Sunday, September 5, 2021

Loading Gannet 2

I think in at least one respect I am like most men inasmuch as I like to be, if not clean at least tidy. My wife respects my neurosis but I have to say that tidying up a house we are trying to empty is an art that has got away from us. It's a sort of moving target, today the kitchen is neat and the spare room, well, not so much. Tomorrow we tidy the bedroom and then we have to empty a drawer somewhere so we pour it onto the bed and then slowly sift through the contents, some for discard and some few to save for storage. and on it goes.
The van is such a small space cleanliness and tidiness go hand in hand but fortunately the 70 square feet are easy to clean and sort in no time at all.  Layne designed the bed/couches to sit above a hidden storage area we call the basement, which is where we keep all the stuff we won't use daily. On the left in the pull out drawer we have our table and sand mat to sit outdoors, our Moonshade awning for cover and the air compressor to inflate the tires. In the middle cupboard we have our recovery gear, the treads, straps, shackles and rope and shovel. As well as the mythical Deadman to wrap around boulders or trees or bury in sand as an anchor for the winch:
All on the off chance we get stuck.  I don't want to go four wheeling but I want to have the ability to stretch my exploration a little with the ability to take care of myself in mud holes or sand pits. So last week we did our first test run loading the van. It went okay.
My wife has decided the right hand locker, the shortest basement door is for the exercise gear, weights, rubber bands, a mat and so forth. Her domain even though we both exercise on the road as we do at home. Old age is unremitting and I certainly don't want my legs to seize up for want of movement after all that time I spent learning to walk in the hospital. The round silver thing is the water tank cap where we can fill the water tank by hand if there is no hose available. We even bought water filters to purify water as we fill the tank. A stream will do as our source if necessary. I would rather just plug a hose into the other pressure filler and let the water pressure do the work but I like having simple back up systems. We could live in the woods for a long time if we wanted to, as long as Kindle keeps functioning...
The middle cupboard of the basement with all the recovery gear and stuff is actually pretty huge. Inside the living space of the van the basement forms a step up from the kitchen floor. In this way we were able to scrap plans to carry a bulky and awkward box on the back of the van on a hitch and put equipment we may need from time to time out of sight. 
On the roof we have our four 100-watt solar panels which put out up to 20 amps combined between all of them every hour in the  brightest and most overhead sunshine. If we don't run the air conditioning and we have a reasonable day of mild sunlight the roof will keep our massive battery bank well charged. We run our inverter all the time and keep the electric fridge on and all our wall units and cooking accessories available.
All our outlets work when we want them just as one does at home. The idea of having to ration electricity seems very uncomfortable and annoying to me in this era of modern technology. The little black box is a fan and the big black box is the air conditioner which we run off our batteries with a cell phone booster mounted on top. I'm not sure the booster does much but everybody swears by them...
Under the bed in a distant compartment we will store our new winter clothing, a puffy jacket thermal underwear and waterproof boots. We are resigned to facing cold damp weather even in summer and a large part of dealing with that is having at least a few bits of clothing that will help. 
Getting the clothing right will be a long difficult curve after so many years of treating a  fleece as heavy duty winter clothing.
Boxes bins and an increasing number of empty spaces on the walls define my life at home. I had forgotten what a long drawn out drag is the process of packing up a house. 
Rusty sleeps through chaos. An example to us all.