The last three mornings when I’ve gotten up, the temperature on our outside thermometer has read 1. The first morning when I saw it, I assumed I wasn’t awake yet. Surely it said 11. Nope, just 1. We have now been coming back to Ohio – from warmer climes – for Christmas for three years. The last two years we have lucked out with very mild winter temperatures. Not so this year. To quote lyricist Frank Loesser: “Baby, it’s cold outside!”
These are by no means record temperatures for December in Ohio. The record low on this date in December was -4 in 1958. The record low for the month was -17 in the deep freeze winter of 1989. Those temperatures are the kind that freeze the moisture in your nose as soon as you take a breath. When it is that cold, you don’t even send the kids outside to play. Tom and I have been hunkered down in the RV the last three days.
On Tuesday it snowed all day. We got about three inches of snow. It was 32 which isn’t cold at all. Tom and I took a nice three mile walk in the snow and built a snowman. The last two days have been 30 degrees colder. We gave up a lot of our heavy duty cold gear when we moved into the RV so we can’t really dress for weather that cold. You need special mittens and boots. Tom keeps suggesting we head for Georgia now, but I won’t leave until after Christmas.
The RV stays nice and warm. We have two furnaces – one for the living room and one for the bedroom – that have been working well. We supplement that with a little electric space heater that runs all the time when we are awake. We are burning through about 12 pounds of liquid propane per day to keep the RV at 65. Then we just add layers of sweaters, socks, and blankets to stay warm. We also have a polar package on our four-season RV. We turn it on and there are heating pads that keep the tanks warm. Warm air from the furnace circulates in the “basement” to keep the pipes from freezing.
This year we also bought a heated water hose. Usually when it gets below freezing we fill up the fresh water tank and disconnect from the water at the campground. We had our water hose freeze up earlier this year and it is hard to take a shower when your water hose is frozen! The heated water hose plugs in to an electrical outlet and keeps the hose warm. We can keep the hose connected even when the temperatures are this cold.
There are 40 RVs here at Cross Creek for the winter and other people are struggling to stay warm. The guy next to us is filling his smaller propane tank every day. Another person bought a heated water hose and – for some reason – took the heat tape off the stand pipe which promptly froze and burst. Several folks are dealing with frozen pipes.
When the temperature dips below 25, I spend most of my time inside. The sunshine and empty refrigerator are calling me out of the RV. But after a quick grocery run I will probably be back in the RV tucked under a blanket. Because, “Baby, it’s cold outside!”