Monday morning, December 5:
Oh, boy. The snow is coming down fast. The wind is blowing it sideways. I’m sitting on my bed in the corner of the Casita looking out the back window. It started to snow about five minutes ago and already the ground is turning white. The television says the wind chill is in the teens. I don’t need the tv to know that. The crew did their business on the fly this morning. For once Spike didn’t tug on his leash trying to convince me to let him stay outside longer!
Everyone at Riverside Campground at Caballo Lake is hunkered down to wait out this storm.
Well, not everyone. There goes a lady in a winter coat and ski hat running from campsite to campsite, trying to get water out of the campground spigots. Those faucets are the first thing to freeze. It looks like she got some from the campsite next to mine. She’s heading back to her motorhome.
I’m glad I bought some jugs of water yesterday at Walmart! I also picked up some rv antifreeze which I poured down the shower drain last night. Now I’m worried my fresh water tank might freeze. Ain’t this exciting!
Just as I’m thinking what a bad day it is to be on the roads, my cellphone rings.
It’s Kathy calling to cancel their visit planned for this morning. Not surprising! She tells me “It’s really windy up here! We’re going to turn on the propane heater because the trailer’s heater just isn’t doing the job”. She adds, “When the dogs huddle together, it’s too cold!”
I’m going to venture out to get a photo for you while the wind has let up a bit.
Mission accomplished! Now it’s time for some hot tea! Talk to you later.
Update! Monday afternoon, December 5:
The snow and wind continue. At times I can barely see the next campsite. The crew and I are secure and warm inside our frosty egg-home. These photos are a better update than any words I might write . . .
I didn’t change the exposure on these photos. The grayness comes from snow flurries blocking sunlight. I’ll try to take some more photos later today and post another update.
Bye for now!
Five o’clock update:
It’s still snowing!
I didn’t see any photos like this on the state park website!
This photo says it all!
Thanks to everyone for your comments. I appreciate all the advice and encouragement!
Sue, I know you just dumped your tanks but you may want to put some antifreeze in your blackwater tank as well. If it gets too cold you might want to drain your fresh until it warms up and live on the bottled water–don’t forget the water heater if you do drain it. Those tanks are expensive repairs! Good luck riding out the storm.
Okay! I think I will drain the fresh water tank.
Dumb question alert! I assume draining the fresh water tank does not drain the water heater. Do I run the hot water faucet until no more water comes out after I drain the fresh water tank? Is there a danger of the water pump running when there’s no water in the fresh water tank? Or is there another way to empty the hot water tank?
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr here too!!!! Chuck suggests reading your owner’s maunal about the hot water heater. We have had the MotherShip long enough that he has forgotten what he used to do with his Casita. I suggest getting on the Casita Forum and asking there also looking up some of the archives there about hot water heaters.
Read the owner’s manual? Do I have to?
I thought only guys felt that way about manuals. LOL
If you keep your hot water tank on it can’t freeze.
BTW, why are you staying in that kind of weather? Seems like one of the benefits of this lifestyle is to go to pleasant weather when the situation changes. That is why it’s on wheels. 🙂
Thanks for the advice on the hot water tank.
I didn’t leave the area because I was in the middle of having the PTV wired for solar and having a solar panel installed. This work was done on the good weather days. From one day to the next, the weather changed to very windy, then very cold and snow. . . . all the way into Arizona. I did not want to risk being on the interstate in high, gusty winds. Semi-trucks and cars have been piling up on the interstates in New Mexico. Roads just west of here have been closed. This is not usual weather for this part of NM this early in the winter.
I just saw a big motorhome pull out of the campground. Crazy!. I can’t predict the future, but I’ve been around enough snow in my life to know we could possibly have white-out in a few hours.
I told you to listen to BillyBob!!! Itz snowing in Arizona too, also!! AND HERE!!!
Be glad you have TWO DOGS TO PULL UP to warm you!!!
Thanx, for the pic!!!
Hope your day is agonna get better!!!!
This is so weird! Who would have guessed NM and AZ would have such bad weather?
Bridget and Spike are doing their job, keeping the covers warm . . . You stay warm, too!
Now don’t go and bet your life on it but, I would think that if your water tank is half full or more, and since you are living in your trailer and keeping it warm inside, it would have to get well below freezing for many consecutive hours to freeze the water in it. Prop open the door under your bed that allows access to the hot water heater area. This will allow warmer air access to the plumbing areas. As the water heater is insulated, it would be the last thing to freeze. If you do drain your tank, make sure your water pump is turned off.
Unfortunately there isn’t a door below the bed. What I’d have to do is remove part of my bed cushions to take the top off the fiberglass “channel” that holds the water heater. I may do that tonight and figure out another way to make a bed.
Thanks you for all the helpful information. It’s supposed to be bad weather and cold tonight and tomorrow.
My bad. Thought all casita’s had a side door on the roadside bench to allow accessing the WH bypass valve. They must be doing something else on the newer models.
There is a small door on the roadside bench (a metal door) allowing access to fuses.
Sue, I have camped in my Casita a couple of times when it dropped into the teens. I only had a small amount of water in the fresh water tanks so I drained it. Seems it would take a long time for a let to freeze, maybe someone else knows more about that. Anyway I turn on all the faucets and turned the pump on until no more water comes out. Turned the pump off but left the faucets open. (Plumber once told me the pipes burst when they start to thaw and expand) I put some rv antifreeze down each drown to keep any water in the p traps from freezing. Opened the cabinet, where the water heater is, to allow the inside heat to keep it a little warmer. From the outside, I opened the cover for the water heater and placed something over the vent to keep the wind out, also stuffed a hand towel in there. (Make sure to remove before relighting). Not sure it I did the right things or not…maybe I got lucky…guess it was better than doing nothing. GOOD LUCK!!!
By the way, it is expected to be in the upper 70’s here in South Georgia today….but I would rather be doing what your doing.
Thank you, Cynthia, for taking the time to tell me your experience. I went out to check the level in the fresh water tank and the door wouldn’t open! (I’ve been having trouble with the key sticking.) So I rummaged around inside the PTV and found some penetrating oil, managed to get the little door open, and found my water tank is half full. I think I’ll be okay. I wish I had thought to fill it up yesterday . . .
The inside of the Casita is very warm. I did put antifreeze down the sinks last night, not knowing if it was the thing to do, but I figured it couldn’t hurt! Again thanks, and I’ll take that big GOOD LUCK you sent my way!
Sorry about the length iof my last reply, but I lived through those “before we knew about being green” days and it struck a true note with me and just wanted to share.
Hey, Bob . . . It struck a note with me, too! No need to apologize about the length of the comment. I’m sure others enjoyed reading it as much as I did. And wordpress can handle it. I love comments of all sizes! Ha!
Last three years we were in FL it got so cold we bought the Mothership and is named that as all our ‘lil’ Casita and other small fiberglas trailers camp around us and come over for social affairs!
So this cold weather ain’t bothering us too much. Year before last, winter was a lot colder than here!
Let’s hope this isn’t the beginning of a repeat of last year.
If it looks like it’s gonna be cold like last year, Chuck and I will hitch up the MotherShip and head over Ajo way to find a nice cactus to park next to! The Bayfield Bunch looks entirely to warm and comfey! hahaha!
Oh my goodness… the weatherman must have confused his forecast. I’m in NB, Canada and it has been in the mid 50’s all day. Go figure. Usually the river would have frozen over by now but there is no ice in site. If it’s any help… I’m sending warm thoughts. Good luck.
Oh, so this storm is supposed to be hitting YOU! I appreciate the warm thoughts . . . You’ll get your storms, soon enough, right?
Oh yes, NM gets cold….. last year I froze my A** off in Deming NM with the temps down to the teens even the well pump froze at the RV park … another reason I am here in Mexico. Although for the past few days it has been cold and windy here down to the sixties durning the day and fifties at night brrrrrr. Have fun in the snow 😀
First I was initiated with Texas heat. Next it was steep mountain roads with no guardrails. Now it’s a New Mexico snowstorm. I wanted an unpredictable life. Looks like I got one!
Sue, I hope you can get your wiring completed soon and get the heck out of Dodge! It’s too darn cold there! It looks like you have some sunshine heading your way in the next few days but not much warm weather. You’re wise to stay put for now. There’s no way I’d get on that stretch of freeway between you and us in this nastiness. Hunker down and make some memories. Grace (in Tucson)
The crew and I are well hunkered.
Oh my Sue I’m feeling really bad for whining on Saturday about how I wanted to be in Florida because it was 29 degrees here in Virginia at night. We don’t have any snow thank goodness.
I’ll be waiting for updates on your frozen situation. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you.
I think your fresh water tank should be ok as long as you keep your RV heated.
I left NM 3 years after I moved from Texas. The push that sent me back to my home state was the year we had snow every month for 6 months!!!! When the roads clear and you are finished with that panel install.. Git they self to a much warmer climate!!!
When bad weather brings unsafe driving conditions, will New Mexico state parks relax their rules about length of stay? Or do they require campers to hit the road and brave the weather after their time limit has expired? And what happens if inclement weather persists for weeks?
I don’t think the rangers would tell someone to leave in a snowstorm or other bad weather. When I went past 21 days at Elephant Butte, I was allowed to stay the weekend, even though it wouldn’t have been a hardship to leave right away. Campers have told me they’re flexible about that rule.
Lonewolfgal brings up a good question! Sue, could you ask a ranger? I would assume (and everybody knows about that) they would let you stay, espescially if no one is coming in. But, after all, it is gov’t agency………..
It probably depends on who you’re dealing with.
Sue, the weather seems more dire for your plumbing than it really is. If the fresh tank is half full, then you should be fine since it’s only getting freezing temps from the bottom and the outsides. You may want to consider adding an access door from the inside so you can heat the area when it gets really cold. If you put some RV antifreeze down the pot and some down the drains you should be fine. As long as you’re keeping the Casita warm enough for you, some of that heat is “leaking” to the fresh tank area.
Enjoy the beauty. You’re smart NOT to travel till it’s SAFE. Stuff (plumbing, valves, etc) can be replaced. YOU can’t be replaced.
Dutchman was at Pancho Villa last year when it got down to 7 and I don’t think he had any problems.
Thanks, Reine. Your comment is reassuring.
I decided not to empty the fresh water tank. The last time I tried to empty it, I couldn’t get the last inch of water to drain out. I think I’m better off to leave it half full.
Time will tell. . .
Put on an extra quilt, stay warm, read and blog! This, too, shall pass. Just think of the lessons you are learning so you will be prepared for next time. I would have to get a little notebook (or a folder on my computer) to write this all down so I would remember for the “next time”. Like: when bad weather is predicted, fill the water tank, or empty and get plenty of bottled water!
You are still welcome to winter in Mississippi. 🙂 No snow.
And miss out on all this excitement?
Congratulations on another wonderful memory you’ve created for yourself. It may seem odd now, but in the years to come, I have a feeling you will look back on this New Mexico snowstorm (raging blizzard; when looking back in a few years) as one of the highlights of your early days. Enjoy yourself.
You’re right, Darrell! I can exaggerate this into quite a story . . . I Survived The Blizzard of 2011!
Sue, I sure hope you are enjoying our New Mexico winter a bit. I am a winter person, but i would still be worried about the pipes freezing etc, as I worry about that here in our house . Last year here in Moriarty, NM it hit 31 below zero one day. We were the coldest place in the country that day, even colder than Fairbanks, Alaska (not usual for here). People all over our area had frozen and broken pipes. We were lucky we did not. I love getting to share in your experiences on the road, and love your upbeat attitude. I am thoroughly enjoying your blog. Thank you so much for sharing.
Hey you, snow in Mexico wow, I live in northern ontario and we get plenty of snow storms and cold weather, you were smart to stay put, safe place then on the road where mishaps can be devastating. Glad to hear you and the babies are warm and safe. Here I always thought Mexico was warm, thanks for the pictures and take care.
Sue, I didnt read all the posts but your water lines needs winterzide, water heater and fresh water tank drained pronto. So time to talk get in touch with baker Rv, talk to your friends or head for warmer weather immediatly. You are looking at serious $$$$$ if that stuff freezes.
Sue, Isn’t it funny how many different opinions you are getting? I vote for paying attention to your Cassita friends. They know best about your rig in those circumstances. I’ll be checking in tomorrow to see what new antics you’re up to 🙂 Pat K
Hi Sue! I-25 just closed from Los Lunas to El Paso and I-10 from El Paso west. If we lose power, we’ll go over to the Mothership!!! You and the crew stay warm!!!!!
Chuck n Geri n herd
I appreciate the report. I’m so glad I have my propane heater. If the power goes out here, we still stay warm.
Sue, I agree that you should be fine. I have a 5th wheel instead of Casita but winter survival should be about the same. Good comments on the drains, leaving tank full, etc. Leave hot water tank on. Open any cupboards that have plumbing behind them so your inside heat will reach them. Keep an eye on the moisture building up inside, you may have to vent a window once in a while. If you have to stay in the cold for a while this winter, you may want to get plastic to make your own storm windows inside. They have kits where you seal it up with air barrier between plastic and glass and then use hair dryer to “shrink to fit” tight. If you don’t have one of those insulated pads for your ceiling vent, stuff a pillow up there. Hang tight.
The snow has stopped and the wind has picked up. So far it is nice and warm inside and the little electric “cube” heater is only on medium. I’m sitting here in short-sleeves.
I don’t plan to stay here the entire winter. As soon as there’s a break in the weather here and to the west, I’m moving out.
Good suggestion on your last reply. When the weather breaks head for warm weather. Tioga George chooses T-Shirts and shorts. The Bayfield Bunch promote warm weather. That is what is great about wheelestate. You can move your house. Although, the snow and wind certainly make for a unforgetable adventure. Wishing you safe journeys.
Though I’m not an RVer, I have to be in Roswell starting Thursday for a couple of days. My brother in Roswell tells me that NM is in the teens right now. Roswell isn’t the direction you want to go when you leave. It’s darned cold there too. Head to Yuma.
Its pretty cold here in Tucson but no snow which I am very grateful for . Someone sent me pictures of Pinetop Lakeside, AZ where I spend the summers. They have gotten plenty of snow. The pictures are beautiful but remind me of why I come back to Tucson for the winter.
Stay warm and I know your pups are glad to have a warm place to stay.
Where’s the third dog? It’s a “Three dog night”.
Actually I was going to say something about that last pic with the two pups looking out the window,
Doggie on the left looks to be saying, “Are you kidding me??”
That’s Bridget. She thinks I can do anything, so why don’t I make it go away!
Sue, sorry I haven’t replied to anything for the past few days. I’ve been reading all of your blog entries from the very beginning. Wow, can’t believe the weather there now! We are planning on going to Palm Springs on the 19th to enjoy some sunshine and warm weather. It is cold here in Battle Ground, Washington tonight, with a low of 27 degrees predicted. It sounds to me like you should be fine. I’ll check back tomorrow to see how you are doing.
First I want to congratulate you for making it all the way through my blog entries! Welcome!
Palm Springs should be better than 27 degrees. I’m sure you are looking forward to a change.
The crew and I are doing fine this morning. Everything is calm and cold around here. My one television station is gone, but I have internet and a hot cup of coffee, so I’m not complaining. Thanks for writing.
We are waking up to 17 degrees in Truth or Consequences NM and no power! Getting cold fast! If power doesn’t come on soon, we are moving over to The MotherShip! DC furnace there will keep us warm! brrrr! Hope you and crew are still tucked in and nice and warm!!!!
Power just came back on! It was off for about an hour! Hooorrraaayyyyyy!!!!
Good morning, Geri!
I’m glad you can stay home in your jammies . . . We had power all night, slept like babies.
This is all pretty exciting reading. I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground here in KC and found myself wondering immediately: How is it going with Sue and Crew in the Casita in NM? I can see by the other comments that I am not the only one. Looking forward to your next update!
I certainly don’t feel alone! I’m going to post an update shortly.