Friday, August 12, 2022


RV Life in a Coronavirus World: A grateful park host

CAVEAT: Comments, posts and/or tips in our newsletters are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or its staff.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is one story:

“We are full-timers and hunkered down in Arizona now and every difficult evolving day I am filled with gratitude, despite…

Despite the fact that we had scored numerous reservations in a variety of National and State Parks rather than just bee-lining it back north for the summer. This was to be our year to travel and check off a lot of places on our bucket list. Okay, MY bucket list!

Gratitude, despite the fact that the shelves at our local Walmart have been dismally bare for several weeks and that I joined at least 300 of my now closest neighbors at 5 am for senior hours at another store to only find a 1/2 gallon of organic skim milk, butternut squash soup, no lentils (who the heck stocks up on lentils??) and a 24-pack of septic safe toilet paper. The run for the toilet paper canceled out any safety of senior hours as I was stuck in the middle of the aisle with at least half of my new, cart-slamming-into-my-shins “friends”. 

And no, I wasn’t exactly hoarding soup.  I just didn’t know how much I already had.

Speaking of toilet paper, I never ever would have gone after bulk non-RV toilet paper if we hadn’t been nearing empty at the motorhome. All the camping stuff was gone everywhere although I did find that someone on Amazon was selling a four-pack for $17.50 to be delivered in mid-April… sometime.  

I did due diligence, however, and tested the dissolve time of the non-RV septic safe stuff in a jar of water. Used the same amount of non and RV type TP each time, timed with a stopwatch, and tested shaking the jar and then another just sitting. Yes, the RV TP dissolves faster, but only by three seconds when shaken. We decided that the washing machine spin cycle shakes the motorhome enough to aid dissolving. If not, we will join one of the virtual on-line hip-hop dance parties on Saturday night to rock and roll the black water holding tank into submission.

Grateful, despite the fact that we are park hosts and Arizona has designated us an essential service. That means that social distancing is difficult to impossible. That means we are picking up a mass amount of trash. When the CDC said to use a tissue once and toss, I don’t think they meant toss the tissue on a hiking trail or out the car window.

All grousing aside, I am so grateful that the park is allowing us to stay and be park hosts as long as we need to. I am grateful for water, electricity and even sewer. I am grateful for the spring rains that brought greening and a profusion of wildflowers to the desert.

I am grateful that we as a group, at the park and more broadly in communities across the United States, can pull together because yes, it is true, we really are all in this together.

— Nanci Dixon

Your essays wanted

Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.


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Debbie PJ
2 years ago

Stay safe Nancy~ I loved your essay and sympathize about the litter bugs!

Steve Barnes, Kamloops, BC
2 years ago

I enjoyed Nancy Dixon’s experiment with RV toilet paper, the main article above⬆️. RV paper only dissolves 3 seconds faster, why bother? As a snowbird 5th five months a year for 10 years I have never used RV paper, mostly Kirkland. Never a problem and never a smell.

2 years ago

been RVing since 1986 and using Scott’s single-ply since then. no issues.

2 years ago

Nancy, thanks for your story! We also park host but chose to travel to home base to hunker down. My DH is a plumber and says the Charmin toilet paper we use is just fine (and easier on the nether regions of the body!). Thanks for what you do, and stay safe!

2 years ago

Nancy thanks for your story and continued safe RV’ing.
Your observations about those who think the world is their personal garbage can – tossing their tissue waste helter skelter, speaks perfectly to the point I’ve made in the past – WHY, your state, BLM etc park officials are closing down those facilities -they simply do not have the people on the ground to clean up after these loons
People (sorry don’t mean to offend anyone here) are very unsanitary, and their old habits will only die with them.
Hopefully those bad habits don’t take an innocent bystander down with them.

Donald N Wright
2 years ago

Has anyone tried the “bidet” system on a toilet in an RV ?

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

Check out YouTube (of course) for examples of this.

2 years ago

No, not personally. There was quite a discussion of installing the bidet addition on the Discovery Owners Association message board, last month. So much, talk I may get one when we start our sticks and bricks remodel. YouTube video available and one thing I learned, is you need a 120V GFI outlet near the toilet. This may be some work for an RVer, but doable. Here’s the “seat” most are talking about over at DOA technical page.

2 years ago

Has anyone tried a composting toilet?
Seems to work well in an Old International school bus converted to a Motorhome!

2 years ago
Reply to  Alvin

Started using a composting toilet last summer. We’re full time boondockers, and the composting toilet gives us so much freedom, just have to haul water for showers and dishes.

Gregory Brott
2 years ago

Installed one last week in our sticks and bricks home and love it. Was thinking how to do this in and RV also.

2 years ago

We have them on our toilets at home as well as in the coach and haven’t used TP for over 6 years. I can’t think of any other area of your body where you would use dry paper to clean it and think it’s good to go. There’s nothing better than a warm water rinse and a gentle warm air blow dry. The heated seat is also a nice bonus.

2 years ago

People need to stay put while this is going on. Not running all around spreading it.

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