“Not quite at a Houston we have a problem point”


“. . . but it’s getting close.”

Current temperature: 34 degrees. Current wind speed: 31 mph. Feels like: 21 degrees.

Still stuck at the KOA in Rapid City. No relief expected today. The city is currently “overwhelmed.”

Last night the black water and grey water tanks froze as the temperature dropped to 9 degrees with windchill. This caused me to have to disconnect the fresh water line, which we have had flowing continuously to prevent freezing. We also lost shore power and are now operating on battery power.

We were toasty through the night, thank you propane! But this morning after traipsing to the KOA bathroom in waist high snow, digging the snow drift away from the door and using the facilities (with no power or heat) I made a renewed effort to get our plumbing going again.

This is how you deal with plumbing when you are completely and hopelessly unprepared:

    1. Boil a big pot of water. I poured in a lot of salt for good measure. Pour boiling water down the toilet. Repeat.

    2. Dig out tank release valves. Use a solid object (such as a Mag Lite flash light) to hammer away snow and ice. Purge black water.

    3. Do the same for grey water, but instead pour boiling water down the sink. Purge tank in the same fashion.

    4. Keep fresh water running and make sure to have the water heater on (propane). This will actually partially heat the tanks.

    5. Keep furnace on. Likewise this will partially heat water tanks.

So what now? There is truly no way out of here. We’re stranded. It’s an odd feeling. I don’t think I have ever been in this situation before. It’s actually quite unsettling. So we wait and live glamorously.

Propane appears to be in healthy state. Still at least one tank full. We have sufficient provisions. We have enough power. Turning on the truck should trickle charge the batteries. I have little expectation that we will have shore power soon but that would be nice.

– Anthony, Rapid City, South Dakota

One thought on ““Not quite at a Houston we have a problem point”

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