Sunday, March 30, 2008

They Call the Wind Mariah

The wind can get fierce here in the desert. We have heard of semi trailers actually being blown over on the highway, and we have seen RV awnings torn away by the wind.

But before we talk about this weekend’s wind, let’s talk about toilets. Toilets are necessary in our modern lives. No more two-holer outhouses behind the barn. Oh yeah, some guys will still stand behind a tree once in a while, but pretty generally it’s the modern flush toilet for most of us.

RV toilets are a little different from residential toilets. No flush handle. Instead, ours has two foot pedals, one for flushing away, the other for refilling the bowl with fresh water. Saturday, following a vigorous flush came a loud popping sound. The spring that retracts the pedals had broken, and flushing would not stop!

Now, back to the desert wind. While I was on my hands and knees trying to figure out what to do about that flushing, I heard a horrendous crashing noise, not once but twice. Suzy was afraid something had run into the motorhome or was about to, and I jumped to my feet to see what was happening.

A quirky gust of wind had picked up an 8 X 12 foot wooden storage shed across the road from us and sent it rolling east, where it crashed into a neighboring shed and flew into splinters!

This was a brand-new shed, one of 30 that had been built during the past fall and winter to accommodate the parks new “300 Row,” sites for long-term renters who are getting close to being able to get a lease on a site like ours. Because they are rental sites, the park is responsible for them, not the renter. It’s fortunate no one had rented site #304 and stored equipment or clothing in the shed!

The first picture shows the concrete blocks the shed had been sitting on, and the distance it traveled in the wind. The second picture shows slight damage to the neighboring shed, and the third shows how completely the shed was destroyed.

Reminder -- if you want to see a larger version of a picture, left click the picture. The only way back here is to use your "Back" arrow at the top of the screen.

Now back to our toilet, now that the outdoor excitement had abated. Every RV park has a list of mobile service techs in the area, some of them very good, some questionable. Every one we called was either out of town or overbooked. One fellow and his wife had gone to New Zealand for their son’s wedding. One tech we’ve heard is questionable suggested our toilet was obsolete, but we could get a different model for about $200.

What to do on a weekend without a toilet?!?! A little experimentation showed me that, if the pedals could be supported, the flushing and refilling would stop. So now we have a 2-inch concrete block under the pedals, and everything is fine – until we can get a service person to come out and fix it properly.

It occurs to us that things happen for a reason. We’ve had a toilet go bad, a leveling jack that would not retract, car brakes that needed to be replaced, all in the last week or so. We wonder if our Guardian Angel is trying to tell us to hold off leaving here for a little while?

Your guess is as good as ours. Any thoughts? To leave a message, just click on "Comments" in the white bar below. To make things easier, punch the button marked "Anonymous" and put your name at the end of the message.

It’s all part of the adventure as we pursue … Our Life on Wheels.


  1. I'm just blog surfing and ran upon your blog.What a neat and fun life.. God bless you and I hope you have Happy Travels..

  2. I think your Guardian Angel is definitely telling you to stay put for just a little bit longer. Be safe out there!!!

    <3 you!

  3. Even a home on wheels needs periodic repairs . . . glad everything is or nearly is back in working order. Looking forward to your next post!

    Dick & Jeri


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