What Do You Do on a Rainy Day?

 What Do You Do on a Rainy Day?

gaspe2Into every vacation a little rain must fall, or something like that – no matter how carefully you pick your vacation spots, some inclement weather will eventually show up and require you to be inventive and resourceful to entertain yourself. Even the campskunks who fulltime and can be anywhere they want to be, get caught in the rain sometimes – not often, but it happens. Unless you want to go sit in the desert in summer, fronts will blow through and bring cloudy weather from time to time. With our be-anywhere freedom, we still get a day or three a month where it's just not good outdoor weather.

gaspe1
Fiona deals with rainy weather by sitting on the dash and observing the proceedings from a warm and dry perch. She didn't fare well with the Gaspe squirrels, who cussed her in French when she went outside.

Some of it is where you go – we wanted to tour the Gaspe peninsula, and there's just no foolproof time to go up there. It's a maritime climate. If you want to see this particular patch of countryside, you're going to get to see the clouds and rain too, free of charge. Since we were doing a driving tour, rather than a sit-and-camp visit, it wasn't so bad. We just drove along slowly all day, seeing the sights, and settled in as it got dark.   For us, the weather was just part of the Gaspe experience, and gave us a real feel for what it must be like to live here.

Stormwaves on the Oregon coast.
Stormwaves on the Oregon coast.

Right now, we're on the Oregon coast in the best weather they have all year up here in the Pacific Northwest, and we get a day a week when it's going to drizzle for hours. The ocean is a giant weather-making machine, and they don't grow these giant trees and beautiful grass with heavy dew – it takes precipitation. It's called a temperate rainforest for a reason. The Oregonians have a saying though, when the weather is good it's good, and when it's bad it's wonderful. Sitting on the coast and watching the stormwaves is every bit as entertaining as running around in the sunshine. Thanks to our boondocking capability we get a front-row seat, and usually the whole beach to ourselves because everyone else has more sense than to come out in this weather.

Our rear awning. It keeps the rain out of the open back doors.
Our rear awning. It keeps the rain out of the open back doors.

As fulltimers, we have made modifications which allow us to stay comfortable and entertained while waiting out the rain. Satellite TV and internet dishes are a big help to while away the hours, and continue to work except underneath the most oppressive cloud cover. When the signal goes away, there's usually enough thunder and lightning to sustain our attention until reception is restored. Another big help is our rear awning, which allows us to keep the back doors open in bad weather. I sewed this up with extra curtain material, and it really helps eliminate the stuffiness you get with the Roadtrek all closed up. We can lie in bed, snug and dry, and watch all the weather goings-on right out the back door.

Our solar panels on a rack above our Fantastic Fan roof vent allows all-weather air circulation – the solar panels provide a nice umbrella for the fan, which can remain open and on even when it's pouring down buckets. The older fans don't have the automatic closing feature for when they get wet, and I have had my share of wet floors before we installed the solar panels, but now I'm better than stock. I wish I could say I planned it that way, but i didn't even realize it until after the solar panels went on. Constant airflow and the open back doors help offset the feeling of dampness you get when it's rainy outside.  All the Roadtrek windows, with the exception of the side door windows, can be opened at least a bit in the rain, which is an excellent feature I appreciate very much on rainy, steamy days.

Here is my MPPT, tucked away down in the corner of the bed.
Here is my MPPT, tucked away down in the corner of the bed.

We usually maintain adequate battery charge levels even on cloudy days because of the generous size of my panels (555 watts) and my maximum power point tracker. The electronic wizardry inside this nifty little gadget means that even when it's too cloudy to see your own shadow, the panels will be putting out 150-200 watts, which will keep the TV and internet supplied.   I'm not really charging the batteries, but I'm not running them down either. The newer Roadtreks accomplish the same thing with their daylight panels, plus some other electronic wizardry of a proprietary nature – without a MPPT, the output on sunlight panels like mine goes down to zero when the sun goes behind a cloud, but daylight panels make use of whatever ambient light is available.

rainbowAll in all, it's not a great tragedy if we have a rainy day. I usually alter the menu to include a stew or some other entree appropriate for dreary weather, and we settle in and entertain ourselves with ease, waiting for the good weather to return.   That's the nice thing about being retired – you have all the time in the world to wait.  There's a rainbow out there somewhere, and if you sit around long enough you'll eventually see it.

 

campskunk

"campskunk" is a blissfully retired former public servant who has left the challenges of how to run the government to younger and less cynical hands, and wanders the continent in his Roadtrek Class B RV with his wife and cat. In addition to his work in the public sector, he has also at various times been a mechanic and delivery driver, skills which come in handy in his new role. Because his former job involved the forensic evaluation and sometimes the subsequent detention of some not-so-nice people, he uses the name campskunk instead of his legal name on the Internet. His was not the type of job where customer service feedback would be welcome.

27 Comments

  • Well said Dr Campskunk! It takes lots of rain to keep our family inside and when it rains that hard the game box or the DVD player comes out of hiding. It can be interesting to ventilate some campers and it is important to keep the air flowing. Nice awning! Bigfoot Dave

  • Love that awning!

  • Campskunk,

    We spent one of our travel trailer vacations in the UP of Michigan, Wisconsin, and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. My wife recorded in her journal that we had 10 rainy days out of 13 on the road. I never played so many games of UNO Wild Tiles!

    We still had fun. Who cares about rain, when you’re in a canoe in the Boundary Waters! Our sons still remember that trip as one of the best.

    Thanks for the memories.

    Bill

  • If it is a nice warm rain, put on that bathing suit, get out there and wash down that RT. Let Mother Nature do the rinsing.

    • i forgot to put this in! i call it meterological detailing. no bathing suit, but i watch the radar, get my big soft long-handled brush out, and soap the RT up right before a shower comes over.

  • This Oregonian loves the rain. When it rains it feels restorative, and the air is fresh and clean. Watching storms on the coast is amazing!

  • Thanks Campskunk….I’m feeling the rain and loving the fresh scent left by a little “liquid sunshine.” As the latest trendy saying goes “it’s all good!” A wonderful excuse to curl up and just read, read, read. I have recently been researching a secure screen for the side door and have made my choice…just another reason to have this installed. Oh…but wait…I still need a Roadtrek.

  • Rainy days are the very BEST days to get out and take nature photos – colors are much richer when things are wet. Sunny days are the worst since the harsh light tends to dull down delicate color. So I love rainy days, and spend most of mine outside working with a camera (and umbrella). My biggest issue while out with the RT is bringing all my wet stuff inside. We use a lot of garbage bags to store wet cloths and camera gear to keep from getting everything n the van wet. GREAT idea to wash the rig while raining – plus you get to take a shower at the same time!

  • That’s why you need to move to oregon. it only rains once a year – starts in October and ends in Aprkl.

    🙂

    • i’ll have to take your word for it, Yan – i’m a fair-weather Oregonian, long gone by October. it never really RAINS on me during the summer here – it’ll mist, drizzle, all that stuff, but never really rain hard. the fog is something else, though.

  • Nice article campskunk : )
    My wife and i are transplants from the Nevada desert to the Oregon Coast over 25 years ago. It took a few years to get used to the typical soggyness of the North Oregon Coast, but now, whenever we go adventuring in our rig and come back home we pinch ourselves. The Pacific (& its soggyness) is some of the most beautiful scenery and experience in the country. Our rig is set up with a sizable battery bank to allow for ~6 to 7 days between charges…so when we need laundry done, we find a campground with laundry and power, charge the bank, and we’re good to go again : )

  • Hello – my husband & I are brand new to RoadTreking – just bought a ss agile – a little worried about our 2 shy cats adapting – not sure they can be fearless like Fiona 🙂

    • Hi Connie and Jerry…lucky you….an SS Agile is my dream. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences. Happy trekking!!!

  • Beautiful.

  • the green flash!

  • Thats beautiful

  • What green flash. The pic is orange ?

  • Rainy Day? Fahr einfach weiter…das Wetter ändert sich!

  • Stay in play cards and rest

  • Beautiful! Read, internet or movie.

  • Read a good book.

  • Read, watch TV, do computer.

  • We could be there where ever it is located.

  • Love to read your adventures!

  • After so many years of it always raining when we go camping, we’ve come up with a non depressing solution. When it rains, we drive into town and order fried chicken! 🙂

  • Read, sew, watch a movie, take a nap, get out the AAA guide books and start planning anew:)

  • Nap!

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