Our Wonderful Little Casita

I had thought that I might be able to hold off on winterizing the Casita by keeping the heater running in it since this winter has been so mild.  But tonight, winter is finally here.  So today we got the winterizing done.

It was so easy with the Camco winterizing kit!  It took exactly one gallon to do the whole system.  Since I had bought two gallons, I divided the other gallon between the black and gray tanks.  That should prevent any damage to the valves.

As I worked in the Casita today, I was again struck with the rock solid quality of the build.  That is one company who still cares about giving their customers the very best.

There are only two things I would change about the trailer.  First, I would prefer washable walls and ceilings to the carpet.  And secondly, I would like drain holes in the bottom so when the inevitable water system accidents occur, the water would have somewhere to go.  I have been planning to drill some carefully placed drain holes, but just haven’t gotten to it yet.

While I was working in the trailer, I decided to go ahead and do a thorough cleaning.  I pulled the back bed and cushions, vacuumed the wall carpet, washed the fiberglass seat bases, and mopped the floor.  The vacuuming took a while.  I would do short sections, then rest.  But I’m satisfied that the rear of the trailer is as clean as I can get it.

Tomorrow I plan to do the front of the trailer.  And when that is done, I will vacuum the ceiling and maybe shampoo around the air conditioner vents.  I also need to clean the front carpet near the floor where Sheba keeps depositing dog hair.  I am trying to devise an attractive barrier to put in front of that part of the carpet so it won’t need such frequent cleaning.  Maybe plexiglass?

Our trailer is a 2005 and we have had it a little over a year now.  It is as beautiful as new.  There are a few little tweaks that need to be done when you get the trailer.  Most importantly, you need to make a drip tray for the upper refrigerator vent.  Otherwise rain will seep in and get to the floor behind the refrigerator.  The other essential is modifying the gray water plumbing so the gray water drains instead of trickles out.

But once those things are taken care of, I don’t think there is a better built trailer on the market.  If you like small campers, you will fall madly in love with the Casita!

 

 

 

 

…..But I Love My Casita

The coffee shelf that Rob built for me that has turned into an indispensable all-purpose shelf.

Dad used to love his tool shed more than any other place on earth.  It was his favorite place to escape to.  He would often say, “I like my house, but I love my shed!”

I feel the same way about my little trailer.  I like my house, but I LOVE my Casita!  Every time I open the door and walk inside, I feel a powerful sense of home.  Like it’s my place to be.  Like I belong there.

My house is comfortable.  It’s a nice place to be.  But in the 14 years we’ve lived here, it’s never felt like home.

I loved our Aliner until it started falling apart faster than I could fix it.  I also felt a sense of home in it.  No matter where we traveled, when we stopped, popped up the top and walked inside, we were home.

But it’s even more pronounced in the Casita.  Maybe because the quality is light years ahead of the Aliner’s.   Maybe because the happiest times of our marriage have been spent traveling and camping in it.

I named it Egg Harbor… obviously because it’s egg-shaped.  But also because I feel so sheltered and safe in it.

We talk sometimes about going fulltime, but we truly aren’t ready to cut ties to a house, garden, and property surrounded by woods yet.  So I don’t know why the Casita is home and the house isn’t!

I spent a couple of hours in it this afternoon, cleaning, rearranging, repacking…. actually just playing house in it!  It will be so much fun to be on the road again soon!

I Got the Solar System!

90 Watt portable folding solar system — includes a multi-stage PWM solar controller mounted to the back of the panels.

UPS brought my solar system today.  All I had to do was hook a permanent connector to the battery terminals, run it out through the vent louver of my battery box and plug in the panel.  To say I am thrilled is a major understatement!

Charge reading at 5:30 pm. I am thrilled!!!!

I didn’t extend the built in legs for the solar panel because at my latitude this time of year I needed only an 11 degree tilt.  So I just put a couple of boards under it.

I was very surprised to see it charging at 13.80 volts that late in the day!

Even when clouds moved over the sun and the panel was totally in overcast conditions, my meter was still showing 13.33 volts at 6:00 pm.

It came in a very nice aluminum case with foam padding to protect the panels when I’m not using them.

The solar panels came with a very nice padded aluminum case.

My only concern is the weight.  The panels themselves are only 26 pounds.  However, with the 12 pound case, the total weight is 38 pounds, which is a little hard for me to carry.   So I guess the solution is to let Ron carry the panels in the case for me.  Or use my little folding dolly.

I also plan to install my Windox Maxx vent this evening or in the morning.  I got it so I could leave a window open when it rains so I can run a fan inside the Casita for ventilation in bad weather.

The foam padded interior of the case.

The only thing we won’t be able to use with the solar panels is the air conditioner.  (We don’t carry a microwave when we camp.) So we need to either head to the mountains where it’s cool enough without air conditioning… or wait until the summer heat is past — to enjoy our new boondocking capabilities.

If you are looking for a quality portable solar system from people who really care about their customers, check out CEA Solar!  They are great people to deal with!

Stephen Foster Festival of Lights & Craft Village

I don't have words for the stunning beauty and elegance of the intricately lit trees. The dark areas are where hanging Spanish moss obscures the light.

We went to the Festival of Lights at Stephen Foster Memorial State Park in White Springs, Florida this evening.

I’ve seen a lot of Christmas light displays, but the emphasis on the stunning forms of the huge old Live Oak trees with countless intricately woven lights is beyond my ability to describe.

Craft Village is a series of small buildings where live demonstrations of different crafts are presented.  During the Festival, these buildings are decorated to the hilt for Christmas.  We wandered through the shops, watching the demonstrations and admiring the quality, hand crafted merchandise offered for sale.

Palm tree

Free popcorn, hot chocolate, and marshmallows with skewers for toasting were available to everyone.  Amazing, since admission was only $2.00 per person!

There was also a music program which we missed because we weren’t sure where it was supposed to be.  But we greatly enjoyed the sound of Christmas carols pealing from the bells in the carillon tower.

I was told that the Festival will run every night through January 1, except December 25 and 26.  So if you are in the area, don’t miss this wonderful, unique presentation!

Weaving

Quilting

The blacksmith shop was the only one that was not staffed.

Tree and bell tower

The free popcorn station

The aromatherapy shop

A craft village shop

The Lanikai Arrived

Lanikai ragged sound hole

The Lanikai ukulele arrived today.  I was really disappointed in the lack of quality.  You can see in the picture to the left that the sound hole has ragged edges.  There was a big blob of glue on the side of the third fret.  The finish had a couple of spots in it.  The action is too high and the intonation is slightly off.  I imagine a good music shop could fix those problems, but I had already decided to return it and order a better quality instrument.  After seeing it in person, I am reassured that I made the right decision.

A blob of glue on the side of the third fret of the Lanikai

I contacted Mike at Mainland Uke today and he assured me that the action and intonation on his Classic Mahogany Concert model will be right before he ships it.

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