In Laurie’s continuing search for low flow devices, she came across HighSierra and contacted them concerning their shower-heads. After exchanging a few emails concerning our slightly more unique usage, we were shipped the 1.5 GPM model to test out in our camper. Laurie and I have mixed opinions on this one, so you get two reviews!
HighSierra 1.5 GPM Showerhead – HFCS-200-CHCM
Alan’s Review The seemingly nameless HFCS-200-CHCM is slightly heavier than a standard shower-head, but not so much that we wanted to dismiss it – and I am personally glad we didn’t. This shower head has a curved design, intended for a downward spray, which I personal have no interest in. I do, however, love that the curve allows me to hang the head on a 5 gallon bucket with no worries of it coming loose and spraying water all over the bathroom.
This is great for doing dishes, catching my temperature adjustment water, and simply filling buckets. When I need to wander off, the head features a trickle mode, but unfortunately does not have a RV style shut-off due to being a sticks and bricks type shower head. We will be resolving this with a simple in-line shut off valve, meanwhile the trickle mode is great for adding a little extra water during the soaping up process of a “military shower” and will still be very useful.
As for the normal spray mode, the HighSierra shower-head packs a nice bit of soap blasting force in a steady, narrow stream, with the bonus of our water pump running much less during shower time. Overall, I very much enjoy our new shower-head.
Rating by Alan Cook: 5.0 stars
HighSierra 1.5 GPM Showerhead – HFCS-200-CHCM
Laurie’s Review Hi! I’m Laurie. My perspective on this shower head is a little bit different than Alan’s.I do love that it uses less water than our standard Camco shower head does. I feel like my navy style showers take longer with the HighSierra due to the narrowness of the spray. I realize this unit uses considerably less water at 1.5 gpm vs 2.2 gpm of our old shower head, but I feel like the extra water loss in trickle mode and the longer shower time may negate that savings. I tend to use take my shower using the handheld function the whole time. The curved handle design is a bit awkward for me to handle as the shower head and handle are solid metal and a bit heavy. This would be no issue if you always use it attached to the shower wall. For our small RV shower though I find it a bit hard to maneuver. The solid metal handle gets quite hot from the hot water that flows through it while showering. I found myself holding it by the head and not the handle to keep my hands off of the hot metal.
Alan suggested I try using the shower in the hanging position. Alan prefers his showers this way and really likes the effect from this shower head. I tried it out hanging and it did perform better. I feel that taking a shower with the head attached to the wall is less efficient in terms of water savings than using it handheld. If you are not trying for extreme water savings in a boondocking situation, this head is great. The spray tons of pressure and warmth while using 1.5 gpm. I will be trying out other heads to find the ultimate boondocking water saving solution in the future.
Box cutters and RV furniture don’t mix! Despite that fact we use them on a regular basis during our work day. We try not to open boxes on or near furniture, but sometimes in a hurry we forget. Two times over the last year that has led to disaster. We ended up with a cut in our rv sofa upolstery followed by another tear in our booth seat cushion. Here is how I fixed them. It might not be the prettiest job do to the fact that I am terrible at sewing but it is functional and will give a smooth result that is less noticable than a giant rip in your rv.
1) Take care of those frayed edges! I did this carefully by singing the edges with a lighter. This kid of melts them together so the stitches don’t pull out from more fraying over time. You could alternatively use some Fray Stop or Aleene’s Stop Fraying. I went the cheap but more dangerous route.
2) Thread your needle and knot the thread at the end.
3) Begin at the end of the rip or tear to your rv fabric. Staring ont he underside of the fabric will hide the knot. You need to start your stitching far enough from the edge that you can insert the needle and have it come out on the same side you started with before doing the same on the other side. This will tuck the rough edge under the seam as you sew. It will also make for a stronger upolstery repair. If this sounds confusing here’s a photo of what I mean. Continue this process until you get to the end of the rip.
4) Taking care of the puckering. You will notice the fabric will pucker at both ends of the RV cushion repair. You can choose to leave this as it is or continue stitching until the pucker smoothes out. On our ripped RV bench seat cushion I chose to fix the puckering. This resulted in a longer line of stitches but gave a much smoother effect. I really like how it turned out. For the tear in our RV sofa I chose to leave the puckering as is since we cover it with a sheet. I may choose to flatten out the puckering later if we decide to use it uncovered.
5) after you finish stitching, weather you decide to fix the puckering or not, you can tie off with a sturdy knot. I made a stitch but didn’t pull it tight. Then I ran the needle through the stitch twice and pulled. Don’t cut that thread yet! Take your needle and insert it back into the fabric close to the knot. take a few straight stitches away from the knot. This makes it so your knot is sturdy and can not come out as easily. This will also make your know lie flat against the fabric instead of sticking up.
This time we were out for about three weeks before we decided to head back to Virginia and take a trip with my parents. This trip was all about working, and less about playing. It was our test run – can we really work on the road and be successful as planned. The result? Awesomeness.
We successfully found and processed more inventory on this three week trip than we would in two months sitting stagnant. And, we had the added bonus of seeing lots of cool sites, and visiting again with Laurie’s friend in PA. Enough babbling, on with the trip… (more…)
One thing is for sure, when it comes to living in an RV water is not something you want damaging your floor. When traveling, the movement could cause Gypsy’s water bowl to flip and spill everywhere. Add to that, she started her life with us enjoying flipping her water bowl over, sending a flood across the floor. We knew we needed a solution, and that is when we discovered the joy that is a spill proof water bowl.
My only complaint is the shape and size can make it difficult to clean. Gunk can build up – as with all water dishes – and the handle is not an easy area to clean.
Other than that, this thing is awesome. Gypsy can’t flip it, it doesn’t spill everywhere when traveling, and it holds a decent amount of water. Overall, we have been very happy with our WaterBoy.
Since we moved in to our camper, there have been six screws mocking me. Telling me I will never have the time to remove them. That the space they hide is a secret, never to be seen by my eyes. Poppycock, says I. We removed them, and pulled out our microwave. Because we wanted to.
For those vertically challenged folks, Laurie was very happy to see she could now reach it to clean it. I’m tempted to install quick release screws for future easy removal, but I digress.
There wasn’t really anything fantastic behind the microwave, just space. It does surprise me however, with each item I take apart, how much space RV manufactures waste. From the vast chasm that is the top of my pantry, to this newly found area above the microwave, there are countless areas drawers and cabinets could be added. Just look at all this room above the microwave hole.
That’s it, nothing more. What have you been itching to remove?
In one of our many inspections, we noticed water damage to the cabinet under our kitchen sink. In looking at options, we came across J-B Weld’s KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty and decided to try it out. As you may well know the “wood” in most travel trailers is composed of pencil shavings and Elmer’s glue. Even the smallest amount of water can make it bulge and crumble.
We checked out the selection at our local Home Depot where they were neither friendly or helpful (wish we had gone to Ace Hardware for this job). We read that the Kwikwood would do the job. Kwikwood is a two step simple process. The putty is an easy to cut two tones roll. All you do is cut off the desired amount and mix the two colors until uniform. Make sure to use gloves during the whole process.
After mixing the putty you have abut two minutes too use it before it dries. This was not an issue with the small area we needed to work wit. My gloves ended up being too large and made it difficult to apply the putty evenly. We easily fixed the mistakes in the sanding process. This putty does have a bad odor so cracking a window and of course following all safety instructions on the packaging is advised.
After allowing the KwikWood to dry, we gave it a sanding to smooth out (most of) the inconsistencies caused by the too large gloves and clumsy fingers..
During the winter, we quickly learned how much valuable space a variety of coats can take up in a camper. Normally, mounting a coat hook in the wall is a fairly simple process and does not involve more than a screwdriver and about 5 minutes worth of work. So, we installed coat hooks that matched our decor and (more…)
When we first bought our used 2008 Forest River Wildwood 29TBSS it had a rather suspect looking sticks and bricks style mattress in it. We knew we would need to throw it out. We initially replaced it with our pillow top queen mattress from our sticks and bricks apartment. We really had to squish that mattress to fit into the slightly shorter bedroom in our travel trailer. The mattress was really heavy which made lifting the bed to access storage a grumpy two person job. Trying to put sheets on a mattress that has been shoved into a space half a foot too small was a painful and nearly impossible feat. This was still manageable until winter hit. We wintered in cold Richmond, Va. Anyone who has winter camped knows how awful condensation can be. We found when wrestling the sheets onto the bed that the wall the mattress was jammed up against was dripping with condensation. We could not (more…)
When we had a slight cracking issue with our Sewer Solution, we ended up with a bit of a leak. Being we use our sewer solution every four days or so to drain our tanks, and having black water spraying isn’t something we are comfortable allowing to happen, we knew we needed an affordable solution. Spending another $100 or more on a new SewerSolution wasn’t an option.
That’s when Laurie’s looking turned up J-B Weld WaterWeld. It boasts all the power of J-B Weld products, and can be used in liquid environments. Score! A new weapon in our arsenal of thriftiness to try!
The water weld worked quite nicely. It sealed up the cracks and now, hopefully, prevents the cracks from becoming larger. We’ve used our SewerSolution a few times since the repair and it is holding up nicely.
Vehicle LCD Voltage Meter / Battery Monitor For 12V
When van camping, we often do not know the current state of our batteries when using the cigarette lighter plug to charge phones and a laptop. And, until we decide to set up a separate battery bank with solar, we need to avoid being stranded with a drained battery. After a bit of research, we picked up a vehicle voltage meter for a great price on eBay that plugs directly into the 12V socket.
While we are still in the process of giving this the full test, it does seem like it’s going to save us a lot of worrying. Our only dislike, which is minor, is that the whole unit is a little larger than we would prefer. This could prove to be a benefit at a later date, should we have the need to see the display from a distance.