Starting the 2018 camping season!

Time is funny. I realize that’s not an especially insightful statement. In many ways I feel like we just put Qubie to bed in her storage place this winter, while in others I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve taken her out. I have the advantage over Catherine, since I usually stop off at least once a week to check on her at the storage unit since I drive past it every day on the way to work. We have a routine where I’ll send her a text saying “Qubie is fine!” after every visit. I’ve only once had to say something different when we had a minor ant problem.

This weekend we took Qubie out for her first trip of the season to our usual local favorite, Jordan Lake. I was very antsy on Friday to get moving so I escaped work a bit early, grabbed a few last minute things, and liberated Qubie from her winter abode. It was a gusty day so the drive over was a bit “active” but it was actually really nice to get behind the wheel again. I’ve said it before but driving her is probably the most enjoyable type of driving I’ve ever done. It’s “Qubie time” driving, no great rush, and I can see for miles. Very zen.

I’d thought we’d be a bit lonesome out there this early in the season, but joke’s on me. Plenty of folks out there, some doing their own shakedown cruises. We were at our usual favorite site which had recently had some of the larger pines brought down. We assume this was to open the canopy a bit for the other types of trees. It’ll have an interesting impact over the summer.

Last year, pre-removal
This year.

Dewinterization: fingers crossed

I winterized myself last year, as I did in 2015 and 2016. I thought I’d done just dandy then, had no worries that I’d do poorly this year. But while sanitizing the fresh water tank last weekend and getting the water system ready I took off the filter canister and found it full of water. What? I opened the hot and cold drain lines and got water from there too. Well crap. Really not sure what I screwed up in my process, but I’ll have to pay very close attention in future years.

So after getting Qubie leveled and slides out I went outside to hook up the electric and water. Yes, quite nervous. I connected the water and flipped the switch to fill the fresh water tank a bit. Didn’t find any leaks in that path. After getting about a third of a tank I shut everything off and turned on the water pump. I figure it’d be much easier to detect any leaks in the pipes with the water pump on rather than the city hookup since the pump would be cycling if there was a leak. I waited for the pressure to equalize then started opening the various fixtures to get air out of the lines. Once there was water everywhere I shut the last faucet and listened.


Blessed silence. Water pump was quiescent, no cycling. No leak! I can only assume I got really lucky this time. Must have more rigor this winter!

Smooth c(gl)amping

As usual, Piglet gets the best view. I love that he still makes the trip with us.

After that it was just our wonderful family camping. Admittedly, we do it kind of differently than most, especially since the weather was cool. No water activities this time. We could enjoy the view and sit outside comfortably for quite a bit longer than I would have imagined given the way winter is extending its grip, but it was surprisingly pleasant and mostly mild. It was a joy to sit and read in the sunshine by the lake.


I remain snakebit at firestarting. Friday evening seemed perfect for a fire, but the most I could manage was a pitiful, smoky bit of unpleasantness, yielding few flames, little warmth, and bloodshot eyes. It didn’t help a bit that almost every other site had enormous, roaring fires. I really, really suck at making fires. We eventually bailed as the evening cooled and we got tired of dodging the smoke monster.

As is our tradition, we binged a few episodes of a series on Netflix — currently “Parks and Rec” — in the comforts of Qubie before bedtime. This is enabled by the Millenicom hotspot I picked up last year, which has served us quite well in the US (it advertises international use, but completely failed us on our Viking cruise this summer through the Czech Republic, Germany, and France). We’d meant to bring a board game out but of course forgot it at home.

It was a delightful little weekend trip, and now we’re ready for the Spring Break trip we have planned shortly where we’re heading to Destin, Florida for a week of hopefully warm weather and restful family time.

Going on three years of this

In looking through our old pictures, I realized that about this time three years ago we first visited an RV dealer and looked at the first few RVs while deciding which one to get. We saw our first Tiffin, an Allegro Breeze! (It was the front-runner at the time but after that visit we decided it had too little headroom and a crowded bedroom.) Three years! This summer will be Qubie’s official three year birthday. Stretchy, fluid time again… seems like we’ve always had her, seems like we just got her.

It’s pretty wonderful that Cat and I still love to take her out. We look forward to our trips and are thankful that we’re so privileged in our lives to be able to afford it. Every once in a while my eye wanders and I look at other coaches and try to imagine a future upgrade, but I always come back to Qubie and appreciate her for precisely what she is, especially for the money. That said, on the way down to Florida we currently plan to take a gander at the National Indoor RV Center which is conveniently located near our overnight stop. 🙂 I could still win the lottery after all.

2 Comments on “Starting the 2018 camping season!

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