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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Laundry Day and checking out Elephant Butte State Park

I HATE LAUNDROMATS!   Since we are all hooked up in a campsite with water access, I figured it was time to get some laundry done.  Our motorhome has a Splendide brand washer/dryer unit that takes about 6 gal of water to wash and 5 to rinse.  So at 11 gallons a load, times four loads, it would use up about half of our freshwater tank if we were boondocking.  It is a washer and dryer all in one unit.  When the clothes are finished washing, you can set it automatically start in the drying cycle and it starts spinning with heat blowing inside.  Yes, the washing and drying all happens in the same drum. Kinda cool!

It makes sense to get it done here while we have a water faucet at our campsite.  Who knows where we are going next? The washing machine had still been winterized and not having fresh water in it's lines or pump.  We have a manifold control panel that lets us turn on and off the water to each particular thing in the motorhome.  Since we left Wisconsin, we had not used it yet.  Been on the road now for 10 days and it was time to get some clean underware! LOL 

I ran a bit of water through the machine first and we checked for any leaks at the hoses and around the base of the machine.  When we first bought the motorhome, the plastic pump unit inside had cracked, obviously from someone who didn't winterize it properly.  It was a HUGE job to pull the machine out and work on it in the little bathroom space.  These machines have big cement counterweights inside to help keep it from vibrating and moving while in the spin cycles.  It think it weights over 100 pounds.  

Then we had to remove the top and sides, the belt, the drum, and finally have the access to the plastic pump area to replace it.  I think the pump was only $40 or so, but the labor we would have had to pay someone to do it would have been astronomical! 

I wanted to get as many loads done one right after another, so I hung each load to dry outside rather than run the dryer portion of the cycle each time.  I have along a folding laundry rack to set up outside.  I long ago learned the hard way to strap the rack up to something before using it, because it's too easy to tip over or have the top section let go and fold down onto the ground. LOL

Much of the clothing we have on hangers and just hung them from around the edges of the palapa.  If we had our awning out, I hang the hangers along each arm, spaced about 6 inches apart for drying.  In this desert air, the clothes were dry in no time flat.  The only things I kept inside to dry were our unmentionables and I put the towels through the dry cycle so they were soft and fluffy.

While the laundry was going, I was catching up on some sock machine knitting for a couple orders and also crocheting some of my crocodile slippers.  You can see my helpers with me.

Once the laundry was done, we took a little ride in the Tracker to scope out the area.  We had a few boxes to ship out at the postoffice because I am still selling my dvd's, sockmachine weights, and socks while we are on the road. The rest of the items in my Etsy inventory were temporarily deactivated while we are gone, so I don't have to haul along a bunch of rugs, towels, etc. on the road. 

We found a pleasant lady at the post office in the tiny town of Arrey, and it turns out she is from the U.P. of Michigan!   Then the gal waiting behind me in line was from Park Falls, WI.  Such a small world in a tiny town of about 100 people or less, we ended up all together at the same time in the post office? 

Then we drove up towards Truth of Consequences NM.  There is another state park there called Elephant Butte we wanted to scope out as our next stop.  The upper levels are nice manicured all utilities sites, and many are reservable so we would have to move each day to another site if we took one of those.  But down near the water and the beach areas, there are non-electric sites to get as a first-come first-serve basis and you can stay for 14 days.   

One can also park anywhere out in these areas called primitive camping for $8 and wowzers.. what a view!!!!!  Look at this guy!  We would very much like to do this, but the locals warned of shifting winds can make the sands blow in various areas out there and make it difficult to get back ....  and we don't want a 30,000 lb motorhome stuck in the sand!   

So we will take a site along the paved road, thank you very much. 

The dogs didn't exactly enjoy the water, but they sniffed and put their toes in.  Maybe once we move up to that campground and walk along the beach, they will be more comfortable with the large body of water. 

Oh, we came across something that is pretty fantastic...  it's GOLD!  Yup, real GOLD!   I am not gonna say where or who or whatever about it, just know that it's not ours... and we don't have it... and we didn't find it....    Just thought you would like to see native natural gold as you find it in this area. 

We got back to our campsite at Caballo State Park and put away our dry clothes.  Steve had a couple projects on his mind. He cleaned the tops of all the batteries in our tray.... 4 coach batteries and 2 chassis batteries.  He used a spray cleaner and a good stiff brush to clean off any gunk on top.  Good to go as he had topped off each one with distilled water the day before. 

We had a hook on the wall for leashes, hats or coats etc. near the door.  It has been pulling out of the wall board material and Steve said it should be reinforced.  At the same time I wished for two hooks in that space, and we happened to have one extra hook laying in a drawer.  It was leftover from when we installed  some in the bedroom. 

Last summer, we won a lovely lazer cut wooden plaque of a sheltie dog at an auction for the Wisconsin Sheltie Rescue Reunion.  I have had it setting in the motorhome for months now, looking for the right spot to display it.  We have very little wall space in our rig, it's mostly windows all around.  (we like it that way!)   So I got a brainstorm.  What about installing the plaque in the area by the door and screw both hooks onto the firm surface of the plaque? 

Bingo!  I first smeared a two part epoxy adhesive on the back to firmly adhere it to the wall.  Then Steve predrilled four holes to screw the hooks into place.  There... done! 

Our neighboring rver Joe, had been talking to us about other places to go in the area and came over with maps and tons of information.  What a nice guy! We shared a campfire with Steve's little portable pellet unit.. and chatted well into the evening. 

This morning we are up and at em, and might bake some muffins to share, and got the coffee brewing.  It will be a moving day so gotta get road worthy! 


  1. Arrey is a tiny town, isn't it? I am wanting to tell you that Elephant Butte has one whole loop of non reservable electric and water sites, on paved roads! Thanks for telling us about the pellet campfire stove. sounds great! Glad you have clean undies!

  2. Wow, no words needed with that post! I want to be with you guys. Views, great looking food and that gold that you did not find. Wow! We're headed to NM in the next couple of days. Maybe Elephant Butte area will be nearby. Great pictures, thanks for sharing!


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