Not All Who Wandah Ah LostJRR Tolkien LOTR quote as spoken by a Bostonian.
She has a name: Wandah (or Wanda? I’m not entirely sure). We just know we’ve got the wandalust so we are going to wandah around the country for a while.
Wandah has been seen in public several times now, including 3 overnights (once with full hookups!) and several showings. When not at her temporary home at Marty & Paula’s in Westford, here are her appearances so far, in order:
- Visit to Mom (in Hudson, MA) direct from the dealer
- Overnight in Dennis Port, MA – for Jonathan’s big day
- Visit to Josh and Sandra’s – Westford
- Two nights at Boston Minuteman Campground, Littleton MA
- Visit to Cabela’s Hudson – Lori’s family over from Clinton MA
- Visit to Cindy and Rich’s – Sudbury – for “The Barn” preschool teachers & alumni
We have several more visits and overnights to come in MA, NH, and ME.
The First Reveal
Our first overnight was on the Cape. Our good friend Jonathan had a milestone birthday celebration, a huge shindig with scores of out of town guests and accommodations were scarce. So we brought our own! Somewhat more comfy than for those who tent camped in the back yard. This first time out we “dry camped”: no water from hose or holding tank, which simplified things substantially.
A great time was had by all, and we enjoyed seeing old and friends and meeting new ones.
Our first real camping practice was just a few miles away, in Littleton, MA. Full hookups: Water, Sewer, and 30 amp electric.
Water: We hooked up the water supply (pressure limiter -> filter -> hose -> RV) and had good pressure throughout. A quick connect hose coupler has now been ordered, as hookup/disconnect would quickly get tedious.
Sewer: The rhino-flex made its debut, connecting the waste pipe to the sewer. Didn’t need the support ramp since there was a nice natural downhill slope.
Electric: The EMS showed a clean 30A and the connection was fast and easy.
In summary, all systems checked out. No leaks, water got hot, shower was fine, toilet did it’s toilet thing as expected. The freezer froze and the refrigerator chilled. So did we, with a little late night TV via the roof antenna. (The campground offered a cable hookup but we hadn’t brought any co-ax).
Lori put up the quick set screen house (getting faster!) and we set up all the chairs and folding table. It rained overnight, and there were no leaks with the slide-out out. All good! Our first evening meal was salmon, pan fried over a propane stove. Quite tasty. Does camping always make food taste better?
We had some campground fun too. In the evening we had guests Josh and Sandra who showed up with Mexican takeout. Yum! We talked well into the night. The next morning on a walk around the grounds we found equipment for cornhole, tether ball, and horseshoes, and played them all.
Teardown went smoothly as well. I did my first “dump” sequence – first black water, then gray of course, and I even did a black tank flush! There’s a connector on the side that goes to a spray head inside the black water tank. This rinses it all clean. The sewer hose has a clear elbow so you can see when the water runs clear. Oh joy!
Mission accomplished. Now we know we’ll have an easy time whenever there are hookups. Soon we’ll want to try “boondocking” which is self-contained camping. That’s where advanced skills come into play, balancing our 3 primary resources: water, battery power, and propane, with key goals of: keeping the electric fridge running, staying warm, and staying clean – i.e. shower, toilet and dish washing. Apparently running out of water often occurs first so if we boondock we’ll have to learn effective water conservation practices. We think we can do one day pretty easily, but two or three may start to really test our skills.
Wandah the Debutante
Wandah had a coming out party, graciously hosted by Rich and Cindy at
their home in Sudbury. The attendees were Barn preschool teachers and
two husbands. We put out the slide and the awning, and relaxed in
zero-gravity chairs with cold drinks and snacks. Champagne followed with
a toast to our coming adventures.
Lori shows off her speed. 2:27, a record!
Provisioning & Mods
We continue to stock Wandah with gear. Pots pans bowls plates silverware knives towels bath supplies… You don’t tend to think of how many things you use in a day until you’re forced to make hard choices about what will fit. Lori is big on containerization. We have a dozen plastic tubs to organize things. Tubs for different kinds of clothing, tubs for cleaning supplies, even a junk tub with miscellaneous stuff.
Some recent additions we’re happy with include 1) A vertical set of pouches that we fastened near the door to hold flip flops, flashlights, remotes, anything we’ll use a lot going in and out. 2) A privacy curtain, that divides the bedroom suite (lol) from the living room and kitchen. This means we won’t always have to close every shade, drape, and curtain in order to get dressed. 3) A behind-the-door waste basket. Every inch counts! Thanks Grandpa Ron for some great ideas.
After testing out half a dozen ebike models, we chose the same kind that our son Luke recently bought, Aventon Pace 350s. We feel these are a good value, relatively light for ebikes, decent build quality, and enough power and range to meet our needs. And they’re fun! Start to pedal and there’s a surge of assist power. To some it feels like you have superhuman leg strength. To others, it’s like a ghost helpfully pushing you forward. Either way, it makes riding fast and effortless. We strongly considered getting manual bikes, but heard so many positive recommendations from other campers that we decided to go for it. Sure it’s less exercise when the boost is turned on, but since this will be our only local transport option other than Wandah herself, we didn’t want any impediment to getting out and doing stuff. And in some places there are wicked hills. No fun getting hot and sweaty when you just wanted a leisurely tour, or to make a run to the store for supplies.
We’re quite happy with the bike rack as well. It holds two bikes up to 60 lbs. each (ours are just 45), is easy to use, and has a locking hitch and bike cable. A zippered cover keeps the bikes dry in bad weather. Nice!
Well that’s all for now folks. See ya next time!