We have passed the halfway mark from Altoona, Iowa to Long Beach, California on my inaugural trip in my brand new 2021 Entegra Accolade 37RB Super-C RV. And so far, we haven’t experienced any mechanical or RV problems (knock on wood). The biggest obstacle we have faced has been freezing temperatures and snow. In the past, it hasn’t dipped much below freezing, and aside from some snow on the ground when we leave or arrive, it hasn’t been an issue. But tonight, temperatures are expected to drop to 21 degrees, and I’m concerned about the water pipes freezing and bursting. So, I attempt to prevent that by applying some of the techniques I’ve read about online and watched on YouTube. Did it work? Check the video.
We left Guoyman, Oklahoma, and the Corral Drive-In and RV Park on our way to the Enchanted Trails RV Park in Albuquerque New Mexico. This is one of the longest legs of the trip, with almost 400 miles in total. We made a couple of stops, one for fuel, one at a roadside fireworks stand, and another along Historic Route 66. It was a long day of travel, but seeing we were past the halfway mark, it was quite a milestone.
Being from California, where even the “Safe and Sane” fireworks are banned in many cities, looking at all of the fireworks that are readily available for purchase, to those as young as 16 years old, was pretty exciting. It was at this point I started looking into activities for 4th of July, and found out that there are many RV groups that have gatherings in the desert for the holiday, including live music, entertainment, and just a bunch of fun in the desert. I am making plans to attend the Xscapes 4th of July convergence once more details become available, I will pass them along. When I was in Palm Springs, fellow YouTuber “The Jason” introduced me to JP, the Director of the Xscapes events and filled me in on all of the fun they have at these events, so I am looking forward to more events with them.
Back on the road, we arrived at the Enchanted Trails RV park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Now, this is an interesting park, in the sense that I don’t really remember being there. I know COVID is a thing, but I had no interaction at all with any of their staff, even though we arrived and left during business hours. They simply left my site assignment on the front door with a map. I was trying to decide how I wanted to create this video, and I wanted to create one that talks about being memorable, because this site, as nice as it was, was not memorable in any way. It takes more than just “things” to make someone remember. I say “things” because they did have a collection of classic trailers you can look at, but there was never any interaction with any real people. In life, you have to find a way to be memorable, and I think that they dropped the ball in this particular situation.
With snow and 21 degrees overnight on the horizon, I needed to prep the rig for the weather. This came in two forms. One was plugging in the engine block heater to the Freightliner Chassis, and the other was ensuring that the water pipes remained above freezing so they wouldn’t burst overnight. To do this, I brought a small, portable heater and ran an extension cord from our power outlet at the campground, into the wet bay, where all of my water pipes were located. I also heard something as simple as turning on the light inside the bay will help with heat, so I turned that on as well. For the holding tanks, they say just having the heat on in the rig will help keep those from freezing, and for sure, we had the heat on in the rig.
Here is a side note I didn’t realize until much later about the RV furnace. We were burning through propane and I couldn’t figure out why. Let me clarify, when I say burning through propane, it really wasn’t much, but the gauge kept going down ever so slightly, even when we weren’t using it. We hadn’t done any (none, zilch) cooking on the propane stove, so I couldn’t figure out why the levels kept going down. It turns out, for the furnace to be at its maximum efficiency, will pull from both the 50 AMP power and propane, combine them to produce the heat. I was told, or under the impression, that if you are boondocking (not hooked up to power) it will draw from the propane, but when connected to power, it will just draw from the electricity. So, now I know. And now that some time has passed since learning this, I use the electric fireplace and two portable electric heaters in the rig when connected to shore power to save my propane.
Waking up the next morning, we had a light dusting of snow on the ground, not too much, and icicles forming from the overhead bunk of the cab, which was an interesting site. The heater in the wet bay worked perfectly, and I was thrilled. And just like that, after some coffee and tea and a light breakfast, we were on our way.
Our next destination is Cottonwood, Arizona. This will be my first night at a Thousand Trails park. I became a member before I purchased my rig. Thousand Trails is a membership site that allows you free stays at their parks, and discounts at affiliate parks around the country. I’ll get more into them in a future video and blog post once I have more real-life experience, but I have very high expectations, as it isn’t a cheap membership.