Seekin' My World

Brenda's wanderings and wishings

Portable shower contraption December 30, 2017

Filed under: curtains and steps,Hygiene — Sierrashadow @ 6:11 pm
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shower1 copyshower7 copy

This isn’t specific to my Bobcat but Wander the West had a thread regarding showers, so I decided to record this for posterity. I have used the curtain system with the Bobcat to create an outdoor potty room at a music festival when I had company in the camper. I used carabiners and velcro to attach it to the roof latches of the Bobcat outside. But I can’t find pictures of that. Sorry. I rarely carry this as I find sponge baths to be sufficient in most cases. And as a side note, my goodness, have digital cameras improved in 15 years! Sorry these are blurry.

Many years ago, on a pop-up tent trailer forum there was a discussion of portable shower enclosures. So here is what I constructed at the time. It all fits in a box for travel purposes. They recommended a banjo fitting. No one around here knew what a banjo fitting was, but when I showed them the picture they kept saying the $24 “tank fitting” was the closest they could come. I bought it, and then later saw the faucet hole covers. At $2.49 they were very similar, but not quite as beefy. Since this isn’t a high pressure, permanent type of installation, I thought why not try? I drilled a small pilot hole, and then another bigger one, etc, until I had a decent sized hole for the water to drain through. One advantage is the shower hose fits directly on without adaptors. The tank fitting needed adaptors to get to a hose fitting, so I returned it. So the water that falls inside the Sterilite box can be drained through the faucet hole cover and a tube to the outside. (Tank fitting on left, faucet hole cover with hole drilled on right below)

shower2 copy

My next challenge was to hang a shower curtain without drilling into the ceiling. I played around with lots of different things, but here’s what I finally ended up with. I had 2 shock corded tent poles from a tent we no longer use (they are still undamaged, so can be put back if necessary). I built a frame of PVC larger than the bottom of the Sterilite box, with 12″ risers coming up from the corners (actually it’s a dog bed I made years ago, but…dual purpose, right?) Then I put 9 inches of doweling inside the risers to “raise” the tent poles to roof height. The seven segment tent poles go up three sections to the ceiling, bend 90 degrees, pass through 2 eyebolts on lid/curtain (one segment), bend 90 degrees down three segments back to the floor like a big inverted U shape. The lid of the Sterilite box has four holes drilled in the corners for the eye bolts. The shower curtain was gathered and sewn to a rectangular base of fabric about the size of the lid. From the inside of the lid put eye bolt, nut, washer, fabric (shower curtain right side out), plastic lid, washer, nut so that the practically smooth side (nut) is on the outside of the lid. Thread the tent poles through the eye bolts. When it is time to pack it up, flip the whole lid over so that everything fits in the box for travel. Another advantage, the whole thing can be moved outside to take advantage of the outdoor shower if we are in a secluded enough spot, although it is more wobbly if not wedged against the ceiling.

shower6 copyshower4 copyshower3 copy

We had onboard water so I used a water thief to create a shower device. My Bobcat doesn’t have water because I learned how much of a PITA it is to winterize!

shower5 copy

9.96    hand held massaging shower head with 60″ hose

7.53    diverter for instant on and off

?          3/4″ female to 1/2″ male hose fitting

4.95    water thief (I couldn’t figure out what size the sink threads were, and I had it.)

2.00    8 washers and nuts for eye bolts

2.00    4 eye bolts

8.99    shower curtain

8.99    shower curtain

4.94    58 Qt Sterilite box for shower pan and lid for curtain support

2.49    faucet hole cover (drilled out for drainage)

7.99    60″ white vinyl shower hose

?          2 aluminum shock corded tent poles (I already had)

?          various PVC pipes and connectors I already had for base frame

1.49    1/2″ dowel to raise the height inside the PVC risers




Fall color 2017 October 7, 2017

I had a midweek reservation in Yosemite for an art journaling class. It was just a few days after a good sized chunk of El Capitan came down. The pictures don’t begin to describe the size of the chunk that came down. Much of the rock pulverized on impact. There was still lots on the trees, and as I drove by a good gust of wind stirred up a cloud. I didn’t get the camera out in time for that, but pulled over to walk around. I spoke with some climbers who had been on the face when it came down. They said they couldn’t see it (around the corner so to speak) but felt the rock shiver and heard the impact. People had run their fingers though the dust on the fence posts.

IMG_7149   IMG_7153

Bridal Veil Falls almost had more water than Yosemite Falls itself. But I think it is a distance/perspective thing.


During the art class, we saw a small yearling bear on the grass right outside. He climbed up into an apple tree and gorged himself. It was interesting to see people’s reactions, from complete terror to idiotically approaching trying to get a picture.


There was a controlled burn up in Little Yosemite Valley that gave Half Dome a halo effect when I passed Olmstead Point headed to 395.


I had a nice lunch stop at the Wildlife viewing-picnic area at the top of Tioga Pass. I love framing the shot through the doorway to record my lunch stops. IMG_7183

Then over the pass for the aspen color. I went up Virginia Lakes Rd. but the higher I got the more blown out it was. The best color was right at highway level.

IMG_7186    IMG_7191

Up 108, past the Mountain Warfare Training Center, the aspens on the hillsides were beautiful. It is a terrible picture, but I watched this guy landing. I had to slow down because he was kicking up the dust. I think it is called an Osprey Tilt Rotor Transport. Very cool, hovering like a helicopter, but an airplane.

IMG_7196   IMG_7199

So for the modification fans, I have installed many D rings throughout the camper. I utilized existing screws where possible. Then attached shoe strings as tie off points.


I needed to dry my towel after a shower and realized that it was much darker than the Bali Scarf I used to put up and since I carry it anyway is a better curtain for the back door. Bali scarf will stay home from now on. It is attached to the aluminum with binder clips. Note where I store the lifting device in the handle of the refrigerator. I mangled out the rivets ATC installed and use it carefully for lifting and lowering. But taking it off opens up the space for sleeping. I banged myself on it far too many times. Which leads me to another thing I discovered this week. I needed more light for reading in bed  (wanting to minimize the battery usage), so I hung a lantern using an S clip in the hole created by removing the lifter bar. Cool.

IMG_7168     IMG_7177

I also have this little guy on velcro, but he doesn’t put out quite enough light for serious, early evening, wintertime travel.


The Sterilite bins I bought are working out well. The lids only go on for transit, but they do contain a large amount of clutter, higher than the top of the couch alone. One for food and one for, well, clutter. In this picture you can also see how the command hook for the curtain popped off and I just tied it up using one of the D rings nearby. It works fine and is securely attached. The little red ice chest functions as my step stool into bed, and stores mittens, booties and a sleeping hat.


My husband joined me for the first part of the trip. I made him take the extra pads back home with him so I would have the extra room. But I was glad to see he was willing to travel in the Cabin on Wheels (COW) again.

And bad news. I was careless and backed up into my stepstool like an idiot. I mangled it just enough that I don’t feel safe using it. Fortunately I had my trusty but tiny hitch step and a little white turtle step along, so it wasn’t a complete catastrophe. But I am researching and in the market for a new step stool, hopefully a little higher than the one I had. But not much is on the market that I think will work. One of the guys I met at Millpond last month had an awesome one, but I didn’t get the name of it and can’t find it online. It was grey plastic 2 step and folded like the turtle stool, but was much sturdier. So if the retired firefighter from Kernville is reading, please help me.




Grand Canyon Attempt – Failure December 3, 2016

Filed under: Bobcat travels,curtains and steps,Destinations — Sierrashadow @ 1:51 am
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Since I was down in Long Beach for family Thanksgiving, I took that opportunity to head for Arizona. My goal was the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, but I guess the last week of November was too optimistic. Things were great until Needles, but then the storm clouds started brewing. By Kingman, I tried to go to the BLM camp I found, but went six miles up the road until it turned to a dirt road. I knew I had at least another mile left, and didn’t want to get stuck in the possible snow and clay slick. So I chickened out and got a motel room. It was 28 degrees at 4:00 p.m. and only going to get lower.

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In the morning, the hills around were dusted with snow, so I felt like I made a wise choice. When I got to Williams, the road to Grand Canyon was closed. So I drove to Flagstaff in the snow. It was dry blowing snow that wasn’t really sticking to the roads, but people were driving full speed (70 mph!) down the highway! I decided to turn right towards Phoenix hoping the road dropped down quickly. I drove an hour in the snow, at one point low visibility, too. I tucked in behind a slower car with flashers on, and went a reasonable speed. I was so glad to see the big advisory signs for trucks warning them of a 20 mile long 6 percent downgrade. Sure enough, shortly I was out of the white stuff. I decided to stop at Montezuma’s Castle, the first cliff dwelling I ever saw 40 years ago. There used to be a campground there, but not any more. The ranger directed me to a State Park, Dead Horse, about 30 minutes away in Cottonwood, Az. I got there at dusk and holed up while it continued to rain. Good thing I was holding on to the handle when I stepped out in the morning. My step stool had a thick layer of ice on it.

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I did some shopping in Phoenix and Sun City. Realized I wasn’t in Kansas anymore when I saw the parking dedicated to golf carts! The people were bundled up in ski jackets when it was 60 degrees out! Warm enough for me to indulge in a little frozen custard.

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I bought a little Christmas cheer for my camper. And just for the sake of documenting, I have a picture of the little ice chest I use as a step to get in and out of bed.

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The next two nights I ended up in an RV park. I had to warn both places I was a cabover camper, not an RV, but they were fine with it. One was just outside of Yuma and the other was El Cajon.

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Next morning I went to San Diego Old Town. All decorated for Christmas, and before things opened. My idea of fun, no crowds.

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Then I headed up PCH looking for a beach site for the night. San Elijo was full but she told me Carlsbad would have some for sure since they had 70 sites free last night. I got a nice one, but all the cliff side ones were reserved. I just moved my chair over to the empty site and chilled for a while until the occupants arrived. Two big RV’s that totally blocked my view, glad I enjoyed it earlier.

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Fitting to end with a Sunset. I felt like the whole trip was a search for the sun. Finally found some, but three hours after this clear sky shot, it started raining lightly. And then perfectly clear in the morning. Reminded me why I like my ATC, weather tight comfort. The Santa Ana winds were whipping through the Orange County-Los Angeles County area. I had to pull over to the slow lane to keep from being blown around. But arrived back in Long Beach to see the other half of the family who had the audacity to go on a cruise for Thanksgiving when their only daughter was coming their way (just kidding mom).


Organizing, again July 23, 2016

I spent some time in the Bobcat today fixing a few things that bugged me. And documenting.

This is how I keep my curtain hooked while in transit. It keeps the other end from coming off the hook and making me put my fat hand in a very small space. It also keeps the Campsite Occupied sign, my solar oven panels, and the little folding table I have there from sliding out. Win-win. Have you heard of a Copenhagen cooker. I love it. Currently $44 and well worth it. Takes up practically no space at all and provides options.


I got tired of having to look through all four tubs to find what I was looking for. I sorted them all into matched purposes, and labeled the fronts with big titles and tiny inventories. I know I will end up changing it, but at least it is a start.


I like putting my pillows here because they get just a little squished when I lower the top, but they do slide on the slick formica. So I had been using velcro and shoelaces, but it was starting to pull off the wall. So I bought some D rings on flaps that can be screwed in. I used the preexisting holes from the bed slide and it doesn’t impact that purpose at all.

IMG_4006   IMG_4007

In my solar post below, I never really got a good shot of the connection and the way the carabiner takes the weight off the connection. The previous post showed the connector, a carabiner and two bungie cord ends.

IMG_4012  IMG_3886



Potty Box (Pretty Personal Revelations) August 7, 2015

Filed under: curtains and steps,Hygiene,Modifications — Sierrashadow @ 6:50 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I never wanted a “PortaPotty” so ATC built my couch with as much storage as possible. I was using a small pitcher and Reliance Poo Powder, but squatting over it became problematic.


I am discovering I am not as young as I used to be. So I bought a tote at Wal-Mart and cut a hole in the top. It is a comfortable seating height. I use a larger pitcher, lined with a baggie inside. The latches of the box keep things securely aligned.

Potty box inside Potty box

I couldn’t find any Poo Powder although I stopped at nearly every Wal-Mart, Fred Meyers, Cabella’s, Big 5 and Bass Pro from Seattle to Sacramento. I thought about using a diaper since that is legal to put in any trashcan. I decided to use the adult incontinence pads – Maximum flow. It fits in the baggie lined (Glad Twist Tie Gallon) pitcher well and contains the overnight amount needed for me. The rest of the box is filled with extra Lynx Lifters freeing up other storage areas and keeping the box lightweight and plastic in case of spillage. It fits perfectly in the space next to the ice chest and cook kit or in my aisle.

side load 1privacy curtain

Also, I started using a Bali Scarf as my rear curtain. Two small binder clips on the aluminum frame of the lifter panel keep it up.

And I installed a paper towel holder. Two pieces of hook velcro with a mini grommet punched in it. Then string a shoestring through the grommets and the roll. It hangs on the fuzzy side of the velcro installed by ATC for the All Weather Pack. I can move it to many places in the rig based on need.

IMG_2215Turtle and towels

Edit after one year of use: I rarely ever use the incontinence supplies any more. I found if you are close enough to civilization for a trash can, you are probably close enough for at least a porta-potty. I still use the bag within the pitcher inside the box with a lid system, but just bag up the liquid on a daily basis. I knot it and carry it out in a nylon dry bag with a small folding scissors and a small zip lock baggie into the rest room. I cut the bag carefully above the liquid below the knot at least an inch leaving a handle at the knot, grab the opposite lower corner, tilt it diagonally to drain, put the empty disgusting baggie into the zip sandwich baggie and zip it. Place that into the trash. By using a dark colored dry bag, the kind you roll the top on and clip the sides together forming a handle, no one can see in. It looks a little like a purse. I then roll the dry bag up with the scissors inside and put it in my pocket. Needless to say is it a dry bag dedicated to only that purpose.

In a year, I have never needed to do #2. That will be another adventure.

I also just noticed the turtle stool. It worked great, but we needed it for another purpose around the house. I grabbed a six pack mini ice chest that we had. It is the perfect size, the top is a bit “spongier” feeling but supportive enough. And it is much easier to put stuff in than slipping it under the stool. Plus the side legs of the stool slipped into the crack of the couch and the ice chest doesn’t. Plus if I want to take a picnic lunch…


Successful Maiden Voyage

My first trip was a solo, and I was gone a month, but half of it was an Alaskan cruise. That hardly counts for this blog, but I have to say Holland America cruise line sure treats its guests well.

I left fully loaded, and I mean fully. I was taking 400 pounds of books and supplies to my niece in Seattle who has been teaching for 4 years. It filled the whole aisle of the camper and all the available seat space in the DCLB truck.

Katy 1 Katy 2

I managed to camp at Valley of the Rogue State Park in Oregon by crawling over the boxes to pop the roof up. It was 108 degrees so I dawdled over my Red Robin dinner and spent some time in the mall because it was air conditioned. Since I had reserved the site I wasn’t too nervous about getting there before the masses. Very nice halfway point.

After unloading the boxes at her school, I went to Wenberg County Park about an hour north of Seattle. My son lives in Everett, so it was the closest camping to his house I could find. The loop I chose had a very nice new bathroom, but backed right up to neighborhood housing. I happily spent the evening resorting my stuff and figuring out where to place it. My plan to keep the ice chest and cook kit in the back seat of the truck didn’t work well since I would be chauffering my grandsons around for a few days. I was pleased to see that the ice chest and cook box fit well on the driver’s side bench. I put the 2 inch pad vertically in back to protect the wood, which freed up the loop carpeting they installed on top for using velcro. I rigged up velcro straps to hold things in place, and it traveled very well there.

Lake Wenberg 2Lake Wenberg 1side load 3side load 1

One thing that did not work well was where ATC placed the light switches for the rear lights (see photo above – on rear wall but too low for me). Any shifting of cargo on the bench seat held the possibility of turning on the switch, which happened at least three times during the early part of the trip. I decided to pull the fuse out and mark where it goes. So if I want the rear lights, it becomes a more complicated procedure to climb up to the front and install the fuse, but better that than depleting the battery or annoying neighbors and motorists behind me.

I found a hitch step at Cabela’s that I like. It flips up when not in use, but it is pretty small.  I won’t use it in camp, but it was a hassle to un-velcro the step stool every time I wanted to get in to the rig. So it works well for in-transit stops. I think it was $54.

Hitch step 3Hitch step 4

After the cruise I stayed at Millersylvania State Park.

Millersylvania 2 Millersylvania 1

And Cannon Beach – just parking lot camping at an RV resort (no pix). I told them all I needed was legal and level. I paid $24 for that, but it was peace of mind.

Cannon Beach 2Cannon Beach 1

And Valley of the Rogue again. Overall it was a nice shake down trip with no cooking. I probably shouldn’t have even brought the cook gear. Live and learn.

2VOR 1

I keep my Strongback chair, a red mini table with 2 cup holders, and some poles for an awning on the bench behind the couch. I was having trouble getting down from the bed at night, and once I got home I realized that I had a small collapsible stool (turtle style) that fit perfectly in that front spot. It is the perfect height. I had been using the top of the couch which was hard on the upholstery and a little dangerous since it wobbled.

chair crack need stepTurtle and towels


Overdue Posting June 29, 2015

Filed under: curtains and steps,Modifications — Sierrashadow @ 12:47 am
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I can’t believe it has been 2 weeks since we picked up the Bobcat. I have been having a blast figuring out where and how to put things in.


I found a nice fabric for the curtains and have been sewing up a storm. I am using Command hooks to mount them, but the hot temperatures have meant the mini-hooks aren’t sticking as well as I would like. I had to switch to the larger hooks with more contact surface, but if that won’t hold I will have to put in cup hooks. I am trying not to make any “permanent wounds” in the Bobcat. The hardest window was the one in the rear door. It is plastic with a rounded frame. No way to wedge something in there. This morning it dawned on me how I could deal with it. This has not been field tested, so it may not work, but I used super strong, tiny round magnets in the curtain and “sandwich” the screen door with a second magnet.
As I think about it, I think I will put it on so that the curtain itself is between the screen door and the solid door. This will only go up in crowded campgrounds, so not often.

I am discovering that velcro will be my best friend. I am carrying a Strongback chair on the little shelf under the side window. Since it is covered with carpeting, the velcro sticks, and keeps the chair from sliding around.
a chair strapped
And I found a step stool that works well for $70. I wanted a hitch mounted step, but the Otto step for dogs seemed a little too flimsy for us. Again, I mounted it just inside the door with a strip of velcro to hold it in place. Notice the ironing board on top of the pad. It is the perfect table solution for us, works well in the aisle, and can be taken outside to use also. step outa stool stowed
I found boxes and containers for all the cubbies. I find it easier to keep things organized when you can pull it out and rummage through. You lose a little space, but it is worth it. The white ones are available everywhere and the blue ones are cheapies from 99 cent store. The folded curtains fit nicely in that little space on top of the blue boxes.
a blue lefta blue righta white lefta white right
I also must not neglect to thank the guys at All Terrain Campers. They made the whole purchase procedure extremely easy. The camper is everything I hoped it would be. It drives like a dream on the Tacoma. I can feel it a little on hills, but not too much. And the visiblility is much better than I expected. It really doesn’t hang over the sides and back more than a few inches. It is a well built piece of equipment that should provide many wonderful hours of traveling.