Well, we are only 2 days away from the beginning of our adventure! This week has been full of lists (see Jenn’s post on the Big Listinsky,) packing, and plumbing.
Yes, I’ve been dealing with some plumbing issues in Stevie’s bathroom. Annoying, frustrating, ridiculous plumbing issues. Fun fact: plumbing in 1978 was not the same as today!
Adventures in Toiletry
We discovered our primary issue when Jenn and I had our practice camping run in Kananaskis. She noticed after an hour of driving that we had water on the bathroom floor and asked me what it was from (JB: I bet she thought you peed on the floor ha ha ha ha ha ha.) After a quick investigation, we found the toilet was full and overflowing. We had never used the toilet, so we simply flushed it and went on our merry way. When we got to the camp site, we realized the toilet was full again. Over the course of next two days, we repeated the magic fill and flush cycle at least 10 more times – until it entirely drained our fresh water holding tank. That wasn’t a problem for a 2 day excursion, but when you are planning on heading out for a number of weeks it’s clearly not workable!
I wasn’t worried though, I feel like I’m pretty handy when it comes to simple plumbing and electrical tasks. I’ve installed light fixtures, replaced faucets, and once reno’d a whole powder room. I knew I could handle a little leak! My first stop was Youtube, but I couldn’t find anything that covered my issue. Out toilet is 40 years old and it turns out they don’t make them any more 😉 . I figured I could manage the problem simply by installing a shut off valve in the pipe BEFORE the toilet. Easy fix right?
It certainly didn’t look too difficult, the copper pipe was threaded and screwed right on. This would be a 5 minute fix – tops! I got in my truck and drove to Lowes, looking for a 3/8th inch valve that I could insert with the exiting ends. Well they don’t make that – but I chatted with an “expert” who got me the right combo of pieces I’d need. 20 minutes later I was back and ready to go. Only, nothing fit the way it was supposed to. And to make matters worse, I could not unscrew the other end of the pipe to open it up. After 40 years, it had become one piece 😦 . So back to Lowes, quick return, and over to plumbing again with a different expert. He listened to my problem and had an even better solution. I could cut out the copper pipe and use compression fittings to install the valve – easy peasy! I bought the parts and tools and 20 minutes later I was happily cutting the feed pipe away…
Now it was time for installation so I grabbed the new fittings, and quickly discovered they would not slide onto the pipe. WTF? I got out a sander and polished the old copper to see if that would work. I was able to jam on the new ends with a hammer (JB: a hammer is always the right tool for any job!) and screwed the compression fittings all together. Perfect! Everything looked good, so I had Jenn turn on the water… and then screamed at her to turn it off as the gusher of high pressure spray doused me from head to toe.
Deflated, soaked, and with JB laughing in my head, I put tools down and chose to go do something else. Welcome to my new office space. All that’s missing is a whiteboard – I will be installing one when I get back 🙂 .
The next day, after accepting that I was not the plumber I imagined, I called an RV place for help. I explained what was happening, and asked if I could bring Stevie in. They said sure, they were accepting bookings in October. October? OCTOBER!? Jenn and I needed to hit the road in several days and I had cut a gaping fucking hole in our plumbing system. (JB: I told Jer to just cancel the whole trip and congratulated him for ruining everything. He didn’t seem appreciative of my candor!) Thankfully, the RV shop gave me a referral to a mobile repair guy – and he was able to come out right away. Within 20 minutes, he had everything ship shape! Thank you Derek from DRV Mobile Service, you are a lifesaver!
The Bathroom Sink
Our other leak is coming from the bathroom sink. The drain trap has a crack in it. The replacement I bought doesn’t fit, the plumbers tape didn’t work, and now I can’t remove the trap at all as it’s seized. So learning from my previous adventure I fixed this one with electrical tape and a towel 🙂 .
Storm Troopers and Blue Poofs
Now we are ready to go! We’ve got a mostly water tight camper, and have been decorating with the best 70’s decor we can find. Jenn found a fantastic blue poof footrest that really sets off the space, and I pulled out a bobble head storm trooper that has been looking for a home. You might be asking how a storm trooper fits the design – well remember that Star Wars premiered in 1977 🙂 .
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next posts from the road!
PS: Yes, I know that my storm trooper bobble head is from the current movies and not the original episodes. Sue me 🙂 .
PPS: Jenn and I had a chat about the correct punctuation to use around emojis. Is a smiley face punctuation in and of itself 🙂 Or does a sentence still require a period? And if it does, what is the correct usage? I want to the store. 🙂 Or, I went to the store 🙂 . Do they teach this shit in college now?