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Another Day in Paradise

Watching the news this winter morning and I see where the East Coast is bracing for the worst blizzard in 25 years and SoCal is searching for a vigilante cop killer.  Ain’t neither one of those events going to fly here in South Texas.  The weather here has been exemplary for the past 2 weeks — a couple of good little rains to settle the dust and the Mountain Cedar pollen– and temps in the 70-80 range during the day and 50s or so at night.  When it is this time of year I think to myself “Man, you cannot beat this weather!”  Of course, along about the last of September I usually say the same thing.

Fuel transfer station. The 20kw light tower/generator holds 56 gallons of diesel.

On the agenda today are fuel and water refills which I attend to every other day. Fuel transfer is straightforward. I hot fuel the generator most times meaning I do not shut it down while fueling.  The 12v transfer pump is hooked to the light tower battery and I just pump out of one of the 4×50 gallon drums that my service guy refills every 2 weeks.  FWIW,  I insisted on a fuel filter on the transfer pump and it has greatly improved the quality of the fuel going into the light tower. I have not had to do a fuel filter change outside of the regular generator service intervals since we started  pre-filtering the fuel.

Water is another story.   Back when I was working for My Bro, I took care of our water supply.  I was careful about the source and I was careful about the way I handled it.  We never had a second thought about using that water direct out of the nurse tank for showers and dish washing.   When you are an oil field gate guard, the situation changes.  I know the service guys get the water they bring to us from a decent source.  I just take exception (most of the time) with the way it is handled.  Who knows the last time they disinfected their delivery tank or the pump or the hoses?  Most gate guards indicate their potable water for drinking and cooking is supplied by the rig.  We have found that to be a sometimes true fact.  On top of that, we have gone long periods of time with no rig present on the property so we were on our own.  We decided over two years ago we needed a source of pure and potable water available at all times.  Miss Kathy did here research and ended up with an under counter setup from Aquasun International. It has a double canister filter system with a UV light and a little faucet.  We thought we were all set –until we pulled into the Land of Skanky Water outside of Catarina,TX last year.

Outside water pre-filtration setup

Outside of Terlingua,TX, the Catarina area water maybe the worst we have experienced. It was mineral laden and cloudy with a floating surface film that troubled me.  I decided to get an outside filter to hang on the nurse tank to pre-filter all  the water going into the Old Girl and that did the trick.  I need to note here that we generally do not run off the nurse tank into the City Water inlet on the RV.  The water pressure is not suitable when we do that.  I prefer to fill the onboard tanks on the Old Girl.  It is a simple task when done in conjunction with fueling the generator.   Everything was rockin’ along just fine and dandy until I decided to order some more water filters for the outside unit.   I found out the company had quit making that setup  and filters were no longer available.  I did some searching around and found some more filters and ordered them –wrong ones!  It was at that point that I got all balled up in microns and charcoal and KDF and pleated and spun polyester.   OK, it should not be so complicated as to make my brain hurt!

As I was casting around the internet looking for the answer, I stumbled across the RV Water Filter Store.  Hallelujah!  Finally, someplace that explains water filters at a level below rocket scientist talk!   I am in no way affiliated with these folks and endorsing them here is not going to make Miss K or I a nickel but I have to tell you what a good place it is to get filters.  It is a mom and pop operation that has been in business several years and they have online ordering.  The owner answers questions freely and prices seem reasonable.  I ordered pleated, reusable and washable 5 micron sediment filters for the first stage and a 0.5 micron charcoal filter that also filters out bad bugs and heavy metals for the second canister.  Total price for  4 filters and shipping  was less than $70.

Cooper Discoverer ST MAXX tire on the Suburban

You recollect a month or so ago when I replaced the BFG All Terrain T/A KO tires on the Suburban with a set of Cooper Discoverer ST MAXX tires?  They now have the Miss Kathy Seal of Approval. She says they ride measurably smoother and quieter than the BFGs.   I have had little opportunity to test them out myself because she doesn’t let me out much.  I will tell you they have a much more aggressive appearance vs. the old BFGs.


Thankfully, the gas hungry 8.1 liter big block in that Suburban doesn’t get much use at this location.  We are about a 32 mile round trip from Cotulla with their small grocery store and limited resources.  To Pearsall and the HEB and more stuff, it is about 120 miles for the round.  Miss K left a little mp3 player plugged into the 12v outlet that is always hot on the Suburban a few weeks ago and after a period of days managed to run the battery down.  That battery is about 2 years old and obviously showing its’ age.

Solarpulse solar panel

I thought it best to throw the PulseTech SP-2 SolarPulse 2-Watt Battery Charger on it while it was sitting here day after day with no exercise.  It will keep the battery trickle charged and desulfate/condition it at the same time.  Maybe it will breathe a little life back into it.  Since we are so far out in the pucker brush, you do have to pay attention to what is going on and how things are handled logistically.  Part of the news from the Great Blizzard is regarding people scurrying around to make sure they have enough, food, fuel and adequate heat to survive a few (or several) days without power.  Sorta goes without saying down our way — as part of the daily routine.   One of the ‘rules’ is that you do not return from an outing in the Suburban with less than 3/4 tank of fuel on board.   We have also stockpiled in reserve about 45 gallons of diesel and 15 gallons of gasoline in the DTB.  Just in case…….. The fuel has been treated with PRI-D Diesel Fuel Treatment (PRI-G for gasoline) and stored in NATO jerry cans which don’t leak.   The PRI-D and G treatments cost about $0.10 per gallon and greatly increases the shelf life of the fuel.   It beats the socks off of the older STABIL products that everyone is familiar with.  Never hurts to have a little extra fuel or food or even a generator handy.   Just sayin’………


End Note: On the Road Again by Canned Heat from the cd Boogie with Canned Heat

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1 comment to Another Day in Paradise

  • Nancy1340

    I bought a Berkey two years ago and have only changed the filters once. I do take them out now and then and scrub them good with a stiff brush. We’re in Mesquite and now and then our water is not that tasty so the Berkey solves that problem.

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