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Here’s another quick RV maintenance tutorial for those who like to save a few bucks on simple repair projects. Complete with photos, detailed steps, and a little history…

We first wrote about the broken retention cap for our fifthe wheel trailer umbilical cord—and how we fixed it on the cheap—back in 2008. I finally decided to replace the 7-pin trailer cord socket in the bed of our Dodge Ram 2500 pickup after finding one amongst the many bargain bins at Quartzsite.

If you are even the slightest bit handy with a screwdriver, you can replace the socket for your trailer tow lights/brake wiring harness by following these simple steps.

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Here’s a handy tip for anyone who has ever lost the cap to the freshwater supply inlet on their RV or trailer.

How to Fix Broken or Missing Freshwater Inlet Cap

  1. The cap from a Gatorade sport drink bottle will fit!

Lost your cap somehow? Grab a Gatorade and drink it down. Then screw the cap onto your freshwater supply to keep out debris and bugs.


This is a frugal fix, or temporary solution to keep your water fresh until you can replace the freshwater inlet cap on your RV.

Do you have any quick RV maintenance tips to share?

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We’ve had such positive feedback on our three part series about How To Prepare and Pay for the full-time RVing Lifestyle, that we’ve decided to make it available as a free download for convenient reading offline.

Download Free Fulltime RVing Planning Report

We hope you enjoy it and share this link with other full-timers to be who are still in the research and planning phase before hitting the road. But we believe even seasoned RVers can benefit from what we have to share.

Download Your Free Full-time RVing Planning Report Here.

If you have not yet read this series of blog posts, you can read it online here or download the PDF.

How To Prepare for Full-Time RVing Lifestyle, Part I

How to Plan for the Full-Time RVing Lifestyle, Part II

How to Pay for the Full-Time RV Lifestyle, Part III

Be sure to save the PDF to your hard drive! You can then read it offline anywhere, anytime. Click the links throughout the document for more helpful information online.

For complete details about how we’ve been making a living on the road for the past 7± years to support our nomadic lifestyle, consider downloading our popular remote home based business e-book, Income Anywhere!

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I don’t know why we didn’t do this sooner.

We’ve enjoyed boondocking for as long as we can ever since we hit the road in 2007. Early on, we discovered we can nearly double our freshwater capacity with collapsible water jugs. Getting that water into our freshwater tank, however, has always been a major hassle. Until now.

Watch this quick video and learn how to easily modify your RV plumbing system to use the water pump for filling the freshwater tank from any external source.

YouTube Preview Image

How To Modify RV Water Pump to Fill Freshwater Tank

Filling our freshwater tank from collapsible 5 gallon jugs was always a two-person job—we would both get wet, tired and frustrated. Never again.

By adding a few tee valve connectors to our water supply lines in the compartment with our pump, I am now able to easily and quickly add fresh water to our tank from any container, by myself, without getting in a fight.

The hardest part was figuring out where those valves should go. So here, I’ve done that for you.

NOTE: Our fifth wheel came with a tee-valve and tube intended for use when winterizing the rig. By turning the switch, the attached hose could be inserted into a jug of antifreeze. We never used that, though we sure should have at least once. But it was the inspiration for this mod I made!

1. Fill Tube

If your RV does not have a winterization bypass hose, you can easily insert a tee valve in between the the input side of the pump and the freshwater tank, and attach a short length of flexible hose.

2. Bypass Valve

Insert another tee valve into the output hose coming from the pump to the pressurized water lines.

3. Redirect Valve

Finally, add a valve to redirect water back into the tank via the pressure relief hose on top.

4. Power Supply

Run wire from the nearest DC power source and splice it into the positive side of the pump’s power supply. Add a rocker switch so you can turn the pump on and off without shouting at to someone inside the RV.

Tips for Modifying RV Water Pump to Fill Freshwater Tank

Measure carefully! Be sure to match your existing hose diameter to the new tee valve fittings and any extra hose you purchase.

Always use braided hose or Pex tubing for the pressurized side of your RV freshwater system. Clear PVC hose may be used for the input side, and is easier to curl and stow when not in use.

Spend a few extra cents and invest in high quality hose clamps.

WARNING: One of the weaker clamps I first used popped off a connection with a loud “pop” noise and instant running of the water pump. Luckily we were home! I immediately realized what had happened, shut off the pump and ran outside to clean up the mess that could have been much worse. Another reason to always shut off your RV water supply when you’re not home.

Secure hose clamps tightly using a wrench rather than screwdriver.

Turn off water pump at inside switch before operating new switch installed at pump.

Always open the freshwater supply inlet cap to prevent pressure build-up when filling tank.

Turn off switch at pump and remember to return tee valves to proper position for default functioning of freshwater system after filling tank.

Any questions?

Manual Alternative for filling RV Freshwater Tank from Jugs

If you want to get a workout and don’t mind getting a little wet, or you don’t feel like cutting into your RV’s freshwater plumbing, here is everything you’ll need to make a gadget like we used for years. Place the Water Bandit on a large mouth funnel and attach a fill tube. Have someone hold the funnel, hoist the collapsible 5 gallon jugs, and be patient!



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“The last free place on earth is no longer going to be free!”

—Anonymous

This is not true. But it was the general sentiment of many speaking their minds at the inaugural meeting of the Slab City Community Group, Inc. on Sunday, January 19, 2014 held at The Range. If they paid their dollar that is.

Let me back up. There are a lot of rumors about Slab City going around these days, and what might happen to the land the state is reportedly trying to sell. Reported by whom? Good question! I won’t pretend to know many facts about what is going on, but I do know one thing for certain. Public information about the formation of a non-profit organization that could take ownership of the property in a land trust deal with the State of California is severely lacking.

Land Trust:

(As it relates to what may or may not happen with Slab City)

A private, nonprofit organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements.

What Land Trust deal? With whom? When? Such a lack of information results in outrage when people jump to conclusions about what might come of their home, or favorite winter destination. And that’s exactly what happened at the meeting we attended.

One of the first points of order at the first meeting of any official 501c3 corporation is to read rules about certain actions the Board may or may not take in their line of duty. Even before electing Directors, the interim Board at this meeting did just that. When they got to the part about the organization having the ability to acquire property, suddenly that’s what the meeting became all about. No such item was on the agenda for the day’s meeting—the sole purpose of which was to form the corporation and elect a Bord of Directors. And that they did.

Why form a Slab City Community Associatoin?

Why? That’s a great question too!

Those involved with the association’s formation profess the state of California can no longer own the land on which the slabs sit, and will be putting it up for auction if they cannot gift it to a nonprofit organization willing to take ownership—and take on stewardship—of the property and surrounding area. Who contacted who first, how true this is, and what proof exists is up open for discussion.

On the other side of The Slabs one resident reported speaking with a CA State Land Commission rep who said:

“The EPA has made NO threat about Slab City… [and] The Land Commission has not tried to sell or auction Section 36 in at least 15 years.”

Apparently the only concern with section 36 is a complaint filed by the CA Dept. of Toxic Substances Control regarding dried paint cans lying around at Salvation Mountain and the structure’s crumbling condition. But I digress.

Other nagging questions remain. Who’s idea was it to form the association? Who was this interim Board and who got elected? Are they all Slab City residents?  What constitutes a resident? Are they in agreement about this intentional community? I doubt that last one.

What information I could gather, I gleaned from two groups on the Faceborg, the Slab City website and by word of mouth.

What I Do Know

The best documented report I found of what’s going on with the SCCG and what the future brings for The Slabs is this document:

Four Questions for the Slab City Community Group

From my own personal experience, I only know that a Board of Directors was elected at the meeting after we left. Exactly who? I have no idea, nor could I find out where the group is keeping its public records.

I hear their first meeting is scheduled for a few weeks when they will discuss the formation of a Slab City Bill of Rights. That’s a start, but is it necessary?

One thing is clear. Factions have formed, and as one old timer at the Slabs personally told me, what we have here is, “A Family Divided”.

Factions will feud. There’s plenty of that going on in the groups, but I have heard of no physical retaliation that has been known to occur at Slab City in the past. Hopefully everyone can help develop a solution to any land deal if one exists, or at least agree to disagree and move on.

According to their Facebook Group, the Slab City Community Group was formed years ago, “born out of a desire to ‘Say No To Violence’ at Slab City (or The Slabs)”. This informal group of f Slab City residents and visitors has a simple mission:

“To provide a forum for people to share information about and connect with people at Slab City, California.”

Fair enough. Hopefully none of the rants and flame wars going on between those in disagreement about the future of The Slabs and formation of any sort of governing body won’t ignite any actual flames.

About that Dollar

For the record, I am not taking sides on this issue. While I do believe seasonal snowbird slabbers like me do have an interest in whatever happens, I also understand how full-time residents of The Slabs have much more at stake regarding the results.

That’s why I paid my dollar to speak at the SCCG inaugural meeting. OK, it wasn’t my dollar. But I wanted to ask a couple procedural ensure this group was being founded legally and they were playing by the rules—Robert’s Rules of Order, that is. And they were. But I didn’t have any cash on me, and one had to be a member to address the interim board. the annual membership fee is one dollar. A kind slabber paid my buck for me. Then Rene suggested I maintain a lower profile.

Epilogue

What if the Slabbers do buy the Slabs? Great! But do they know what they’re getting into? And will they share the details with their entire membership in a timely manner as their bylaws dictate? Let’s hope so.

If the State does grant the land to some organization, it may only be doing so to release itself of liability and place responsibility for said land on such a group. What’s to keep them from turning around and insisting the area be cleaned up? Or worse yet, regulated. Can you imagine Slab City Homeowners Assoociation rules of conduct?

If there is no deal, and the State moves forward with an auction of BLM Section 36, will anyone buy it? Nobody has jumped at that chance for 50 years so far.

What do you think? Better yet, what do you know?

UPDATES:

02/15/14: An objective and detailed update on the state of affairs from the Imperial Valley Press

Residents of America’s “last free place” divided over future

 

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