I’m currently staying in one of my favourite camping spots. I’m in the middle of an orchard! The blossoms are on the apple trees and there are bees flitting around.
I have started a part-time contract graphic design job in the area and am taking it week by week. I arrived on the Saturday and started work on the Monday. As a freelance graphic designer you get used to this last minute lifestyle.
But it still takes a little time to settle into an area. To learn where the best supermarkets are and where the dump station is. It’s helpful with the apps and websites we have now, like CamperMate and Google Maps.
This time, I’m not plugged into the power and just running off my solar panels and gas as it’s cheaper and I really want to test it while working and see if it is possible to live off-grid.
One evening I had nearly finished cooking dinner when the gas stove top started playing up. The flame changed and there was no heat to finish cooking my eggs. I kept trying for a while before acknowledging that something was wrong. I ate dinner without the eggs before investigating.
Strangely enough the fridge and hot water were still running.
I’d heard of a way to check how full your gas cylinder is.
Pour hot water over the tank and where it’s warm it’s empty and where it goes cold, it’s still full.
When I did the test, it felt like it was still half full.
If it wasn’t the bottle, I didn’t know what it could be. The fridge and hot water stopped working too. Eventually I turned the gas off at the cylinder and went to bed – hoping it would work tomorrow.
Tomorrow bought no changes and I had to leave for work. I did at least move my fridge food to the communal fridge.
When I got back from work, I decided to try the gas test again, as it really felt like I had run out of gas. This time there wasn’t a definitely cold line.
I took the bottle to the BP petrol station down the road and swapped it for $37.
Back home I re-attached the bottle and nervously turned the fridge on. Nope, still not working.
I tried the stove and it seemed fine!
My fridge is a little temperamental when trying to start on gas, so I gave it another couple of goes and it eventually caught.
Expensive crises averted. I had broken my smartphone screen a couple of days before and was still struggling from my last mechanic bill fixing the car cooling system, so I was extremely relieved.
If the weather turns, I have a drying rack that can fold up small and is normally kept under the bed in the storage space. If I need to dry some clothes, I can put it on my bed and it’s out of the way during the day. In the evenings, it takes up the majority of the space around the kitchen. That’s when I remember how small my home is.
Where I’m staying isn’t really a campground and doesn’t have rubbish or recycling facilities.
I’m still getting into a system with the rubbish and recycling.
I’ve been cheeky and just been using the local town bins for rubbish, but I’ve heard I can buy orange bags and drop it off at the rubbish tip. I’ve kept and eye out for the orange bags, but haven’t seen them yet!
The recycling is a little easier. I was able to find a nearby location through the CamperMate App and took my weeks worth of recycling.
I’m looking forward to sharing more of my experiences with you as I explore the area.
Do you have any gas and caravan tips? I’d love to learn more about them.