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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

“Clamber” is the word of the day

Sat, Feb 19, 2022

It occurs to us that we might have neglected to actually mention the location of the RV park where Harvey is parked. It’s in Port Ludlow, which is a cute little town (we assume, we never actually got further than the Shell station which sells Cracker Jacks, which is pretty darn cute). If you go over the Hood Canal Bridge and hang a right, go for about five or six miles and blammo! You’re there (or lost if you arrived in the dark).

7:00 am

We arise! Our first sleep-over with Harvey. It was a bit rough—we were cold (opening windows is not a great idea in a very uninsulated RV, as it turns out). But we survived!

8:00 am

Our first visit to the poop deck! If you’ve never considered modern plumbing (before Harvey we never did), you probably never wondered about all the water in the bowl. Trust us—it serves a purpose that is not served by a marine toilet, which uses a cup of water to keep from wasting water. Needless to say, it brought us closer to ourselves than we really wanted to be. But, we figured it out! (Pour lots of water and use the toilet brush.)

11:30 am

Gini took a nap to try and catch up on missed sleep, but now we’re ready for breakfast. The coffee maker worked splendidly (yay!), but the cord for the toaster is about six inches too short. Robert ends up setting the toaster on its side and catching the toast as it emerges.

Robert is ready to catch the toast

12:15 pm

We are ready to take our first shower! Well, Robert is ready to take the first shower (in Harvey). Harvey has what is called a “wet shower” which means that the whole bathroom is the shower. The toilet, the sink, the toiletries hung behind the toilet—everything gets cheerily wet! There is a shower curtain to give you the illusion that parts of the bathroom will stay dry, but it’s really an illusion.

According to Robert, the shower is “For very skinny people. For us non-skinny people, it helps to soap up before you actually enter the bathroom. Otherwise, you may discover bathroom fixtures in places you're not comfortable with.”

Still, he looks clean after the shower, so yay! It works.

2:30 pm

Time to explore our waste disposal systems. Harvey has two tanks: gray water (shower and sink water) and black water (ick). They both drain out of the same connection and go into the same hole in the ground (which we hope goes someplace sensible, but we’re just happy to have it outside Harvey).

Between Harvey and the hole in the ground is a waste pipe—which we got (on sale!) last weekend at Camper World. We got the 20 foot starter kit, but we only needed the 10 foot (plus, it turns out, the previous owner left us a bunch of hoses, so we can actually be about 50 feet from the hole in the ground).

There’s a special connector that makes sure the hose stays firmly attached to Harvey and doesn’t come loose. It has an obvious “full seated” position, but Robert thinks that’s a lot of trouble and is pretty sure that “half seated” will work just fine.

Lesson learned: do not stand near Robert when he’s connecting waste hoses. It will be smelly. Even if it’s just the gray water tank.

Also, we can’t figure out how to screw the other end of the hose into the hole in the ground, so we end up with the high-tech solution of having Gini keep her foot on the hose.

Gini making sure that things stay where they belong!

This whole process involves lots of clambering down to the ground and back up again, as the waste connection on Harvey is near the ground. Also, the ground is hard to kneel on, so Robert ends up using the welcome mat (if you ever stop by, you might want to make a wide berth around that welcome mat)

The waste system--which would be way more convenient if it were higher up!

Finally, though, we have an empty black water tank and an empty gray water tank. Gini, who has been monitoring things through the clear elbow connector, reports that the “gray water tank” seems to be full of black water tank stuff and vice versa. Meaning Robert got the two tanks backwards. Which means that earlier gray water spill…

5:00 pm

After all that clambering and liquids spraying, we are ready for a good old-fashioned campfire and a cold cider from our refrigerator. Wood is acquired from the cute Shell store that sells Cracker Jacks (they also sell Krispy Kreme donuts). The salad, soup, and steak is from our larder. The stainless steel grill that connects to Harvey’s propane system is a gift from the previous owners (Thanks, Ed & Heather!) and works splendidly.

We enjoy not clambering anywhere for a while.

Our campground--complete with clothesline

One of our readers suggested we get some flashlights (thanks, Ellen!). Robert was a bit skeptical (“I have a phone”) but Gini ordered them and boy howdy—you know what gets dark at night? Campgrounds! Especially remote campgrounds. It’s a whole new level of dark. Those flashlights turned out to be aces!

7:30 pm

Harvey originally came with a built-in VCR (Hi-Tech!). One of the previous owners disconnected it, but the machine was pretty much welded into place, so the VCR is still there. It was disconnected, because who owns VHS tapes these days?

Hello, Gini, with your box full of VHS tapes!

Robert manages to get the power reconnected (the VCR is in a bulkhead and the only way to see the back is to take photos of it, and feel around for the different connectors and hope you’re not putting your fingers into a live electrical socket). He also manages to get the video connected. No sound, though.

We end up watching “Harvey” in Harvey the RV with subtitles on until we fall asleep.

Watching "Harvey" in Harvey

Sun, Feb 20, 2022

8:00 am

We slept better last night, although it rained during the night, which sounds like a gunfight when you are inside a metal can, such as Harvey.

10:00 am

Breakfast is a scramble (“Do something that uses the propane stove so we know that it works!” declared Gini) with Gini on toast detail.

Robert takes breakfast very seriously

12:00 Noon

We have struck camp, washed dishes, and switched out license plates. We’ve been running with the Oregon plates until now, but since we’ll be going through a “Good-to-Go” toll on the way home (the Tacoma Narrows bridge), we don’t really want the bill to go to Ed & Heather, Harvey's previous owners.

We finally cast off and head home on a non-ferry boat route.

5:51 pm

We arrive at our home port! But first we stopped for a while at a park in Bremerton (Bataan park—because who doesn’t love a park named after a big battle?). We played music inside Harvey (good acoustics!) Robert on ukulele and Gini on autoharp. Back on the road we ran into a hail storm outside Tacoma that left us covered in ice for a bit (we’re hoping the solar panels survived, but around here it could be weeks before we get enough sun to tell). In Woodinville, we stopped for a burger because neither of us felt like even pulling cold chicken out of the refrigerator.

Yay, home! Yay, Harvey!

Gini shares some lessons learned from our shakedown cruise

  • If planning to use the ferry, first check the schedule

  • Robert should take extra pants

  • Move a chair near where you have to be down on your knees to help you get back up!

  • Controls for heated mattress pads need to be on Gini’s side

  • One edge of awning needs to hang down if any possibility of rain to avoid giant puddle on top

  • Order knee pads

  • Wine would be nice.

Gini & Robert Harvey’s staff

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1 Comment

Ellen White
Ellen White
Feb 22, 2022

Fun to read about your adventures. Love the matching jammies! When is the next jaunt planned? Don;t forget to pack your marshmallows, crackers and chocolate!

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