Over the last many days, I've received several notes and chats from people wishing us well with the pending hurricane. Thank you so much for your concern. I read this morning that it's the second strongest Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall in the U.S. It's obviously the main thing on our minds right now. As I sit here on Labor Day, wondering what we're in for this week, I thought I'd write a little bit about how our small travel trailer made it through the last one.
Please keep everyone in the path of this monster in your prayers.
Heading for Hurricane Dorian?
Well, not exactly...but it's headed towards us!
As I'm sitting here writing this on Monday, "Towards" is the key word there. It's still two days before the storm is forecasted to reach Central Florida. The news people like to put up their maps and talk about the possible path of the storm when it's still 5 or 6 days away. Unfortunately, just like with their normal forecasts, they're often a bit inaccurate. Don't get me wrong, they do an important job of creating awareness and helping people prepare for the impending risks. But a hurricane has a mind of it's own and often changes it's travel plans day by day. We do know however, that Hurricane Dorian is headed towards us and we're most likely in for some nasty weather soon...possibly by the time you read this.
Living in Orlando, we are blessed to be inland from the coast. That's where the worst damage always occurs with the storms down here. While we sometimes get a lot of wind and rain, it's all the flooding that devistates so much of the coastal areas. In reality though, we never really know what we're in for until it's over.
Our Small Travel Trailer safe and sound at home before the hurricane
Awaiting the storm
We've had bits of rain on and off over the weekend, but at this point it's a gorgeous Labor Day out there. Looking at our Casita just sitting there always makes me anxious for our next trip. Today however, I'm more concerned about how it's going to look later in the week. Hopefully with the house on one side and that lattice fence on the other, it will be reasonably well protected from any flying debris breaking it's windows. But, that tree behind it has some large branches way up high.
Hurricane Irma wasn't too hard on our Casita
In 2017 with Hurrican Irma
The last significant storm we had here was Hurricane Irma two years ago. It's winds had fallen to a peak of 59mph when it hit Orlando, but it was still pretty nasty. There was a lot of wind and rain, and some significant branches hit the Casita. The worst part though, as it is with many of the big storms here, was that we were without electricity for days. Florida's still pretty humid and hot this time of year, so it gets a bit sticky. Fortunately, we have a generator large enough to give us light at night and fans during the day. But most importantly, it keep the fridge cold. Of course in a bind, we do have the small fridge in the trailer that we can run off of propane if needed.
Our small travel trailer, surrounded by debris after Hurricane Irma
It certainly could have been worse
As you can see from the photo above, Irma surrounded the Casita with debris. Other than the branches in the previous picture, nothing really did any damage. The branches did break a few things though when they fell, as you shown below.
Damage to the Casita was minimal from Hurricane Irma
Damage to the Casita was all pretty minorAs you can see, it really wasn't bad.
The bathroom exhaust fan bit the dustUnder the blue bucket is the busted up exhaust fan. The cover got destroyed, as well as some damage to the fan blades. I bought a new fan and it turned out to be pretty easy to replace. All it took was drilling out the rivets, scraping away the old caulk, disconnecting and pulling out the old fan, putting down a ring of fresh caulk, riveting the new fan in place, and screwing on the cover.
The A/C shroud got busted up a bitSeeing that they are way too expensive (about $200 with shipping), I set out to try and repair it. Used reinforced the bigger cracks with fiberglass on the inside, and added epoxy along all the crack lines. Since someone would have to get on a ladder to see the top, I also epoxied the seams on the outside. It's been two years and about 4,000 miles of travel, and it's holding together fine so far.
The toilet exhaust vent cover got smashedThis should have been a simple one. All it really needed was to have a new cover snapped into place. When I grabbed the cover base however, it was all brittle and I put my fingers right through it. It still wasn't a very big deal, but I had to remove the old rivets and caulk, and install a new base like with the fan.
Hurricane Irma's biggest problem for us, was all the debris it left
Will we be as lucky this week?
So we were very lucky with the last hurricane. The biggest issue was the days without electricity and a lot of cleanup. We have been so fotunate when you see the devastation so many others go through with these big storms. Today, we're just seeing videos of the damage Dorian did yesterday in the Bahamas, and it hasn't left there yet. Relatively speaking, we should be fine. But like I said at the begininng, please keep everyone in the path of this monster in your prayers...not just this week, but well into the future as the recovery process proceeds.
Denny JohnsonAfter having spent most of our adult life in Orlando, my wife Fay and I moved to Knoxville, TN in 2020. We are loving the change of seasons and being near the mountains. Plus, this part of the country is loaded with great places to camp.
We camped years ago with a pop-up camper, but got serious about it when we purchased our Casita in 2014. There was a lot to learn as we started traveling with it, and a lot of conflicting opinions on line. That's when I decided that creating a website would be a good retirement project. I started tinyTowable.com to share things we've learned along the way that have worked well for us in hopes that the information would be of help to others.
However, since moving to Tennessee, I've gotten involved with new hobbies (you can check some out on my personal website at https://www.softrite.com) and we haven't camped very much. So, at the end of 2023, I made the tough decision to stop updating this website.
What it is
My favorite camping hose. One of the biggest things on my mind today is the cleanup we may be facing in a few days. That's what got me thinking about this product.
Why I like it
- Easy to store - It's really great because it doesn't take up much room when stored. When not being used it contracts, and is very short. It's also extremely flexible when not under water pressure, so I can wind it around things if needed in the back of the truck. This is one of the things I hate about other hoses (including our white drinking water hose). They all need to be wound up and more or less stacked, often where I don't really have the room. This hose can easily be spread around if needed.
- Durable - When using it, there is a solid inner-core that expands with the water pressure. This makes it quite rigid like a normal garden hose.
- Quick and easy to drain - Being short when it's disconnected from the water pressure makes it much easier to drain before putting it in our tow vehicle.
The nozzel is fine, typical of others that have various spray patterns. For me, I actually prefer the smaller old fashioned ones with a single pattern, but I'll use this one rather than spend the extra money for another one.