It is winter and we’re still surviving in this RV thing. It’s getting pretty cold out though. We were supposed to move to my parents house for February while they’re snow-birding, but then we had a cold snap again and we have to wait until it goes above freezing to empty the tanks and winterize.
Pretty much the whole day is centered around heating something or monitoring the temperature in something else. Let me tell you how a day goes here.
At night we have the heat set at 55 or 57F. Andrei has an electric blanket and Brent and I share one, plus we all have multiple fluffy quilts keeping us cozy. Brent and I have our bedroom door shut and there is only one tiny vent going to our room so it gets pretty chilly in there. There is literally frost in the corners of the room. This morning, one of my pillows was frozen to the wall. But with the million blankets and dehumidifier, it is tolerable. Sometimes our noses get a little chilled, but that’s it. Getting up, however, is a different story. If one of us gets up to use the bathroom before the alarm goes off, it’s their job to turn up the house heat (66-68ish). Otherwise it’s usually my job. My alarm goes off at 6AM but it might take me up to an hour to have the guts to climb out of bed and make the mad dash out of the room. We call our version of ‘Cold Shower Therapy‘.
Anyway, I finally get up and immediately put on slippers and my hooded sweatshirt. I purposely keep them in the main house so it is toastier than whatever temperature our bedroom drops to. I start boiling water for coffee and get breakfast going. One of the things I started doing was taking our plates and coffee cups out of the cupboard and setting them on the heater to thaw before I put the hot food on them. Restaurants do it to be nice – we do it out of necessity. There is also frost in those cupboards so the dishes are *icy*.
After breakfast and coffee, Brent puts some more water in the teakettle for his morning wash-up. We quit using the shower in October due to water usage, and turned off the water heater in November due to propane usage. If we’re going through a tank of propane overnight in these temps just to heat our house, I can’t imagine what we would have been using to keep our hot water tank heated too. So we use the stove. We have a big enamelware washtub that we fill with our desired amount of water and then take it into the shower stall to splash and wash and do whatever we need to get clean. It’s not horrible. It’s not the most fun, but it’s not bad, really.
Until we all washed up and the morning dishes are done, we’re pretty much running the teakettle constantly. After that we’re all heated, and the house is heated, and we’re ready for the day.
If you were to stop by during the day you might see the following: Anyone who is sitting down is covered in a blanket. Me jumping out of my skin because the cat is curled up underneath our blankets and I leaned on him to make the bed. Random objects laying on the floor because we set them on the heater where the cat’s “seat” is. The tea kettle running again, because of more dishes.
Also there is the “rule of the heater”, which I haven’t quite figured out yet. The big question is – when the heater comes on, do you unblanket and run around to do your chores, or do you wait until the heater cycles so the house is at the maximum temperature. I haven’t decided which is best yet. However, one thing I do know is that if you have to pee or something, as soon as you hear the heater kick in, you better go right then. The bathroom is tiny and has it’s own gigantic heater vent, so it is always sauna temperatures. Brent and I both may get caught sneakily bumping the temperature up so the heater kicks in right before wash-up time.
In the evening Brent comes home from work and always gives an update on where our propane level is at. We have two small 30 lb propane tanks that he switches out and then drives them to fill when one is empty. They last a week when it’s cold, or a day or two when it’s frigid (i.e. WI in January). After dinner we retire to our individual activities, all the while carting our individual blankies. After dark the heat also gets notched up a bit and the electric blanket also gets turned on at least an hour before bedtime.
At bedtime we better remember to turn the heat back down, or someone (Brent) will have to do the naked dash and freeze their parts off climbing out of bed to turn it down after being snuggled under the covers. Our bed does not have enough space to walk around so we have to climb over it to get in. But the top of the cover is cold, only the inside is warm. So I developed my own technique where I walk over the bed, squat down to plug my phone in and put it away and then sort of shimmy into the warm covers without ever touching the top of the bed. It sometimes works but sometimes I get a cold shock.
After we are all snuggled, Brent and I amuse ourselves like all good married couples – by touching each other with our cold toes. :P After we are warm we drift off and dream of warmer temperatures tomorrow.
See, it’s not that bad – we’re just fine