In Cleveland, Ohio there are no RV parks, or at least none that are open during the winter, and we were forced to boon-dock in the parking lot of the Cleveland IX Center. Boon-docking means you don't have any utilities (electric, water or sewer) to hook up to. You use your generator to provide electricity to the coach, propane tank to keep your fridge cold and hopefully you remembered to fill your fresh water tank with enough water to make it three or four days. When boon-docking, our coach has a really nifty feature. The generator will automatically turn on when the temperature inside gets above or below a designated setting. Dave is a little leery since let's face it, our luck hasn't been the best and coming home to frozen or baked cats does not appeal. So, if we are boon-docking during the winter or summer, we usually run the generator while we are away at work.
I suppose I should take a moment to back up and mention that when we purchased the coach were were warned that the house batteries were kinda old and we should consider replacing them in the near future. Now everybody knows that these service guys tell you stuff to scare you into purchasing items you don't necessarily need. Turns out our guy knew what he was talking about.
The first morning of the show, we try to start the generator but there doesn't seem to be enough juice in the batteries to turn it over. Now luckily, we have something called a diesel burner which will warm the water without using the batteries, and better yet, allow you to use the forced air heat with very little help from the batteries.
To my horror, the show is going to start shortly and I begin to feel rushed, I make the mistake of jumping into the shower and sticking my head under the shower head before realizing that without the generator, I can't blow dry my hair. It's below freezing outside, so going out with a wet head is not a wise choice. I have a great idea, the heat is on, I can dry my hair by standing in front of the heater vent. If you currently own or have ever owned an RV, you might recall that the heater vents are usually located in the baseboards, as is the case here. Yeah you guessed it, in order for me to get my hair dry, I had to lay on the bedroom floor and get my head as close to the vent as possible. I have to admit, it didn't turn out as bad as I had envisioned but getting up off the floor was a real ordeal in and of itself.
I think I mentioned that it was below freezing outside and it was paramount that we get the batteries replaced immediately unless we wanted catsicles for dinner. So, off to the show I go while Dave stays behind looking for a service technician to come out and replace our batteries...all six of them. Now they are just golf cart batteries and I wish we had known that little fact prior to paying $1,300.00 for some guy to come out and charge us twice as much as what we would have paid at Pep Boys. Oh well, lesson learned, but wait there's more....
The next morning, while preparing ourselves for day two of the show, I decide that rather than heat the entire coach, I'll just turn on the electric fireplace and heat the front half. I turn on the fireplace using the handy dandy remote control provided and I go about finishing my adulation's. All of a sudden Dave is yelling that the fireplace is literally on fire. Smoke is billowing out of the fireplace and Dave has a screw driver in hand trying to remove the fireplace insert before whatever is smoldering ignites. Surprise, surprise, surprise...the screws holding the insert in place are stripped! Dave has to run outside, remember it's freezing out, to get his drill and phillips head bit that are stored in the basement below.
Epilogue: Since Dave refused to replace the fireplace for fear of another episode, said fireplace has been removed and now I have enough space for approximately 30 bolts of fabric. You know the saying "When life gives you lemons"...