The water pressure in St. Vrain State Park is downright phenomenal.

The downside is that there is no laundry facilities.

I have been making a mental list of the pros and cons of water in each campground; it is definitely feeling a bit like college because of the significant amount of quarters you need in this lifestyle.  No quarters; no dice.

Yes, I do have a shower in my camper. During my hour and a half teaching session about the trailer the day I purchased it, my technician Brian asked, “Have you ever taken an RV shower before?”

This is the underbelly of the beast folks.

You really start to think of water as a resource again, not something so readily available. No more letting the spigot run while brushing my teeth. Cleaning dishes is a way leaner process.

Not only do you need to regulate what comes out of the spigot, you need to consider where it goes.

There are 3 tanks in my camper: Fresh Water, Grey Water, and Black Water. This is a very standard array. You may have a bigger tank, some sort of fresh water filter, or extra tanks for holding more of one of the above. You can also be parked in a fancy place where you can hook up a hose and have continuous fresh water coming it, and hook up another hose to have the other stuff coming out.

In the past 3 months I have rarely been able to have those liquid hook-ups, (electricity is a whole other post). Monitoring those tanks is a bit of a past time. In the bathroom there is an indicator that lets me know the tank levels of each one. From day 1, my Black tank has mis-read the levels as full. Brian gave me tips to help clean the inside, as a piece of toilet paper, or something else, may be stuck on the sensor causing the bad read. He suggested adding a quarter cup of fabric softener after I empty the tank each time to coat it so that debris has a harder time sticking, a maalox for the tank, if you will. He also suggested to fill the tank with ice, and go for a drive down bumpy roads to agitate the stuff off.

I’ve tried both, no luck.

About 2 weeks in, my Grey tank also decided to mis-read the levels. I have no idea what to try for the Grey tank, as videos on YouTube say that there’s enough detergent that goes down those tanks that things really shouldn’t stick.

And, I’ve learned, you don’t empty these tanks all the time… you should really only do it when near full, or traveling a distance, so as to not add to the weight of the vehicle.

An RV shower, for those of you not familiar, has a lovely shower head with an on/off switch. Get your water to the desired temp, hose yourself down, turn off the water, lather up, turn the water on, rinse, water off… I work top to bottom, water on spin around, water off, face soap and shampoo, rinse, water off, put in the conditioner to sit while I lather up with soap, rinse, water off…

This is also a similar routine for the campground showers, as they are timed. I have gotten down to about 6 minutes, which is of course 6 quarters. Some campgrounds give you a whole 4 minutes for $.75 – jackpot. Personally, I’ll go for the strong water pressure in the campground shower over my own shower, and less of a drain (literally) on my water tank.

Most of the State campgrounds have laundry, it’s way cheaper than some place in town. Chatfield is $1.75 for wash and $1.25 to dry. There was some laundry mat in Lakewood that charged me $4 for a load of clothes. (!) Won’t make that mistake again. It’s also a bit like the Matrix, planning on when you’ll be near a laundry facility…  getting stuck in a torrential downpour while on a walk or peeing your pants when you’re at a campground (which one do you think is true) that has no laundry facility means you’re on the hook for either schlepping down to the neighborhood laundry mat, or washing things in the sink. (I keep dancing with the idea of getting a POD. Maybe next year.)

My life is now all about hoarding the quarters; going to a bank to buy quarters is such a pain in the…


What I haven’t mention thus far, is how water has affected me when the trailer roof has leaked. Luckily only twice, and fixed fairly easily, but since it’s cheap cabinetry, they have warped. One was replaced, and one is hidden enough to not need replacing. I hope this is all I will have to encounter for now.

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