budget (and our actual need) for a propane based item. Then we remembered… we didn’t have to stay! So, we got up and left.
Eventually we considered that we may want to stay now and then and so we purchased a small non-Buddy-brand (for you RV-familiar folk) type propane heater. We used it a few times and discovered that it really didn’t do for us what simply moving the van to warmer weather did. So, we returned it and went on about our travels.
This was before we started volunteering. When we took this Florida gig for the winter we knew there would be some cooler nights but we also knew that we could not move with the wind (or the cold) as we previously did. That was o.k. though because we would have electricity provided for us and (for some reason despite getting rid of 95% of our possessions before beginning this journey) we had been toting around that electric heater for a year. All was right in the world.
That was… until the coldest night so far. That’s when our faithfully warm friend of seven years decided that she just couldn’t go on anymore. She managed to get us through the night at a fairly comfortable 55 degrees (30 above the outside temp). But in the morning it was clear that she was done for and would be warming us no more.
Off to Wally-world we went and purchased a replacement about as opposite as you can find. So opposite that this should be another Yin and Yang post. Check it out!
Anyway, old faithful on the left has been replaced by (still yet to be named) on the right. This little guy is quite something for the size and price. Only $20 compared to the $80 that the old one cost. 1/3 the size. Low-tech with basic knobs and a bit more tricky to manage than our previous digital model, which we set at a specific temperature by number. It has taken us a day or so to get acquainted with how to get it to work to our satisfaction but this is for the opposite reason that you would think.
This thing puts out HEAT! We’re constantly having to turn the thing down and cannot believe that something so small can pack such a wonderfully warm punch.
So, on this the coldest afternoon since we’ve been here, we sit happily in our tank tops and shorts thanks to our newest addition to the van.
And, yes… space issues dictate that when something comes into the van, something else has to go out. Old Faithful will be departing us but not before we break her down into parts useable for other purposes. We’ll leave that for another post!
Stay warm out there…