This was our first truck camper winter camping experience where overnight lows were getting into the low teens. We spent a mid January work week in Lubbock.
We drove from San Antonio to Lubbock with an overnight stop at the Buckhorn Lake Resort RV Park in Kerrville Texas. As we got closer to Lubbock, two things happened – it kept getting colder and the wind kept getting stronger.
It was so windy that we had to dodge tumbleweeds. We try to avoid running over tumbleweeds because some of them are large enough to cause vehicle damage at highway speeds.
As is common in West Texas, wind also brings dust storms. At times, it was so dusty we could taste the dust.
It was so windy, we only got 8.5 MPG on this leg of our trip.
We had paid attention to weather reports and expected the temperatures to be below freezing by the time we reached Lubbock. In preparation, we topped off our fresh water tank in Kerrville the night before.
We pulled into Mesa Verde RV Park mid afternoon and it was below freezing as expected. I hooked up electric and sewer. Since the overnight lows were going to be in the low teens, we didn’t hook up the water because our unprotected water hose would freeze solid. All water would have to come from the fresh water tank. To conserve water, we planned to use the park’s showers. Each day, during the warmest part of the day, I refilled the fresh water tank. This strategy worked well as every night the temperatures were in the teens.
We had some problems with the extreme cold that we hadn’t experienced in previous cold weather camping experiences. Early in the week, the truck camper door lock froze. I had to warm the door with a portable electric heater to get the latch to pop out so the door would stay closed. Ice built up between the door and the sill. After the second day, these problems went away.
Our Atwood water heater drain plug started leaking. The truck and camper looked kind of weird when the ice built up.
Looking at the plug closely, I’m thinking that the plug itself was cross threaded when it was built. You can see the drip forming on the drain plug below.
The truck camper has two propane bottles with automatic switch over. Since it was unusually cold, I checked daily to see if the primary bottle was empty. Midweek, I walked next door to West Texas Gas (WTG) to refill the empty propane tank. The good news is that even in these extremely cold temperatures, we seem to be using only around 20 pounds of propane every 5 days.
All week long, there was a constant muffled background noise that sounded like people talking at a church social. You couldn’t hear individual words just constant murmuring. It turns out that a congregation of Canadian Geese winter in Lubbock when there is sufficient water in the playas.
Whenever I would hear distinct Canadian Geese honking, I would look up and see a flock flying in ‘V’ formation. It is fun to watch the ever changing pattern of the ‘V’ formations as the geese switch places and leaders within the ‘V’. The birds are so large they land a bit heavy.
The Mesa Verde RV Park has open fields around it. While walking the dogs in the dark (evening or morning) we would occasionally see jackrabbits dashing for cover between the RVs. They looked like this rabbit I found in a nearby park.
Linda had to work so I had free time to do some site-seeing. My first excursion was out to a Lubbock Windmill Museum called American Wind Power Center. The following day, I went to Lubbock Agriculture Museum across the street from the windmill museum. It is called the Bayer Museum of Agriculture.
On my last day of site-seeing, I started out at the Buddy Holly Center. I showed up an hour and a half before it opened. I took a picture of me ‘wearing’ my Buddy Holly glasses.
Next door to the Buddy Holly Center is the Buddy and Maria Elena Holly Plaza. There is a Buddy Holly Statue offering excellent Kodak moments.
Since it was a cold day, I headed off to my next destination, a Lubbock World War II Museum called Silent Wings Museum.
After picking up Linda from work, we stopped off at Blue Sky for awesome burgers and tater tots.
Oddly enough (actually it is quite common but always seems odd to me) we bucked headwinds on the way home just like we bucked headwinds to get out to Lubbock. The headwind both ways problem is something that seems to always happen when we travel to/from West Texas. According to Linda, the wind is like this most of the year.
Hope to see you on the road ahead!