Archive for the “Work” Category

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.

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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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NOTE: This contest has ended. Read on for details about this book or find it on Amazon.

Hitting the road as a full-time RVer isn’t that hard. Keeping the dream going can be if you don’t know how to support your full-time RVing lifestyle.

A new book, “So, You Want to be a Workamper” by John and Kathy Huggins is a handy guide for introducing new RVers to the world of road work.

Win a free copy of this book!
Exclusive to Workampers Facebook Group Members.
Read on for details.

The Workamping Basics

As young, non-retired full-timers, Jim and I discovered that the best way to support a full-time RVing lifestyle is to juggle several income streams at once. Early in our travels we were introduced to the world of workamping by two kind campground hosts and since then we’ve been working our way across America at paid and volunteer workamping opportunities.

But as I discovered in the Huggins’ book, there’s still a lot we don’t know about making the most of workamping opportunities.

Read more reviews on Amazon:
So You Want To Be A Workamper?

For example, this succinct 75-page guide clearly explains the basics of working on the road but it’s also packed with lesser-known tips like how obtaining a Certified Pool Operator (CPO) license from the National Swimming Pool Foundation makes you far more employable and worth more money at campgrounds needing pool maintenance crews.

Huggins’ book also clearly explains the ins and outs of applying for work at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds, which was a total mystery to us.

So, You Want to be a Workamper presents dozens of ways you can find unpaid workamping jobs through well-known organizations like Workamper News.

Free Workamper News Issue to New Subscribers!

It also shares job hunting strategies with lesser-known groups that you may not be familiar with, such as Forever Resorts, a concessionaire to the National Park Service.

You’ll also enjoy a general overview of different ways to make money by utilizing your skills, hobbies and interests.

The book provides generous tips for how to create income by doing everything from becoming a mobile RV technician to auctioning items on eBay and becoming a tour guide.

What I love most about this book is Huggins’ honesty, which accurately reflects our experiences during almost seven years of full-time RV travel:

“You will not get rich workamping, and you most likely will not find a career doing this work, but it is honest work that needs to be done. You can supplement other income streams with workamping to stretch your camping budget.”

About the only thing I don’t like about the book are the far too complicated URLs included in the copy (using or TinyURL links would have been more helpful). But if you’re looking for a great introduction to the world of workamping and road work, pick up a copy of So, You Want to be a Workamper today!

Win a Free Copy!

Members of the Workampers Facebook Group can win a free copy of So, You Want to be a Workamper!

If you’re not already a member, join the Workampers Facebook Group then like and share the post announcing this review. One winner will be selected at random from those who like and share the post before Monday, February 10. U.S. residents only please.

  1. Join the Workampers Facebook Group.
  2. Find the post announcing this book review.
  3. Click Like and Share the post.

Winner will be notified via Facebook private message. Check the “Other” tab in your inbox after 5:00pm on Monday February 10, 2014.

Like AND share the Workampers Facebook Group link to this post for your chance to win a free copy!

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There’s currently a winter storm pounding the Northeast with snow, freezing rain and record low temperatures. That’s too bad. That’s also why you’ll find us in some Southwest desert come this time of year.

Happy Nü Year Camp Anza Borrego 2014

Before we fled Colorado to fly south this winter though, we got hammered with a fair dumping of our own.

Snoww on RV at Fort Collins. CO KOA

How to Protect RV Hookups in Winter Weather

Here’s a quick trick I tried to help protect exposed RV electrical utility hookups from damage caused by severe winter weather. It worked great during those Rocky Mountain floods of 2013!

DIY RV Power Service Hookup Rain Protection

You don’t need some costly gadget to keep your RV electrical cord connections from getting wet! Prevent sensitive electronics and costly surge guards in a few simple steps.

  1. Cut an old auto tire inner tube in half.
  2. Slide cord through tube.
  3. Plug in.
  4. Secure end of tube around outlet box.

This is a simple, cheap and effective way to create a weather-tight seal around the end of your cord. Doing so will help prevent potential damage to your RV electrical system caused by wet or frozen connections.

I cut the tube long enough to cover the 50-30 amp RV plug adapter we use at Jerry’s Acres. I then used Zip-ties to create a good seal around the utility box.

With a large enough tube, this should also work well with many inline RV surge protectors too!

What tips do you have for dealing with winter weather in your RV?

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Happy Nü Year One and All!

After a couple months visiting family and friends with far too much time on busy highways and in big cities, we finally arrived at one of our favorite southwest RV destinations on New Year’s eve. The peace and quiet of Anza Borrego would have to wait, at least a day or so…

Happy Nü Year 2014 Anza Borrego CA

It’s been three years since NüRVers first gathered in Quartzsite to ring in the new year, but it was like we’d seen some of these faces just yesterday. Other new folks became immediate friends.

Happy Nü Year 2014 Anza Borrego CA

One good thing about gathering with a bunch of like-minded technology enabled nomads is that someone is bound to have some insight or a spare piece of hardware should you find yourself having technical difficulties—which tends to happen fairly often on the road less traveled. And this group is filled with programmers, network engineers, developers and artists, oh my!

Happy Nü Year Camp Anza Borrego 2014

Rene and I our kicking the business up a notch, and have determined that 2014 is going to be a very productive year. So my first task after the revelry settled down a bit was to get us online. This can tend to bring surprises after remaining stationary for some time, and this New Year’s day was no different. I wirelessly accessed our MotoSat controller that morning to calibrate the dish since we last used it weeks prior, hundreds of miles to the North. No problem.

Minutes later, I went to raise the dish again and search for our satellite but no wireless network was to be found. Well with this group, there were nearly a dozen new networks, but not ours! I figured it may just be a channel ID conflict,  but I couldn’t access the Linksys WRT300N admin panel if I couldn’t get on the network so I wired in to the router. In doing so, I noticed the Wireless indicator was not lit. Great.

To make a long story short, resetting factor defaults and fudging about resulted in no wireless connectivity. I got us online with the dish, set Rene up with a cable, and went to ask the Man.

2014 Nü Year' Eve Party was A Formal Affair

Sam is one of our top go-to guys when it comes to tech questions. After explaining my troubleshooting steps, he had an official diagnosis:

The desert ate your router.

It doesn’t help questioning why it worked one minute and not the next. It doesn’t help that Verizon cellular service is serious lacking in this part of the Southern CA desert. And it doesn’t help worrying about waiting for General Delivery while trying to be productive.

What did help was that Sam also had a spare CradlePoint MBR95 wireless router he wasn’t using. In fact, he had been thinking of selling it! So I took it for a test drive.

To make a longer story even shorter! It works like a charm. The CradlePoint is a wireless 4G/3G router that let’s you connect a USB broadband modem, which we do not use since we have our Verizon MiFi for redundancy. But you can also connect any cable/DSL modem, or in our case the HughesNet terminal. Same gave us a deal, we paid him via PayPal on the spot, and we’re already working away on big plans.

Lessons Learned This Time:

Be prepared for the unexpected. If you rely on the interwebs to support your nomadic lifestyle, have redundant methods of connectivity and carry along any cables you might need in the event of a wireless emergency.

Ours is not to question why. Living this lifestyle, if something can go wrong, it eventually will. If something goes wonky that once worked just fine, don’t waste too many brain cycles trying to figure out why.

Know who to ask. By all means, know what to do in terms of general troubleshooting for any equipment you operate. But if ever in doubt, know where to turn for free advice. The NüRVers Facebook page and RV geek discussion forums are a good place to start!

Don’t panic. Whatever happens, take a moment to breathe and evaluate the situation. There is always a solution and the best is often the simplest.

Connect with good friends. Develop a core group of fellow traveling friends online and don’t spend too much time in between hooking up with them next time!

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Back when we ran our little business enterprise in Eureka, California, the heart of our operation ran on blood, sweat and credit.

As CEO I was proficient at filling out loan applications for everything from American Distress cards to low-doc SBA loans to home equity lines. We did whatever we could to leverage our accounts receivables, believing at the time it was a smart way to run a business.

Thanks to Dave Ramsey, now we know better, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Recently when we returned to Jerry’s Acres it became clear to me how enslaved to our lenders we were back then.

I was tossing out records that exceeded the seven-year statute of limitations on IRS audits. With each discarded pile I became more astonished at how much mental energy and physical space it took to maintain credit relationships. Each year of our business took up an entire banker’s box full of receipts, and that was after downsizing and selling the business.

Today, as debt-free believers, it takes one extra-large Ziploc bag to hold vital records from our business and personal lives. Sure, much of what we keep now is electronic, but even that is minimal.

The simple fact is that when you’ve handed over your life, your income and your free-time to debt slavery, it takes an incredible amount of mental and physical resources to keep it under control.

It’s not easy to delay gratification and live without debt, but the rewards are so worth it.


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